It’s always a pleasure to be involved with a show at the Old Town School of Folk Music, so when I was asked to introduce Warren Haynes this past Friday night, there was no doubt about it. I had to go. The OTSOFM is really unlike any other venue in town. It’s a unique room for so many reasons, but the one that jumps out at you right away when you first see a show there (or, in my case, introduce a band) is how quiet it is. The audience is usually very respectful. This is nothing like seeing a band in a loud bar where their main objective is to play to a handful of dedicated fans right in front of the stage and ignore drunken hecklers at the back of the room. People are there to see a pure, honest performance. Artists have been known to carry with them a full bottle of wine on stage to calm their nerves, because for many performers this is really the first time they’ve played in front of an entire audience paying close attention to every note.
If my sources are correct, these Old Town shows were not part of a tour or a series of acoustic performances, they were just two stand-alone shows from an artist who obviously doesn’t have enough on his plate already. Warren performs solo, plays in Gov’t Mule, The Allman Brothers Band, and this spring will be touring with The Dead. Marty Lennartz, who intro’d Warren at the early show that night, told me that Warren delayed the start of his set so that everyone waiting in line for a beer could get one without missing any of the performance. Same thing happened with the 10:00 start time. The idea was to let everyone in line get their beer, vino, or whatever and then the show would start, but with the later crowd, the line never died down and around 10:30, Warren hit the stage anyway. After that…. (This is where you tell us and everyone else what you thought of the show)
(Written by Jason Thomas)