Phish Welcomes Bob Weir For 6 Songs In Nashville On This Date In 2016
On the afternoon of October 18, 2016 Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir stepped on-stage to accompany Phish during the quartet’s soundcheck at Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville for “Walkin’ Blues” and word quickly spread to fans of both bands. While Deadheads and Phish fans were then expecting a collaboration as part of the Tuesday night show itself, the second ever Bob Weir/Phish summit went well beyond the hopes and dreams of most.
Weir first sat-in with Phish on October 6, 2000 at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California and while it was an interesting collaboration it didn’t set the world on fire. Bobby’s appearance with the Vermont jam act in Music City was at a much higher level. Here’s what we wrote about the end of the second set and the encore, both of which featured Weir, in our Skinny recap of the show:
The five musicians first launched into Dead live staple “Samson and Delilah.” Weir’s vocals were interlaced with excellent guitar solos from [Phish guitarist Trey] Anastasio. Bobby remained on stage for Phish’s own “Twist.” The two-guitar attack gave the jam a unique feel out of the gate. [Phish bassist Mike] Gordon, who was on fire all night, pushed the guitarists to new plateaus, and the jam left its home base, diving into a major-key bliss jam. From here, the quintet went into a spacey passage that was inspired by vintage Dead psychedelia.
To the fans’ delight, Weir remained on stage for the new ballad “Miss You.” To their shock, the Dead guitarist sang the song. His vocals gave new life, and new lyrical significance, to the song, which is about a departed loved one. Next up was the Dead tune “West L.A. Fadeaway,” which Weir had played with Phish at his 2000 sit-in. This time, Bobby and Trey traded vocals, before strong solos from [Phish keyboardist] Page [McConnell] on organ as well as Trey on guitar. The hits kept coming, as the five went into the Dead classic “Playing in the Band.” Trey handled vocals, and the song went into an extended minor-key jam, with the guitarists dueling as [Phish drummer Jon] Fishman played with the ferocity of two drummers. The jam eventually disintegrated before returning to the song’s final refrain. Weir joined the band for the encore as well, playing a strong version of Bob Dylan’s “Quinn The Eskimo.”
Guest spots at Phish shows have been few and far between since the band returned in 2009. Weir’s appearance was one of the most inspired of the small batch of collaborations. Jambands.com’s Dean Budnick asked Bob how he came to sing Trey Anastasio’s “Miss You” as part of his sit-in. “It was actually suggested to me that we might want to do the tune and so I listened to it and I figured, ‘Well this might be fun to sing.’ So I proposed that to Trey. He liked the idea so we went ahead and did that. It was a matter of I was in the same town that they were in for an evening and I was off and they were playing, so I was there with bells on,” Weir said. When asked whether he anticipates another musical collaboration with Trey Anastasio, the guitarist responded “I’d be surprised if that doesn’t happen. But we both have to have a little time on our hands and both of us are hellaciously busy right now.” Bobby and Trey wound up pairing once more for a stellar collaboration at Wanee this past April.
Watch high-quality footage of the Bob/Phish ’16 collaboration captured by LazyLightning55:
Here’s videos of the other songs Weir collaborated on with Phish in Nashville: