Gov’t Mule : House of Blues, Atlantic City, 8/8/09

Gov’t Mule ended their summer tour, the last before their By A Thread album is released in the fall, with a monster show at Atlantic City’s Showboat Casino/House of Blues.    Warren Haynes, he of the three bands, led the initial simmering mix of drums and bass into a sizzling “Blind Man In The Dark,” while “Perfect Shelter,” from the band’s last studio effort, was similarly strong.   You could really feel Gov’t Mule putting out that colossal, “last show for a while,” effort.  Instead of the mini “Mountain Jam” that usually pops up in the middle of “Gameface,” the band dropped into a groove that was similar, but not quite. 

The set-ending three pack, however, is where the band truly put their stamp on this set: “Life Before Insanity,” was both tender and raging, while “Thirty Days In The Hole,” with its reference to a “rollin’dance floor,” was perfect for this small venue.  It’s truly amazing how Haynes has taken this Humble Pie classic and made it a band staple and as he sang in the equally well-worn chestnut that ended the set, “Thorazine Shuffle” – when you got to let the monster inside you, let him come on out, come out and play.”        

The band opened the second set with the Faces’ classic, “Stay With Me,” which led to Hayne’s best “Rod The Mod” impression as if it had never been done previously.  A tune by the best bar band of all time, what could be better?  Afterwards, Warren reminded the crowd that “anything can happen, tonight, folks.”  “No Need To Suffer” was another tune that started soft and ended kicking and screaming, later allowing Haynes to do his once-a-tour intros of the road crew.  The rapid fire drums led into “Left Coast Groovies,” off the band’s debut album and “World Of Difference” followed, just as it did to close out the aforementioned first release. 

This being the last show of the summer, we were treated to a double encore:  “Far Away,”  having fallen out of the heavy rotation for the last couple of years, was the high point of this show, clocking in at over eleven minutes. “Soulshine” was far from standard and capped off this night with the sweetness and power that had defined the entire show.  With a new album, tour and eventual New Year’s run on the way, Gov’t Mule has a lot in store for the rest of 2009.

Set 1
Blind Man In The Dark
Perfect Shelter
Towering Fool
Fool’s Moon
Life Before Insanity
Thirty Days In The Hole
Thorazine Shuffle

Set 2
Stay With Me (Danny Louis on Guitar)
No Need To Suffer
Trying Not To Fall
Mule->I’ve Been Working->Mule
Left Coast Groovies
World Of Difference
Lola Leave Your Light On
Far Away->

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