One of the most magical runs in the history of the jam scene took place between April 15 and 17 in 1999, when Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh teamed with Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio and keyboardist Page McConnell as well as drummer John Molo and guitarist Steve Kimock for three shows at The Warfield in San Francisco. Over the past 36 hours complete video of the entire run has surfaced on YouTube nearly 18 years after the shows took place.
Phil was playing his first shows back after undergoing a liver transplant and was in fine form musically. Anastasio and McConnell had reached a pinnacle of success with Phish that allowed them to embrace their connection to the Grateful Dead instead of fight it. Less than a year earlier the quartet covered “Terrapin Station” in Virginia Beach to the delight of the fanbase.
“Phil & Phriends” as the five-piece has been dubbed by fans made a statement by opening with a 34-minute “Viola Lee Blues” that set the bar high for the entire run. Lesh and his ensemble dug deep into the Grateful Dead repertoire to mix classics with songs the band hadn’t played in decades. The group also worked in a handful of Phish songs, classic rock covers and Kimock’s “It’s Up To You.”
We’d point out a few highlights, but each night is filled with such memorable moments it’s worth your time to just dive in and watch how it all went down. Thanks to videographer Ed Perlstein, author Kevin Tobin and anyone and everyone involved in finally getting these videos out there.
April 15, 1999
Set One: Viola Lee Blues, Big Railroad Blues, Jack-A-Roe, Cosmic Charlie, Wolfman’s Brother, Uncle John’s Band
Set Two: Alabama Getaway, Sugaree, Like A Rolling Stone, I Know You Rider, Row Jimmy, Shakedown Street, The Wheel, Not Fade Away
Encore: Mr. Tambourine Man
April 16, 1999
Set One: Help On The Way > Slipknot > Franklin’s Tower, Wish You Were Here, Tennessee Jed, Stella Blue, Alligator
Set Two: Bertha*, Prince Caspian, Saint Stephen > The Eleven, Unbroken Chain, Chalkdust Torture, Mountains Of The Moon, Scarlet Begonias* > Fire On The Mountain*
* – w/ Donna Jean Godchaux
April 17, 1999
Set One: Dark Star (instrumental)> It’s Up To You (instrumental), Days Between> Dark Star (1st verse)> My Favorite Things (instrumental), *Mississippi Half-Step, *Bird Song (Page)
Set Two: Terrapin Station (Phil and Trey on leads, all on backup)> Down With Disease (Trey)> Dark Star (2nd verse-Page on lead vocal), Friend Of The Devil, Casey Jones (Trey), Morning Dew> *Going Down The Road Feeling Bad> And We Bid You Goodnight
Encore: Box Of Rain
* – w/ Donna Jean Godchaux
- Upcoming Shows
A series of six co-headlining shows featuring Gov’t Mule and The Avett Brothers along with opener The Magpie Salute have been confirmed.
Listen to Widespread Panic dust off a Beatles cover for the first time in over 12 years as part of their first of three shows at The Theater At MGM National Harbor.
Eric Krasno, Bill Nershi, Nicki Bluhm and more will perform at this year’s Music & Art Immersion in Barcelona, Spain.
Grateful Dead tribute act Dark Star Orchestra has a busy summer touring season in store.
The lineup for this July’s Northwest String Summit has been expanded with additional acts and special collaborations.
Music legend David Byrne has added 10 dates to the tail end of his American Utopia Tour, visited the ‘Daily Show’ and shared a video of his single made by students in Detroit.