Phil Lesh & Friends Weave ‘Dark Star’ Into San Francisco Concert

Watch "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" and "Shakedown Street" from the Stern Grove Festival benefit.

By Scott Bernstein Aug 15, 2022 9:08 am PDT

Phil Lesh & Friends headlined the Stern Grove Festival’s The Big Picnic fundraising concert in San Francisco on Sunday afternoon. The Grateful Dead bassist’s ensemble featuring a mix of Phil & Friends veterans and newcomers opened with “Dark Star” and went on to fit an instrumental reprise of the classic song in the middle of their lengthy set in Sigmund Stern Grove.

Sunday’s show saw Phil joined by guitarists Scott Metzger, Stanley Jordan and Grahame Lesh as well as violinist Katie Jacoby, harpist Mikaela Davis, drummer John Molo, multi-instrumentalist Stuart Bogie and keyboardist Jason Crosby. The bassist sang the first verse of “Dark Star” with his son, Grahame Lesh, along with Scott Metzger.

Phil Lesh & Friends jammed “Dark Star” into “St. Stephen,” which gave way to a “Shakedown Street” helmed by Grahame that was heavy on Jacoby’s fiddle and saxophone blasts from Bogie. The group made its way through “Terrapin Station” next complete with “Jack O’ Roses,” the seventh and final song in GD lyricist Robert Hunter’s “Terrapin Station Suite” which was never played by the Grateful Dead.

Scott Metzger channeled Bob Weir on the ensuing “Let It Grow.” An expansive jam saw Jordan tease “Eleanor Rigby” and bled into a “Dark Star” instrumental reprise before the ensemble landed on “Playing In The Band.” Metzger was tasked with singing Bob Weir’s parts once again as he does with Joe Russo’s Almost Dead. Stanley Jordan then led Phil Lesh & Friends on a gorgeous instrumental take on “Somewhere Over The Rainbow.” Davis’ harp and Phil’s vocals were the centerpiece of the “Mountains Of The Moon” that followed. The nonet concluded their performance with “Uncle John’s Band.” Phil Lesh introduced each musician and gave a speech asking audience members to become organ donors after “UJB” ended.

Check out fan-shot video from yesterday’s set below:

Shakedown Street

carrioncrow (See 2 videos)
Phil Lesh & Friends (See 222 videos)

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Ernst Dante
Phil Lesh & Friends (See 222 videos)

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Setlist (via Setlist.FM)

Set: Dark Star > St. Stephen > Shakedown Street, Terrapin Station > Jack O’ Roses, Let It Grow > Dark Star > Playing In The Band, Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Mountains Of The Moon > Uncle John’s Band

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