Phil Lesh & Friends Celebrate Phil’s 79th Birthday In Port Chester
For the fifth year in a row Phil Lesh celebrated his birthday at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. The former Grateful Dead bassist rung in his 79th year with the help of keyboardist Benmont Tench, drummer John Molo and guitarists Grahame Lesh, Jackie Greene and John Scofield.
Lesh and the latest incarnation of his long-running And Friends project got their evening at the historic rock palace with latter-day Grateful Dead chestnut “Liberty.” Greene stepped up to lead ensemble on a fiery take on “Casey Jones.” The Lesh’s showed off their vocal stylings next, with Phil taking the act through “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo” and Grahame fronting the band on the slow burn of “Loser.” “New Minglewood Blues,” which featured a standout work from Tench and Scofield came ahead of set-closing takes on “West L.A. Fadeaway” and “Bertha.”
The sextet dug in on “Playing In The Band” to get their second set frame of the night off the ground. The exploratory version channeled the Dead’s early 1970s takes as it dove its acid-drenched jazz territory as they stretched it out. The song would eventually work its way into a funky “Shakedown Street” before transitioning back into a “Playing In The Band Reprise.” “Help On The Way” and “Slipknot!” followed. Instead of completing the trifecta with “Franklin’s Tower” the six-piece looked to the psychedelic ballad “Mountains Of The Moon.” Phil delivered his beloved classic “Unbroken Chain” along with singing lead on a quirky at times interpretation of “The Other One.” The ode to Neal Cassady would eventually settle into a powerhouse jammed-out take that segued into “New Speedway Boogie,” that would bring the set to an end.
Phil Lesh & Friends offered up a two-song encore offering up Buddy Holly & The Crickets’ “Not Fade Away” and a sing-along take on “Ripple” to put a cap on the middle of their three-show run. Listen to full show audio from Taper Rob and check out fan-shot video captured by Sean Roche below:
Full Show Audio (Captured by Taper Rob)
Set One (begins with Casey Jones)
Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo
Help On The Way > Slipknot!
Phil Lesh & Friends at Capitol Theatre
- Casey Jones
- Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo
- Minglewood Blues
- West L.A. Fadeaway
- Playing in the Band
- Shakedown Street
- Playing in the Band
- Help on the Way
- Mountains of the Moon
- Unbroken Chain
- He's Gone
- The Other One
- New Speedway Boogie
- Not Fade Away