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Gov't Mule - Montreal, Sept. 14th 2007


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Gov't Mule

Le National, Montreal, QC - 09-14-2007

by: Dave Alburger

The announcement of Gov't Mule's "MIGHTY HIGH TOUR" came and Ottawa Mule fans

were not surprised there was to be no show in our town once again. But, what's this?

A Montreal date on Sept. 14th, a Friday night! Usually we would have to venture down

to the T-dot for a Mule show, where they've played several years in a row. But now, we

can make the quick drive to Montreal to see one of our favourites not too far from

home, and stick around to enjoy the evening without having to worry about work the next

day!

Warren Haynes

Warren Haynes

We arrived at the venue in good time to make it to the show. "Le National" was

a place many of us had never been before, but it was typical of many venues

in Montreal - medium sized, open floor sloping downwards towards the stage,

and a horseshoe-shaped balcony. A perfect venue for a hard-rocking

band like Gov't Mule.

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With no opener slotted, this was billed as "An Evening with Gov't Mule". The band

hit the stage shortly after 9 pm with a great version of "Brand New Angel" from

last year's "High & Mighty" release. Guitarist/singer Warren Haynes greeted the

crowd at the end of the song with a Franti-esque "How ya feelin' this evening"

as he crunched out the opening riff of "Mr. High and Mighty".

As the show continued with a combination jam of "Lay Your Burden Down" and "Smokestack Lightning",

it was apparent we were in for a evening of great music. The band (Haynes, drummer Matt Abts,

keyboardist Danny Louis, and bassist Andy Hess) were all in prime form. Gov't Mule is

a band you can count on to work hard at every show and turn in a great performance.

This band is as reliable as a, well as a working mule!

Other highlights in the first set included Bob Marley's "Lively Up Yourself" and

Led Zeppelin's "Livin' Lovin' Maid", which was preceded by Gov't Mule's own

"Lola Leave Your Light On", a song that would not have been out of place in

the Zeppelin catalogue. The first set came to a rocking conclusion with

"Mr. Man", a song which many fans believe is a jab at President Bush!

The set break came and many of us headed outside for some rest and relaxation.

This is when I realized how strong of an Ottawa contingent was attending this show. Old

and new fans alike wondered if Gov't Mule could draw a decent crowd in our

own city.

Heading back into Le National for the 2nd set, we ran into a bit of a bottleneck.

The bar area for this club is located between the main entrance and the entrance to the hall.

This made it difficult to get through the drink-purchasing crowd. Everyone seemed to

be in a great mood. The bar service was a bit slow, with 3 bartenders crowded into

the small serving area. However, there was no problem ordering as many drinks as

you wanted. None of this "Two at a time" limit we see so often in Ontario. Ahhhh Quebec -

the land of reasonably loose liquor laws. Unfortunately, towards the end of the show,

the bar ran out of several of our favourite brands, and all they had left was

Molson Dry! No worries though, that beer's got 5.6% on the label.

Into the second set, they performed a great Big Sugar song "I'm a Ram". Fitting, because

Big Sugar's Gordie Johnson produced Gov't Mule's "High and Mighty" disc and has guested

with Mule on stage a few times. Something that I found out after the fact is that

"I'm a Ram" is actually originally done by the Reverend Al Green

(thanks AD!).

The Mule continued with another interesting cover - a reggae-fied version of

The Beatles' "Love Me Do" which everyone enjoyed.

The obligatory drum solo came. Matt Abts is a great drummer, but there are

those who wonder if these drum solos really necessary. My answer is a resounding "Yes", because I used this time

to empty out all the Molson Dry!

The band finished of the set with a great rendition of "Soulshine", a song that

never fails to please. For the encore they played "So Weak, So Strong" and

everyone left smiling.

Set 1:

Brand New Angel

Mr. High & Mighty

Lay Your Burden Down

Smokestack Lightning

Lay Your Burden Down Reprise

Banks Of The Deep End

Lively Up Yourself

A Million Miles From Yesterday

Lola Leave Your Light On

Livin' Lovin' Maid

Mr. Man

Set 2:

Like Flies

I'm A Ram

Love Me Do

I'm A Ram

No Celebration

Drum solo

Fallen Down-> Gimme Shelter Tease

The Other One Jam

Temporary Saint

Mule

Soulshine

Encore:

So Weak, So Strong

Mule

Le National is a pretty good place to see a great band!

Warren Haynes

Warren Haynes

Mule

Gov't Mule

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