Warren Haynes Makes Phil Lesh & Friends Debut On This Date In 1999
Guitarist Warren Haynes played a key role in the longest lasting Phil Lesh & Friends lineup, as he joined the Grateful Dead bassist as a member of the Phil Lesh Quintet, aka “The Q,” starting in September of 2000. However, the Gov’t Mule/The Allman Brothers Band axeman performed in various Phil Lesh & Friends lineup leading up to the formation of “The Q.” Warren’s first appearance as a member of Phil Lesh & Friends took place at the Mountain Aire festival in Angel’s Camp, California on this date in 1999.
At the time, Phil was just six weeks removed from his triumphant return to the stage after a liver transplant, when he teamed with a band that included Trey Anastasio and Page McConnell of Phish for three Phil & Phriends concerts at The Warfield in San Francisco. Lesh was tapped to headline the first night of Mountain Aire ’99 at Angel’s Camp’s Calaveras County Fairgrounds and put together a Phil Lesh & Friends lineup that featured Haynes and Steve Kimock on guitar, Merl Saunders on keys, drummer John Molo and his former Grateful Dead band mate, vocalist Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay.
Lesh initially took the stage that day during Wilco‘s set for a rare bassless appearance in which he sang “Ripple” with Jeff Tweedy and company. Then, Phil returned for what turned out to be the only show this particular lineup would ever play. Haynes made his presence felt right from the start as Phil Lesh & Friends opened with the ABB classic “Blue Sky.” Phil and company then threw back to the Phil & Phriends shows by covering Phish’s “Wolfman’s Brother” ahead of “Bertha.”
The first set continued with “Patchwork Quilt,” a song Haynes wrote about Jerry Garcia. The band jammed Warren’s tune into “The Other One” and eventually lit into a version of “Confusion” sung by Sanders. Warren then stepped back into the spotlight for the first of two Beatles covers that ended the frame, “She Said, She Said” before Phil handled lead vocals on “Tomorrow Never Knows.”
Phil & Friends’ second set at Mountain Aire ’99 got underway with an “Alligator” that gave way to an improvisational segment featuring hints of “Mountain Jam.” Then, Merl sang “Resurrection Rag,” a tune he penned with Robert Hunter. The Phil & Friends debut of “Soulshine,” which would become a staple of “The Q’s” repertoire, followed. Sanders led “Merl’s Tune” ahead of the late era Garcia/Hunter ballad “Days Between.” A pairing of Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone” and Wilson Pickett’s “In The Midnight Hour” brought the set to a close. The band ended their brief time together with a “Mountains Of The Moon” encore.
Listen to a soundboard recording of the show ripped and seeded by Nick:
Check out video of Phil’s guest spot with Wilco on “Ripple” courtesy of sla8boy:
sla8boy also filmed a pair of songs from Phil & Friends’ performance:
Like A Rolling Stone
Setlist (via PhilZone.com)
Set One: Blue Sky (Phil & Warren), Wolfman’s Brother > Bertha, Patchwork Quilt > Other One Jam > Confusion, She Said, She Said > Tomorrow Never Knows
Set Two: Alligator > The Mountain Jam, Resurection Rag, Soulshine > Merl’s Tune > Days Between > Like A Rolling Stone > In the Midnight Hour
Encore: Mountains Of The Moon