Phil Lesh Reunites ‘The Q’ To Open Capitol Theatre Run
Watch highlights from the concert and stream full-show audio.
Phil Lesh reunited the Phil Lesh & Friends lineup known as the Phil Lesh Quintet, or “The Q,” on Monday for the first of three shows at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York to begin the Grateful Dead bassist’s nine-concert October residency at the venue. Lesh’s performance with guitarists Warren Haynes and Jimmy Herring, drummer John Molo and keyboardist Rob Barraco last night was the ensemble’s first since 2016.
“The Q” was Phil’s main band starting with Phil Lesh & Friends' Fall Tour 2000 and continuing through the return of The Dead in 2003. Last night’s setlist featured many songs the lineup often played, including two tunes from Phil’s 2002 album with the group, There And Back Again.
Lesh, Haynes, Herring, Molo and Barraco began the show and run with an expansive “Mason’s Children” and then dug into “Doin’ That Rag.” Next, the quintet played a cover of Traffic’s “The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys” featuring “So What” by Miles Davis within. Warren and Jimmy showed off impressive interplay throughout the lengthy segment. Haynes then led the ensemble on The Beatles classic “She Said She Said” before the band looked to There And Back Again for the Warren/Phil/Robert Hunter co-write “Night Of A Thousand Stars” to end last night’s first set.
“The Q’s” improvisational prowess and propensity for psychedelic jamming were on full display during a “Shakedown Street” that spanned over 20 minutes to open Monday’s second set. Phil and his mates then tore through “Viola Lee Blues” and “New Speedway Boogie.” Lesh handled lead vocals on the cover of Robbie Robertson’s “Broken Arrow” that followed.
An intriguing segment came next as the five-piece worked a Phil-sung “Cryptical Envelopment” into a beautiful “Wharf Rat” led by Haynes before reaching for the expected “The Other One.” The latter was a short but sweet affair featuring fretboard fireworks galore from both Warren and Jimmy. A rousing “I Know You Rider” brought the second set to a close.
Phil Lesh was supposed to celebrate his 80th birthday with a March 2020 run in Port Chester that was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lesh’s October 29 – 31 shows at The Cap will replace the run originally scheduled for March 13 – 15, 2020. The Capitol Theatre’s Pete Shapiro took the stage before the encore and brought out Phil to honor both his 80th and 81st birthdays a bit late as the impresario led the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday To You.” Lesh then gave his “Donor Rap” and teamed with the rest of “The Q” for There And Back Again’s “The Real Thing” to end the night. The Phil Lesh Quintet returns to The Capitol Theatre tonight. A livestream is available via FANS.
Stream an audience recording of last night’s show taped by Keith Litzenberger:
Watch pro-shot video featuring the “Mason’s Children” opener thanks to Relix below:
Check out fan-shot video of highlight’s from Monday’s show:
Set One: Mason’s Children, Doin’ That Rag, The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys > So What > The Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys, She Said She Said, Night Of A Thousand Stars
Set Two: Shakedown Street, Viola Lee Blues, New Speedway Boogie, Broken Arrow, Cryptical Envelopment > Wharf Rat > The Other One, I Know You Rider
Encore: The Real Thing