Once again the repeats were appreciated and the band chose their best material for double duty. Princess Henrietta smoked, Cheap Utah Blues was fun and Imogene featured a nasty jam. Nearly all of the repeats sounded better the second time around and LD Jeff Volkhausen – one of the weekend’s MVPs – made them all look better too. Volkhausen, a longtime GSW fan, got to live the dream this weekend and made the most of his opportunity, especially at the Irving Plaza shows. The sound was also spectacular at all four shows thanks to the handiwork of a sound engineer who worked with the band during the mid ’90s, Brian Duffy.
God Street Wine blew past the soft 12:30AM curfew and who could blame them? On this night they were owning the near sold-out room, but next Saturday night will probably involve more bedtime stories than rousing ovations. The encore started with the third Beatles cover of the run, Ticket To Ride, which was one of the first covers in GSW’s repertoire. God Street’s version of the tune is way more laidback than the original and Maxwell adds some syncopation to his delivery of the lyrics making things interesting for those singing along. Maxwell’s distinctive voice got another workout during the second song of the encore slot – the Lo Faber-requested Sweet Little Angel. Aaron’s heartfelt vocals and raw, bluesy solos made the B.B. King song a winner.
For the second encore, and the closing moments of an unforgettable two weekends, GSW turned to the Steely Dan-esque original Other Shore and one of the group’s true epics – Into The Sea. At one point Lo told the crowd to spread the recordings of these shows if we wanted more shows in the future, but Faber could hardly get through the “if you want more shows” before the crowd went berserk. The only person who got a bigger round of applause than the prospect of more shows was the man who was most responsible for making these shows happen, Michael Weiss.
The crowd’s reaction to every musical highlight and nearly every word Lo said was a beautiful thing. It felt like everyone in attendance was there for the music and had a fucking blast. Choosing New York as the city to host these shows was a wise one. From Marlboro to Mamaroneck to Manhasset to Manhattan, the New York City area has always been ground zero for the fanbase and these shows proved that even if you move to Ireland or New Orleans, sometimes you can go home again.
There are three big questions to be answered for the Winos. First off, when can we do this again? Second, what the hell are we supposed to do next weekend? And third, how do the members of the band go back to the real world after experiencing the musical magic and adulation from a thousand loyal fans over the past two weekends? We sure hope the next run of shows takes place sooner rather than later. For now, there’s still one more God Street Wine gig on the docket – Jam Cruise 9.