Gov’t Mule Welcomes Bruce Willis And More For 2000th Show In Central Park [Photos/Videos]
Last night, Gov’t Mule kicked off their “Come What May Tour 2017” (and the SummerStage season) with a performance at the beloved venue in the heart of New York City’s Central Park along with The Chris Robinson Brotherhood. While the show was already notable as the de facto start to a busy summer for the band and the venue, those facts pale in comparison to the true significance of the evening: Gov’t Mule’s 2000th show.
While the impressive milestone was acknowledged only briefly by guitarist/vocalist Warren Haynes during the performance, the band came out swinging with a pack of surprises up their sleeves. On this sweltering May night in the Park, Haynes, drummer Matt Abts, keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist Danny Louis, and bassist Jorgen Carlsson affirmed what they had proven time and time again over their previous 1999 shows: that the Mule is one of the most electric live rock bands on the road today.
The set featured a healthy helping of songs from the band’s upcoming studio album, Revolution Come… Revolution Go, including “Stone Cold Rage” (featuring percussionist Bobby Allende) and “Revolution Come… Revolution Go.” The show also featured the live debuts of “Sarah, Surrender,” (with Allende and background vocalists Jasmine Muhammad and Lauren Dawson), road-weary lament “Traveling Tune” (with Allende), and anthemic power ballad “Dreams & Songs” (with Muhammad and Dawson).
By the time the band kicked into “Game Face,” they were fully locked in, taking the Dose track on an improvisational ride that touched on The Beatles‘ “Norwegian Wood,” Weather Report‘s “Birdland,” and the Allman Brothers Band‘s “Mountain Jam” before returning the the song’s main theme. The teases continued with “Time To Confess,” as Warren infused the 2002 original with bits and pieces of the Grateful Dead‘s “Shakedown Street” and Paul McCartney‘s “Band on the Run.”
After informing the audience that the band had a blues itch that needed scratching, Warren welcomed a pair of special guests for a run through blues standard “Key to the Highway”: CRB guitarist Neal Casal and A-list movie star Bruce Willis, who offered up some skilled harmonica accompaniment (as he has been known to do from time to time). The red-hot “Key to the Highway” proved to be one of the most memorable moments on an evening rich in notable highlights. You can watch fan-shot video of Bruce Willis and Neal Casal’s sit-in on “Key To The Highway” below, courtesy of YouTube user Sean Roche: