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Warren Haynes' Govt Mule Angel Orensanz Center, NYC 12/27/08

Warren Haynes brought his Govt Mule to the Angel Orensanz Center in New York's Greenwich Village, a beautifully ornate venue in a converted Temple dating back to the 1800's. This description of the center was taken from it's website

The Center itself is a neo-gothic building which was designed as a synagogue in 1849 by Berlin architect Alexander Seltzer. He drew inspiration for his design from the cathedral of Cologne and the German romantic movement of Heinrich Heine and Beethoven.

This structure witnessed the birth of the Jewish reform movement in America, but the after the decay of the Yiddish Lower East Side after World War II, dozens of synagogues and other significant structures disappeared.

Angel Orensanz bought this venerable structure in 1986, first for his own studio, and then to make it again a beacon of education and culture in the city of New York. The Foundation produces every year several cultural events such the Heinrich Heine Festival, the West Belfast-New York City Festival, Berlin Transfer (a symposium of philosophers and scientists with the Senate of Berlin), the Installation Art Award and publishes Artscape, a quarterly of the arts.

I got a sense of the history of this building while standing accross the street before the show and gazing at the structure, which seems somewhat out of place in the Village.

This set the scene for a beautiful intimate appearance by a band that usually plays at venues seating ten times this place. Only 300 people were at each of these two shows (they also played 12/28/08). The only way you could aquire tickets to these shows was if you were a ticket holder for the Govt Mule New Year's Eve Hammerstein Ballroom shows. I was lucky enough, once again, to have great friends who were able to provide me with a ticket to this amazing show. Warren started out on sweet solo acoustic on Glory Road and Affair On 8th Avenue before he was joined by Drummer Matt Abts, new bassist Jorgen Carlsson, and Keyboardist Danny Louis in the middle of Broken Promised Land. The rest of the set was electric rockin' Govt Mule. The second set had a similar start with Haynes playing solo acoustic on Hallelujah. The band joined him for the remainder. Here's the complete setlist:

Glory Road, Affair On 8th Avenue, Broken Promised Land, Get Behind The Mule, I'll Be The One w/ Blue Sky Jam, Afro Blue, Bus Stop, About A Girl

Hallelujah, The Shape Im In, I Believe To My Soul, Don't Let It Bring You Down, It Hurts Me Too, Drums, Child Of The Earth, Sugaree, Thorazine Shuffle
Forevermore, Where Did You Sleep Last Night

High points for me (no pun intended) were I'll Be The One with a really sweet Blue Sky Jam which hopefully is a sign of things to come with the Allman Brothers Band poised to take the Beacon Theatre over for at least ten nights (on sale already), and promising to have more "special guests" than ever before in celebration of their 40th Anniversary; to some this is code for Dickey Betts - who knows...maybe. Coltrane's Jazz standard Afro Blue was hot. The Hollies Bus Stop was a nice surprise and well done. The second set was great with standouts of Neil Young's Don't Let It Bring You Down suiting Warren just fine, Ellmore James' Blues Classic It Hurts Me Too, an awesome Drum solo by Matt Abts, who's an animal, and a sweet Sugaree, also foreshadowing the upcoming Dead Spring Tour in which Haynes will be on board of course.

All this on top of the venue being one of the most beautiful places, architecturally, that I've ever seen. This was truly a wonderful show in a really incredible setting. Prime Govt Mule.

Download the show from here.

Note: Photos were taken by me and you can view more pictures at my new Flickr Account Here. Please if you like them let me know.


Still Grateful After Thirty Years On The Bus

It was thirty years ago today that as a thirteen year old kid from Long Island your's truly went to his first Grateful Dead show at the Nassau Coliseum on Jan 10th 1979. That was the day I hopped on the bus and still haven't gotten off. That show and the thriving scene around it made a huge impression on me. The Grateful Dead seems to be an on going longterm obsession of mine and I can't see it going away any time soon. Hell, it's been a part of my everyday life ever since that first show. Sure I can't go off on tour anymore; I'm a family man and have more responsibilities than when I was younger, but I make it to as many hip scenes as I can. My way of living it is by going to a few shows and then downloading a whole bunch and living it through the live recordings. Thank God for the Tapers and the internet. They bring the music to me so that I can at least have some of the experience of the show.

That Grateful Dead concert thirty years ago turned out to be the first of many I would go to over the next sixteen and a half years until Jerry Garcia's death. This first show wound up being SOME show when looking at it in retrospect. First of all it was my only Dead show with Keith and Donna in the band. By the time I'd see them next (November), Brent Mydland would be the new guy on keyboards. But if you take a look at the setlist or listen to a recording of this show you'll see how lucky I was to catch it. I didn't realize it till I saw the setlist and listened to it on tape maybe eight to ten years later.

Here's the setlist compliments of 01-10-79 Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, N.Y. (Wed)
1: Promised, Dire Wolf, Mama Tried> Mexicali, Tennessee Jed, L. L. Rain, Stagger Lee, El Paso, Row Jimmy, Passenger, Loser, Music
2: Shakedown, Miracle> Bertha> Good Lovin, Dark Star> Drumz> Wharf Rat> St. Stephen> Around E: Johnny B. Goode

As you can see I caught such gems as Dark Star and St Stephen, both rare occurrences in the years to follow. The first set was average but solid featuring some classic tunes like Dire Wolf, Tenn Jed, and Loser and a good sampling of Weir cowboy songs in Mama Tried> Mexicali and El Paso. Passanger would also be a song that dissapears from the repertoire soon after this. The second set was when it got real heavy! Obviously I'm a Dark Star fan (see name of my blog). The opener Shakedown, Miracle> Bertha> Good Lovin is sweet. Then comes a pretty intense spacey Dark Star with a kind of Blues For Allah'ish jam in it...Drumz> Wharf Rat> St. Stephen> R&R E: Johnny B. Goode. Strong second half of the set with a St. Stephen for my FIRST Grateful Dead concert...Wow! And that would prove to be my only St Stephen, but I would catch quite a few more Dark Star's after they broke it back out in '89.

When I look back at this show and think that it was thirty years ago I just can't believe it. I was sold at that point, hook, line, and sinker and continued to go to shows through the end. And now I continue to see any Grateful Dead related activities like Phil Lesh and Friends, Ratdog, The Dead etc. I'll be heading out soon to see at least 4 of The Dead Spring '09 shows, and as I prepare to go to the Nassau Coliseum, once again, I can't help but notice how things have come full circle. What a long strange trip it's been. Hope to see ya there, for a real good time.


Grateful Dead To Tour Spring '09

Happy New Years Deadheads! It's official. The Grateful Dead will tour in the spring of 2009. The New Year brought confirmation of the rumors with an announcement on their website of 19 shows this spring accross the US. Here's the list of dates below. These were taken from the Grateful Deads website and you can get more details by following the link above. Presale begins January 13th so scrounge up all your loose change and get ready for a real good time. The lineup will be the same as the Obama Benefit show at Penn State: the original four members Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzman, and Mickey Hart joined by the one and only Warren Haynes on guitar and vocals and Jeff Chimenti on keyboards and vocals. The Obama Bryce Center Benefit was a really tasteful sounding show (read about it here) and should be a great indicator of Grateful things to come. This Deadhead can't wait for spring to come.

Spring Tour (as of now Jan 1, 2009)

April 12 Greensboro NC Greensboro Coliseum
April 14 Washington DC Verizon Center
April 15 Charlottesville VA John Paul Jones Arena
April 17 Albany NY Times Union Center
April 18 Worcester MA DCU Center
April 19 Worcester MA DCU Center
April 21 Buffalo NY HSBC Arena
April 22 Wilkes-Barre PA Wachovia Arena @
Casey Plaza
April 24 Uniondale NY Nassau Coliseum
April 25 New York NY Madison Square Garden
April 26 Hartford CT XL Center
April 28 E. Rutherford NJ IZOD Center
April 29 E. Rutherford NJ IZOD Center
May 1 Philadelphia PA Wachovia Spectrum
May 2 Philadelphia PA Wachovia Spectrum
May 5 Chicago IL All State Arena
May 7 Denver CO Pepsi Center
May 9 Los Angeles CA The Forum
May 10 Mountain View CA Shoreline Amphitheater

ps: I'll be posting soon about the Govt Mule show on 12/27/08 at the Angel Orensanz Center in NYC. This was an incredible show by Warren Haynes and Govt Mule in the most beautiful venue I've seen in New York and serves as my New Years show thanks to my dear friends Jeanette and Terry. Thanks Guys! Please come back and read this post soon. Happy 2009...and stay in touch.