I can't believe what I have heard and seen this month from Phil and this fine group of friends. Thank you all so much, and have a great time tonight!
Predictions? Unbroken Chain, Darrk Star, The Other One, William Tell, The Eleven, Magnolia Mountain
Special Guests: You , Me and Phil and Friends and RA, if he shows.
strap in, mothafuckkkkkkkkaaaaaaas
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride doth commence.....and, indeed, conclude.
Carved into the bark of the sycamore tree
and those born 20 years from now
will undoubtedly see
what two, two six, two thousand six
means to Hucklebuck and thee
tonight's predictions...in early
jam> china cat>
hard to handle>
doin' that rag>
friend of the devil>
mountains of the moon>
uncle john's band>
Help Slip Franklin's They hve done that a few times already, but I can't imagine them not doin that after the Scarlet Fire last night.
Sorry to have to miss tonight...if you folks dont' get a Dancin' then I'll be a monkey's uncle ! They've heavily teased it the previous two evenings...
dancin could be a great tune for this lineup especially from the vocal standpoint, have they played it on this run yet?
teased it on friday night. really thought they were going to do it.
comes a time
my predictions are
casey jones [ends the first set]
st. stephen [opens one of the sets]
a beatles tune
a ryan adams tune
two song encore
last encore is brokedown palace
--psychic picks by mike mc leary
ohhhh Stagger Lee is a mad man (joan) and he shot my Billy D!!!!!
Phill-O go get him!!!!!!!
Let It Grow
> weather report.......???? or was it just let it grow?? my friend was breakin up on the phone
haha whoops didnt see the post above mine sorry
joanie wearin a dress? sweeeet!
hottest outfit yet, BY FAR!!!!!!
looks like no extra amp on stage = no ryan adams or other guest
whatta ya say, concert goers? standard stage set-up?
Tower Theatre, Upper Darby, PA 2/26/06
Unbroken Chain> Jam>
Let It Grow
Reuben & Cerise
Reuben & Cerise
Awesome looking set. Whoa Baby!
long ass setbreak
Set 2: Gimme Shelter> Cryptical Envelopment> St Stephen
yeah, i am officially pissed that I skipped this show to study for an exam tomorrow
may I be the first to say:
so... I guess Phil didn't like the sweater?
>>long ass setbreak
actually tonight is the shortest of all the setbreaks.....
absolutely amazing setlist. Any word yet on the vibe inside???
Set break sweater change.
...or the headbands
Thanks again TRob , and Phil
WOW ....After hearing this set on the stream and seeing the second set....my GOD what a show and it sounds flawless and perfect . After all the Larry criticism he sounds spectcular as does the whole band tonight they are really on their A game. I hope they stick with this lineup for as long as Phil can go. They nailed it tonight. Larry has made a believer of me. JOAN is awesome and Phil rocks!!!!
Nice pics... got any upskirts?
I told you EPIC helpontheway......and to F the exam and get to the show.....listen to your elders next time.
For the folks that go to every show and send these setlists and pictures live, what do you do for a living? If you work, do you plan your vacation time around Phil Lesh tours?
Any setlist update post St Stephen?
9:07 PM [taperrob1] Set 2: Gimme Shelter> Jam> Cryptical Envelopment> Jam> St Stephen> Millenium Jam> The Eleven> Jam> Turn Around> Jam> The Other One> Dark Star> Uncle John's Band, Not Fade Away, Food Drive rap/Donor rap/Intros, enc: Franklin's Tower
Tower Theatre, Upper Darby, PA 2/26/06
Unbroken Chain> Jam>
Let It Grow
Reuben & Cerise
Gimme Shelter> Jam>
Cryptical Envelopment> Jam>
The Eleven> Jam>
Turn Around> Jam>
The Other One>
Uncle John's Band
Not Fade Away
Food Drive rap (17,000 pounds of food collected)
WOW!!!! I think that looks like the best set lists on paper for the tour....just my opinion. not sure how the music was but that set list is making me drool all over myself! that and the pics of joan dancing in that skirt
phil & friends
THANKS for a real good run
see ya in a little bit
yeah, looks like a great setlist.
stoked for all of you that went tonight.
look forward to hearing it!
unbroken opener; had to bes weet. looks like a great 2nd set.
franklin's closer for the tour though? I woulda thought something more serious, etc.
regardless, thanks phil. definitely brought it, bro ...
NOW BRING ON THE SUMMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It was a SICK show...
44 minutes of UBC>Let it Grow to open. The Larry claptonhendrixmadness jam out of Bird Song. The Steve>11. Unbelievable.
One negative. I'd be shocked if Sipe ever plays with Phil again. Phil looked angry with him tonight, a few times.
11:11PM in Cali..
Safe travels back to your homes people..
Great show - Got the Dark Star and The Other One and the St. Steph-Eleven. Totally sick 2nd set. Ended on an upbeat note. Great way to end an amazing tour.
absolutely amazing night kiddds!
just back from the show...stopped in for a cold one @ the waterford....nice to see all the zoners in da house!
what a amazing show...
All cylinders were firing tonight people!!
Joanie in the hot red pants on sat night to seduce us all then hit us with her sunday's best!!
SHE IS ONE HOT MAMA!!
ONLY DISAPOINTMENT, THE TRADITIONAL SAMSON & DELILAH AND OF COURSE NO RIPPLE OR BROKEDOWN....FRANKLIN'S TOWER WAS EXPECTED BUT AWESOME VERSION WITH THE "JERRY KICK" IN IT...LOVE IT!
THANK YOU PHIL, WE LOVE YOU!
I AMAZING holy bazoo wtf...MAJESTIC.
2:bang. end starts Gimmeeee yes cryptical yesssss stephen yesssssss milllenium MMMMHMMMMMMM 11 yes yes yes
not yet (x5)
wierd trainwreck/miracle amazing ds2
into NO. BAM.
ujb. I guess.
NOT FADE - feel it fully.
Franklins. Yes. Can you do franksliphelp?
I wish you could.
It was of you.
Coulda given me a joanie ballad second set.
WHAT IS THAT ABOUT!?!?
I don't get it.
but I love the band.
ubc let it grow worth it all - after all that gravy.
what wierdness. beauty, but odd.
perfect, I suppose.
THANKS TO THE PEOPLE THAT MADE IT ALL WORTH IT. More tomorrow.
gimme build cryp build stephen build millienium build 11 build
SO LUCKY TO BE HERE. brings tears to my eyes, in total.
*dastardly mutt snicker*
peace to you people.
binger. shower. bed with dog.
Kall in sick kids. sick kids.
Thanks phil we love you
One for the Ages
The IT factor in full swing
Band playing as One Beast
Spiralling into Infinity
The Boys on guitars really stepped it up to a new level tonight.
Also, Sipe truly impressed me, he was making all sorts of sonic magic.
Joan sang like a Gypsy Princess.
Rob layed down a waterfall of sound.
And Phil stood at the helm with a steady hand,
Guiding the Ship of the Dead through the Land of Night
Audience participation in making the Music was apparent.
What else can I say they opened with Unbroken Chain, and It was uphill from there on.
Good to see so many smiling faces.
It may have one good ring left, baby, you can't tell
Tour is officially closed,
Not before a slammin Sunday show at the Tower:
Real great show, The first set was quite intriguing...Larry was hitting us with a lot of strings (violin, mandolin, guity) I didn't get my Stagger Lee ( oh well at least theres 2 great recordings!) but the Let it Grow, Peggy-o, Birdsong, Reuben & Cherise totally made up for it. My girldfriend and i were madly groovin all night long, we always have such a great time at this venue!!!! Oh boy what i can say about 11.30 03 Sunday slammer last time!! However, I met so many good people here this weekend, young and old!!! Great phans, great energy emmitted! So i nice 2+ hour first set Left us all anxiously awwaiting throughout the entire setbreak for their return... It was fun to dance to Gimme shelter, pretty damn good set opener. Started this one off on a slammin' level, and a very high one! Cryptical was a great surpise it began a magnificent story the band unfolded to us folks there in an epic PLF 2nd set rivalring any Phil line-up ever to take the stage. Anyway, Cryptical, St. Stephen, the eleven, the Other One, Dark Star-Feedback-Dark Star, UJB, NFA -> which should be then new abreviations for a universal code amongst zoners. UJB.NFA So much fun so much love...we really overcame the forces of authority that were attempting to put a bearing on this show. The place exploded after midnight... I am still totally amped from the performance, and ready for work tomorow! No Help> SLip and you gotta admit after 2 legs of touring with you can expect their freegan tired. SHow ended at likw 12:22 but not before they ripped of a single, superiorily sick Franklin's Tower. Thanks so much Phil, Joan, Rob, Barry, Larry, & Jeffy baby, We bid You Goodnight
BP--CD +AG @ PLF 4EVER
the music never stops
Tower Theatre, Upper Darby, PA 2/26/06
Unbroken Chain> Jam>
Let It Grow
Reuben & Cerise
Gimme Shelter> Jam>
Cryptical Envelopment> Jam>
The Eleven> Jam>
Turn Around> Jam>
The Other One>
Uncle John's Band
Not Fade Away
Food Drive rap (17,000 pounds of food collected)
A very good show, lots of fun. You knew it was gonna be good after the opening jam went into Unbroken Chain. I enjoyed the Peggy-O and the Reuben and Cerise.
The second set rocked as the setlist shows, some real good jams. Sideshow predicted a Help/Slip/Franklin's encore. I thought of just Franklin's. Great end to the tour either way.
Thanks Phil for the music on this tour!
It was great to meet up with a bunch of zoners along the way. Y'all a great bunch!
That Looks Beautiful
Sounds like a great show. I'll be glad to hear the tapes.
I've been listening to downloads of the whole run and I've got to say every show sounds quite good. Each have their own special qualities and I'm not going to even try to compare them. For me at least, it would be like saying this rose is prettier than that rose.
After the Saturday night masterpiece, this show didn't do it for me. 1st set was good, but the 2nd set was a trainwreck. SLOW, plodding, meandering, POINTLESS. Probably the worst Other One and Dark Star I've ever seen/heard and the the song Turnaround SUCKS. I also came to the conclusion that Jeff Sipe is less than adequate for this band - BRING BACK MOLO!!!
Having seen the entire tour, I would rank this near the bottom of the run.
>>>>>>>>After the Saturday night masterpiece, this show didn't do it for me. 1st set was good, but the 2nd set was a trainwreck
Thought Sunday night was way, way better than Sat. night. Much more focused. Seemed they were saving everything up for last night of the tour
>>I also came to the conclusion that Jeff Sipe is less than adequate for this band<<
You almost had me till that.
...disparities in the reviews are funny... so subjective. One man slanders what another man thrills... what a tour; fresh, functional, relatively fluid and full of smiles... nice to hear Bar 'n Lar really open up their harmonic abilities, bend their ears and rip their asses off... Joan kept the fire stoked and RB was as solid as a foundation could be with PL throwing notes around, under and at you from every direction possible. Sipe, well, who knows what's wrong with Sipe... I guess Phil does. I thought maybe he'd be good with Molo, but attitide and vibe count a lot in The Music Of Friends. Another chapter etched in historic stone in the eternal never ending cosmic transmittance of harmonic justice and wonder...
So wait, let me get this straight. Jeff Sipe is the "weak link" in P&F?
Jeff Sipe: is one helluva musician, IMHO. He grew tremendously with this band, and THAT is the mark of a talent with room to grow. He started this tour playing very cautiously and somewhat quietly. As the shows mounted his playing became more daring, louder and confident. I think that by Providence he was finally settling in somewhat. This is different music that almost anyone plays, so it is understandable that it shoudl take some time to 'get it'. He is well on his way, and I expect him to be even better next time around, should the opportunity present itself.
I love Molo, too. I used to find his playing a bit to heavy all the time, without dynamic variation. Lasst tour, however, I finally locked into the interplay between Molo and Phil!!!! And I loved it. I thought I would miss Molo, and at first I did. however, Jeff Sipe fit in VERY NICELY.
Great job ALL OF YOU. Thanks for all your hard work!!!!
By the way, check out my predictions at the top of this thread. Got 5 of 6 predicitons, lol. Go figure.
this show was the payoff for a what i thought was a very mediocre weekend. I thought they were on fire Sunday night and that for maybe the first time all weekend the jams were going somewhere. The setlist was as good as it looks on paper!
Epic. From the 4th row right in front of Phil this was amazing. The best UBC ever to OPEN THE SHOW!!!!!! Let it Grow SMOKED!!!! It was a little hard to imagine how they were going to keep that kind of energy going all night and at a few points (Turn Around especially, also Magnolia Maountain. The RA songs were the weak point tonight I'm very sad to say) it did slip a bit but they got it back really quick when it did slip. The second set was just lineing them up and hitting them out of the park. And Sipe was great, not Molo but does his own thing and does it well. Phil walks off stage after this one and literally falls into Jill's arms, major hug for like 4 minutes, FEEL THE LOVE!!!! "The dude on Phil's left" was ON FIRE!!!!!!! (Love you Larry!!!!). One for the ages, everything that you go to a show for, warts and all. Not perfect but it was perfect becaue it wasn't perfect. Got it? THNAK YOU PHIL!!!!!!
What an epic run/cosmic show to end the tour! Phil was *ON* the whole night. His bass was like a jackhammer. . . Sipe is perfect in this group, he is a real monster and can navigate the free passages better than any other drummer Phil has played with as a friend (with the exception of Billy K., who Sipe reminds me of at times). Sure Sipe doesn't have the full-on power of Molo, or Prairie Prince, but that type of playing would be out place in the context of this group. Larry was gold last night; he is really coming into his own. He's clearly a world-class virtuoso, but has taken some time to aquaint himself with this music and the way to play it - the whole "let the music play the band" concept, which FWIW, it took Herring a lot longer to familiarize himself with this concept in terms of his own personal execution. But Larry really is taking his playing in new and interesting directions right now. I'm sure he's blown away with what he is doing! His work on the outro JAM from BIRDSONG was just staggering! I also liked that Larry utilized a wide variety of stringed instruments throughout the evening, as this really afforded him the chance to expand the colors of the music *AND* allowed Sless to step up and shine as a lead voice on guitar.
Now with Sless, he's often underutilized by Phil IMO. Yet he's an absolutely essential component - along with Barraco - of this band. Barry's role has been to play the familiar - that's what Phil wants him to do, I'm absolutely sure of it. Sless and Rob usually establish the rhythm and form of a tune in their solos and then make the transition (or the "hand off") to Larry so that he can expand on it. At least that's the way things seem to have gone most of the time previously. But last night was different. . .
Last night Sless was still the hand-off man (or quarterback, a dual role he shares with Rob Barraco), but also was often the prime soloist much of the time. Now the roles were reversed/changed between Barry and Larry and something new and wonderful was created out of this. Larry and Barry were feeding off of each other in a way which I don't think has occured up to this point in time. At least not with the consistancy demonstrated last night. This was edge music; they danced on the precipice, straddling the gulf between the sublime and the oblivion of chaos. It was group mind at it's fullest, under the guidance and direction of Maestro Lesh. In no small part was this due to the expanded palate of Sless in the chair of "lead" guitarist. He still was a master of color and texture and anchored the songs and improvisational wanderings with his characteristic subtlety and grace, but he also slid into the captain's chair, taking control of the com and driving the ship headlong into the hitherto uncharted waters of Possibility.
Rob Barraco needs a long-term contract. Sign him up please Phil! I believe Rob to be the absolute authority on the musical history of the Grateful Dead. Phil Lesh himself has said as much. Unlike a Blair Jackson, or Dennis McNally (to site two of the most visible historians of the music), Rob Barraco is in the unique position of being a professional musician who has established a long career of performing Grateful Dead music with a diverse collection of musicians, including Phil Lesh and other surviving members of the Grateful Dead. Rob is an uber-fan, who has also established himself as a major player within the musical fraternity of the living Dead. This is not mere hyperbole; Rob brings a true love and intimate knowledge of this music into his playing. Simply put, Rob Barraco is Billy Strayhorn to Phil's Duke Ellington. The Ellington Orchestra expanded in it's range and scope when Strayhorn joined as an arranger and sometime keyboardist. Duke, of course was still the leader and the driving force of the band, but having Strayhorn there allowed him to push the music into new and wonderfully expansive directions. My good friend Gordon Atlas, who is a long-time friend of Rob's, once said to me that "for Rob, the music of the Grateful Dead is his classical music." At this Tower run and in particular during the Sunday show, this was very evident in the reverence and spirit which infused Rob Barraco's stage pressence and approach to Phil's vision of growth within the context of Grateful Dead music.
From my perspective, last night's show was the culmination of something new. This entire tour was about improvisation and growth. Phil brought together a group of musicians who he felt could plumb the depths of the known and the unknown, as together they sought out the sound. Judging from the shows I've heard (Beacon and Hammerstein) and participated in myself as an audience member (all 3 Tower's), I'd say that he succeeded. Bravo Phil and Friends!
THIS IS THE SEASON OF WHAT NOW
i second that emotion!
Now THATS a REVIEW! Good Job Dave C.!
Excellent review, Dave C.! Nice read.
And thanks for the discs! Much appreciated.
PHIL,BARRY AND LARRY HAD THE WHOLE DECEMBER TOUR TO GROW TOGETHER AND THEY DID AFTER THE NEWARK CONCERTS...ROB DIDN'T NEED TO LEARN ANYTHING, JUST HAD TO BE AS GOOD AS ALWAYS, AND HE WAS...THE BAND BASICALLY PICKED UP WHERE THE DECEMBER TOUR LEFT OFF....I LIKE JOAN BETTER THAN CHRIS R. BUT NOT EVERYONE DOES....STILL, FOR PHIL TO PUT THIS BAND AND THE DECEMBER BAND TOGETHER AND HAVE THEM GROW TO THE HEIGHTS THEY DID IS PRETTY AMAZING ( I'VE LEFT OUT THE NYE RUN FOR A REASON, IT DIDN'T COMPARE TO EITHER THE BEFORE OR AFTER, I WAS THERE)
Only show I saw this tour. If the others were like this, I really missed something. I saw Reading and Fairfax last year and this blew those shows away. Liked the lineup better(sorry Mook, buddy!). A huge factor was the good sound in the Tower. Always been a great sounding venue, ever since my teen years long ago. Reading and Fairfax both suffered badly from muddy overdriven sound. Last night was rich and balanced from 6th row center (thanks Doug for tix!).
Show was well played right from the start. Really no down numbers and the transitions were very nice for the most part. Lots of good energy in the happy patrons.
Hard to pick a highlight. Mine was Gimme Shelter because I wanted to see it and got it.
Finally, if that second set was a train wreck, then train wrecks have gotten a bum wrap for a long time. Sign me up for the Wrecks!
Unbroken Chain - as the title says
Let it Grow - blazing, didn't need to start in granny gear tonight
Peggy O - Can't get over that fiddle, sounds sweet
Birdsong - Nice, a precursor of things to come
Magnolia Mountain - Great change of pace, letting the batteries recharge
Reuben & Cerise - anyone else feel connected to one particular spirit ((((((((((JG))))))))))
Gimme Shelter - no shit, to blast off the set
Cryptical - like a bottle of rothshild that finally gets uncorked, full of aroma and subtlety
St. Stephen>the Eleven - as it should be
Turn Around - tilling the fields; can't have yang w/out yin
Other One - yowza, all the ducks in a row, Phil on the H-Bomb
Dark Star - meltdown to the core; Phil testing the fuses; pullleeeeeze DSBD
UJB - You must be fuckin kiddin me
NFA - Rockin
Franklins - Thought it was gonna be fran>slip>help, too, but we'd still be in the joint
All around, this was the one night I could make, and what a night. One for the ages.
wow Sipe is thundering on Let I Grow...
wow! what a weekend this was.
These three tower shows were my 3rd, 4th, and 5th of the tour (the first two being the 14th and 15th) and each night had its own huge moments. the band just got better each night. friday was great, saturday was better, sunday was best. phil was in the "conductor" mode on sunday it seemed, as he was giving signals to everyone as to what he wanted to hear them do and when to speed up or slow down, etc, etc. the second set was just incredable, they had teased the other one all weekend long here at the tower and i was so glad to hear him finally bust it out. the eleven is one of my favorite songs to hear so i was glad to hear them bust it out again. and the dark star had a crazy spacey, feedback jam in the middle of it that was just insane.
having been at the tower back in november, i wasnt expecting security to be so rough all weekend. the spots i had the first two nights were in the same general area in the r/c orchestra, and the event staff over there seemed really intent on keeping everyone in their assigned area. i saw them just grabbing people all show long and shuffling them around. however sunday, in the left orchestra we had two really cool ushers that loved the band and were dancing along with everyone having a great time, not hassling anyone.
all in all, it was an amazing weekend at the tower, and im excited for phil to come around again. i wish he would play the factory again.
heading back down to philly tonite to see dave chappelle at the tower to complete an amazing weekend!
Big thanks to Mutha2k - her section (up front on left) was the place to be. Thanks for keeping that set list a secret!
My two cents -- ditto all the raves, but "turn Barry up!" I was in the third row and he still sounded too low in the mix when he was flying. It was hard to hear all the color he was adding to the notes. Better than last fall though.
-- The jam out of Let it Grow just shredded.
-- The Birdsong jam was as a mad as a Caution jam.
-- Phil can keep playing Ryan Adams songs in my book. They're slowing down the pace now, but if he sticks with them and opens them up they could make some real nice additions to the setlists.
-- Phil played a beautiful, understand, long melodic extended lead coming out of Turn Around into Other One.
-- Larry's fiddle on Other One was great, and the rounder we get part was nicely eerie, with some different rhythm things going on that normal, thanks in part to Rob, Barry and Jeff. It was the freshest-sounding Other One I can recall hearing in a long long time.
-- Loved the Dark Star jam. The "Joan Moan" was subtle, Barry played pedal steel and the jam was delicately sick. I just closed my eyes and let my mind dance through the audible nightfalls of diamonds.
-- Joan adds SO much. Even dancing when she's not singing adds all kinds of crazy fun energy to a song.
Another memorable Tower Theater tour closer!
Did anyone hear the Foxey Lady teases coming out of the Dark Star Space?
...on the bus to never ever land... wow Phil.
I heard the Foxey Lady teases coming out of Dark Star space. Kinda cool!
And I LOVED the way Phil just ripped into that "bus to never ever land line"! He was so full of energy last night. It looked like he was 30 and the band was new and they were all just playing for the moment, not for 40 years of history!
Oh yeah, that usher up front left center was cool! She said she wanted to get a good look at us as we came down for the first time so she didn't have to hassle us after that for tickets. Her daughter was in the crowd further up, and she let some guy with a young daughter get up close for one song, just cause she wanted to help a dad with his kid. The usher wore a stealie button and gave me a hug after the show. Now THAT's what I call how to run a show!
oh btw someone musta already said BUT
"Cerise was dressed as Pirouette IN WHITE"
si si si.
Yea Randall, I was over on that ushers side saturday and she was the best. Did her job but always with a smile and a laugh, she really had a great attitude. Dude down front on sunday was Mr. Enforcer but still ok. Never saw anybody get kicked out for smoking all weekend, just a lot of warnings that were delivered without too much of a hassle.
that was no ordinary usher you encountered - she's one the zone's finest, it sounds like Mutha2K was doing an awsome job!
I dont know how many feel the same
(Aint like its all that importaint either),
BUT, i can not come up with the superlatives
to describe the sound, and the musical quality
i head on sunday night...
IMNSHO, It never has to sound any better then that.
(the choice of songs wasnt too bad either ;<)
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!SECOND THAT EMOTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Is there a way to contact Mutha2K? I wanna say thanks.
<<<<Big thanks to Mutha2k - her section (up front on left) was the place to be. Thanks for keeping that set list a secret!
Thanks so very very very very very very very very VERY VERY VEEEEEEEEEEEEERY much!!!
<<<<Is there a way to contact Mutha2K? I wanna say thanks.
her email address is in her profile so I guess it's no harm in posting it here, esp if you just wanna say thanks!
Props on the way. Thanks.
just listening to the other one
the bomb is an all-time hammer
Of the 3500 or so Phans in attendance last night I’m guessing there are 3500 or so realties each producing unique opinions… so, please accept my reality as 1/3500 of the “real story” and my story says: like Saturday Night’s gem this too was an A Plus show.
I can’t begin to explain my Tower journey this weekend without first acknowledging Nick. It so sadly appears Nick Glennon; LG’s bother-in-law; A gifted poet, marathon runner, long distance biker, kick boxer and lifelong Deadhead; A dedicated husband, brother son, father and friend; A man possessing a gentle selfless soul, soaring spirit and boundless generosity… is (I hate to put this so blatantly in writing).. dying of cancer. So in spite of the “medicine” making him feel like shit, Nick comes up from NC to join us for Friday and Saturday night’s shows. He brings his friend and Doctor; Gordon aka G-force for both shows. One way or another, this darkness got to give… Oh yeah, LG is tuning 50 on 2/28 and Nick the next day on 3/1. On top of that, another lifelong bro, Esse who has been off the bus for many years and who was born on the same day as Nick joins us for Sat night …so aside from Phil’s triumphant return to Philly after a 2 and a half year absence we had some other stuff to celebrate and acknowledge… Our corner of the world was swirling…
Let’s just say the “loudest” song for me Friday night had to be “Death Don't Have No Mercy” performed so powerfully and stunningly sad by Joan… I just had to cry. In Friday’s second set, I heard some He’s Gone teases and was so thankful Phil didn’t go there…that would have been piling on (a little mercy perhaps?) So instead, he breaks it out to start the second set on Saturday but for some reason instead of crying for it, we DANCED and SANG and then Phil lifts us totally out of our funk with an incredibly uplifting and sugar sweet EYES...prompting hugs, joy and our brotherhood spirits to soar. And then tying it all beautifully together with Dew, a Rider and a Box. Whew……. Late night munch, we say our goodbyes..... Nick and Gordon leave town.
With an open field Sunday fraught with possibilities ……..
We entered the big finale (armed, thanks to Ruby, with Lightning Wil’s great front of Phil DDD tix) our bodies tired and our expectations high.
And what an all-star crew of old time bros in attendance: Brackish Bobby Quay, up from Fla, Louis D from NC, Hoff, Lesse, Duck and George. Even non-Phans (who don’t care for open exploratory jamming) like Berky and Coop graced us with their presence. And of course the usual PHILspects; Craig (who hopefully learned the best seats are in front of the stage, not backstage) Ed, Wil and our birthday boy LG!
Sunday’s preshow Tower lobby was substantially more subdued than the night before. and for some reason I considered the peaceful quietness a good omen. ….
Saw a long backstage preshow huddle/prayer and a determined group enter minus Joan and my good omen turned into the reality of a sweet opening jam nicely morphing into my favorite Phil and Friends tune ...(Was this ever an opener before?) There we all were...Phil in front of me and my friends and bros to my side and behind...Our Unbroken Chain! A wonderfully dreamy and powerful version that kept on going and going (very similar to Friday at AC). I just love the ethereal ending ..and then the build-up that blossomed into one of my favorite Dead set enders. I thought of Friday’s review thread with one person’s wisdom re: the first of a three-day run in which he advised to let it go.. and Let it Grow. Barry and Larry ripped...the whole band on all cylinders and a perfect out jam… I could have left then and received not only my money’s worth…but my high expectation’s worth. Wow!
More of my review to come. I got stuff to do.
Let It Go and Let It Grow
This tour has taken over my MIND AND BODY! But please, don't help me!!!
thanks again phil and all you nice people. peace and be safe..
I HEAR YOU LOUD AND CLEAR!!!!!
Thank you all for making my job(hehehe) so much fun!!! I've never felt like a rock star before but since this IS a review thread, THANK YOU PHIL LESH for 41 years of music that has rocked my world! I first saw you in 1965 and never got off the bus! Now I get paid to see your magic and I love you for it!
THE SPIRIT OF THE DEAD IS STILL ALIVE AND WELL
GOD BLESS THE GRATEFUL DEAD !
THANK YOU PHIL FOR YET ANOTHER SUPERB MUSICAL JOURNEY AT THE TOWER LAST WEEKEND
HOPEFULLY BOB WEIR & THE DOG START UP AT THE FACTORY RIGHT WHERE YOU GUYS LEFT OFF
Did anyone hear the Foxey Lady teases coming out of the Dark Star Space?
I heard the Hendrix riffs also. It struck me at the time as hints of Purple Haze, but those two songs are pretty similar.
My review continued:
Joan then made her entrance onto the stage. With her white dress, hair down, sans headphones she looked like a milkmaid angel. Phil took the first verse, then Rob then Joan. This incarnation with Larry’s violin and Joan and Rob’s vocals performs a sweet Fennario.
In need of a bathroom break, I was happy to hear the opening notes of Birdsong, which was teased on Friday night. I’m not a big Birdsong fan and since no RA tunes had been played yet, I used the opportunity to make my way to the Tower basement commodes. I do wish to thank Phil for the RA tunes. One guy in the bathroom likened RA’s body of work with other infamous bathroom material like Rooster. Actually I liked the RA tunes I heard…..all were pleasant, none spectacular. On all three nights of the Tower run I noticed the bathrooms were flooded and on each night in the middle of the flood was a clean-up guy standing there with a full bucket of water just hanging out…I never saw the mop leave the bucket… When I got back to my seat, I caught an amazingly hot jam coming out of Birdsong.
Then came the RA tune I was hoping to catch this run. From listening to the recording of 2/15 Beacon, that tune was stuck in my head. Joan gives it a hauntingly sexy treatment. I really loved it and I do believe the bathroom crowd missed out on this one.
The set ender, featuring Barry’s Jerry-like wawa lead, Larry’s breezy mandolin color and Joan’s vocal storytelling was well done. It appears Joan now knows most of this lyric-heavy song, but did consult the teleprompter a few times.
Hugs and smiles on the stage for the break.
The dude who gave Joan the psychedelic red roses spray-painted with blues and purples this night has to be commended.
At this time I wish to thank Phil for strategically placing his 6th friend within the audience to lend a vocal hand. If Sat night you happened to be in row SS in front of the soundboard or Sunday in DD right, off the center isle you were treated to the vocal stylings of Karaoke Kody on the beer cup mic. Also want to add Mitch, Sam and Mr and Mrs off-the-bus Bear (Sat nite) to my list of characters in attendance this run.
When I have a little more time, I’ll post my set two.
last night of 3.
i really liked the song selection, for the evening and each tune had some sparkling moments but there was a lot of roughness and awkward transitions that my ears heard that kept me from getting lost in the music a lot of the time (as I do at the best Phil shows).
i thought Unbroken Chain was a great choice for an opener (i've always caught it mid-set) but from the beginning it seemed Lesh was frustrated with Sipe's tempo. I remember Phil even running away from the mike, cutting a vocal line short in the first half of the song, so he could crouch down by Sipe to get him to play at a faster tempo. And throughout the evening it seemed like Phil kept having to direct Sipe as to tempos and types of rhythms. I found myself getting caught on that. Maybe i focused too much on the drumming and it maybe put a cramp in my enjoyment of the show.
But I also thought a few times during the show that Phil totally killed a groove by playing a really loud disconnected bassline to abruptly change directions.--- i remember him doing this during the post Chain jam. The guitarists seemed to have something going. I was tapping me feet and then he killed it.
Also throughout the evening, in Chain and the Eleven particularly, there seemed some awkward moments where no one seemed to know how to transition to the next section of the song so the band would just seem like they were in a holding position with a particular riff and rhythm for too long.
I was really happy and surprised to hear Let It Grow. It sounded a bit rough, but the good points definitely outweighed the bad. I wonder if Joan almost missing her vocal entrance threw the band off.
The Tower crowd were definitely huge Joan fans. She got a full house cheer when she first came on stage for Let It Grow. And She got a big cheer for Peggy-O (which i think works great as a dialogue between Rob and Joan, though there were some slight vocals mess ups.)
My favorite moment of the show, the moment that made me just stop thinking and dance with abandon was the jam out of Bird Song. Someone (I think Larry) was on fire on guitar. At that point it seemed like the music was playing the band, Phil wasn't "conducting," everybody just seemed on the same page. It was beautiful. I was so expecting (and hoping for) Phil to drop a bomb and start Shakedown, but instead we got an RA tune, which made the set lose momentum, not because it was an RA tune (I though Cold Roses and Easy Plateau were highlights earlier in the run) but beacuse it didn't seem to build off the energy that the post Bird Song jam created.
I thought Joan sounded a bit off key throughout the first set, maybe that's because she was trying out the ear monitors. It gave her vocals the slightly shrill Donna feel (but Donna on a GOOD night) She switched to headphones for set two and her vocals seemed better on pitch. I don't think that was a coincidence...
Gimme Shelter started off the 2nd set high energy. I'm ambivalent about Stones covers, but that's just me. Somehow it makes P&F seem like a bar band....but I it was fun, I danced. Cryp was good and solid. I kinda thought Sipe would then let loose and solo Billy K '71 style, but he didn't. St. Stephen was strong but I was hoping for a sandwich with the ELEVEN in the middle like the Q used to do. I thought the Millenium jam was pretty non existent. I heard the theme and then it was gone, more a tease than anything else. i haven't heard the show on disc yet but it only seemed to last for 2 minutes tops....but time perception can be altered under the influence of such heavy music.
Turn Around was a good vehicle for Joan's soulful vocals. Is it an RA tune? (It seems mandatory now that we get one per set)
Phil bombed into Other One with high energy but his vocal delivery seemed really awkward. His timing of the lines and phrasing seemed way off. I often think that Phil gets nervous and panics and feels self-conscious when he has to sing...and so he screws up.
Dark Star was the 2nd set high light for me. The space jam in the middle was reaklly cool. I loved how the green lights on the 2nd level on the side walls came on as the music got weird. And I liked how Phil seemed to motion to the band to "just go nuts get crazy, play ANYTHING!" The jam made me sit on the edge of my seat with a goofy grin on my face. i liked Joan's wordless vocals during it too. The transition to the 2nd verse was awkward but somehow worked perfectly for me. It seemed to catch the whole band off guard but amazingly sounded beautiful in the moment as a result.
UJB was a strong but short version. The vocals were pretty accurate and Larry's mandolin sounded great. But I do miss the more Latin piano-led fast groove version of UJB that the Q used to do.
Jeff's shining moment for me was during the intro to NFA. Throughout the run he had a very powerful floor tom sound ( a lot more so than Molo) and no where were they so welcome than during the tribal, pounding intro to NFA. They made it so aggressive. The band did seem a bit confused on their vocal entry, as if they missed it all together. Still it was high energy.
I lost it dancing again during the Franklin's encore, which was a perfect way to end the tour with it's "may the 4 winds blow you safely home!" I worked up a sweat shaking my groove thang.
I think this was Phil's most vocally confident song of the evening. He voice really sounded perfect for it, though he did unfortunately seem to mumble my favorite line ("if you get confused, listen to the music play!")
I really did have a fun time at the show. it's funny how the negative criticisms are what stick in my mind the most.
I think this'll be Sipe's last run with the band. Maybe I'm wrong (a lot of people here seem to think differently, which is fine) but I don't think he gelled with Phil and I think Phil got frustrated having to lead Sipe so much. If Molo's not available next time maybe Billy K can drum. He's certainly experienced with Phil's quirky transitions and ideas.
I hope Joan comes back and Rob too. Barry and Larry returning would make me happy too, but I think they should cut loose more and have more say in the direction of the jams.
well that's all for now. I'll see y'all next time.
Nice review Sebastian! It was good running into you on Sunday and Friday. . .
Regarding Phil's OTHER ONE delivery: I think this is that "spontaneous" style he mentioned with regard to Ryan Adams's delivery, in his message to the fans after the board was taken down. At the Red Rocks show (to site one example of this), Ryan's vocals on DARK STAR were done in this style. I agree with you that it is very different and a little disconcerting hearing it sung in that way (it's really hard to sing along, that's for sure). I think we may see more of this too, as Phil pushes the boundaries with the music.
That was a good call on the headphones which you made at set-break and I was glad to see that Joan wore them for the second set. Her vocals were excellent during that set.
I'm not so sure that Phil was angry with Sipe. In fact, after the second set ended, Phil went over to the drums and gave Sipe a big hand shake, which they held for several moments, both with big grins and eyes locked in a knowing bond of mutual collaboration. Then Phil went over to Larry and acknowledged him too. It was posted in another thread, that Phil was also gesturing to Molo during the NYE run; I wasn't there for that, but I think that this is what Phil is doing right now as the band leader.
I don't think that you can compare this band to the Q, anymore than you could compare the Q to the Grateful Dead (any era). All are/were capable of creating incredibly moving musical experiences. The one constant is Phil Lesh. What his Weird is we'll never be able to tell, but I do know that the ride sure is one of the best things going on in this world:
BELIEVE IT IF YOU NEED IT, OR LEAVE IT IF YOU DARE
These comments about the sound need to be underscored. The sound in the Tower was just excellent. I was behind the soundboard for 2 nights (of course that's gonna sound good) and upstairs for the 3rd, and the sound up there was just as good. GREAT job by the sound engineers.
It's interesting sitting behind the board and seeing how many people it takes. One guy was in charge of the actual board (and he was playing air drums -- nice to see him engaged with the music), one guy responsible for the recordings (4 channels, I assume L/R for an Aud and SBD recordings), one guy in charge of another set of computers and I couldn't quite figure out what he was doing, and one guy with 2 backups in charge of the lights. Six people working in that booth, plus all the cutie pie women who joined them. Kinda fun to watch the behind the scenes work.
That's a good point Doogles. The sound was fantastic all weekend, but on the 3rd night, from where I was in the balcony, the sound was so great that I felt like I could reach out and touch the sound waves emanating from the PA. Also, Phil's bass guitar was really dominant in the mix. It was easy to discern each instrument in the mix - and I should also add that the mix was loud, but very clean. I can imagine that the recordings must all sound very good at the very least.
I saw Phil motioning a few times to hurry up the tempo, which I took to be part of his overall directing. Once it seemed to be aimed particularly at Sipe, and it seemed like Sipe studied him pretty closely after that. But they were dramatic changes in tempo, it wasn't like Phil was just saying do whatever you are doing but faster.
I also saw Phil grooving on Larry somewhere in the early second set in a roaring jam, and Larry would hit some sorta cool discordant power chord, and Phil would respond with a few notes and a 'do it again' look, and Larry would do it again. They went back and forth about eight times. Genuine jamming.
Then there was the time Joan looked over at Rob after that Let it Grow meltdown and they exchanged a smile that expressed a sort of "wow, that was really something that we just did" sense. I thought Rob was really on top of his form.
Sounds damned fine on the Live 365 feed. Picked it up in the 2nd set... Rollin' back to the UBC at the top now, but gonna have to get some sleep soon and check out the rest later...
The Other One was crunchin'... Couldn't make the trip like I wanted, but can still download some fine aud recording tomorrow for endless enjoyment...
Can't beat that with a stick....
Rejoice my Brothers & Sisters!
FOB available at
BTW -- my compatriots have busting on me for how many times I said "we've been blessed!" after leaving the show. I had caught the 2/11 at th Beacon, and although I didn't have a ticket, knew I needed MORE, so trusted to the fates and ended up in row NN on the left. Phil & crew blew me away! Work was rough the next day, but who cares?
A few observations-
I doubt Sipe will be back. He excelled at times - Let It Grow (and Not Fade), this night, in particular. But Phil had to spoon feed him the groove he was looking for WAY too often. He seemed really miffed a few times. When Phil slid spookily back into the second verse Dark Star vocals Sipe was too busy for his tastes and Phil swatted him down pretty angrily. He did give him a big handshake after the second set, but I still think that was more just the gentlemanly thing to do.
Joan totally gets it and this particular band would have floundered w/o her with no one to deliver on vocals. Yes, Rob is great on his tunes, but, still...
I enjoyed the RA tunes a lot as part of the repetoire. I've been seeing this music for a long time and appreciate the effort to add something new. Cold Roses, Nobody Girl, Magnolia Mountain - all excellent tunes.
For me, Sless shreds and brings a familiar Jerry tone, but Larry is the more creative, thoughtful and melodic player - and thus brings more of the spirit to the party than Barry. But Sless is a great Friend, none the less.
I saw 5 shows - last 2 nights at the Hammer and the 3 at the Tower. Many, many great peaks, an absolute A for effort, but this incarnation had to work pretty hard to bring it, for me. Not that many times when I really felt the music played the band.
Phil is a marvel and a treasure!
Part 3 ...ad nauseum
Anyhow, at set break I noticed a blonde middle-aged woman in a black dress draped all over my man Hoff. According to whom tells me she was there with her husband, who works for the Dave Mathews Band and they both wanted him to go back to their room at the 4 Seasons for a post show whatever (good to see Paul being Hoff again as these shows tend to bring out the old magic).
Lou, who had been sitting up in the Loge (AA R/C) took me up on my foolish offer to exchange seats with him so off I went up to sit with Coop-a loop, who I hadn’t seen for long time, GeorgeQ who was a special guest at AC and the Big Man, Berky who favors pop music with clear beginnings and endings. Jamming is annoying noise to Berky. I’m sure he was there for the party and I was glad to have him aboard.
Shelter got the Loge rocking...literally, as I felt it physically swaying. Sound up there was very good. Having attended the HOB Sat show with that hot as fire O-1, the first note of Cryptical had me quite excited for what was to come. Coop used the quite song to proceed to yap delivering broad strokes of his world for the past 4 years…so in one ear was the Looper, the other Phil ..so in total it was more of a Cooptical for me.
With the start of Stephen, even Berky was up rockin and conducting from his perch ...a sight to behold… Was it the music or something that kicked in from the set break?? An energetic rendition with a surprise mini-Millennium Answer..and of course the excitement of it turning and blossoming into the 11. Not as powerful an 11 as the Q (who owns the song), but great in its own way.
Note: I realize this band is neither the Q, nor the band with Molo and CR and hesitate to make any value judgments based on comparisons to other incarnations. As I stated in my Sat post, I am glad Phil keeps changing it up and reinterpreting the music. With Joan and the less assertive Sipe, the result (the SEXtet) tends to take on a more feminine quality. And with Sless and Campbell this incarnation is a lot closer to the Dead sound than the more powerful Southern Fried Q.
The RA song helped me to realize Lou was reneging on our deal of a 3-song switch in which he promised to come back to the Loge to re-exchange stubs…so I decided to take matters into my own hands and brave the diligent Tower ushers. Ran into Craig in the lobby who told me to follow him down the right isle (Craig had seats in the R Orch) and unlike the closely patrolled center isle, nary an usher was to be found. Thanks Craig…(I’m guessing Craig would want me to mention he was in attendance with his friend who is in the Disc Biscuits)... Got to my DDD seat to find Lou asleep (was it the RA song or something he did at the set break?).
Woke Lou’s ass up for the O-1 and we all danced. Phil crooned the lyrics for this as well as Dark Star giving it a unique, may I say feminine quality. The Dark Star took on a jazzy Jersey encore-like flavor and with most sitting in front of me I found myself clearly facing this leggy hot looking woman backstage right and I think she was looking out at me, smiling and dancing …so in my mind we were dancing together.. to Dark Star…All I can say is if that was Jill Lesh, I now KNOW why Phil is always smiling….
UJB was perfectly situated as the second to last set ender for this pull-out-all-the-stops last set of the tour . It was a sweet Deadlike version highlighted with Larry’s mandolin.
NFA was perfect and super fun…
I know this “review's” never gonna end….(this is more of a personal show journal). Almost finished…perhaps tomorrow.
please anyone with these shows email me
if u want naked hookers thrown threw your window wrapped in hundred dollars bills and kind bud, ill make it happen.
i wud really appreaciate it
samething with the 3 shows in 2003
flew from tampa both times.
joan was awesome, so was everyone
2003 was also incredible
long live PHIL!
>>>I also saw Phil grooving on Larry somewhere in the early second set in a roaring jam, and Larry would hit some sorta cool discordant power chord, and Phil would respond with a few notes and a 'do it again' look, and Larry would do it again. They went back and forth about eight times. Genuine jamming.
Now that is what it is all about!
That goes for me as well.......if anyone can burn these shows for me.....the whole tour if possible i will give you CDR's and money if you want.......let me know....email me at email@example.com
That was Jill you saw off stage right Al, really keeping it together for a middle aged woman that's had two kids. As soon as the set ended Phil went back and they hugged for a long time. I was in DDD as well, right in front of Phil, loved those seats.
Thanks Tom. Sorry we did not meet. My friend Wil tells me he has met you at prior shows.
Part 4 (This will be the last one)
As the case for the past 2 nights, Joan received the loudest ovation when Phil introduced the band. After seeing her with The Dead, and missing out due to cancellation of the CT show with Sco/Herring a couple of years ago, I finally got to see her as a Phriend and she did not disappoint. Joan is perfect for this band and this music. Her lead vocals and her harmonies with Rob, Phil and sometimes Larry were spot on. And the woman can sure move to the music and her performances have certainly moved me. Her Death Don’t Have No Mercy on Friday and Dew on Saturday were spectacular.
As I mentioned earlier when I started this show journal, this 3-show run occurred in the midst of some major milestones and life events for my circle and a happy one was the 50th birthday of my bro LG. LG and I have been blessed to attend many GD and Phil shows together for many years and somehow his favorite piece of music, Help/Slip/Frank has proved extremely elusive. I think he has caught it once with the Q at Stabler and Once with the O-1’s in NC and once with the GD 6/24/76 at this same Tower Theater. We have also caught Franklin’s, his favorite individual Phil song in Raleigh, NC when the entire Q joined the A-bros during their set. After attending many 2-show Phil runs, this was his first 3-show run, so in my mind it wasn’t a matter of if, it was a matter of when he would get his birthday present from Phil. I even predicted H/S as the opener for Friday and Franklin’s as the encore. Then before every song on this Tower run I thought NOW it’s coming… and as has been the case in the past, LG’s cherished HSF eluded him
…Needless to say, with the opening bass line of the encore we were up, high-fiving and dancing like crazy for LG’s Birthday song…THANK’S PHIL …what a perfect way to end the run! …By the city of Franklin’s at the Tower.
The tour is over, the four winds have blown us home again and thanks to the incredibly dedicated work of the tapers, we have the music to experience these shows again and again. I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. FOB during this run and caught a glimpse of what he does to get us this music. On Friday, he traded his AAA front and center ticket to put himself back in a better taping spot and then stood in the center isle motionless, refraining from dancing while keeping the loudmouths like myself in line…..all in the effort to get us a professional copy to enjoy. Dr FOB and all you other tapers, I truly salute you.
Lastly, I began my post by acknowledging how Nick’s attendance shaped our show (did I mention he’s a great surfer, incredibly hard worker, and successful entrepreneur as well?). Since arriving home from his shows he has already reported feeling a bit better. Nick’s next scan is next week. It’s a big one…..and I ask all who read this to take a second, say a prayer and send him your healing energy. Such a long long time to be gone and a short time to be there.
So ends my longest Philzone post. Believe it if you need it or leave it if you dare. I hope this serves to demonstrate that during a Phil show, there are so many shows within the show and infinite unique realities occurring that by nature, we have to accept everyone’s opinion, analysis and interpretation of each show as their truth. It’s all a dream we dreamed one afternoon long ago.
Nick, No matter what happens, please know Our Love Will Not Fadeaway.
Real nice Al! Great stuff. . .thanks for sharing.
Thanks Al. These were special shows with many highlights in each show as you illustrated so well. I met many Zoners and had a great time, thanks all for a real good time!
Great review. Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll say a rosary for your bro.
so wonderful to hear so many positive affirmations of why we are all brothers and sisters in the musical sphere.
Huck...that was one of the best reviews of a show I ever read! I understood it perfectly!!!
Dave Curtis....I could not have said it better about Rob's role in this music. He is essential!
What can I say....I got to see 4 of the NYC shows and I loved them so much!!!
Thank you Phil...Thank you Friends...Thank you all for keeping the dream alive!
Love and light always,
>>>Did anyone hear the Foxey Lady teases coming out of the Dark Star Space?
ONLY everyone one in the theatre. Nothing subtle there. I was hopin' so hard, that i probably ruined our chances. Same thing for "In My Life" at Giants in 93.
Phl, if you see this, there's always
Al--- i'm glad you mentioned that Allman Bros/Q version of "Franklin's"--- i was there for it too, 8/3/01. it was my 2nd Phil show. it was quite a rush! My friend and I droved down impulsively after having a great time in VA Beach the night before. And then ventured further to Charlotte for the 8/4/01 show which took the cake for me!