Concert Review: Gov’t Mule / Moe. Red Rocks 8/25/2016
Written by Tracy Steck on September 1, 2016
You’ve heard the saying “Never miss a Sunday show” well I have a new one, never miss a Gov’t Mule or Moe. show at Red Rocks. We stayed the week in Colorado, waking up each day checking the weather report to see if it called for rain for the day of the show, although we knew we were going regardless and were prepared for any kind of weather. The big day finally arrived and the ten of us walked to the top of our driveway waiting like excited little kids on their first day of school for our rented party bus which just happened to be lost, having a hard time finding our secluded cabin, but nothing could dampen our spirits that day. Except for one of us, it was our first show at Red Rocks and we really had no idea what to expect but we knew we were in for the time of our lives. Since the bus was late we sadly missed Blackberry Smokes performance but were just in time for Moe. Even though the sun had not yet set, there was a glow over the entire area. After stopping many times along the way to give hugs and take pictures with all the Gov’t Mule fans we knew, we finally made it down to our seats where we had a perfect view of the stage and the heavenly views that make up Red Rocks.
Moe. started their set off with their percussive jam “Rebubula” getting everyone out of their seats and dancing early. They continued to take us all on a trip of highs and lows when they broke out the ever faithful “Brent Black” a 14 minute version that reiterated the fact that all of these guys are top notch musicians. Jim and Al took a drum/percussion solo that blew my mind only to have Rob Derhak come in at the end with a bass jam that left no one sitting in their seats. They knew they had us in the palm of their hands so of course the next song was “Thorazine Shuffle”, I had a smile on my face a mile wide because I knew that meant that Gov’t Mule would have to follow that up with Moe.’s “Opium”. Moe. ended the show with “Billy Goat”. Chuck and Al were trading licks while Jim Loughlins percussive sounds were bouncing off the majestic rocks surrounding us.
The sun had set and a cool breeze had started to stir as Gov’t Mule took the stage, starting off with a minute long intro into “Railroad Boy”, it may have been just me but it was like the band and song were charged with the energy of the rocks and the almost 10,000 fans, the most driven version I had ever heard of this song. Next Warren got us all singing “Mule”. It sounded like the “Hallelujah Chorus” echoing off the rocks, only to keep us all singing along to “Soulshine”. By the time they surprised us with the Hendrix tune “If 6 Was 9”which has not been played for a while, the winds were howling, Warrens now much longer locks were blowing in the wind and there was a broad smile on every woman’s face in the crowd of fans. Although I knew they had to be freezing because that cold Colorado wind was hitting them all head on, it did not seem to bother any of them as they traded licks, riffs and smiles they were clearly having just a good a time as we all were. Jorgen carried the band into a great version of “Kind of Bird” followed by another bird song, The Beatles “And Your Bird Can Sing”. As always Warren nailed Moe.s “Opium” but what sent me over the edge was when I heard those eerie, ethereal space sounds leading into Pink Floyd’s “One Of These Days” it was a spiritual experience for sure. At the end of the show, during the introductions Warren repeated what Rob Derhak had told us all earlier “It’s a beautiful feeling to see all you folks here, coming out to help us celebrate. It’s a beautiful day of music, Blackberry Smoke, Moe. and Gov’t Mule.” Then all of the performers from all the bands took us on what I felt was an emotional journey, as a tribute to Brian Farmer as they sang “I Shall Be Released” My husband and I were arm in arm swaying and singing as Warren and the others ended the night hanging on tight to all of our heart strings. As we walked the almost mile back to our bus, I don’t think anyone even realized that it was now raining because our souls were definitely shining. The next day as we sat on the deck of our cabin in the mountains, the best way I could describe my experience the night before was that it felt like I was sitting on the moon looking back at the earth in all its glory. Thank you Warren, Matt, Jorgen and Danny, we’ll see you on the Rocks next year!
Listen to the audio over on Mule Army’s archive site: MuleArmy.net
Review By Tracy Rush Steck