Review – Warren Haynes & Band @ The El Rey Theatre – Los Angeles,CA – 6/28/2011

Poppinoff Jun 30th, 2011 | By
Category: El Rey, Los Angeles, Warren Haynes Band, Written Reviews

This review of  Warren Haynes comes from Sean Ryan Poindexter. Sean had previously review The Civil Wars for YTC and we are def hoping to see more work from him as he does an excellent job at describing a show. – Lorn

Here is some tuneage to enjoy while you read Sean’s review.
Warren Haynes – Man In Motion

Warren Haynes & Band live @ The El Rey Theatre

Warren Haynes

When I found out that Warren Haynes was coming to Los Angeles and that he would be playing at the El Rey Theatre I knew that I had to write this review. There were a few reasons that I was so adamant but no reason more prevalent than the fact that Warren Haynes brings out the “guitar geek” inside me. For those who are not familiar with Warren Haynes’ work he has an incredibly impressive resume that lists names like {Breathes in DEEP}:Dickey Betts and the Allman Brothers Band, Gov’t Mule,Dave Matthews Band, Phil Lesh (Founding member of The Grateful Dead), Garth Brooks, David Allan Coe, Corrosion of Conformity, The Derek Trucks Band, Coheed and Cambria…{Looses Breath} among others. Warren Haynes is a guitar player’s “guitar player” and one of the most reliably awesome axemen out there. As a guitar player I have been a fan for some time but this excitement at seeing one of the best guitar players out there today was heightened by the fact that Haynes had just released his first solo album in nearly two decades. Warren Haynes new record Man in Motion released on Evil Teen Records, the record company Haynes owns with his wife, is a great return to what many call “true” music. The album was recorded live in it’s entirety on analog tape and is a “must listen” for any fan of music with Soul. All this being said; of course, my anticipation was high going into this concert.

In my previous review I had seen The Civil Wars at the El Rey and found it to be an amazing venue for acoustic music. I had my reservations about whether the El Rey would be able to accommodate the sound of Warren Haynes’ 7 piece band. Again my expectations were met with a kick in the teeth of awesome-ness. The sound was perfect all night with only a few moments where there was some apparent mic trouble for the keyboard player, Nigel Hall. Warren Haynes changed guitars only 3 times during the show [For the guitar geeks: Maple Flame top ES-335 was his main axe of the night played through a Diaz Head into Marshal Vintage cab for dirty tones and Fender Twin for Cleans My kudos must go to the sound crew and to the Warren Haynes Band themselves for being so unbelievably professional.

The crowd was eclectic to say the least. There seemed to be people from all walks of professional life and not so professional life at the El Rey theatre on Tuesday night. Warren Haynes has been playing in The Dead, whom to those that don’t know if the current touring incarnation of The Grateful Dead. So, yeah there were A LOT of old school deadheads there and not the ones you went to college with who were into Phish and Dave Matthews too. Think less dreadlocks and more pony tails and hair club for men and pachouli. Yeah..speaking of pachouli, the El Rey Theatre was PACKED. I don’t know if the show actually sold out but you would never have known by looking. Everyone was in good spirits and all jokes aside it was a great crowd of 35-50 somethings getting their groove back and was kinda awe inspiring to tell you the truth.

There was no opening band so Warren Haynes went on right 8:15 pm but I arrived a little late but just in time to catch the solos and jam section of Tear Me Down, a crowd favorite Gov’t Mule Song. Ron Holloway, who plays tenor sax in the group, and Nigel Hall the Keyboard player lit the crowd by going back and forth with Warren Haynes’ searing guitar work in awesome renditions of songs from this extensive catalogue of work. All together the band played 17 songs and took a very short intermission after the first 8 songs. Each song was being stretched out at least an extra minute from their album versions to incorporate improvisation and solos for the other musicians and was a real treat. I must admit that while I enjoy great guitar work I don’t usually gravitate towards so called “Jam” Bands but the musician ship of the Warren Haynes band makes you cling to each note. I found myself not wanting the songs to end in a few occasions. On one of his new songs, Take a Bullet, Warren Haynes band worked in a jammed out transition into Stevie Wonder’s I Wish and Keyboardist Nigel Hall took center stage. On a few songs Warren Haynes had his back up singer Alecia Chakour take lead and treated the crowd to her amazing Soul stylings. Her voice is beautiful and sonorous next to Warren Haynes’ solid and smokey howl. The Warren Haynes Band may be just that; Warren Haynes’ band but everyone on that stage was a Star. The other members of the Warren Haynes band were fantastic and bare mentioning: Terrence Higgins(Drums), Ron Johnson(Bass) are probably the most incredible rhythm section I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing. There was also a fantastic trumpet player that sat in on a cover of Pretzel Logic by Steely Dan but I did’t get to catch his name over the crowd but I think his first name was Rashawn…at any rate this dude was F’n amazing too!

Warren Haynes

After the intermission and a couple Jack and Coke’s I was feeling loose and ready for some more of the band but Warren Haynes needed to remind everybody that we were here to see Warren Haynes the solo artist. For 4 songs Warren Haynes serenaded the crowd with an acoustic guitar and the soulful voice of a true bluesman. This insightful acoustic performance was topped off by renditions of The Allman Brothers Band’s End of the Line and a slightly electrified version of Wasted Time by the Eagles. This was followed by the return of the whole band, who tore through 4 more songs including Change Gonna Come and a show stopping Hattiesburg Hustle and finished with and encore of Soulshine. Set highlights included Rivers Gonna Rise, Take a Bullet, Man in Motion, End of the line and Hattiesburg Hustle.

Warren Haynes Band @ El Rey 06/ Setlist

1. Tear Me Down (Gov’t Mule Song)
2. Rivers Gonna Rise
3. Sick of my Shadow
4. In Your Wildest Dreams
5. On A real Lonely Night
6. Pretzel Logic (Steely Dan Cover)
7. Take a Bullet/I Wish (Stevie Wonder Jam)
8. Man In Motion


1. The Real Thing (acoustic)
2. Fallen Down (acoustic)
3. End of the Line (acoustic Allman Brothers Band song)
4. Wasted Time (Eagles Cover)

Full Band Returns

1. Change Gonna Come
2. Fire in the Kitchen
3. Hattiesburg Hustle
4. Invisible

1. Soul Shine (Allman Brothers Band Song)

It was a great night. There was no mistaking it. I didn’t pay an arm and a leg for parking and I got a delicious bacon wrapped Serrano Dog to accompany some good after show conversation. I loved every minute of it and you would too if you had been there! Despite where your musical allegiances lie…music lovers LOVE good music. This was one of those nights where Good Music just reigned supreme. If you get a chance to see Warren Haynes Band or any of the other great projects he works with at any of the festivals this summer you wont regret it. Till next time Check out Warren Haynes Band and Keep Rocking in the Free World (while we still got it!)
- Sean Ryan Poindexter

Special thanks to Goldenvoice for letting us cover the show.

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One Comment to “Review – Warren Haynes & Band @ The El Rey Theatre – Los Angeles,CA – 6/28/2011”

  1. Erika says:

    Great review thanks for posting it! Just two things: Rashawn Ross (guest on trumpet) is with Dave Matthews Band and the Cd Man in Motion is not under Evil teen Records but under Concorde Records / Stax Records.

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