Monday, October 30, 2017

Gov't Mule @ le Trianon, Paris - October 30th, 2017

For some dubious reason, Gov't Mule is associated with the jam band scene of the nineties. Sure, they formed in the nineties. And sure, they jam like motherfuckers. But at its core, Gov't Mule is a classic rock band. But even more than that they are musicologists and rock historians.

One just needs to take a look at the list of songs they have covered over the years to see that Warren Haynes is a rock erudite, and all of his influences can be felt in his own compositions. Their concerts are a festive cornucopia of blues, rock, psychedelia, soul and even jazz.

Therefore, it's puzzling to me that once again they have chosen to play an all-seated show, when their music so blatantly lends itself to swaying, grooving and dancing.

To be fair, last night was mostly a mid-tempo set. There was very little of the more immediate hard rocking numbers, and that's perhaps the only thing to bemoan. But that's not to say that it was a snooze-fest. Warren's incandescent guitar playing was as riveting as when we first discovered him when he was recruited by the Allman Brothers Band.

Among the highlights were a great rendition of Jeff Beck's Freeway Jam and a rocking Thorazine Shuffle. For the encore, hey brought out erstwhile Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden for a stellar guitar jam.

Gov't Mule never disappoints, but the event could've reached new heights if the audience was allowed to cut loose a little more. The first time I saw them was at the Bataclan and the crowd was a lot more responsive. I understand seated shows are the norm in the United States but it's just death for this type of music. This isn't classical music. This isn't Sunday mass. This is rock and roll.

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