Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams Join Bob Weir & Phil Lesh In Boston
Co-founding Grateful Dead members Bob Weir and Phil Lesh brought their first duo tour to Boston on Wednesday night for the first of two shows at the Wang Theatre. Bobby and Phil were again joined during parts of the show by percussionist Wally Ingram, while the second set also featured Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams sitting-in.
Lesh played electric bass throughout the two set performance. With Ingram behind him, Weir played acoustic guitar and sang lead on the first set opening “Loose Lucy.” The song written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter was followed by just the duo offering a string of covers that were staples of the Dead’s repertoire, beginning with John Phillips’ “Me And My Uncle.” Still playing acoustic, Weir guided a take on Bob Dylan’s “When I Paint My Masterpiece,” and the traditional “Deep Elem Blues.” The latter produced a quiet section during which Bobby and Phil patiently wove improvised notes together.
After signaling Ingram to come back onstage (where he would remain for the rest of the set), Weir played an effects-laden electric slide while singing a loping and bluesy “Althea.” The intergalactic space blues was followed by Lesh’s first shot at singing lead on the subsequent “Bird Song,” as Weir remained on electric. The ode to Janis Joplin was trailed by Weir, still on electric, fronting a set-closing take on the touching “He’s Gone.” Bobby encouraged those in the house to register to vote ahead of a lengthy setbreak.
Bobby and Phil’s previous show at Radio City Music Hall in New York City featured a second set accompanied by guitarist Trey Anastasio. Last night, the second set saw the duo welcome another duo, multi-instrumentalist Larry Campbell and vocalist Teresa Williams. With Ingram also performing for the duration of set two, the quintet began with Campbell playing electric guitar as Bobby played acoustic on the opening “Crazy Fingers.” Williams’ added tasteful backing vocals throughout the set, which progressed with her husband Campbell playing mandolin on “Friend Of The Devil” that saw Lesh handle the song’s often discarded final verse.
After some initial interplay between the three string players, the jam in “Tennessee Jed” allowed Campbell to come through with an assertive lead run that led back to the chorus. Next up was Daniel Lanois’ “The Maker,” sung beautifully by Weir and Williams, it journeyed to impressive acoustic guitar picking from Campbell and captivating interaction between the foursome as Williams’ punctuated with exquisite harmonies at the conclusion of the song. Bobby then made an off-hand comment about a failed segue before counting off “Cryptical Envelopment” which Phil was charged with singing.
Bobby moved to join Larry on electric during the “Cryptical” jam and stayed on the plugged-in instrument for the transition into his thunderous “The Other One.” The exploratory improvisation landed back at Campbell on acoustic for Lesh to lead “Half-Step Mississippi Uptown Toodeloo.” Weir showed off more bluesy, electric slide work on a somber “Black Peter” which was followed by the set-ending “The Music Never Stopped.” While more restrained than Dead vocalist Donna Jean Godchaux was accustomed to, Williams’ additions to the closer were nonetheless effective.
The encore was preceded by Lesh’s customary organ donor plea. Back to just Bobby, Phil and Wally, the trio presented “Touch Of Grey” for the concert’s finale. An awkward ending and abandoned a cappella finish led to Weir saying “fuck it” as the musicians put down their instruments for a final time.
The Bobby & Phil tour continues tonight at the Wang Theatre. A webcast is available via nugs.tv. Watch pro-shot video of Wednesday’s first and second set openers via nugs below:
Bob Weir and Phil Lesh at Wang Theatre
- Loose Lucy
- Me and My Uncle
- When I Paint My Masterpiece
- Deep Elem Blues
- Bird Song
- He's Gone
Set 2 (with Larry Campbell, Teresa Williams and Wally Ingram)
- Crazy Fingers
- Friend of the Devil
- Tennessee Jed
- The Maker
- Cryptical Envelopment
- The Other One
- Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo
- Black Peter
- The Music Never Stopped
- Touch of Grey
- Grateful Dead