Gov’t Mule‘s forthcoming concert film, Bring On The Music – Live From The Capitol Theatre, showcases the quartet’s current state as one of rock music’s most enduring acts over the last quarter century. Led by guitarist and singer Warren Haynes (Allman Bros. Band, The Dead) along with drummer Matt Abts, keyboardist/guitarist Danny Louis, and bassist Jorgen Carlsson, the film (and accompanying live album) launches viewers into a front-row seat to the band’s April 2018 performances at the historic Capitol Theatre.
While there’s plenty to be said and debated about concert films of the past, Danny Clinch‘s film steps into the conversation while holding its own as an exciting and informative piece of work showcasing a band at its collaborative peak.
The film opens with black-and-white footage of Haynes plugging into a small amplifier and noodling away on his guitar in a very casual and intimate setting somewhere at “The Cap,” before static and slightly-chaotic imagery fills the screen to match the whirlwind of psychedelic walk-out music being played as the band takes the stage.
Songs played throughout the two 2018 shows were selected from the tracklisting of every studio album release by Mule throughout their 25-year career, including “Traveling Tune”, “Drawn That Way”, “Revolution Come, Revolution Go”, and “Time To Confess”. The band’s performances of “Mule” and “Bring On The Music” probably do the best job of showcasing the band’s communal jamming chemistry, in addition to some wonderful solo work from Haynes. The film could easily be considered a virtual resume for Haynes, who is the subject of most B-roll interview footage between song performances. The film’s focus on Haynes also enables those who are not very educated on Mule’s history (like this writer) to join the party and appreciate Haynes’ lifelong contributions to the jam scene in a conversation typically dominated by the names Anastasio and Garcia.
Clinch and his team of nine camera operators manages to capture the raw, nearly-untamable energy being unleashed by the four musicians over the two nights of high-powered rock and roll. The film’s production even utilized a sizeable crane to capture aerial and on-stage point-of-view angles throughout the two nights–a strategy not often utilized during performances but certainly worth the effort as viewers are treated to shots rarely seen in past concert films. In addition to capturing shots of the performances from nearly every angle imaginable inside the venue, Clinch also takes viewers into the busy rehearsal rooms of The Capitol Theatre and through a digital photo book of memories from both Warren and Gov’t Mule’s accomplished roles as key players within America’s ongoing rock and roll story.
Fans hoping for a glamourized telling of Gov’t Mule in the film can stay home, as this film doesn’t waste any precious minutes attempting to hyperbolize rock stars. Rather, it presents the band in their own words and performances as what they really are–a fantastic meat-and-potatoes rock act which represents a long-lost era of bands who once made careers out of playing cigarette smoke and beer-soaked venues in small towns most Americans have never heard of, while keeping the blue-collar spirit of rock and roll alive in 2019.
Bring On The Music does a wonderful job in showcasing two wonderful Gov’t Mule performances at the peak of its journey–a well-edited treat for fans who miss the good ‘ol days of rock and roll without the bullshit.
The Bring On The Music – Live at The Capitol Theatre live album is available now in various configurations: the 2 CD-set, 2 separate double-vinyl packages, and digital (featuring audio from the film).
The film will be available as part of a 2 CD/2 DVD deluxe package (featuring exclusive audio not in the film) and on Blu-ray starting July 19th via Provogue / Mascot Label Group. Click here to order your copy.