Phil Lesh & Friends Launch October Capitol Theatre Residency: Setlists, Video & Audio
Listen to the Grateful Dead bassist lead a band that included Eric Krasno, Karl Denson, John Scofield and more.
By Scott Bernstein Oct 17, 2022 • 12:31 pm PDT
Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh took the stage at The Capitol Theatre this past weekend for the first three of nine October Phil Lesh & Friends performances at the Port Chester, New York rock palace. Phil’s band for the residency’s opening weekend featured guitarists Eric Krasno, John Scofield and Grahame Lesh, multi-instrumentalist Karl Denson, keyboardist Ivan Neville, drummer Alex Koford and Mikaela Davis on harp with Steve Molitz sliding in for Ivan Neville on Saturday.
The musicians spread out vocal duties throughout the three-night run. Ivan Neville was first in the spotlight for the “Iko Iko” that began opening night on Friday. The New Orleans-based keyboardist also sang “Not Fade Away” later in the night as well as “Hey Pocky Way,” “Let The Good Times Roll” and “Eyes Of The World” at Sunday’s final concert of the weekend.
Friday’s show saw Phil in the spotlight for “Cold Rain And Snow,” while Eric Krasno belted out “Brown-Eyed Women,” “Deal” and “He’s Gone.” Grahame Lesh, Phil’s son, helmed “Dire Wolf” and “Truckin'” with Koford singing “Stagger Lee,” “China Cat Sunflower” and “New Speedway Boogie” from behind the kit and Karl Denson starring on the evening’s “Shakedown Street” encore.
Phil Lesh & Friends stuck almost exclusively to Grateful Dead classics from the 1970s on Saturday. Grahame fronted the “Alabama Getaway” opener before Denson’s sax was featured on “Friend Of The Devil” sung by Phil Lesh. Krasno then shined on both vocals and guitar for the ensuing “They Love Each Other” before Koford belted out the tender “Loser. From there, Mikaela Davis showed off her dynamic harp and singing skills on a “Bird Song” with Denson on flute that gave way to “Jack Straw” to end Saturday’s first set.
A rousing “Box Of Rain” featuring Karl D. on sax gave away to a wild “Help On The Way”/”Slipknot!”/”Franklin’s Tower” sequence that formed the bulk of the second set on Saturday. “Slipknot!” and “Franklin’s” were split by Grahame singing “Let It Grow,” Phil handling vocals on “Unbroken Chain” and an emotion-laden “Stella Blue” sung by Alex. The band returned to conclude Saturday’s show with a “Sugar Magnolia” encore.
Ivan Neville was back in the mix last night and delivered The Meters classic “Hey Pocky Way” after a potent “Sugaree” sung by Eric Krasno. The ensuing “Peggy-O” gave way to a loping “Ship Of Fools” before Grahame helmed “Casey Jones” and Phil starred on a lengthy harp-heavy excursion through “Mountains Of The Moon.” After a set-closing “Let The Good Times Roll,” Phil Lesh led the audience in singing “Happy Birthday To You” in honor of his Grateful Dead bandmate Bob Weir’s 75th birthday. The group then paid tribute to Weir with a 17-minute “Playing In The Band.”
The final set of the weekend rolled on with a ferocious “Mr. Charlie” and bliss-laden “Eyes Of The World.” An adventurous “Scarlet”/”Fire” pairing, the beautiful “Standing On The Moon” and well-jammed “Uncle John’s Band” brought the frame to a close. Phil Lesh & Friends said farewell last night with a take on “The Weight” by The Band.
Check out the lineups for the remaining dates followed by this past weekend’s setlists, audience recordings taped by Cam Keough and pro-shot video thanks to Relix:
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Friday, October 14
Set One: Iko Iko, Cold Rain And Snow, Brown-Eyed Women, Dire Wolf, Stagger Lee, Deal
Set Two: China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider, Truckin’ > He’s Gone > New Speedway Boogie, The Wheel, Not Fade Away
Encore: Shakedown Street
Saturday, October 15
Set One: Alabama Getaway, Friend Of The Devil, They Love Each Other, Jam > Loser, Bird Song > Jack Straw
Set Two: Box Of Rain, Help On The Way > Slipknot > Let It Grow > Unbroken Chain, Stella Blue > Franklin’s Tower
Encore: Sugar Magnolia
Sunday, October 16
Set One: Sugaree, Hey Pocky Way, Peggy-O, Ship Of Fools, Casey Jones, Mountains Of The Moon, Let The Good Times Roll
Set Two: Happy Birthday To You (In Honor Of Bob Weir), Playing In The Band, Mr. Charlie, Eyes Of The World > Scarlet Begonias > Fire On The Mountain, Standing On The Moon > Uncle John’s Band
Encore: The Weight