November 2, 2009

Review: Mule-O-Ween @ the Tower

If we remember nothing else about Halloween 2009, maybe we’ll at least recall it was the night that two of the world’s marquee jambands both turned in ace renditions of the Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main Street obscurity Ventilator Blues. Stranger things have happened, right? Right? Bueller?


[All Photos by Heath Robson from Mule.Net]

On a smaller scale than some marginal little festival happening out West, Gov’t Mule brought the Mick and Keef goods to Philly on All Hallow’s Eve, playing an oddly selected, strangely paced and yet remarkably satisfying set of Stones material. Would love to have been in on these planning meetings: 14 Stones songs, many well-known, several obscure, from a wide-but-not-too-wide swath of Stones albums, and all but two of those songs in the first-time-played designation, with no attention paid to several Stones covers (Sympathy for the Devil, Dead Flowers, 2000 Light Years From Home, Let’s Spend the Night Together) that the Mule’s had success with in the past. So be it, dudes.

It had the makings of formless hodgepodge, but for all the era-shuffling and seeming randomness of the selections, it felt like a buoyant Mule set: heavy with blues and slippery slide but hardly tied to those things, and for the most part, rollickingly good rock ‘n’ roll with occasionally great spots of brilliant havoc (a rampaging Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’, a pummeling Monkey Man and an out-of-left field Slave) and tender interlude (Angie, Wild Horses). There was balls-out hilarity, as well: at one point, Danny Louis grabbed Jorgen Carlsson’s bass, Carlsson replaced Matt Abts on the kit, and the band launched into Shattered — with Abts running out to center stage and proceeding to sing/shout his ass off, complete with patented Jagger peacock strut. READ ON for more from Chad on Mule-O-Ween…

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