A small but devoted crowd danced the night away during Gov’t Mule and moe.’s concert on the Bangor Waterfront on Thursday night. Picture-perfect weather and a laid-back atmosphere set the stage for an evening of eclectic rock, that drew fans of both bands from all corners of the state.
“I bet I’ve seen them a hundred times,” said Katie O’Connell, a die-hard Gov’t Mule fan from Presque Isle, who was in attendance with her husband, Tim, and son, Matt. “I first saw them at Gathering of the Vibes [in Connecticut] years ago, when Warren Haynes [the guitarist] was playing with Further. He played the song ‘Patchwork Quilt’ and it was very powerful. I really love them. They’re incredible musicians.”
Son Matt, 13, a budding drummer and a Presque Isle High School student, was able to get his drum head signed by Matt Abts, drummer for Gov’t Mule.
“It was awesome,” he said. “He’s a really nice guy.”
Gov’t Mule’s blend of funk, blues and Southern rock has been a staple of the touring circuit for nearly 20 years, despite personal tragedy — co-founder Allen Woody passed away in 2000. Frontman Warren Haynes’ trademark soaring guitar and soulful vocals can be heard in much more than just Mule: he has played with everyone from Phish and Dave Matthews Band to the Drive-By Truckers and, of course, the Allman Brothers Band.
The group moe. provided a nice counterpoint to Mule, with their progressive, technically complex blend of myriad rock styles. Like the Grateful Dead, Phish and Widespread Panic, moe. captures a sound and feel that inspires fans to not only listen, but see them live over and over again. Concert T-shirts bearing tours from years past were seen throughout the audience, and attendees expressed repeatedly how thrilled they were that a band like moe. was playing the Bangor Waterfront.
“Of all the shows they’ve had here, this is the first one I’ve been really psyched to see,” said James Morang, of Bangor. “This is top of the line. This is high-caliber music.”
“I’m so excited,” said Hannah Somers-Jones, also of Bangor. “This is music for the soul.”
Thursday’s concert precedes the Beach Boys concert on Friday, June 22, which will be followed by a Fourth of July concert and fireworks show on July 4, Shinedown and Papa Roach on July 5, Rascal Flatts on July 6 and Styx and REO Speedwagon on July 8.