Photo credit: Emily Butlera

On Saturday, Feb. 17, Gov’t Mule took the stage at Oakland, Calif.’s the Fox Theatre as part of The 30 Years Strong Tour, celebrating 30 years since the band’s 1994 formation. The Fox Theatre performance was made particularly memorable by a second set composed all but entirely of covers, succeeding a selection of originals from the band’s titanic discography. Drummer John Molo added his own sound to the set as he joined the band for a second night, temporarily filling Matt Abts’ seat.

Mule opened the second set with its original “Traveling Tune” before embarking into captivating renditions of rock and R&B standards. The band continued with two back-to-back interpretations of Beatles classics, beginning with a variation of “She Said She Said” before following up with an instrumental “Tomorrow Never Knows.” Afterward, the group swiftly moved through the Grateful Dead’s “Fire on the Mountain” and Tower of Power’s “What Is Hip?” 

At the set’s midpoint, Gov’t Mule delivered electric treatments of Traffic’s “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys” and “Dear Mr. Fantasy,” bridged by a reprise of Temple of the Dog’s “Hunger Strike.” The band then switched the pace with a unique reggae rendition of the Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker” before wrapping up with an adaptation of Tom Waits’ “Goin’ Out West.” After the set, the band returned to the stage for an encore with Warren Haynes’ signature “Soulshine.”

For the latest stint of The 30 Years Strong Tour, drummer John Molo has subbed in for Gov’t Mules’ founding percussionist Matt Abts, who sat out the two recent California shows for health reasons. Molo, who’s played alongside Bruce Hornsby & The Range and has been a core member of Phil Lesh’s various ensembles, joined the band previously for its Feb. 16 performance at The Venue at Thunder Valley in Lincoln, Calif. Abts expects to return in time for the Fox Tucson Theatre performance tonight, Feb. 20, in Tucson, Ariz.

Gov’t Mule’s 30 Years Strong Tour kicked off on Feb. 8 at The Vogue in Vancouver. The 11-stop winter run includes engagements throughout the U.S. with performances in the Pacific Northwest in Oregon and Washington, the West Coast in California and the Mountain region in Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona. The tour will culminate in the South as Mule heads to Texas for three nights, including a final performance at Houston’s Bayou Music Center on Feb. 25. 

Read on for Gov’t Mule’s full setlist, via Gov’t Mule’s Instagram.

Gov’t Mule
Fox Theatre – Oakland, Calif.
Feb. 17, 2024

Set I: After The Storm > I’m A Ram* > Beautifully Broken > Wake Up Dead > Captured > Sco-Mule > Banks Of The Deep End > The River Only Flows One Way > I Asked Her For Water (She Gave Me Gasoline)*

Set II: Traveling Tune > She Said She Said* > Tomorrow Never Knows* > Fire On The Mountain* > What Is Hip?* > The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys* > Hunger Strike* > Dear Mr. Fantasy* > The Joker* > Goin’ Out West* 

Enc.: Soulshine

* Cover of AI Green
* Cover of Howlin’ Wolf
* Cover of the Beatles
* Cover of the Beatles
* Cover of The Grateful Dead
* Cover of Tower of Power
* Cover of Traffic
* Cover of Temple of the Dog
* Cover of Traffic
* Cover of the Steve Miller Band
* Cover of Tom Waits