Live review: Warren Haynes @ the Ogden Theatre, Day 1By Candace Horgan | May 25th, 2011 | 3 comments
For starters, you know that you are going to get gobs of ridiculously sick guitar at any show Warren Haynes is involved with. Last night, Haynes brought his current project, the Warren Haynes Band, to the Ogden Theatre for the first of two nights that close the first leg of a tour in support of his new album “Man in Motion,” which debuted at No. 19 on the Billboard charts in early May.
What separates this project from Haynes’ many others is the heavy infusion of funk and soul, which was evident from the opening song of the night, “Tear Me Down.” Haynes and saxophonist Ron Holloway injected the first real jam of the night into “Sick of My Shadow,” engaging in a long call-and-response duet to close the tune.
Haynes threw in a few teases during the first set, including a quick “Mule” tease during “What is Hip” and the Allman Brothers’ “Blue Sky” during a heart-wrenching “I’ll Be the One,” which closed the first set.
With Gov’t Mule, Haynes usually has a parade of guitars the entire night. At the Ogden, he didn’t use a different guitar until the start of the second set, with a four-song “acoustic” set — really just Haynes on an archtop electric without the backing band. A cover of the Grateful Dead’s “China Doll” was like meat for the wolves to the crowd.
The funk continued with a delicious cover of Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish” sandwiched between the first and second parts of “Take a Bullet.” Haynes did find some raring hard rock on a blazing take on “Fire in the Kitchen” near the end of the second set.
Given his skills on the guitar, it was no small surprise that the night’s most transcendent moment came on the second encore, with Haynes and Alfreda Gerald’s brilliant vocal performance of “Broken Promised Land.” After Haynes’ soulful singing, Gerald gave a “Great Gig in the Sky”-worthy vocal note call-and-response with Haynes’ guitar solo, lifting the crowd to nirvana.
Todd Radunsky is a Boulder-based photographer and a regular contributor to Reverb.