Full Show Audio & Videos: Phil Lesh & Friends Featuring Soulive, Jackie Greene, Karl Denson & More Play Coney Island

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When Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh set out to return to music after a liver transplant, he aimed to play the music of his former band with an ever-changing variety of musicians. Sure, Phil has stuck with some incredible lineups he’s stumbled upon for years at a time, but he now he’s back to exploring musical partnerships. One such musical partnership played its first of two shows at Ford Amphitheatre At Coney Island Boardwalk in New York City on Wednesday night and it paid wonderful dividends at points.

Phil teamed with guitarist Jackie Greene, saxophonist/flutist Karl Denson, keyboardist Jason Crosby, Lettuce’s The Shady Horns and all three members of Soulive, namely guitarist Eric Krasno, keyboardist Neal Evans and drummer Alan Evans at the bottom of Brooklyn last night. The new ensemble lived up to Phil’s goal of exploring the music of the Grateful Dead in new and unorthodox ways. Bet you’ve never heard flute in “The Other One?”

The band stormed through two sets heavy on Grateful Dead classics with a few obscurities thrown in for good measure. Phil & Friends came out of the gates with a jam that gave way to one such obscurity, “Mason’s Children.” Greene then showed off his powerful pipes on “Althea” before a raucous “Alabama Getaway.” A “He’s Gone” with more soulful bounce than usual came next and displayed the handiwork of Krasno. What followed was a weird “The Other One” with Karl D. on flute before the set ended with a celebratory “Dancing In The Streets.”

For Set Two, Phil drew up an impressive game plan that started with a fun and frisky “Shakedown Street” > “Here Comes Sunshine” pairing. Denson both sang and played flute on the latter after an exploratory version of the former. A lengthy “West L.A. Fadeaway” saw Karl share vocals with Kraz and the guitarist unleash nasty solos. A more upbeat than usual “The Wheel” was up next ahead of the otherworldly “Viola Lee Blues” and “Help On The Way” > “Slipknot!” > “Franklin’s Tower” that ended the second set. Lesh returned to the stage for his nightly Donor Rap and then welcomed his mates to say farewell with a “Not Fade Away” encore.

Phil Lesh returns to Coney Island with the same lineup on Thursday night. A webcast is available via nugs.tv.

Full Show Audio (Taped by Z-Man, Shared by JamBuzz)

Videos (Captured by Scott Gibson)

[Viola Lee Blues]

[West L.A. Fadeaway]

[Althea]

[Mason’s Children]

[Alabama Getaway]

[He’s Gone]

[The Other One]

[Shakedown Street]

[Here Comes Sunshine]

[Not Fade Away]

Setlist

Set One: Jam > Mason’s Children, Althea, Alabama Getaway, He’s Gone, The Other One, Dancin’ In The Street

Set Two: Shakedown Street > Here Comes Sunshine, West LA Fadeaway, The Wheel, Viola Lee Blues, Help On The Way > Slipknot! > Franklin’s Tower

Encore: Not Fade Away

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