Phil Lesh & Friends Go Tease-Heavy To End First Capitol Theatre Run In 2012

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The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York has become a home away from home for Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh over the past four years. Lesh loves the venue and signed a pact with its owner Peter Shapiro to play a number of shows at The Cap each year. Though Phil performed at the historic theater in the early ’70s with the Grateful Dead, he made his triumphant return to the venue shortly after it re-opened in the fall of 2012. Phil Lesh & Friends’ ended their first ever Capitol Theatre run with a scorcher four years ago today.

Phil’s lineup for his November 18, 2012 show found him joined by guitarists Jackie Greene and John Kadlecik, keyboardist Adam MacDougall and drummer Joe Russo. The band was also aided by Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams for a three-song stretch at the end of the first set. Lesh’s ensemble was tight and powerful throughout the night, which was probably due to Russo and Kadlecik’s time in Phil’s other band Furthur as well as Jackie’s long run as a “friend” in the late ’00s and MacDougall’s chameleon-like ability to adapt to any setting.

The first set of Phil & Friends’ Cap ’12 run finale was an interesting affair that started with an exploratory “Here Comes Sunshine,” pretty “Row Jimmy” and a “Tom Thumb’s Blues,” which saw the crowd go wild at the mention of “New York City.” It was then on to a rare double dose of late era Dead tunes in “Built To Last” and “Just A Little Light.” At that point the husband and wife duo of Larry and Teresa came out to aid on a fantastic cover of The Stones’ “Brown Sugar,” a celebratory “Tennessee Jed” and emotional “The Weight.”

Lesh’s dynamite ensemble showed their impressive improvisational chops over the course of the second set. The ridiculous setlist featured bookends of “Playing In The Band” with GD heavy hitters “Cryptical Envelopment,” “The Other One,” “Estimated Prophet,” “Eyes Of The World,” “Dark Star,” “St. Stephen,” “Turn On Your Lovelight” and “Morning Dew” within. The band was having a blast and it came through in the music.

“Dark Star” was split into two segments on this night and the initial section goes into a wild jam. There’s a layer of funkiness you don’t hear very often within Phil & Friends’ performances. Around the 7:45 mark Kadlecik settles in on a chord seqeuence that sure sounds like Phish’s “Weekapaug Groove” and soon there after the group would jam on “Low Rider” by War. The teasing fun would continue in “St. Stephen” as the band connected on the main riff from Led Zeppelin’s “Bring It On Home.” The whole show is well worth a listen and can be streamed below.

Listen to an audience recording of P&F’s November 18, 2012 show taped by Z-Man:

Setlist

Phil Lesh & Friends at Capitol Theatre

Set I
  • Here Comes Sunshine  
  • Row Jimmy  
  • Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues  
  • Built to Last  
  • Just a Little Light  
  • Brown Sugar  
  • Tennessee Jed  
  • The Weight  
Set II
  • Playing in the Band  
  • Cryptical Envelopment  
  • The Other One  
  • Estimated Prophet  
  • Eyes of the World  
  • Dark Star  
  • St. Stephen  
  • Turn On Your Love Light  
  • Dark Star  
  • Morning Dew  
  • Playing in the Band  
Encore
  • Donor Rap
  • Brokedown Palace  
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