Words By: Tyler Curtis
Photos by: Marc Millman
reCAP :: Phil Lesh & Friends :: 2014.04.09
Apr 10 / Thursday
Deadheads in the NYC region have always been shown love from the driving forces of the scene. Whether it be the Grateful Dead’s extensive east coast tours or the continuation of that ritual in the post Garcia world with marquees that now read Ratdog, Phil and Friends, Mickey Hart Band, or Furthur, there isn’t much room to complain as someone who lives in the greater NYC area. Pete Shapiro’s deal with Phil Lesh has shown 2014 will not be labeled as an exception.
The first run of shows at the Capitol Theatre ran from April 2 through 5, 2014, featuring Lesh, John Kadlecik, Larry Campbell, Teresa Williams, Jeff Chimenti and Joe Russo. Phil’s friends for the second stint include Kadlecik and Russo once again, with the additions of Marco Benevento and Jackie Greene to put their touch on the iconic Grateful Dead songbook. The latter block of shows started last night, and will continue through Saturday, showing that age doesn’t stop the bassist who turned 74 back in March.
The first set of the night was an indicator of how the run would carry out. It all began with John Kadlecik’s attempt at The Beatles’ “Here Comes The Sun,” making for a special surprise to kick things off. Following the opener, Bill Evans was invited onstage to lay down some horns for the night. He would stay onstage for a slew of songs for the first set, including “Cosmic Charlie,” “Doin’ That Rag,” and a lengthy “Viola Lee Blues.” There was certainly an early Grateful Dead presence in the sound, even ending with “Bertha,” a song that was debuted at the Capitol Theatre back in 1971.
The second set took no time to get warmed up. Benevento’s organ work added a lot to “The Golden Road,” before breaking into “Help On The Way” and a “Slipknot” “Standing On The Moon” “Slipknot” sandwich. This chunk of tunes demanded discipline to stay in time with the bassist who is always searching for the sound. As the band sped up at the end of “Slipknot,” the Cap erupted with the beginning of “Franklins Tower.” The latter half of the second set was very Jackie Greene heavy, moving from “Playin In The Band” into “Estimated Prophet,” before taking a heavy jam into “Bird Song” before rounding out the set with “Goin Down The Road Feelin Bad.” Even with the lineup still changing, there seems to be this permanent chemistry with Phil and Friends. After Lesh’s famous Donor Rap, it was time to get down to the mines with a bouncy “Cumberland Blues.” Russo’s ability to keep everyone in time, certainly helped things run smooth.
With a few nights left to go for Phil and his friends, there’s still so many songs left to hear, with pockets of music still yet to be explored.
The Capitol Theatre Photo Gallery
Photos by: Marc Millman
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