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The Allman Brothers with Gov't Mule - Scranton, PA - August 27th 2006

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The Allman Brothers with Gov't Mule

Toyota Pavilion, Scranton, PA - 08-27-2006

by: Dave Alburger

Warren Haynes of Gov't Mule

Warren Haynes of Gov't Mule

Photo by: Dave Alburger

My brother and I travelled to south New Jersey on the weekend to visit our grandmother, who,

at 96 years old, has just moved into an assisted living center. The old girl has been on her

own for many years but sadly can no longer cope, and must be in such a facility. Our visit with

Grandma was fun and brought back many memories for all of us.

Our way back to Canada took us through Scranton, Pennsylvania, where conveniently two of our

favourite bands were playing - Gov't Mule, followed by The Allman Brothers. Despite the

advancing age of some members of these bands, their performances on Sunday night

indicated that they have many more years of rocking before they'll be in an old folks' home!

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It makes sense for Gov't Mule to open up for the

Allman Brothers. Both bands play a similar

style of blues-based southern rock, and more importantly, share guitarist Warren Haynes.

Each have been touring steadily this summer - Gov't Mule in support of their

new "High and Mighty" album, and the Allmans, well, they've been touring almost every summer since

the early '90s. Their schedules meshed for a handful of Northeastern U.S. dates

this August, meaning Mr. Haynes has been busier than a one-legged man at an ass-kicking contest.

We arrived at the Toyota Pavilion

(formerly the Ford Pavilion, before that simply

the Montage Mountain Amphitheater) at about 6pm. The Pavilion is cozy ampitheater, a little smaller than

most, nestled in the foothills of the Pocono Mountains. After guzzling a couple of beers in the

foggy drizzle of the muddy parking lot, we made our way to the venue. As we approaced, we could hear

Gov't Mule already playing, and it was only 6:20pm! (The ticket indicated 6:30). We took our seats just as

they finished their first song, "That's What Love Will Make You Do".

The current line-up of Gov't Mule (Warren Haynes - guitar, Matt Abts - drums, Andy Hess - bass,

and Danny Louis - keyboards) has been together a solid two years now and it shows in their tight,

cohesive performance. They rocked out for an hour on more familiar sounds, hitting their stride

with the mellow bluesy "Slow Happy Boys", the Bob Marley classic "Lively Up Yourself", which

brought the crowd to its feet, and a reggae-fied version "Soulshine". When Warren sang the line

"Damn sure better than rain" many in the crowd smiled, especially those of us sitting in the

covered section of the ampitheater.

With a new album in tow, Gov't Mule included a few new tunes towards the end of their set. The

new material sounds great! I have not had a chance to listen to "High and Mighty" yet (it was released

on August 22nd) but I am looking forward to picking it up. The new songs included "Mr. High and Mighty",

"Million Miles From Yesterday", and "Brand New Angel", a wicked song that featured a blistering guitar solo

from Warren and thundering Matt Abts drums at the end. They closed with their theme song "Mule", in which Warren included a guitar

tease of an Allman Brothers song, perhaps hinting at things to come.

Setlist: Gov't Mule

High & Mighty Shuttlecraft

The High & Mighty Shuttlecraft

Photo by: Dave Alburger

Toyota Pavillion - Scranton, PA

Sunday August 27th, 2006


That's What Love Will Make You Do

I Believe To My Soul


Slow Happy Boys

Lively Up Yourself

Banks Of The Deep End


Mr. High & Mighty

Brand New Angel

A Million Miles From Yesterday


* with "Les Brers in A minor" tease

A forty-minute break gave us time to fuel up on delicious Pennsylvania beer,

visit the Instant Live booth, and purchase some t-shirts and other souvenirs.

Made it back to the seats just in time for The Allman Brothers, who opened up with

"No One To Run With". The band made great use of their backdrop screen to pay tribute to

absent friends - Duane, Allen Woody, and Berry Oakley . Continuing with the classic "Statesboro Blues",

they settled in like a reliable workhorse, ready for a solid evening of rock jams.

Gregg Allman

Greg Allman

Photo by: Dave Alburger

It was a treat for me to see Warren once again playing with the Allman Brothers, having missed him

when he bowed out before last August's show in Toronto. Warren Haynes is right at home with both of these bands,

and is an integral part of the Allmans, taking lead vocal duties on a few songs and trading slide leads with

the younger Derek Trucks. And he is certainly up to the task of playing for almost 4 hours in an evening.

The Allmans still mix it up every night, so attending only one show in a tour is somewhat unsatisfying because

you won't hear all of your favourites. But this evening brought a couple of songs that I really like: "Midnight

Rider", which had us all singing along, a funky version of "Firing Line" and the emotional "Desdemona"

from 2003's "Hittin' The Note". I love the instrumental break in that song, Warren's guitar solo rang

in my ears all night.

The obligatory special guest sit-in occurred during "Same Thing". Greg Allman moved over on

the bench and Danny Louis from Gov't Mule joined him on keyboards for this song. And of course,

with three drummers in the band, the extended drum solo during "Black-Hearted Woman"

was awesome, accompanied by the freaky visuals on the big screen.

Closing out the set was a great version of "Southbound". The encore was the classic "Jessica",

shades of Dickie Betts' performance at the Ottawa Bluesfest just over six weeks ago.

The band gave us their thanks and left the stage, the crowd drained but happy. We left

smiling and laughing. I have managed to keep my streak alive of seeing either the Allmans or Mule

yearly since 2000.

I must comment here on the staff and the venue. The people were really nice, helpful, and

friendly. There were a lot of security people around but they were never really in anyone's face.

The traffic control people were efficient, resulting in a quick exit for everyone down the

mountain road into town and onto Interstate 81. Perhaps I'll come back here for

for another summertime concert, or for skiing in the winter.

Setlist: Allman Brothers

Warren Haynes

Warren Haynes of The Allman Brothers

Photo by: Dave Alburger

Toyota Pavillion - Scranton, PA

Sunday August 27th, 2006


No One To Run With

Statesboro Blues

Don't Keep Me Wondering

Who's Been Talking

Trouble No More

Midnight Rider

Instrumental Illness

Firing Line

Same Thing*


Black-hearted Woman**



* Danny Louis sits in on keyboards, Marc Quinones and Jaimoe switch drum kits

** drums solo, bass solo

The Allman Brothers

The Allman Brothers finished with the classic "Jessica"

Photo by: Dave Alburger

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You are most welcome. Our seats were in Row G but at the very very side. We were able to move to better seats in the center about halfway through the show.

I was really impressed with the venue's camera policy - they actually encourage people to bring their cameras, as long as they're not professional cameras and as long as you don't use flash.

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