Cactus & Phil: When Mike Gordon And Phil Lesh Share The Stage


Before Phish plays a run of shows at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco next month, bassist Mike Gordon will be a participant in the “TXR Big Bass Bash” at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, California. Gordon will be joining the venue’s proprietor Phil Lesh for a special two-bassist Phil Lesh & Friends performance in the new outdoor Backyard concert space on July 17. Cactus and Phil have shared the same stage several times over the years, this installment of Sunday Cinema features highlights of those collaborations, many that took place at Terrapin Crossroads.

Phish welcomed Lesh for some double-bassist action during their concert at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California on September 17, 1999. The Grateful Dead bassist emerged to sit-in on “You Enjoy Myself,” even jumping on a trampoline alongside Gordon and guitarist Trey Anastasio, and performed an ensuing bass duet with Mike while also assisting on “Wolfman’s Brother,” and Phish’s debut renditions of Dead staples “Cold Rain And Snow”and “Viola Lee Blues.” Here’s a portion of the “YEM” from Shoreline:

Gordon and Anastasio toured with Marco Benevento and Joe Russo as G.R.A.B. in 2006, with Phil & Friends sharing several bills together. Before the tour started the two acts both played the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Tennessee. Phil sat-in for a two-bass rendition of Dead classic “Casey Jones.” Audience-shot footage of the collaboration was shared by CapturedAlive, watch the highlight from the late night SuperJam here:

On August 16, 2012 the Phil Lesh & Friends show at Terrapin Crossroads was a special alum night featuring a first set complete rendering of Gram Parsons’ album Grievous Angel. The second set was also special as Gordon joined in on second bass for a number of Dead staples. The sit-in launched with a Lesh and Gordon going toe-to-toe which was captured by socaldeadhead, view it here:

Phil Lesh & The Terrapin All-Stars hosted a special house party at the San Rafael venue in honor of late Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia’s birthday on August 1, 2013. Mike joined in on bass and vocals for a take on “Tennessee Jed” and “He’s Gone.” Here’s Cactus and Phil playing “Tennesse Jed” captured by Luke Walton and “He’s Gone” thanks to LazyLightning55a:

Mike showed up again at Terrapin Crossroads on October 26, 2014 to play with The Terrapin Family Band including Phil’s son Grahame Lesh. The bar show saw Mike double up on bass on more Dead favorites as well as his “555,” View “Scarlet Begonias”and “U.S. Blues” via jshensa right here: