As per Bozos...
Phil Lesh and Friends
Brooklyn Academy of Music
April 14, 2014
Phil Lesh, Warren Haynes,
Jackie Greene, John Medeski,
Saint Stephen All >
Let It Grow JGe
Scarlet Begonias JGe >
She Said, She Said WH
Mountains of the Moon PL >
Blue Sky WH
Playing in the Band JGe >
Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks) WH >
Unbroken Chain PL
Fire on the Mountain WH >
Surrender To The Void Jam >
Help on the Way ?? >
Tomorrow Never Knows JGe >
Sunshine of Your Love WH >
Franklin's Tower PL
Morning Dew WH
Anyone else hear Mountain Jam teases in St. Stephen?
what time did show begin does any wish to give a review and how's parking near bam ? thanks
do people not actually post reviews here anymore? These "review" threads have just turned into setlist files. I haven't hung out on the Zone much since the days of the Jackie/Larry lineup, so I dunno how you kids are doing it these days, but I'm posting here basically for 2 Zoner friends who I know are gonna read & appreciate my long-winded account:
I think Phil's deal w/ Pete Shapiro (Brooklyn Bowl, Capitol etc.) has saturated the NYC market. After a run of high-priced shows at the Cap, the novelty of Phil's first stand at Brooklyn Academy of Music wasn't enough to sell the place out, especially at $60-$120 for tix. Also, ticket-checking was lax and there was reentry. Nitrous tanks were on the sidewalk at setbreak and people brought balloons into the lobby. And I think anyone coulda waltzed in for the 2nd set. But that's a moot point, a friend bought me tix, so I was a standard honest customer. And I was excited by the potential greatness of the line up of Jackie Greene, Warren, John Medeski, Joe Russo, and Phil.
And they did not disappoint. This was the best show involving Phil Lesh that I've seen since 2008. Not perfect, but great momentum. Joe Russo likes to play fast and loud. He doesn't go for any of that amorphous space-break stuff that Molo felt very comfortable accompanying and without Old Man Weir to drag the sets down, it was mostly high energy driving ROCK.
The band came out of the gates screaming--- St. Stephen into a long near-untzy "Let It Grow" that made me think of Santana on a diet of disco biscuits. "Scarlet" was welcome but featured the first misstep of the evening. Russo seemed a little out of sync. He was powerful and rumbling at his kit but seemed a fraction too slow which killed the energy and made me feel like I was dancing through molasses. Slow but still energetic drumming, like a half-speed baseball bat clobbering. The jam out of "Scarlet" was a show highlight it shifted gears quickly so I assumed we weren't gonna get "Fire." 'She Said" segued smoothly and surprised me but as in "Scarlet" the drums started to seem out of sync after a while and things started to drag.
A pretty good "Sugaree" finished the set, with Warren & Jackie splitting verses and trading solos. They both do great unique vocals on this tune, so it was fun to get them both in one. Here and throughout the show i was surprised how many great, confident guitar leads Jackie did. i figured he'd defer to veteran Warren and stick mostly to rhythm, but I think the solos throughout the show were a 60/40 split in favor of Jackie. But i guess Jackie IS a vet now, being in and out of the P&F fold since 2007.
I was disappointed that unlike in 2007/08 there were no Jackie solo tunes. I miss Phil embracing the solo catalogs of his sidemen to bring in great tunes by Jackie, Ryan Adams, Warren, and Chris Robinson. We don't get much of that anymore. Other than the Cream & Beatles, and ABB covers, everything we got was 70s Dead (ok, you can argue that "Dew" doesn't fall into the category) . I'm always rooting for "Go to Heaven" and "Built to Last" material, but none of that tonight
"Blue Sky" was welcome and Warren does great Dickie Bettsy vocals but there seemed to be some miscommunication between Warren & Jackie and neither one stepped up when the first instrumental break came. The both looked at each other and seemed to say "oh, I thought YOU were gonna solo." So where there should've been a ripping transcendent lead there was just rhythmic time keeping. Medeski stepped in with his B3 but this songs needs dual shining guitars, not keys. The song never recovered. Warren and Jackie's leads felt too mellow and the song was flaccid.
"Mountains of the Moon" has always seemed an awkward jam platform for Phil. The long segment between the verses often goes great places. And this one definitely did thanks to Russo's driving jazziness, but it went so far away from "MotM" motionless space territory that when Phil decided to round the band back up to take 'em to the closing verses, it was a buzzkill for me. It felt like they were playing the wrong song.
"Playin" opened set 2 and didn't last too long before Russo "willed" the segue into "Caution" He really seemed to take control and Phil just had to go with it. "Caution" featured some Jimmy Nolen style funk scratch (from Warren?)Throughout the show, Phil on his black & red racecar bass stood back, both on the stage and in his playing. He made vocal cues through his patented mic/monitor system but only rarely made hand/body gestures. He didn't take any solos and his bass wasn't very loud. It was more at the volume of a "normal" non-lead bass, say 1980s GD volume.
Phil's vocal air has definitely diminished in the past decade. He sounded okay on "Unbroken Chain" but he's lost his ability to sustain notes. It happens to everybody, especially guys in their mid-70s(!!!) Best part of "Unbroken" was Medeski's Fender Rhodes solo-- jazzy and the only time he really rose above competent accompanist to really shine front and center during the show.
"Fire on the Mountain" started off cold-- no segue. just a fullstop and then BAM (note all the punning) and it had an atypical groove that didn't sound like the Dead. It had more space between the notes, but still kept us all dancing. The segue in "Help on the Way" was smooth and unexpected and next to "She Said" was the best transition jam of the evening.
Russo pounded out "Slipknot" and pounded the band into the 2nd Beatles cover of the evening "Tomorrow Never Knows." And even after they were finished, he kept pounding out the beat while the rest of the band just did tuning noodles. Phil had to catch his eye and give him a "wrap it up" hand signal. I figured that meant a ballad was coming, but instead it was classic rock radio and Warren took us through "Sunshine of Your Love" while I took myself to the bathroom. The performance was fine but it's one of those songs ""Smoke on the Water" and "Iron Man" the others) that features a teenage rocker riff thats gotten so worn out for me, I don't need to hear it again. Plus the segue in was forced and I'd have rather heard Russo continue the "TNK" groove to see where the band would've taken it.
The return of "Slipknot" was great and a standard "Franklin's" finished the set while beams of white light shot out to blind the crowd.
"Morning Dew" was led by Warren and was a grander encore than I expected for a Monday night. And I'd forgotten about "Playin" so the inevitable "Playin reprise" to end the show took me by surprise. I think it took Jackie and Warren by surprise too since they sang the right words at the WRONG times.
Looking forward to night #2 and I'm feeling an April 15th "Taxman" cover.
And fyi, band started around 8:45 last night
thanks for the great review!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thanks for the great review. I was psyched to read it.
Can you edit the subject to say "BAM" instead of "Capitol Theatre"? I almost didn't find it. That might be why there hasn't been more traffic to this thread.
I am also confused by the show reviews being in "other stuff", but as the kids say, "whatevs".
I may just have to go to the show tonight.
Was at BAM last night (4/14) & right now I'm listening to the stream of tonight (4/15) - thanks taperrob!
Won't do a blow-by-blow of the show, but over-all I came away happy to have been there - even if the price of admission ($90/tix) seems high in-hindsight.
I appreciate the way the band committed themselves to St Stephen as an opener and didn't relent through the first set. A for Effort.
As for Warren, the Allman/Betts lines came fast and furious - teasing 'Blue Sky' in the Stephen jam & 'Mountain Jam' during Scarlet B's. Like Sebastian, I was surprised and pleased to hear Jackie step-up on lead as well. That said, I've always thought Larry Campbell was a much more inventive and melodic lead player than either of them in the P&F context. I hear Warren and Jackie dipping into their standard bags of tricks too often. Nobody can question their chops, and I think it's invaluable to have such a young, talented and original player as Jackie in the scene. But since this lineup is sticking to the classic rock repertoire, a lot of what Jackie could bring to the party got left behind. With the ABB wrapped-up, hopefully Warren can also give these old tunes a rest and reset his own playing. I think he's a powerhouse but won't realize his true potential until he attempts something new.
For me, Medeski was the standout in this band - haven't seen him for years and truly enjoyed his work. He's a great band player hanging-out in the middle of the mix, but when he solos he always has something to say.
I have to disagree with Sebastian on Russo's work: when you're providing the real energy to a band [as he is here], it's up to the rest of the group to rise to your level. I could feel the lack of synch a few times but think it was his bandmates who had fallen off-track, not him. I'd chalk it up to this being a temporary coalition - not a band.
I wish Phil's bass had been more forward in the mix and noticed that his ax and Jackie's vocals came to the fore as the night went on. Could have used a bit of Lesh's subsonic power throughout.
One other negative: the humongous set break that seems standard these days. It kills the momentum for me. Clearly, the venues love to sell all the extra beer and booze, and I guess Phil likes the long rest. The folks at the upstairs bar & at the nitrous tank outside seemed happy with it, but I came for the show [does that make me the "1-in-10,000?"].
Speaking of which, I'm always fighting an uphill battle here defending Mr Weir, but I think last night's setlist says something about his role even when he's not on-stage. There was some nice rhythm work last night - especially Warren on Sugaree & Unbroken Chain - but ol' Bobby knows how to avoid the monotony that bewitches most jam bands - including this incarnation of P&F. There are plenty of great players but very few who truly know how to service the music at-the-moment, and Weir is one of them. As many have pointed-out in the past: Jerry could have played with anybody and he chose to play with Bobby for 30 years straight. I'm happy to see Furthur take a break but think Bob Weir still plays better Bob Weir guitar than anybody else...
I think we've got to roll with the punches in 2014: the high prices & extended runs are what the future holds. Personally, I love being able to walk to shows here in BKLN, but I know a lot of people who aren't getting their Phil because of the NYC-focus of this outing. Hard to believe I'm nostalgic for 2007 already, but I miss the cheaper tix/smaller venues/looser playing... More importantly, I feel like P&F does best when it aspires to being a unique entity. Last night felt hidebound - just as Furthur eventually became. With these five stellar musicians, I expected them to stretch their limits rather than mine the tried-and-true Dead vein throughout.
Still, will I be back? Hell yes. That's just the way it is for some of us.
If anyone knows a working e-mail to site administrator it would be helpful. I got bounced-back from these 2 addresses
thanks very much for posting the list... because the phans wanna know!!
please note that to control spam, the email address
should be converted to
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You
For anyone who's interested, here's a brief review I wrote up of the show.
http://zumic.com/2014/04/15/evening-phil-lesh-frie nds-brooklyn-academy-music-brooklyn-new-york-4-14- 2014-zumic-review-pics/
Does anyone have the ability to seed this show?? It's up on etree, but not Archive - would so appreciate the help!!!
playin reprise double oncore...why did know one correct this.?
I'd never seen Jackie Greene. Until a Thursday night TXR Ramble in May 2013 with Luther and the Medeski/Scofield opener at The Cap in July 2013, I hadn't much been involved with Phil-ness. I am glad to be back!
My setlist notes are only really an addendum (NOTE: I arrived during Scarlet):
(Set I) Not sure about St. Stephen since I had't yet arrived (Guy McGuinn), but there was definitely Mountain Jam aspects to what came from Scarlet (also a Fire on the Mountain segue-FAIL ...but we'd have our day, later).
Blue Sky was refreshing and reminded me that it's been a long time since I'd last seen/heard ABB; nearly forgot that it was those shows where I first encountered Warren as a kid …time flies!
She Said, She Said has chased me through sets of some of my favorites over the last 10 years, so it felt so right and settled me into this evening quite nicely.
As I noted on various social media, Medeski's solo in Sugaree made me quite ecstatic for what was to come in Set II.
(break) I met some real nice folks inside/outside of the venue during the break, which was nice considering the escape-from-work/seat-of-my-pants venture that I was on from Boston. The re-entry, in general, and balloons on the block at set-break were a surprise and I wondered if that would carry-through to the 15th and whether Giuliani's NYC would've let that go. Anyway, looked like someone/thing made their ca$h ...and maybe even went inside for the sets!
(Set II) It was fun hearing Warren do Caution.
Fire was uniquely paced.
Tomorrow Never Knows came to be after some earlier nibbles and along with the cover of Cream was part of a Slipknot-sandwich (which, I suppose, should be added to the setlist, SpaceAce. No?)
Slipknot!>Frank was super-fast, everyone stayed in the boat and we came to the end of the set.
Morning Dew (sway-fest)> Playin'(in the)Jam (Tbone Todd is obviously right to say double-encore)
Compared to these other P&F iterations I saw in 2013, I felt this show was a bit too comfortable and lacked edginess, spontaneity and rail-riding (except perhaps >Frank). Perhaps this is due to the fact that Jackie and Warren have played the Dead repertoire with Phil so much over the years. Not hating, just haven't figured-out what Jackie is bringing to the table …maybe I need more? Either way, someone at set-break testified that Jackie has improved his guitar-chops, immensely. With regard to Warren, I'd gone out of my way to keep up with him since epic 2005 High Sierra (Gov't and acoustic "workshop") and I had last seen him with Jerry's Wolf playing at Tanglewood but he seemed to be almost too comfortable with how he wanted to do the material and Jackie couldn't bring in another level in order to help create a true, delving, "Friends" experience like I saw with JK facing-off with Luther and Sco last year. Tonight offered cohesiveness, perhaps, but it lacked collaborative exploration …seemed a bit rote.
Finally, I'm kind of in agreement with regard to the Shapiro-saturation issue mentioned above (Sebastian), but I can't argue that more access to great, collaborative Dead-based music is a bad thing.
p.s. anyone know how to get Phil and Kimock together?