Gov’t Mule Kicks Off New Years Run at Atlantic City’s Borgata

via Glide Magazine

Gov’t Mule made their return to Atlantic City with a batch of “old school” Mule. And even though they were playing at the Borgata Events Center, the carpeted floors made it feel like the show was in a hotel ballroom. Needless to say, it gave the proceedings a cozy feel.

“Thorazine Shuffle” hit some nice peaks and the Santana and Temptations teases within reminded the crowd that this was the beginning of the New Year’s run. “Game Face” segued into an absolutely blistering “Mountain Jam.” They’ve been stretching out the Allmans’ catalog since Gregg’s passing, but this one was especially raging. “Time To Confess” gave the show a nice reggae vibe before the “Better Half Singers,” compromised of the band’s wives (minus Haynes) came on stage. “Million Miles From Yesterday” benefitted from the accompaniment and remains a fitting tribute to the late Allen Woody. “Sarah Surrender” also worked with this arrangement, even if it still seems more suited for a Haynes solo project.

Jackie Greene came out for “Sugaree” and had some nice leads as Haynes consciously took a back seat on guitar. Robert Johnson’s “32-20 Blues” really kicked things up a notch and saw some nice interplay between the guitarists. There was even a lick from Beck’s “Loser,” which seemed appropriate since he shared the bill during the Mule’s last Mountain Jam performance.

After a set break of about 15 minutes due to an apparent venue curfew, the band emerged with “Traveling Tune,” which has all the earmarks of a Dickey Betts-era Allmans song. “Revolution Come, Revolution Go” picked up the pace before “Trane” slid into “Eternity’s Breath.” Unfortunately, they skipped the “St. Stephen Jam” on this one. “Mule” was powerful as always and the cover of “Feel Like Breaking Up Somebody’s Home” featured some nice solo swapping by Haynes and Greene.

While some more Mule originals would have been really appreciated for the encore, the band kept up the “Rocking Mule Revue” theme they were previewing for New Years with some more covers with Jackie Greene. “Cinnamon Girl” sounded more like the polished studio version that the Crazy Horse live renditions and “Tonight’s The Night” ended the show on a more delicate “hope we see you tomorrow” feel. Nonetheless, for Gov’t Mule, this was the beginning of yet another memorable New Years Run.

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