Gov’t Mule @ METROPOOL, Hengelo (NL) 10.07.2012
It is amazing always and always again how many most excellent clubs you can find in nearly every bigger town of Holland. One of them is definitely also the METROPOOL in Hengelo. Very modern architecture and finest interior by sound and light. Their big saloon was naturally sold-out by approx. 800 freaks, as they did not want to miss one of their rare European gigs.Even band-friends from Canada came over to savour this intimate atmosphere. They would not have the possibility in the U.S. anymore as the mule plays there venues from 2.500 people upwards.
It was very impressive when the kind-hearted Warren “The Grizzly Bear” Haynes started the gig by his delicate slide-guitar-intro to ‘Hammer & Nails’ accompanied by thunderous drums. By his suave voice he immediately was to hex the muleheads. Amazing how Warren can elicit his Gibson Les Paul Sunburst guitar such fine tunes by his not-really-skinny fingers. By the next song ‘Thelonius Beck’ the atmosphere got rather psychedelic. It was the time for bassist Jorgen Carlsson to take care for the low-tone sound-floor. He is rather calm by stage-acting but an utmost excellent replacement for the unforgettable orginal 4-string hero Alan Woody. His very dry desert-rock bass-solos were very cool and groovin’. ‘The Other One Jam’ as Grateful Dead song was the non-plus-ultra highlight in the first set. It was specially highlighted by the drumming of Matt Abts. It is unique how he played so energetic and dynamic rather effortless. By ‘Kind of Bird’ the first set was already over, after nine songs, like a time-rush. Normally other bands declare the gig end, but not Warren: “A short break, we have more music for you”.
By a small-talk with fans in the afternoon the grizzly asked: Any special requests for tonight? They were desiring some Pink Floyd. His answer was: Let’s wait and see… And he had a real heavy-metallic-surprise as opener for the second set. ‘War Pigs’ by Black Sabbath. Warren’s voice was powerful and sword-sharp and his axe-solos were murderous. Vow, what a start* The next delight was ‘Mr. Big’ by Free. ‘Brand New Angel’ was the end of the regular second set. It was blues-rock power-time by the Howlin’ Wolf cover ‘How Many More Years’. The METROPOOL was tremblin’, rockin’ and rollin’. Warren Haynes ‘Let his guitar do the talkin’ combined with the Hammond-brew by Danny Louis. Danny was the extraordinary keyboard-ass this evening and was nailing-down by his taste-plays. ‘Red House’ was the Royal-Flush-Finale with some wizardous-guitar-solos. Storm-troopin’ applause by the muleheads were to hail Gov’t Mule. They had given everything and their outfits were soaked by their sweat. Completely exhausted they thanked them by cookies in form of guitar-picks and drumsticks. What a pity that they did not add anymore ‘Soulshine’ despite the tremendous calls for another encore.
The METROPOOL was the most excellent host for another Gov’t Mule concert to be remembered.
Hammer & Nails
Banks of the Deep End
The Other One Jam (Greatful Dead Cover)
Monday Mourning Meltdown
Kind of Bird
War Pigs (Black Sabbath cover)
Larger Than Life
Mr. Big (Free-Cover)
Have Mercy On The Criminal (Elton John cover)
Any Open Window
Brand New Angel
How Many More Years (Howlin’ Wolf cover)
Red House (Jimi Hendrix cover)
Some people say “it’s only music”, but I don’t listen to them. OK, everbody has his own favourite band, and the reason for it is personal and not easy to explain. As to me, it makes the sentiment which the musicians and their melodies call forth in me. And Warren Haynes was and is to rise a lot. On July 10, 2012 I drove two and a half hours to Hengelo to see Gov’t Mule live for a second time, after my first gig in June 2010 in Limburg/Belgium. I got hooked that time, but there was no chance to see them again soon, as their European dates are rare indeed. So I was very curious about how it would be to see them again, and when they came onto the stage, I was chuffed to bits.
During the concert I went through all feelings, beginning with goose bumps when the first song began, over to satisfaction about how fluently a song followed the other – I couldn’t tell you the song titles (shame on me!), it was one great sound-fusion to me – then sentimentality with a more softly song, next was a surprise to hear they were having a break after nine songs and a perceived whole concert, when Mr. Haynes, the silent man, said “A short break, we have more music for you”. Another of his rare comments was pointing to a group in the audience saying “these guys have come to every gig here in Europe so far”. This is what I like of them too, no screaming like “are you with me”, no animation to clap hands – the audience does it by self-acting. The audience – except for two girlies who confused the event with a disco and thankfully soon left the first row – was ageless and inspired by the music. In the first row… two remarkably good-looking guys stood in front of me, accompanied by a rather unremarkable lady who did the getting-beer job for them. It happened somehow that Markus got talking to the tall guy as he was showing photos of Gov’t Mule. Curious as I was, I listened to the conversation and it turned out that they are from Canada and friends, travelling with the band. I don’t know what had been said next to me in the audience, but his guitar-technician (he looks like Warren’s double regarding the physique) came from behind the curtain with a box of fine Belgian chocolate and offered some to the audience. This was quite a cosy intermezzo!
The second part of the concert began, and I remember it louder than before, but still the sound I desired to hear – strong energetic playing that made you dive into a sea of sound. At the end of an encore Warren quickly delivered some strange calls, raising and dropping his voice. What was this? He kind of apologised, as if his temper had led him to an intimate reaction. Wow! Gov’t Mule is for sure a special band – the bass player Jorgen Carlsson with his light fingers, showing almost no movement but mentally present. The keyboarder Danny Louis, not only tapping the keys, but also evoking charming sounds from tiny little boxes. The drummer Matt Abts playing without effort but still strong. Last but not least Warren Haynes, the big man with the big voice (and a big heart anyway).