Friday, September 8, 2023

Gov't Mule and Dark Side of the Mule at Red Rocks 8-7-23

Michael Yanko

Rock Legends Photographers

Red Rocks was on my bucket list for many years. In early July I got an email from Gov't Mule stating that they were going to be playing there on 8-7-23 doing their Dark Side of the Mule performance. I thought this might be the perfect opportunity to cross this one off my list. After doing a little research I found out that not only was Jason Bonham opening the show with his Led Zeppeling Evening, Joe Bonamassa was playing there the night before. The decision was made, and 15 minutes later I had flights, car rental, and a hotel all booked. I was very excited to cross this one off my list and enjoy 2 nights of amazing music. I had seen Gov't Mule several times before, but I had heard that the DSOTM shows are spectacular. I was very excited for this 2 great days of music.

Unlike the previous rainy night the weather was perfect. Special guest Jason Bonham and his Led Zeppelin Evening opened the show with an amazing tribute to Zeppelin. This was the perfect band to preface the amazing performance we were all about to experience. 

Meeting Mule bassist Kevin Scott and DSOTM guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Jackie Greene before the show was an added bonus. 

After a short equipment change out from the Bonham set, Mule came out to roaring applause. Warren Haynes doesn't talk a lot during his shows, but he warmly greeted the crowd and the band jumped right into their opening song, "Same As It Ever Was" from Peace Like a River..., their latest release.

Mule's six song opening set continued with "Time To Confess," "After The Storm," "Unring The Bell," and "Endless Parade," wrapping up with "Made My Peace," also off the new record.

Joining Mule members Warren Haynes (guitar, vocals), Matt Abts (drums, vocals), Kevin Scott (Bass), and Danny Louis (Keyboards) for the Dark Side of the Mule set were: Jackie Greene (keyboards, guitar, vocals), Ron Holloway (sax), and Sophia Ramos and Machan Taylor on backing vocals.

The DSOTM set consisted of Pink Floyd favorites as well as some deeper cuts. It opened with "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" followed by "Have A Cigar" with Abts on lead vocals. They followed up with the hit "Welcome To The Machine," then "Speak To Me," "Breathe," "The Great Gig In The Sky," "Money," "Us And Them," "Any Colour You Like," "One Of These Days," "Fearless," and "Echoes." I was amazed at how accurate these songs were played, and yet Haynes added some custom touches. At one point to introduce Ron Holloway, Haynes actually sang his name as part of the song. The band did 2 great encores! First they returned to play "Comfortably Numb" to the crowd's delight. They briefly left the stage but the crowd was hungry for more, so they came back out for a rousing cover of "Wish You Were Here." 

I expected nothing less than an amazing light show for the DSOTM set, and the band did not disappoint. 

With plenty of lasers and fog the light show rivaled one of Pink Floyd's own shows!

Mule is still touring. If you get a chance to see them get your tickets early as they will probably sell out quickly!

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