There might be literal and figurative reasons why the concert room at The Egg is called the Hart Theater. First and foremost, for anyone unfamiliar with the area across from the Governor’s mansion, The Egg is just that – a very large, concrete building in the shape of an egg. It perhaps provides one of the most unique ways to experience a concert. Inside the building, elevators lift attendees to the fourth floor where they walk into a large semi-circle lobby speckled with lounge seats and a makeshift bar. There are four separate walkways on each side of the theater, at different levels. The arteries of the ‘Hart’ empty into an amphitheater setting where the stage is below. Sight lines and legroom are a bonus, but even more so, the shape lends itself to pristine acoustics.
Warren Haynes, who has crafted his skill to perfection, graced the sold out Hart Theater with an abundance of heart for his adoring fans and love of his guitar. Playing the title track off the 2011 disc release, Warren Haynes opened the show with “Man in Motion.” He immediately engaged the crowd in the front, greeting them with hellos and smiles. His demeanor was friendly, inviting and kind. Three deep into the set, Haynes’ guitar and Ron Holloway’s saxophone playfully conversed back and forth, speaking through notes as if to say, “more, more.” More is what we get as the band moved through their set. Haynes greeted keyboardist Nigel Hall for another playful round of back and forth during “On a Real Lonely Night.” Haynes carried the conversation to Holloway, until the music reached a climax and the three played together. The first set was a display of musical talent that crossed genres and pushed boundaries, while maintaining the sound of soul and blues.
After set break, the band gave the spotlight to drummer Terence Higgins, his red kit sitting above the band mid stage. He pounded his beats with enthusiasm until he broke away and gave it to the band, indicating the second set would be filled with a heavier rock essence. “Spanish Castle” was a weighty song driven by the backdrop of keys. Both Haynes and Holloway swap solos while Alicia Chakour interjected her soulful vocals at key moments. Towards the end of the set, Warren Haynes introduced each member by singing their names as they jammed on their respective instruments. The encore took a turn into the Gospel realm – yet another indication of their collective talents transitioning into multiple genres. The Warren Haynes Band put the soul in “Soulshine” and heart into the theater of the same name.