On September 17, 1999, during Phish’s fall tour two-night stand at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California, Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh sat-in with the band in the second set for an extensive collaboration. Lesh’s sit-in was his first and, to date, only appearance onstage at a Phish show.
Phil’s emergence at Shoreline was followed by a double-bass version of Phish’s classic “You Enjoy Myself” that saw Lesh jumping beside Anastasio and Gordon on a third trampoline. Gordo and Lesh then held a bass summit, dueling with each other at center stage. Lesh then accompanied Phish on their “Wolfman’s Brother” leading to a bass-driven jam. The set ended with Phish’s only performance of the traditional Grateful Dead staple, “Cold Rain And Snow.” The show ended with Lesh leading Phish through their lone cover of another traditional Dead favorite “Viola Lee Blues.”
Phil’s sit-in with Phish at Shoreline was not his first time performing live with Trey and Page. In fact, it was not even the first time he played with that pair in 1999. Over three nights – April 15, 16 and 17 – Phil & Phriends brought together Phish and the Grateful Dead for shows at the Warfield in San Francisco. Lesh, Anastasio, McConnell, guitarist Steve Kimock and drummer John Molo, as well as Grateful Dead vocalist Donna Jean Godchaux on the second and third nights, mostly relied on the Dead’s catalog at The Warfield, but each concert also included at least one Phish original. Click the video above to start with “Wolfman’s Brother” from the opening night of the run.
A pair of Phish tunes were played within the second set on the second night of the Phriends run. After opening the second half with “Bertha,” the quintet transitioned into Phish’s nautical favorite “Prince Caspian” and few songs later they treated the audience to “Chalk Dust Torture.” Click the above video to queue up “Caspian” and check out the songlist below to jump ahead to “Chalkdust.”
Lesh filled the role of Mike Gordon on the third and final night of The Warfield run, doing his best to bubble up the thunderous introduction to “Down With Disease.” The final Phish tune came as the second song of the final set, between the opening “Terrapin Station” and a transition to finish the “Dark Star” started in set one. Click above to watch “DWD.”
The 1999 shows were not the only time members of Phish have joined various editions of Phil & Friends over the years. While Phish was on hiatus in the summer of 2006, Anastasio and Gordon recruited The Duo (keyboardist Marco Benevento and drummer Joe Russo) to tour as a group called G.R.A.B. Several shows that summer featured co-bills with Lesh’s ensemble, filled out by Molo, keyboardist Rob Barraco, saxophonist Greg Osby, vocalist Joan Osborne, pedal steel guitarist Barry Sless and multi-instrumentalist Larry Campbell. Several of those co-bills also produced Phil/Phish collaborations. This video features Anastasio sitting in during the second set at the venue formally known as Great Woods on July 6, 2006.
Phil & Friends With Trey Anastasio | October 29, 2006
For the 2006 Vegoose festival, held in Las Vegas over Halloween weekend, there was a performance billed as Phil & Trey. For this show, Lesh and Anastasio were joined by Molo, Campbell, keyboardist John Medeski and vocalist Christina Durfee. The set featured plenty of Grateful Dead classics, plus the Trey solo original “Sweet Dreams Melinda” and Phish’s “Sleep Again.” Gordon emerged during the set to sit-in on banjo on a version of “Back On The Train,” which is where the video starts above.
Lesh and Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir welcomed Anastasio to the stage during their appearance with Furthur at the 2013 LOCKN’ festival in Arrington, Vermont. The pair of Dead co-founders filled out Furthur with Russo, guitarist John Kadlecik and keyboardist Jeff Chimenti as well as vocalists Sunshine Becker and Jeff Pehrson. Trey’s guest spot was comprised of only Grateful Dead staples, like “Truckin’” and “The Other One” featured in the video above.
Phil & Friends With Mike Gordon | Terrapin Crossroads July 17, 2016
In July 2016, between Phish’s stop at The Gorge in Washington State and their shows in San Francisco at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, Mike Gordon spent his off day being a “Friend” for a show at Lesh’s Bay Area concert venue/restaurant Terrapin Crossroads. The pair of bassists shared the venue’s backyard stage with Molo, Sless and Jackie Greene on guitar and Jason Crosby on keyboards. The set included “Cumberland Blues,” the Gordon-written Phish crossover “Yarmouth Road,” the Lesh-written Dead tune “Pride Of Cucamonga” and, seen above, the Son Seals-written Phish live staple “Funky Bitch.”