At long last, following years of postponements, Gov’t Mule delivered its long-awaited New Year’s Eve show at New York’s Beacon Theatre on Sunday. A spectacle three years in the making, Gov’t Mule made it up to its patient fans with a nearly 30-song “Black n’ Blue New Year’s”-themed second set.

All of the songs in set two, which ran for almost three straight hours and featured Jimmy Vivino and Shawn Pelton, referenced either black or blue. There were selections as easy and iconic as Pearl Jam‘s “Black” to more obscure like Beatles b-sides “Baby’s in Black” and “For You Blue” to jazz standard “Black & Blue” to a selection from Cuban boogaloo percussionist Mongo Santamaria (“Afro-Blue”). Gov’t Mule honored classic rock royalty like Santana (“Black Magic Woman”), The Who (“Behind Blue Eyes), ZZ Top (“Blue Jean Blues”), and The Rolling Stones (“Paint It Black”, “Stray Cat Blues”) alongside more modern selections from the likes of Soundgarden (“Black Hole Sun”, “Fell On Black Days”).

For the final song of 2023, bandleader Warren Haynes turned in a tender cover of the Grateful Dead‘s “Stella Blue”, which led into the traditional “Auld Lang Syne”. To start off 2024, Haynes looked back to his days in the Allman Brothers Band with “Blue Sky”. For the occasion, Mule also concocted a special mashup of Led Zeppelin‘s “Black Dog”, and AC/DC‘s “Back in Black”, which wound down the endurance test of a set prior to a closing pairing of Black Sabbath‘s “Hand of Doom” with “H.O.D. Blues”. To finish off the show and send the NYC audience out to face the new year, Haynes returned to the stage and joked “My wife said that’s the longest set she’s ever heard,” before a haunting “Hey Hey My My (Into The Black)” finished the show.

Related: Warren Haynes Delivers Classic Rock Wishlist At Christmas Jam 2023 [Photos/Videos]

In light of the set’s sheer magnitude, there was an air that Mule was putting forth a concerted effort of atonement to fans. After forgoing an in-person NYE celebration in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic in 2020 like every other band, Mule was set to wring in the new year in 2021. Like most other large-scale events, however, Mule postponed its planned New Year’s Eve run due to the rising tide of COVID cases caused by the Omicron variant. The run was punted to spring 2022 but postponed yet again after Haynes suffered a shoulder injury.

The shows were once again set for New Year’s Eve weekend, albeit a full year later, but were postponed at the last moment due to a medical emergency. Haynes subsequently sat out the band’s Island Exodus Jamaican getaway, replaced by a stable of ringers including John ScofieldRobert Randolph, Anders Osborne, and more.

Check out full-show video of the Gov’t Mule “Black & Blue New Year’s” show at the Beacon Theatre, the full setlist, and photos from the December 30th show courtesy of photographer Ken Spielman. Up next for Mule is the band’s Island Exodus 14 featuring Robert Randolph Band, Samantha Fish and Jesse Dayton, and more. For tickets and a full list of tour dates visit Mule’s website.

Gov’t Mule – Beacon Theatre – New York, NY – 12/31/23 – Set One

[Video: John Hicks]

Gov’t Mule – Beacon Theatre – New York, NY – 12/31/23 – Set Two

[Video: John Hicks]

Setlist: Gov’t Mule | Beacon Theatre | New York, NY | 12/31/23

Set One: Traveling Tune, After The Storm, Beautifully Broken, Shake Our Way Out, Painted Silver Light, Trane, Third Stone From The Sun (The Jimi Hendrix Experience), Rumble (Link Ray), St. Stephen (Grateful Dead), Temporary Saint, Same As It Ever Was

Set Two: Cities On Flame With Rock n’ Roll (Blue Öyster Cult), Black Friday (Steely Dan), Blue Monday (Smiley Lewis), Black (Pearl Jam), Black Hole Sun (Soundgarden), Fell On Black Days (Soundgarden), Black Magic Woman (Santana), Bell Bottom Blues (Derek And The Dominos), Devil With The Blue Dress On (Shortly Long) > Good Golly Miss Molly (Little Richard) > Long Cool Woman In A Black Dress (The Hollies), Behind Blues Eyes (The Who), Stella Blue (Grateful Dead) > Auld Lang Syne (Traditional), Blue Sky (Allman Brothers Band), Blue Jean Blues (ZZ Top), Raven Black Night, Black Crow Blues (Bob Dylan), It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue (Bob Dylan), Stay Cat Blues (The Rolling Stones), Paint It Black (The Rolling Stones), Baby’s In Black (The Beatles), For You Blue (The Beatles), (What Did I Do To Be So) Black & Blue (Fats Waller, Andy Razaf, Harry Brooks), Blue Monk (Thelonious Monk), Afro-Blue (Mongo Santamaría), Black Dog / Back In Black (Led Zeppelin / AC/DC mash-up), Hand Of Doom (Black Sabbath) > H.O.D. Blues

Encore: Hey Hey My My (Into The Black) (Neil Young & Crazy Horse)


-Second set was a “Black n’ Blue New Year’s” comprised of songs that referenced either black or blue

-Second set with Jimmy Vivino & Shawn Pelton