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Rockin’ the Rocks with Hunter Thompson, Gov’t Mule

Staff Reports

When the going gets weird, the weird go pro. And as one of America’s most important (and, inevitably, mean and ugly) elections looms on the horizon, it’s only fitting that the country’s longest-standing figurehead of Gonzo politics might weigh into the mess and help keep the democratic process vibrant.In the ultimate example of strange bedfellows, journalist Hunter S. Thompson will serve as the master of ceremonies during a special politically invigorating concert on the afternoon of Sept. 19 at Red Rocks, with jam stalwarts Warren Haynes and Gov’t Mule joined by friends including Gregg Allman, Sound Tribe Sector Nine and Stockholm Syndrome. The show, which also features British organic rockers Gomez and Maine-based folksinger Ray Lamontagne, is a major rallying effort for Head Count, a national voter registration organization. Over the summer, Head Count has piggybacked jam-themed acts to try to get the normally disenfranchised and disinterested to, at the very least, register to vote while attending concerts by their favorite acts; Sunday’s Red Rocks the Vote concert is a special effort for Head Count’s New Voters Project.Thompson’s involvement in the concert is the biggest wild card of the afternoon. A one-time candidate for Aspen sheriff, Thompson has long been a keen observer of the American political process and an inspiration for a generation’s worth of substance abuse among the cognoscenti. With most of his public speaking appearances now requiring subtitles, it shall be interesting to see how Thompson and his Pageant of Fear (as he advertises his entourage) plays out with the jam kids.The show will be Haynes’ first appearance at Red Rocks since his quintuple-header this summer playing an alternative Jerry Garcia to the resuscitated Grateful Dead; he and the Mule are celebrating the release of “Deja Voodoo,” the band’s first original album since the death of bassist Allen Woody in August 2000.The afternoon’s other guests will certainly keep things eclectic. British rockers Gomez, bounced from this summer’s hastily canceled Lollapalooza festival, have taken a slightly more polished direction on their most recent CD, “Split the Difference.”And the all-star Stockholm Syndrome, featuring Widespread Panic bassist Dave Schools, WSP lyricist/musician Jerry Joseph, guitarist extraordinaire Eric McFadden and David Lindley sideman Wally Ingram on percussion, are also guaranteed to appease the Spreadheads. VTRed Rocks the Vote, 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19. Red Rocks Amphitheater. $35/$40. (303) 830-TIXSBy Andy Stonehouse


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