Tag Archives: Shelly’s Backroom

Cigar bar in downtown Washington DC, one of the few places you can still smoke inside. Great food, drinks, and fine cigars.

Gov’t Mule Warner Theatre May 20th 2017

Warren Haynes, what can I say.  I have seen him maybe two or three times with other bands and I know he tours constantly with Gov’t Mule. Then there is his solo career and not to mention all the side projects. He has also been known to sit in with bands for their entire tour. He is just all over the place it is hard not to know who Warren Haynes is.

For years I have tried to see him but things just never worked out. Finally Gov’t Mule was playing the Warner and it was a Saturday to boot. I arranged a full day of activities for myself and it started early with a visit to Atlas Brew Works. Their beer menu is pretty impressive and this is what drew me to the brewery. It is not close to Metro but it is walk able if you are willing to hike. The location is your typical industrial neighborhood so there is little onsite parking.  In the back is a large parlor with benches and corn hole next to their brewery operations.  The outdoor seating situation is huge with long communal benches for people to gather around.  The bar itself is surprisingly small but with plenty of space elsewhere in the brewery so its not a problem.

Beers are interesting and one that I had, If I Did It, is certainly within the top 3 of the worst beers I have ever had.  It was thick as mud, literally.  Tasted sorta like an orange and was thick with pulp.  It was so bad I couldn’t finish the glass and had to get something else to wash the taste out of my mouth.  The other beer I tasted was really good, Should I Stay or Should I Gose.  The small samples I had were great and certainly worthy of a second visit to sample some more offerings.  With the ever rotating taps its easy to find a new beer with every visit.

From here it was back to the center of town for cigars with Greg as Shelly’s. It has been a while since we got together so it was a great time for us to catch up.  My life is a little topsy turvy and from what Greg was telling me, his life is a little up in the air as well.  It was just so great hanging out with him, smoking cigars and talking.  With everything else going on in my life hanging out with the Free’s is one thing I really miss.  Eventually Greg had to go pickup one of his kids and for me Gov’t Mule was about to take the stage.

I was pleasantly surprised by the show.  First time seeing a Mule crowd and it is certainly trended older then I am use to but not by much.  I really didn’t stick out if that makes sense.  Not familiar with their music so I don’t have a frame of reference but for me it was an enjoyable show.  I got my ticket only a few days out so I was way up in the nose bleed section. This allowed me to sit for the entire performance and just enjoy the music. I didn’t have any problem seeing the light show they where putting on either. It was a long day in the city but I ticked a lot of boxes that day.  Brewery, cigar and a concert all in the same day isn’t bad.

Gov. Mule
Saturday, May 20th 2017 Warner Theater – Washington DC

Set 1 starts at 8:40pm
1. Blind Man In The Dark
2. Mr. High & Mighty >
3. Mother Earth
4. Mr. Man *
5. Unring The Bell #
6. Endless Parade
7. Revolution Come, Revolution Go
8. Doing It To Death $
9. Soulshine $
Set over at 9:57pm

Set 2 starts at 10:27pm
1. Stone Cold Rage
2. Sarah, Surrender
3. Fell On Black Days
4. Funny Little Tragedy & >
5. drums
6. Larger Than Life >
7. If 6 Was 9 >
8. Larger Than Life
9. Just Got Paid
10. 32/20 Blues @
Set over at 11:27pm

Encore starts at 11:29pm
11. Dreams & Songs
House lights at 11:36pm

* with Highway Star tease
# with Shakedown Street tease
$ with Ron Holloway
& with Message In A Bottle & The Bed’s Too Big Without You lyrics & Get Up, Stand Up tease
@ with Ron Holloway, Feats Don’t Fail Me Now lyrics & Loser tease


Winter Hike in D.C.

It was a clear day but very cold and windy.

While technically not yet winter it certainly felt like it the other day.  I believe the high was in the upper 30’s but when you throw in the wind chill that quick dropped to the lower 30’s.  Only good thing about the weather was it was a clear day with zero percent change of rain. Besides going to the city I didn’t have much of a plan and decided to just wing it.

Because I hate driving I took Metro to the Smithsonian to start my adventure.  From here I walked down towards the Washington Monument and the WWII Memorial before looping back up Constitution Ave., walking past all the museums.  Walking past all the monuments and symbols or freedom in the country really got me thinking.  I have lived here my entire life so I do feel I take it for granted sometimes, the center of power for our nation is in my backyard.  I would also argue that this is the center of power on the world stage as well.  I got particularly choked up walking past the Newseum and reading their larger then life copy of the first amendment.  With all the crap that has been going on with the national election I think we sometimes forget how it all started.  We have become to divisive now and can’t seem to agree on the basics that make this country great and the envy of the world.  Immigration is a big issue now but I fear the day when people stop risking their lives to come to this country.  When that day comes, it’s over for the United States.

Eventually I ended up at my favorite smoking spot Shelly’s for a beer and food.  It was just to damn cold to spend all my time walking around outside.  Shelly’s afforded me the time to warm my hands and get some food in my belly.  Despite the holiday’s the place was pretty empty even with a few high profile college games on like Army vs. Navy being televised.

With a belly full of food and warm bones, it was time to continue my hike around the city.  As the sun set I wanted to see the capitol bathed in the perfect light of the setting sun and I wasn’t disappointed.  With it being Christmas I then walked to the White House to see the national tree.  I remember doing that several times when I was a kid so it was nice to go back and see it all again.  The tree was nice but honestly it looks liked it just has a shit ton of lights thrown on to cover all the green spots.  No person would cover their tree in that many lights in there house.  The grounds the tree sits on where pretty busy in the early evening with hundreds of not thousands of tourists clamoring to get a view of the national tree and all the state trees.  I even got a glimpse of the White House all decked out for the holiday affair.

While cold as crap outside it was good getting out and walking around.  Winter is coming so opportunities like this will be few and far between for the next few months.  With Christmas fast approaching I love this time of year.  Getting out and mingling with the people and seeing everything decked out in holiday affair is really nice.  This walk also reminds me of where I live and how lucky I am.  I wouldn’t trade my US citizenship for anything.  While I might not like everything about this country, it is still the best place on Earth.

Widespread Panic September 7th 2016 Warner Theatre

I bought my ticket day of so it was pretty high in the bleachers but still a good view of the stage.
I bought my ticket day of so it was pretty high in the bleachers but still a good view of the stage.

Unfortunately I was going to miss the show in Asheville for reasons beyond my control. I had that trip all planned out including a stop at the Funkatorium which has nothing but aged sour beer! I was so looking forward to the beer and show but I would have to skip it. Thankfully Widespread was opening the fall tour, probably their last tour for a while, here in DC. I couldn’t make both shows but I was excited to still see them one last time before they go on touring hiatus for a while.  It reminds me of the acoustic show at the Fillmore several years ago.

As with most Warner Theatre shows I arrived in the city early and headed to Shelly’s Back Room for a cigar and beer before the show. I wanted to get several drinks in me before the show and not have to buy them at the theatre. Shell’s has a better selection and at a cheaper price. Actually at Shelly’s it was interesting seeing all these hippies walk in who were going to the show. I thought I stick out but everyone else certainly did. By 7:30 I was three beers deep and it was time to tab out. My seat was purchased the day of the show and located in the nose bleed section so I knew I wouldn’t have a problem getting to my seat.

Some pre-gaming at Shelly's before the main event.  I love that the two places are so close to each other.
Some pre-gaming at Shelly’s before the main event. I love that the two places are so close to each other.

The venue was ruckus as show time approached. I skimmed the set list from the night before and it looked pretty good. I haven’t seen many WSP shows but I have yet to be disappointed when seeing them, tonight was no exception. First set had a very good flow to it which was cool and what I saw of the second set was also kick as.  Unfortunately by about 11:50 I had to start making my way to Metro to catch the last train out of town.  The trains use to run till 2am on the weekend but that ended a while ago so catching late night performances is difficult. Was sucked even more was the train about almost 30 minutes late which would have allowed me to see the entire performance without leaving early.

Besides leaving early and missing the last few songs of the concert, it was a great night. I love grabbing a smoke at Shelly’s and then headed to the Warner for a show. Tonight’s was another great one from WSP and it is unfortunate they will be touring less in the coming year. I do however understand the temporary hiatus however. Most jam bands tour extensively and it can wear on anyone after a while. With the limited schedule in the coming year it just means I will have to travel further for those special performances which I am not opposed to at all. While I may not see as many shows as I did in my youth, my job affords me to travel further distances and stay in nicer hotels then when I was in my 20’s.


Set 1 (start at 8:27pm)
1. Diner >
2. Bear’s Gone Fishin’ >
3. Climb To Safety
4. Little Kin >
5. Travelin’ Light
6. B of D >
7. Bust It Big >
8. Weight Of The World >
9. Junior
Set over at 9:43pm

Set 2 (start time at 10:23pm)
1. Christmas Katie >
2. Radio Child
3. Aunt Avis >
4. Rebirtha >
5. jam >
6. Imitation Leather Shoes
7. Tall Boy >
8. Ride Me High >
9. drums >
10. Cease Fire >
11. Honky Red

12. Chilly Water

Note: Not sure of the exact end time the show, I had to leave to catch the last train out of the city.


A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….

Star Wars……who doesn’t love this movie?  I have been a big fan of the franchise since I was a kid.  Of course I have seen all the movies and anticipate their arrival in theaters.  Of course there are the three prequels which are so-so.  I was really excited to hear three new movies would be coming out.  I have already seen A Force Awakens, got the inbetweener of Rouge One this December and then the 8th installment in the franchise late in 2017.

star wars alamo logo

All these later movies can trace their origin back to the original trilogy.  When they where first released I was to young to see them in theaters.  In fact when Star Wars: A New Home was released, I wasn’t even born yet.  Fast forward almost forty years and the Alamo Drafthouse is bringing back the original trilogy.  The Almao is known for funky stuff and this trilogy is right up their alley.  You just have to see a movie here if you get the chance.  Now I would finally be able to see all three movies on the big screen.  Delay after delay for ticket sales and then a date change on top of that but finally the day arrived.

IMG_4349None of my family could understand how I could sit in the theatre for three movies in a row.  If you’re not a fan you wouldn’t understand.  When you find something you are passionate about, only others who are equally as passionate can understand why we do the things we do.  I see the same thing with Phish all the time but I digress, today is all about Star Wars.

It took a lot longer to get to the Warner Theatre then I anticipated.  I arrived almost 30 minutes after the first movie and because this is the Alamo, I decided to head to Shelly’s for a cigar and beer till A New Hope was finished.  I planned to smoke a cigar after the movie but the middle of the afternoon suited me just fine.  As hot as it was outside, it was nice smoking a cigar indoors while drinking a beer and watching the Olympics.  In fact this was the most Olympics I had seen since they started.

IMG_4350Cigar finished and A New Hope over, it was time to settle in for the remaining two movies.  Not much to say other then the movies are great and if you haven’t seen them, go.  Shows ended earlier then I thought too.  Still took forever to get home on Metro because of SafeTrack.  I did love the fact I could get on Wiehle-Reston East and take it all the way into the city.  Once they complete the Silver line it will be even easier getting into the city.

Loved the experience, not sure if it was totally worth the ticket price but it was a great adventure on a blazing hot Saturday nonetheless.

moe. 9:30 Club September 26th and 27th 2015

moe. fall 2015 poster

Big plans always start out with a good idea.  Case in point, moe. announced a three night run in DC to start their fall tour which is part of their 25th anniversary.  Jeremy and I looked to get tickets but the only way to get all three nights was with a pass.  This pass was the only way to get tickets to The Hamilton for an intimate show.  The remaining two shows were at the 9:30 Club just down the road.  It didn’t take much convincing but we both bought passes.  Unfortunately I hadn’t yet sign up for fall classes and wouldn’t you know it, I had a class on Thursday night prevent me from seeing moe. at The Hamilton.  Ah well, can’t win them all.  Jeremy did attend and said it was a great show.

It is hard to visit the 9:30 Club and not walk down U Street.  We arrived with plenty of time before doors for Fridays show so we took some time to walk around till we found The Prospect.  A nice sports bar where we got some wings and I had a couple beers.  I was surprised to see they had Ballast Point Sculpin IPA on tap.  As soon as I saw that it didn’t even checkout the rest of the menu.  The atmosphere was good and the beer cold.  After a few drinks we headed back to the club to enjoy the show.

We already had our tickets so walked right up to the front door.  Even though it was a Friday night the show was not sold out which was really nice actually.  It allowed everyone plenty of room to dance around and not step on each other.  We got ourselves a good spot on the second floor along the rail and settled in for a good night of music.

moe_930Club_2015The entire show was filled with energy.  The band did one hell of a job on Friday and Saturday night in fact.  Both shows included some incredible jams and plenty of segues.  It felt like the second sets of each night never stopped, they just kept rolling on.  Even got a cover of House of the Rising Sun and Time on Saturdays show.  If memory serves me they have covered the entire Dark Side of the Moon album which itself is a really good show.

Friday we headed to Shelly’s Backroom for some food and smokes before the show.  It is always great to sit and relax for a while smoking a cigar in a friendly environment.  Saturdays show was also not sold out but no less energetic from the band.  We bellied up to the second floor railing, this time on the opposite side as Friday.  moe. once again put on a great show and played their hearts out.

They play Washington DC regularly and I think they enjoy coming to this area.  The crowds are great and support the band every time they pass through town.  Jeremy and I see them irregularly but when I do get the opportunity to see them locally, I have never been disappointed by the performance.  Here is to another 25 years of moe.!