Hear Little Feat Cover Grateful Dead’s ‘Shakedown Street’ With Neal Francis & Kellen Boersma In Chicago

Two classic albums — 1972’s Sailin’ Shoes and 1973’s Dixie Chicken — were each performed from front-to-back on Monday at The Vic.

By Scott Bernstein Oct 18, 2023 7:42 am PDT

Little Feat has been devoting stops on their current The Albums Tour to complete performances of classic albums Sailin’ Shoes and Dixie Chicken as well as “the hits” spread out over two nights in each city. The band pulled into Chicago for shows this past Sunday and Monday at The Vic Theatre. While the concert on Sunday was canceled, Little Feat delivered a marathon performance on Monday in which they played both LPs in their entireties, welcomed special guests including Neal Francis and unveiled a take on the Grateful Dead‘s “Shakedown Street.”

As per a Fox 32 Chicago report, The Vic canceled the Little Feat show on Sunday after a 42-year-old man was found dead inside the venue that afternoon. An announcement from the venue on social media cited “unforeseen circumstances” as the reason for the cancelation. Fans were given the option of exchanging their tickets for Monday’s show or receiving a refund.

Little Feat — keyboardist Bill Payne, bassist Kenny Gradney, percussionist Sam Clayton, multi-instrumentalist Fred Tackett, guitarist Scott Sharrard and drummer Tony Leone — began the lengthy concert on Monday by working through Sailin’ Shoes. All 11 songs from the 1972 LP, the band’s sophomore studio album, were performed in the order found on the record with a bonus tune thrown in for good measure.

Chicago’s own Neal Francis made his first appearance of the evening on keys for Sailin’ Shoes cut “Tripe Face Boogie.” Frequent Feat collaborator Michael “The Bull” LoBue emerged a few songs later and added scorching harmonica to both “A Apolitical Blues” and the ensuing cover of Muddy Waters’ “Long Distance Call.”

Neal Francis returned along with guitarist Kellen Boersma from his band to join Little Feat for an expansive version of “Dixie Chicken” to get the front-to-back rendering of the 1973 album underway. Bill Payne was on hand for the beginning and end of the classic tune but left the stage for the jam.

George Devereux (See 2 videos)
Little Feat (See 168 videos) and Neal Francis (See 26 videos)

The other nine songs from the group’s third studio LP were played sans guests. Little Feat then uncorked the classic “Spanish Moon” with Neal Francis. A jam on the song from 1974’s Feats Don’t Fail Me Now bled into “Shakedown Street.” Boersma also added to the title track of the Grateful Dead’s 1978 studio album produced by Lowell George. Monday’s “Shakedown Street” was a Little Feat debut as per Setlist.FM’s statistics. A “Feats Don’t Fail Me Now” encore featuring Neal Francis and Kellen Boersma sent fans on their way.

Listen to an audience recording of Monday’s Little Feat show taped by Z-Man:

Unfortunately the final stop on The Albums Tour has been canceled. The shows at The Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles scheduled for Friday, October 20 and Saturday, October 21 were scrapped “due to unforeseen circumstances” noted Little Feat on Instagram.

Bill Payne swung by Phish‘s show at the United Center in Chicago on Saturday. The quartet busted out their take on Little Feat’s “Spanish Moon” as part of their fall tour finale on Sunday at the United Center.

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Setlist (via Z-Man)

Sailin’ Shoes Set: Easy To Slip, Cold Cold Cold, Trouble, Tripe Face Boogie*, Willin’, A Apolitical Blues# > Long Distance Call#, Sailin’ Shoes, Teenage Nervous Breakdown, Got No Shadow, Bill Banter, Cat Fever, Texas Road Cafe

Dixie Chicken Set: Dixie Chicken*@, Two Trains, Roll Um Easy, On Your Way Down, Kiss It Off, Fool Yourself, Walkin’ All Night, Juliette, Fat Man In The Bathtub, Lafayette Railroad

The Hits: Spanish Moon* > Shakedown Street*@

Encore: Feats Don’t Fail Me Now*@

  • * With Neal Francis On Keyboard
  • # With Michael “The Bull” LaBue On Harmonica
  • @ With Kellen Boersma On Guitar
  • ^ Third Stone From The Sun Jam
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