8-13&14-99 Red Rocks Amphitheater Morrison, CO
Phil Lesh & Friends

8/12-13-14/99 Fillmore - Red Rocks, Colorado shows -- Daniel Gold, Editor, An Honest Tune, 01:39:15 08/18/99 Wed

Among the many highlights of the Colorado Phil & Friends / Summer Sessions shows, were what I considered to be the peak STEVE KIMOCK GUITAR SOLOS of the three shows:

8-12 Cold Rain & Snow
8-13 Just A Little Light
8-14 Tangled Hangers

These three songs alone were worth the trip each night.

The JUST A LITTLE LIGHT with Warren doing Brent's vocals perfectly, then the song sinking to almost nothing before Kimock arose with his mighty solo, was the #1 highlight of the run for me, and probably one of the best live songs I've ever heard. I was totally floored.


Fantastic shows -- Matt, 08:14:41 08/17/99 Tue

I was at the 2 Red Rocks shows and must say that they were shows that will not be forgotten for along time. Hearing Phil jam out "Wish You Were Here" was out of this world. The setlist or Saturday was a great one. Hope everyone had as much of a blast as I did.

colorado shows! -- natty, 20:57:18 08/15/99 Sun

thank you Phil!

nothing left to do but

Red Rocks Review 8/13-14 -- Music Box On-Line, 07:22:50 09/13/99 Mon

check out this link:   http://www.musicbox-online.com/lesh8-99.html

Red Rocks 8/13-14 -- mikey5018, 15:18:46 08/17/99 Tue

Well, Red Rocks was so good, I thought I'd take a stab at my own review: 

08/13/99 Red Rocks Amphitheater - Morrison, CO Set 1: Viola Lee Blues-> Duprees Diamond Blues, Alligator-> Bird Song, Just A Little Light, Sugaree, Stella Blue -> Wish You Were Here,
Scarlet Begonia's-> Fire On The Mountain Comment: No Encore.

Band was: Phil Lesh - Bass and Vocals, Steve Kimock - Guitar, John Molo Drums, Kyle Hollingsworth - Keyboards, Warren Haynes - Guitar. Summer Sessions Tour with
String Cheese Incident, and Moe.

Openers: Moe, String Cheese Incident.

To start with, Red Rocks is still amazing (haven't been there since '96 for Phish.) It was weird to be in Morrison without 10,000 heads raiding the place, though I was very happy we weren't making negative headlines. Anyway, I'll go straight to the shows... moe. was actually a bit of a disappointment. I'm usually one to stick up for them, but they seemed a bit lackluster this time around. Most people weren't there yet, and not too many were grooving...that helps mellow out the vibes. If any of you saw moe. open Further, it was about the same...not too many people even paying much attention. 

SCI- ahhhhh, the cheese. One theme of the weekend was the confirmation of my hunch that
SCI is, in fact, the shit...pure and simple. I've seen them five times now and for a while held
some doubt that they really couldn't be as good as they seem to be at first...well, they are as
good as they seem and better. (I don't remember the exact setlist, but it included a Birdland,
Lands End, and an amazing Jellyfish->Stayin' alive hoola-hoop dance with the drummer from
Galactic) I really don't think I can put how great these guys really are to any words and do it
any justice. All I can say is see them...I hope you love them half as much as I.

Phil day 1: Overall I thought it was amazing! My main impression from that show is actually
how similiar it is to the Warfield shows. (30 minute Viola, Stella w/Steve on steel slide, etc.) Steve, John, and Phil are really, really tight and wonderful. I always assumed, in my
Phish- slanted view, that Page and Trey were the ones who made the Warfield shows so musically great...not so! It is in fact the core three that drive 90% of the jams and create most of the awesome moments. 

With that said, Warren Haynes, IMHO, didn't jive too well with the rest of the band. His southern-style slide guitar style didn't do much, and never seemed to blend in with the rest of the band. 

The good thing about this though is that Steve took control, and man, when you have some Kimock at the helm, watch out! (The Viola Lee is so darn amazing, everyone must hear it at some point...I'd even go as far as to say that it was even better than the Warfield one....I realize how bold that statement is.)

John Molo is simply amazing himself. I usually take drums for granted, but I realize that many good jams can be attributed to the drummer. So after two days of consistently beautiful, superb jamming, I have to give much credit to the man keeping the threads tight.

Kyle Holdsworth, man, this was stage two of my vindication that the cheese knows what's up. Kyle was not only on the entire night, but he also added a great deal of style/energy/creativity to each and every song and jam. I've played keyboards for most of my live (started 16 years ago) and I consider myself a fair judge of keyboard playing, and he just simply blew me away. It's no coincidence that he's kind of the permanent keyboard player in this round. (However, I'm not going to touch the Page/Kyle comparison, they were both great.) And last but certainly not least, there's Phil. This was my first time seeing Phil since 7/9/95 so it was a bit of an emotional experience seeing him again. Let me tell you, Phil looks and plays like a perfectly heathy 25 year old Phil, rather than someone who just underwent major surgery. The man has such power that the minute he stepped on stage (even before the lights were out) he raised his arm up and simply gave the crowd a big acknowledging grin, and the crowd just went nuts...you could just feel the love from then until the end of the weekend, it was amazing. For the first time, I think I felt the love that's prevalent in the Dead scene, the love that is simply missing from the Phish scene. Oh well, different styles...

Playing-wise, Phil really impressed me! He took control of many of the jams (in his subtle, Phil-like style) and of course, being who he is, the band quickly followed nearly all of his leads...resulting in some superbly tight jamming. Many times, he started laying down some really cool jazz/blues lines that everyone else played around...way to get funky Phil! In addition, his singing seems to consistently improve with each show. Who would of thought six months ago, that Phil would bounce back from sickness, and re-create the scene, the music, the magic, and the love so remarkably...Phil, you are the man!

08/14/99 Red Rocks Amphitheater - Morrison, CO 

Set 1: Playing In The Band* **-> Round The Wheel* **-> Uncle John's Band**-> New Potato Caboose-> Tangled Hangers, Cumberland Blues, Broken Arrow, The Wheel+-> Terrapin Station+-> Playing Reprise+, E: Ripple*

Comment: Band Was: Phil Lesh - Bass and Vocals, Steve Kimock - Guitar, John Molo - Drums, Michael Kang Electric mandolin, Kyle Hollingsworth - Keyboards, *Billy - Acoustic Guitar, **Michael - Percussion, + Al Sheir - Guitar. Summer Sessions Tour with Galactic, and Government Mule.
Galactic and Gov't Mule - didn't like either too much. I can get into Galactic without the singer, but this time the singer was on for most of it. (And it was raining, and I didn't want a wet DA-P1...) My only real complaint about the openers, was that while the first day the SCI had me totally Psyched for Phil, this time it took a little bit for me to get into Phil because of the openers. (I think it's something akin to comedians not wanting to go on after a bad act...not that Gov't Mule was bad, it's just not my style.)

This night was simply amazing! After the first show, my friends and I were talking about how we wanted more Cheese...but we never had any idea that we would get more and then some. At the beginning every member of the Cheese was playing (except their bassist, of course.) Every one of them was right on, jamming perfectly and fluidly. Although it was amazing to see them all on stage, I have to say when you have that many people jamming, it is more difficult to find
direction and purpose in the jams. Also, (to my liking) with so many SCI members playing, the music took on a really strong Cheese characteristic. (ie: Fiddle during Uncle Johns Band...) Thus Kimock was more in the background ;( and much to my surprise, the group became somewhat tighter and more purposeful when Billy and Michael left. (although I still love them!) Also I should note that while Phil was right on every other jam, he really had to keep up on 'Round the
Wheel...I'm frankly amazing they thought to play such a complex song with only a couple of rehersals.

Billy didn't really do much, until Ripple where he sounded awesome (even sang a verse.) But I was hoping for him to do some country-fried bluegrass-acoustic soloing, which he never did, I guess there were too many people for all to solo.
Michael sounded amazing on percussion as always...while he only played percussion, he sometimes seemed to be leading John. 
Mike Kang just simply rocks, he blended in with Kimock much more fluidly than Warren, and allowed for some of that awesome 2-guitar (or 1-guitar 1-Mandolin ;) interplay that made the Warfield shows so amazing.

I couldn't quite hear Al so I can't really say anything about his contribution. I tried to pick his sound up, but it was as difficult as picking up Bobby's playing, or the lead singer of Widespread. (Don't know his name, but I swear I can never hear him play...and I've tried plenty of times!)

Anyway, this is getting long, overall, it was an amazing experience. Go see Phil wherever he plays, no matter who his "friends" are. If the "friends" are lackluster, Steve, Phil, and John will pick it up and rock out. Or else you may be lucky to see some of the best bands around play with Phil, such as a band as wonderful as SCI. In any case, it will always be a wonderful night of excellent music and beautiful vibes. Thanks for reading!

Re: Red Rocks 8/13-14 -- Nebuchadnezzer, 10:06:25 08/20/99 Fri

As soon as your review said that moe. was lackluster but SCI was the shit, I knew I shouldn't waste any more time with this one. Plain and simple, SCI is boring! I just don't get it. I too have seen them about five times and each time I'm expecting them to finally breakout and play with some energy, because I've heard so many good things about them. Yet I've been disappointed every single time. After being bored for the last time at High Sierra, I think I'm going to even skip the SCI opener at Berkeley. 

Red Rocks 8/13-14 -- Rick Rogers, 15:16:43 08/17/99 Tue

Howdy y'all. . .

Greetings from Rocky Mountain country! I wish I had time to lay down a complete review of the Phil & Friends spectacular this weekend at Red Rocks. Suffice it to say that these were the best shows that I have seen in that wonderful magical place. Friday night, after smokin' sets from moe. and the String Cheese Incident, Yours Truly was heard to say, "what's Phil gonna do to top that?" Well, shut my mouth. . .I had never seen a Phil & Friends show before and all I expected was for it to be like watching a nifty jam session between some good players with a little nostalgic and sentimental value. . .what I got was two performances that stood up against the best GD and Other Ones shows I have seen. Words like "luxurious," "elegant," and "passionate" come to mind. I  have gained an increased respect and appreciation for Phil Lesh after seeing what kind of a production was put together under his direction. Friday night's "Friends" were Steve Kimock, Warren Haynes, Kyle of SCI on keys, and the incredible John Molo on drums. Saturday night's "Friends" were Kimock, Kyle, Molo, and Michael Kang of SCI, with guest appearances by SCI's drummer and other guitarist, and moe.'s lead guitarist (sorry I don't know their names!). Some of the highlights for me: 
Friday night--the opener, a close to 30-minute "Viola Lee Blues," very edgy, each vocal verse followed by a jam that in and of itself would have been enough to call the song a done deal. ..as I said, "edgy," these jams roared out of the gate screaming toward the end of a cliff, teetering on the precipice of that place where legendary jams threaten to fall apart into chaos, and yet every time returning to the ground for another round. . . 

Friday night--Warren Haynes singing and Steve Kimock's guitar on "Just a Little Light." Warren could easily win the award for Brent impersonation, and Steve's sublime guitar playing was designed for songs like this one. . .easily the best version of the song that I've ever heard! 

Friday night--instrumental "Stella Blue" into a Phil-sung "Wish You Were Here". . .truly poetic, together we all read this love letter to a dearly-missed friend. . .  Saturday night--the 65-minute opening jam, starting with "Playin' in the Band" sung by Michael Kang of SCI, followed by "Round the Wheel (I think that's what it's called?)", "Uncle John's Band", and "Tangled Hangers? (Zero tune)". . .it's difficult to describe this jam, other than to say that it was a long journey through mysterious country. . .
Sat--TERR-A-PIN!! Wow. . .powerful, passionate, true to the original GD arrangement, and you could see that these musicians were absorbed with the experience of performing Terrapin in such a beautiful place, before such a large audience, with such a big sound. . .this "Terrapin" was a creature that took on a life of its own. 

 Sat--"Broken Arrow." Simply beautiful, gentle, loving, kind, sweet, like the "cool Colorado rain." Kyle's piano work was elegant. Without a doubt the best rendering of the song I have ever heard. Sat--the closing bun on the Playin' sandwich: I thought Kimock and Kang and that guitarist from moe. were simply going to EXPLODE with the excitement of winding up such a stellar show with a full-force Playin' reprise. The looks on their faces were pure joy, like "I'M UP HERE SHREDDIN' ON DEAD TUNES WITH PHIL LESH! HOLY SHIT!!! Again, true to the GD arrangement, loaded with passion and power. Sat--"Ripple" encore featuring Kang on mandolin. . . I have to say that Phil blew my mind. He was up there with guys half his age and they had nothing on him. . .he was playing with youthful vigor and speed-- yes, speed--that made it apparent that this man is loving life and feeling healthy again. 

Also, John Molo is awesome! Seeing him with Mickey last summer, I didn't realize just how excellent a drummer he was, I just assumed most of the cool licks were coming from Mickey. I also have to say that I'm glad that this wasn't another repetition of the Furthur Fest thing. As much as I greatly enjoyed the Other Ones last year, these shows were free of that hyper East Coast corporate energy and it wasn't at that godforsaken Fiddlers' f@ckin' Green, I hate that place with its sterile suburban surroundings, 10  o'clock curfew, and strict decibel limits! Red Rocks is so much better, it's got to be one of the finest outdoor venues on the planet. And this weekend, I finally got a taste of what it must have been like to see the Dead on the Rocks. The magic and energy were there and I found myself wishing that there was just one more show before they had to leave. I wouldn't have hesitated to buy another ticket. . .The bootlegs of these shows must be obtained post haste. . . Hugs,

Phil is a god -- Jeff, 12:37:25 08/17/99 Tue

Two thumbs up to all of the shows. Phil quenches your Dead jones more than Ratdog ever could. Just watching him up on stage laughing and jumping around was enough to bring you to tears.

I missed the show at the Fillmore but caught both at Red Rocks. Friday was a little more mellow than I would hope for. Warren does a great job on guitar but doesn't know all the words to the Dead tunes. His best song of the night was actually "Just a little lite", surprisingly since I am not a big fan of the Brent tunes. The instrumental version of "Stella" was amazing. I was very happy that Phil did not try to sing this song the instrumental only added to the beauty. Then Phil kicked into the "Wish you were here" he really seems to love this song. You could feel his bass shaking the whole place...and that's hard to do at Red Rocks. The Scarlet/Fire showed what was to come the next night with tight music and the lyrics which were slightly off during the Fire chorus.

Saturday night was a show of shows. Kang from SCI took Warren's place. You could tell that the SCI guys are big Dead fans they knew all the words and all the right licks. The show started and ended with "Playin" you can't beat that. The whole show continued to flow with the guys from SCI playing one of their own tunes to show Phil what they were all about...I think he was impressed. At the midpoint of this show Phil played the best "Broken Arrow" I have ever heard. Rather than directing the rest of the Dead through this song, he takes the lead and goes with it on his own. It was amazing. The show then ended with Wheel> Terrapin> Playin reprise. I couldn't imagine any thing better. The SCI guys and the guitarist from Moe are familiar with all of the Dead tunes and it helps. I thought hearing the Jerry parts played on an electric fiddle would be odd, but it wasn't it was terrific. Jerry would be proud. Five stars for Kang's playing during this show.

To further top off the weekend I actually got to meet Phil on Saturday morning. He was signing $35 posters with all proceeds going to charity. He was there with his wife and kids and seemed to be having a great time doing it. The owner of the music store was trying hurry everything up so all could get an autograph, but Phil just wanted to chat away with everybody...he was great. I asked Phil if he was happy to be back at Red Rocks and his eyes just lit up like a little child. It was the highlight of my life. The picture of me shaking hands with Phil is going to be on my Christmas cards for the next couple of years.

Monday 8/16/99 -- Matthew Kane, 12:49:25 08/16/99 Mon

Words cannot describe the feelings and emotions that ran through me on Friday and Saturday at red rocks. The music and the scene were vibrant. Here is my humble attempt at a review:

moe: missed the first three songs, but sat in the second row for the rest of their 50 minute set. My second time seeing them. Enjoyed their groove immensely. They were happy to be playing and I waved at them and they waved back. I will be seeing them again in Boulder in November.

string cheese incident: HOLY MOSES!!!! my favorite new band. They performed a completely different set than the night before at the Fillmore. Rather than playing generic bluegrass, they played brilliant jams consisting of pyschadelic fusion. They were on stage for about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Phil and Friends: check out the setlists again. Phil (again with Warren Haynes) was SO HAPPY to be there. The music was so RICH and Full bodied. It appears that Phil wants to JAM. Highlights for me: a 30 minute viola lee blues dedicated to Dick Latvala, a funky, slimy alligator, just a little light (hats off to the Brentmeister), the wish u were here melted into an "Us and Them" Jam - totally tripped out (the guy next to me turned and said "I think Warren listened to Dark Side of the Moon a little too much when he was younger."), and of course a phat scarlet fire set closer. of course, we all wanted an encore, but Phil played it straight and told us "Sorry folks, that's all we have time for, see ya tomorrow night." I respect that.

galactic: played 3 or 4 funky instrumentals, then brought the houseman out. He sang three songs. then the highlight, they brought out Warren Haynes and they did Just Kissed My Baby --> Africa. I love the Funky Meters so I was on cloud 9. Only complaint: Galactic has added another member to the band: Radioactive Man (a human beatbox). HE SUCKS and doesn't belong on the stage (IMO).
government mule: didn't really pay attention. I went looking for my brother and other friends during the set. It was good background music.

Phil and Friends: we scored fourth row seats, dead center (directly in front of PHIL). His wife layed a phat kiss on him and the band (no Warren, tonight was Phil with String Cheese) kicked into PLAYIN. This was one of those moments where I had no idea what song they were playin, but it sounded like heaven. I thought it was Jack Straw. I have heard playin in the band a gazillion times, but tonight it sounded like the first time. : ^ ) what followed was the sickest music ever played.

Phil redefined the term "dropping bombs." at first, Michael Kang (SCI) wasn't playing to Phil's satisfaction, so Phil antogonized him a little. It worked cause for the rest of the show, there were sounds emanting/bursting/layering from everywhere. STEVE KIMOCK IS RADICAL! Highlights include both the SCI tune and the Kimock tune as well as Uncle John's, New Potato (Holy COW!), Cumberland, Broken Arrow, and the Ripple encore (oh yeah, and the Playin Reprise - can you say KA-BOOM). Throughout the whole set, we interacted with Phil, by waving at him and screaming in between songs "WE LOVE YOU PHIL!!!!" He acknowledged us by nodding his head and flashing the Phil smile.
God bless Phil and God bless his Friends.