Gov't Mule channels Led Zeppelin and Humble Pie in Vancouver, no Elvis required
There was a rumour swirling around town recently that West Van resident Elvis Costello might show up at Gov't Mule's Vancouver show to perform "Funny Little Tragedy", the song he sings on the band's star-studded new album, Shout!
Well, last night at the Commodore, Elvis never entered the building.
Didn't matter much, though, because the mighty Mule was fully capable of delivering a truly unforgettable show on its own.
The concert kicked off with the heavy vibe of Shout!'s opening track, the Southern-rocking "World Boss", and ended with an encore of Humble Pie's 1972 barnburner, "30 Days in the Hole".
Everything in between was gravy.
Other highlights included Shout! tracks "Captured", "Stoop So Low", and "Scared to Live", and my personal fave Mule tune, "Banks of the Deep End", off 2001's The Deep End, Volume 1.
But the moment that really got the Commodore crowd riled up arrived when, during the politically motivated "I Think You Know What I Mean", guitarist-vocalist Warren Haynes pulled out a slide and started tearing into "When the Levee Breaks", the old blues number Led Zeppelin reworked to great acclaim back in '71.
To keep the seventies vibe in full swing, the encore was a two-pronged tribute to Humble Pie. As well as the aforementioned "30 Days in the Hole", Gov't Mule performed the band's '71 hit "I Don't Need No Doctor".
Steve Marriott must have been smiling down.
When it was all over, a crew of black-shirted men quickly descended on the stage to tear it down and pack it up for the next amazing show in some lucky town. Let's hope it isn't long before the trusty old Mule makes its way back to Van.
You can follow Steve Newton at twitter.com/earofnewt.