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

(click here to see two-day-in-review reviews)

Red Rocks 8/14 -- Nicholas Brush, 08:26:40 08/17/99 Tue

I didn't have to wait until Saturday night to see Phil. Saturday morning at 11:30, Phil made an appearance at Twist & Shout Records in Denver (Thanks, Phil Zone!). I wasn't able to get my buddy up at any decent time to get Phil to autograph a poster, but we did get to watch him sign limited edition posters and briefly make acquaintance with fans, sitting behind the counter of the store (by this time there were only about 30 Deadheads left) with his wife Jill and at least one of his sons next to him. My friend was on the ball enough to thing of running down the street to grab a drug store camera and snapped a couple photos. Phil looked like he was having a good time, looked happy and comfortable, and was wearing a T-shirt of the new tour. 

This time, we made it in plenty of time to catch all of the bands, starting with Galactic. It rained with very strong winds for the second half of their set, but that didn't phase Warren Haynes, who came out and jammed with them for 2 of the last 3 songs of their sets. Galactic was pretty good, with a shorter set and a bit more singing than on Thursday. Galactic's keyboard player returned the favor and came out and jammed with Gov't Mule. Mule did a pretty good set, nice jammin'. One of the highlights was a tune that I believe Warren had done with Phil at Mt. Aire, She Said She Said (with a TNK jam). 

When I was at Twist & Shout Saturday morning, I was talking to one of the guys that works there about Phil shows and he said that he expected more people from different bands to play with Phil for the 2nd show, noting that of all the bands on the bill, the musician that was the biggest Deadhead was Al from moe.. I was pleased to see that the lineup WAS different for the last night of Phil & Friends -- still with Hollingsworth on keys, but instead of Warren Haynes on 2nd guitar, it was Michael Kang. We also got a lot of 2 other members of SCI, Bill Nershi on acoustic guitar/voc., and their percussionist/drummer. 

Playin' opened the show, and SCI showed right away their ability to give Phil vocal support, as well as great jammin'. Then they did what I assume was a SCI  original, Waiting for the Snow, nice harmonies with Nershi. The SCI treatment was real effective on Uncle's John's Band. SCI 's bluegrassy style is perfect for those American Beauty / Workingman's Dead tunes - nice harmoniew, acoustic guitar, and Kang playing mandolin and fiddle. 

Then came a peronal first: New Potato Caboose !! This tune more than any I can think of, brings that 60s style unlike other 60s GD tunes in that the Dead only did it in the 60s (no later than '68, I think) I especially like that beginning melody on the keyboard. Cumberland Blues really brought back the aforementioned Beauty / Workingman's magic, and the fiddle was a great touch on Broken Arrow. Phil then introduced the band and brought out Al from moe. to join the group on guitar and vocals. He added some nice guitar on The Wheel, lots of enthusiasm to Terrapin, which featured a nice instrumental jam, and helped to finish out the set with some supporting vocals on Playin' Reprise. He did not come out for the encore, but Phil's String Cheese Friends did, and they did a pretty Ripple with Kang on mandolin.  Maybe some of the other shows will feature more of moe. and some of Galactic (like the sax player !) being Friendly to Phil. All in all, these shows really covered some really cool new territory in the latest chapter of Deaddom. Warren Haynes is meshing well with Phil on the blues, down and dirty Brent stuff and is a great foil to Kimock, and String Cheese members really helped to round out Phil's sound and give it vocals and texture.

Red Rocks 8/14 -- S.D. Levitan, 09:25:45 08/15/99 Sun

What a spectacular evening of music. That pre-show kiss of Phil and Jill must have had magic in it, because this was a night of  wonderful, wonderful playing. The Uncle John's was the 98 Other Ones calypso/high step arrangement ... the Playin' went WAY out there .. the Wheel was delicate and lovely ... the Cumberland was high energy blue grass that ROCKED ... and the Terrapin , ah the Terrapin. The guys from String Cheese absolutely nailed the bridges over and over again. One somewhat shortcoming -- the band, as great as it was musically, could have benefited a time or two from a stronger lead vocal. No disrespect to the singers, but that was the one less-than-extraordinary aspect.  Tell the truth, there were a few times (Playing, UJB) that I would have loved to have heard Bobby's vocals. Maybe that's a role for him as a Friend -- sing, not play. And if Donna Jean had come out for the playin' reprise, the 100 million year old walls would have shook. But the is a small point --the quality of the playing was so outstanding, and the joyful intensity of the musicians was such a joy to watch. A magical, magical night. After seeing shows since 1971, this weekend was my first Red Rocks shows. Boy, was it worth the wait.

And to top it off, met a bunch of DNC and rmgd friends (I'm here with Didjeridu
right now, met Aiko earlier, spent all show with Dyre Wolf.) Now, where are the rest of you?
Big crowd as Chief Hosa. Can't get in without a wrist band. Good crowd at the Twist and Shout signing this am.  So, that's how things are here. A few notes on an earlier post of the set list
The SCI song was Wheel of Life ... there was Kimock song, Tangled Hangers. The percussionist and acoustic guitar from SCI sat in on about a third, and were great. The guy from moe sat in on Wheel>Terrapin. Michael Kang, SCI, is a great player.
Phil introduced SK as "and my man, Steve Kimock."
Just a great, great night.

Red Rocks 8/14 -- Colm Smith, 09:24:00 08/15/99 Sun

I just recently got back from the last Phil and Friends show in Denver. And what a really nice three days in Colorado, the weather was great except for a 15 minute shower Saturday. I met S.D. Levitan at the West Denver Marriott, really nice guy, it's so nice to meet the people you read and write about. 

Tonight was fantastic, beyond words, the view from the top of Red Rocks was spectacular. At one point the stage had a warm green lighting arrangement and then the complete darkness of forest behind it and beyond, the Denver City lights. Then looking straight up, clear starlit sky, framed by giant monolithic Red Rocks. This is an awesome venue. 

Got the opportunity to go around and under the stage during moe, very relaxed atmosphere and a different sound down there. The Red Rocks staff were very courteous and professional. They even sold $4 ponchos for the rain ! 

There where delicious hemp ice cream sandwiches hygenicaly made and packaged with ingredients list (if it's important to you, you know why I am telling you) for sale. Nice to have at least one vegan vender inside the venue. 

Water was freely available, although I hate to say this, but the Denver municipal water is probably the worst tasting water I have ever had to experience it's heavy on the chlorine/flouride. So it's been bottles for three days. 

They also had Phil Lesh & Friends "And Love Will See You Through" Double CD's for sale $20.....

Re: 8.14.99 Red Rocks list and lineup -- Tom F., 08:16:03 08/16/99 Mon

Am I the only one that heard a Supplication jam between Uncle John's and New Potato? They played the theme several times through.