Phil Lesh Quintet Plays Show For The Ages On This Date In 2001

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One of the best and longest running post-Jerry groups in Grateful Dead history is the Phil Lesh Quintet in which Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh is joined by guitarists Warren Haynes and Jimmy Herring, keyboardist Rob Barraco and drummer John Molo. The band’s hey day was in the early ’00s, when Lesh stopped changing the lineup of his Phil Lesh & Friends project to focus on making music with “The Q.” On this date in 2001, the Phil Lesh Quintet laid down an incredible performance at Independence Hall/Cricket Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina complete with references to the 4/20 stoner’s holiday.

Phil Lesh & Friends’ April 20, 2001 show is an all-killer, no-filler affair loaded with impressive jamming, intriguing song choices and stellar playing from each of the band’s members. The action starts with a fiery “Passenger” > “Cumberland Blues” sequence and reaches an emotional high point with a stand out “Wharf Rat” that is among the best performance of the ballad since Garcia’s passing. Lesh and his quintet opened the second set with a nod to 4/20 by jamming on Bob Dylan’s “Rainy Day Women” before launching into “I Know You Rider.” From there, The Q takes “Dark Star” deep and includes the Phil & Friends debut of “Blues For Allah” within. The band then showed off their new-at-the-time original “Night Of 1000 Stars” ahead of a stellar “Help On The Way” > “Slipknot!” > “I Am The Walrus” > “Franklin’s Tower” pairing.

Lesh’s quintet had another 4/20 treat in store as they started an encore with the band’s first-ever cover of Van Morrison’s “And It Stoned Me” before saying farewell with an “And We Bid You Goodnight” finale. Thankfully for fans, we can re-live the show over and over again as Phil shared a soundboard recording of the performance soon after which can be streamed below or downloaded here.

Audio (via Archive.org)

Setlist (via PhilZone)

Set One: Passenger > Cumberland Blues, Dire Wolf > Wharf Rat > GDTRFB, Casey Jones

Set Two: *Rainy Day Women Jam > I Know You Rider, Darkstar > *Blues For Allah > Darkstar > Night of 1000 Stars, Help > Slipknot! > I Am The Walrus > Franklin’s Tower

Encore: *And It Stoned Me > And We Bid You Goodnight

* – Phil Lesh & Friends debut

[Originally Published: April 20, 2016]

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