April 27, 2006
Well a week later and we are still reeling over the royal ass kicking show we attended in Buffalo. When the Mule first emerged some ten years ago they quickly developed a base of die hard fans that made the shows unique and special. After the death of the great bass player and co- founding member, Allen Woody, the direction of the band who was finally getting the recognition they deserved, was unclear to members Warren Haynes and Matt Abts. After tough consideration they decided that Woody would want the show to go on and toured with a revolving cast of bass players to the fans delight.
Now a solid 4 piece band that has cemented its roots into the bluesy jam style, they are again on the road touring and recording a new cd and delighting crowds everywhere they play.
This was a sell out crowd on a Thursday night and as the band took the stage at about 8:45 they thundered on with the Mule classic "Hammer & Nails". It was evident from the grins on the band and the crowd faces that tonight was one of those special nights. From there they went into Joann's favorite from Deja Voodoo, "Slackjaw Jezebel."
The band was tighter than ever and played to the dancing crowd for there usual 2 sets . The first one included other greats like Zeppelin's "When The Levee Breaks," and "Lay Your Burden Down" which also has become a Mule classic. They tore into "Bad Little Doggie" and a wild version of "About To Rage." Warren got this little grin like he does and hit the crowd with a stellar version of "Red House" which brought the house down.
After a brief intermission they opened the second set with one of Warren's finest deliveries of "When Doves Cry" and right into "Beautifully Broken." Warren's voice for as much as this man is on the road matches his great guitar work. Also included in the set were "Empty Pages" and "I Shall Return" and the killer "Rocking Horse." The band was on fire at this point all of them were interacting with each other better than ever. Drums are not normally my thing but Matt did a wonderful job on a drum solo that would make any child of the 70s weep for joy.From there the band took on the task of covering the Animals "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood." INCREDIBLE was the word for that , and at this point Warren had the capacity crowd eating from his hand as he well should have .
Next up was Johnny Bratton and another Mule great "Painted Silver Light." They ended the show with "Where's My Mule" which had everyone hopping and singing along. For the encore they did a different version of the classic "Soulshine" and showcased each and every one in the band.
All I can say is this band just gets better and better each and every year so it makes you wonder what's next for them . And after all this for a mere $25.00 price tag, Warren and the boys met the fans by the bus for autographs and pictures. Talk about fan friendly . All I could do was thank the man for everything he has done and all the enjoyment he gives us each and every day If you get a chance to catch them go for it. Warren Haynes has got to be one of the hardest working men in the music business today and with the great band he plays with one will go away knowing that you have had your ass kicked.
-Rick & Joann Pierce