reCAP :: Phil Lesh & Friends :: 2014.05.30
This past Friday night, Phil and Friends played for an almost sold out crowd, aged young and old alike, for close to three hours. There were many friendly faces in the crowd, who greeted me with smiles as I walked into the theater. I began to feel that I had "come home" to a place filled with love and acceptance, as is common with a Phil show, and I felt the stressful week fall from my shoulders as I settled in.
Phil Lesh was joined by fellow Furthur band mates John Kadlicek, guitar and Joe Russo, drums. John Medeski and John Scofield rounded out the band with special guests Ross James and Nels Cline.
Ross James came out for the first set, with upbeat Grateful Dead songs such as a rousing New Speedway Boogie, and Turn on Your Love Light. Also played was Dylan's A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall. It is worth noting that many people in the crowd commented that the first set felt like a typical second set. This set was high energy, filled with great jams, and Russo's drum playing was off the hook.
Nels Cline from Wilco, joined the band for second set. They opened with Cold Rain and Snow, accentuated a fun jam with Cline leading an almost rock-a-billy kind of groove. They went into a heavy jam before going into Eyes of the World. Phil sang lead, and Cline plucked the guitar soft and sweet, technically perfect.
Scofield, Kadlicek and Cline led us next to The Wheel, where they answered each other with their guitar licks, heightening the song for the crowd. It seemed that everyone was singing along. Kadlicek sang on the next song, So Many Roads, and the trio went into a sweet harmony with each other.
Overall, Phil played steady, Medeski was on the side of the stage surrounded by his keys, piping in from the organ, and Russo is just a monster behind those drums. Cline was the lead guitarist of the night, with Scofield and Kadlicek supporting, each of them throwing down some great jams throughout the night.
They ended the second set with Help> Slip> Franklin's where Scofield let loose and Kadlicek sang on Help. They encored with Ripple, and Phil stayed classy to the end, by introducing all the the musicians by name, and saying "Thank you for joining us." No Phil, thank you, and can't wait for the next run, hosted by The Cap.