Remembering G.R.A.B. And Phil Lesh & Friends Visits To New Jersey 10 Years Later

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For this week’s Throwback Thursday feature we’re republishing a review of a pair of 2006 The Duo, G.R.A.B. and Phil Lesh & Friends concert, the first of which took place 10 years ago today. Before we get to Brian Getz’s review, let’s start off with arguably one of Trey Anastasio’s best solos which came during Phil Lesh & Friends’ “St. Stephen” in Camden on this date in 2006:

[Originally Published: July 5, 2006]

Words by: Brian Getz

The Duo, G.R.A.B. And Phil Lesh & Friends 6.30.06 :: Tweeter Center :: Camden, NJ & 7.1.06 :: PNC Bank Arts Center :: Holmdel, NJ

So much has transpired since the demise of both the Grateful Dead, and later Phish, the stalwart entities of our wonderful psychedelic music scene. Festivals such as Bonnaroo, High Sierra and New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival have evolved into cultural playgrounds for heads who used to live and die by tour life. Post Coventry, or even post-hiatus, the “jam” genre and its machinations changed greatly. The stakes got higher, and the music moved back into the clubs and bars and got gritty and sweaty again. The music has flourished. People have grown up, fallen in love, made babies, cut their hair, are rocking suits and doing it out in the real world. Sure, our soundtrack remains the same, although considerably more open and wide-eared than in the touring era, but the times sure are a changin’. Yet, in true roots fashion, the more they change and evolve, the more they stay the same.

There is a WHOLE LOT going on with this tour …

With a nervous anticipation greater than any other in recent memory, I awaited the summer tour that paired Phil Lesh & Friends and Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon with the Benevento/Russo Duo. From a personal perspective, this was an incredible event, tour and idea. This tour (and all of the parties involved) has elicited such incredibly fierce and divided opinions. Therefore, I wish to clarify a bit about myself as to help readers know where I’m coming from: I am very familiar with all of the performers involved and consider myself a hardcore fan of the Dead (and some incarnations of PL&F), Phish and The Duo. This tour, in its concept, is a wonderful idea filled with promise; however, it has been apparent that there have been some missteps in both the post-GD and post-PH camps. Leave it to The Duo to make it right!

Phil Lesh has taken the Grateful Dead concept and run with it. Ever since his successful liver transplant nearly 10 years ago, he has been out on the road, recreating the GD catalog with a rotating cast of musicians culled from various places in the Dead world and beyond. Most beloved of the combinations is the ‘PLQ’ lineup, which featured Warren Haynes in a prominent guitar/vocal role, and also included Jimmy Herring. Lately, Phil has been creating the vibe with a mix of old and new friends, re-teaming with his partner-in-riddim, drummer John Molo, longtime keyboard foil Rob Barracco, contemporary songstress Joan Osborne, Dylan sideman Larry Campbell on guitar and the amazing Barry Sless on pedal steel.

Bob Weir’s Ratdog has had a fairly stable lineup and runs through some of the GD songbook as well as introduces new music while Phil & Friends has courageously explored the depth and magnitude of the Dead catalog, admittedly with mixed results. Bottom line, Phil takes chances… without a net. A Phil and Friends show can often be a mind-bending, high-energy, emotional psychedelic experience in the Grateful Dead tradition. This current lineup is really beginning to gel into a cohesive unit, a la “The Q.” Yet, the addition of Trey Anastasio would propel this lineup even further toward the stratosphere.

A decade ago, an event pairing GD members and Phish members would have seemed far-fetched. On their final tour in the summer of 1995, the GD would tease their fans by flashing a Phish logo on the jumbotron. It seemed Phish, most noticeably Trey Anastasio, spent much of their career trying to distance themselves from the Dead and desperately trying to carve their own identity. Recall the smarmy attitude Trey displayed in the film Bittersweet Motel in regards to Garcia and the Dead comparisons. He was quoted countless times through the years pleading to be unchained from the behemoth Dead legend. Phish had long established themselves and their place in the psychedelic rock pantheon, well before they disbanded in 2004. However, in time, the Jedi must return to his father. In April 1999, while a functioning Phish was still touring, Trey and Page McConnell first linked up with Phil Lesh for the original uniting of clans, a now-legendary three-night run at The Warfield which also included Steve Kimock. That event began this union of camps that has apparently strengthened in the nearly two years since Phish hung it up. Trey and Mike Gordon sporadically collaborated with Phil and Co., and Trey revealed the core of his Garcia affection unabated at the Greek Theatre Comes A Time benefit last summer. Twice, on GD turf, Trey brought his magic to the greatest songbook in modern times. His credibility in that arena is no longer in question. However, after spending a career crafting his own band identity, two years after Phish, it is indeed his identity that is uncertain. His music and its personality have taken on some new attributes that have not been well-received by many core fans.

The original Trey Anastasio Band was great. Though at the time it got mixed reviews, I for one was stoked on the new style, the myriad of directions, the horns, percussion, and the open-ended, Fela Kuti-esque liberating quality driving the new sound. Adding Trey’s unmatched guitar wizardry created an amalgam of sonics and cultures, beats and riddims laid over jazzy structures. TAB meshed styles in an innovative and relevant fashion. I accepted this music as an evolution because it was so progressive, it took chances, and the music and rhythms had a world-music feel to them. This band incorporated much of what I really enjoy about Trey’s (then) approach to creating. The about-face that his music, band, writing and energy has seemingly taken since his stint as a sideman to Dave Matthews is striking.

The 70 Volt Parade, Anastasio’s latest solo project, is not indicative of what this man is capable of. His previous solo incarnations held much more water and commanded more respect. Sadly, not even the infusion of a mighty N’awlinz rhythm section could take 70VP where it needed to go. Collaborating with Brendan O’Brien on the feeble Shine LP only dug the ditch deeper. I’m not going to deconstruct the 70VP music in a critical fashion any further. The focus here is the new project, with Mike Gordon and The Duo. Phuo. G.R.A.B. Mike and the Italians. Call ’em what you will!!

For Trey, pairing up with Gordo and The Duo is a good thing. They are musicians who like to push boundaries and who do not take cues in search of a formula to write a radio song. Mike Gordon has been trying interesting musical ideas that are more under-the-radar than those of his former band mate. His own duo with Leo Kottke produced two masterful albums of Americana roots music. Mike has also joined the alt-country band Ramble Dove, and has delved deep into the world of filmmaking. In jam band land, the project “Mike Gordon with The Duo” did two small tours and a few festival dates; it was an incredible pairing of generations with common goals. Although anyone who loves The Duo knows they are indeed at their best without guests, they had a certain connection and energy with Gordo that translated into fantastic mutations of both their catalogs.

Naturally, Trey wanted in on this, despite the fact the entire premise of the “Trio” was to color outside the lines, the antithesis of the whole Shine trip. Joe Russo and Marco Benevento are hardly Phish fans; however, they undoubtedly respect both Mike and Trey and enjoy playing with each of them. Clearly they understand and appreciate the recognition they will receive because of this project. But don’t get it twisted: Trey wanted to play with THESE guys because he knows what THEY are capable of. If he’s gonna dive back into performing without a net, well, why not have your trusty old wingman and some badass young guns to usher in the new sound? While Trey hasn’t totally abandoned the singer-songwriter shtick, he is reaching back for some of that old magic and axe-wizardry that took over my senses many moons ago.

On with the shows…

Camden is a classic summertime tour destination, a quintessential venue in Phishtory, once known as the E-Centre. The weather was humid, but the week of heavy downpours seemed to abate just in time for the show. The shenanigans outside in the many parking lots have been well documented through the years, and this summer was to be no different. Possibly because he was headlining, Phil fans seemed to be en masse in Camden. The vibe of the GD was flowing all around the riverside. Somewhat of a hometown show, this is one of the few places I enjoy the pregame. But with The Duo coming on stage around 6 p.m,, any such plans were precluded.

Marco Benevento and Joe Russo are a phenomenon. In an era of duos, they are The Duo – a musical, spiritual, brotherly bond that ignites into genre-bending endeavors, calling upon influences from every direction. This band hails from an ethos of vintage jazz cats, showmanship with pop and flair in their delivery, as if they were in a smoky Harlem jazz den. Their music is tailor-made for a club, and that’s where they belong, sonically. Their short set suffered due to the enormous space on stage and in the venue. They are a full sound when in the proper setting, but a shed tour is clearly not the ideal way to showcase a project of their nature, where the subtleties and intricacies are so crucial to the experience. The Duo used this time to showcase their indie-rock leanings, with tracks from their forthcoming album Play Pause Stop.

Benevento, as master on all the keyboards and organs, seemed to focus more on the sonics and noise aspect of the art, forgoing as much crazy chops to color some noise into melodies, definitely taking chances. Russo was a monster, bringing thunderous drums and cymbals crashing and on the two songs from Best Reason To Buy The Sun, I noticed a few heads rocking out to his flailing limbs, especially during the fan favorite “Becky.” The Duo’s music is beginning to reach people, and this tour will certainly help that along. Though I am excited for the bright future of The Duo, from a fan’s perspective, their new music is less than exciting. I definitely miss the jazzy, jivin’, boom-bap style from when they first burst onto the scene in 2002 and 2003. Their new music and their new approach rely more on a structured, tamer and altogether more art-rock than jam band sound that, quite frankly, is not becoming of their talents. However, their integrity and motivation command respect, and one can only hope for a return to their roots.

Going on while it was still quite sunny, Trey, Mike, Marco, and Joe ambled on stage and began to play the tricky and inventive title track from The Duo’s Play Pause Stop. This was to be the only Duo song of the evening and one of the few that they have played as a quartet. The band initially struggled to gain footing. The G.R.A.B. set in Camden was wrought with peaks and valleys. This band was clearly not ready for an audience of this magnitude, nor venues this large. This project only has a handful of original songs, and those stuck out like sore thumbs among the other Trey-penned ditties. The set showed potential, got lost at times, and definitely preferred a more intimate setting. Highlights included G.R.A.B. originals “Dragonfly,” “Mud City,” and a very psychedelic, raging “Mr. Completely.” The real strengths and weaknesses of the band were on display in their headlining set the following evening in Holmdel. Camden seemed like an opening act, and while they were entertaining, the early evening set lacked that extra something that we have come to expect from Trey and company.

When Phil and his Friends took the stage, the crowd was finally en masse, and the vibe was clearly that of the GD. The familiar bounce of “China Cat Sunflower” ushered in the evening with a hopping melody, and the players established themselves and their communal roles in Phil’s grand experiment. Immediately, as he did in March at the Tower Theatre, Larry Campbell rose to the occasion with lofty leads through his Fender. A raucous sing-a-long in the cagey nugget “Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)” followed, and the sun raced behind the river. A lengthy, rhythmic “Bird Song” ensued, one that slowly lurked and picked up steam, pushed by the soaring melodies from saxophonist Greg Osby and the astonishing pedal steel from Barry Sless. Among the rotating cast of guitar players that Phil has employed post-GD, it is Sless’ pedal steel that most effectively, and emotionally, mimics the Mu-Tron wail of Garcia’s unmistakable tone.

I didn’t expect a Trey appearance with Phil so early in the tour (it became a regular thing throughout the tour), so when he appeared at the end of the first set, I was quite surprised. Immediately, the band launched into Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower,” played in the GD arrangement. A perfect song for Trey, he followed Joan’s vocal leads and connected with Osby. The song built momentum, and Phil instructed his band to hang back while Trey proceeded to channel the ghosts of Garcia and Jimi Hendrix in a gumbo tone and wailing assault on the classic Dylan chestnut. Sonically, it was reminiscent of mid-80’s GD, with a big bottom end and distorted lead licks. Osby really fed off Trey’s energy, and the two locked into a dueling lead that propelled skyward. It was a powerful ending to the set.

Most in the building probably figured that would be it for Trey, but the Languedoc remained onstage thru setbreak and when the band reappeared, redhead in tow, the crowd erupted in anticipation of what was to come. Sless had left the stage, and Osby would play only part of the set. Right away, Phil led the band into an ominous jam that recalled elements of “Cryptical Envelopment” and reeked of 1968. Then, almost on a dime, taking advantage of the band’s in-ear monitors, Phil instructed the beginning of the Terrapin Suite, “Lady With A Fan,” recalling Phish’s epic “Terrapin Station” tribute on August 9, 1998 in Virginia Beach. Watching this unfold only 10 rows from the band, I was certainly grateful for the enormity of this opportunity. Phil lent his vocals to the timeless story, and the band followed suit with a masterful rendition. The ensemble and crowd were locked in, and the playing was communal and rich with melodic interplay and emotion. After a lengthy but focused jam that vamped on “Terrapin” themes, Phil and Campbell steered the ship toward major key riffing that again hinted at “The Other One,” and Trey displayed sharp improv and first-rate responsive playing as the jam veered back to “Terrapin.”

The vocal harmonies were high in quality when they re-entered the story, but the band teased again with Molo and Trey connecting in a “Spanish Jam”–esque gallop that Phil put a stop to with “Terrapin” lead runs and Joan’s ‘Bollywood’ vocal phrasings. The “Inspiration” portion was attacked double-time, with Phil belting out with an honesty and sentiment that can cause one to well up. The band’s energy just launched skyward, and most in the spirited audience basked in awe of this music being reinvented before our ears. I cannot overstate the raging fast “Terrapin” apex and coda – all that is immense about Phil and his band came through in this passage. Trey’s guitar howled atop the refrain as Molo destroyed the bottom-end with powerful fills and rumbles, Phil’s thunderous leads and bombs anchoring the voyage. They entered “St. Stephen” much to the delight of the now-enraptured Camden crowd. The band sang “Stephen” in grand unison and couldn’t wait to jam, racing towards the space with the excitement of a band half their age. They reached the destination, and again, the band encouraged Trey to take the lead. He did so wearing a shit-eating grin I haven’t seen in some time. Listening to the Languedoc singing sweet ’68-style Garcia melodies was simply thrilling. Phil sang the “Lady Finger” passage as the crowd quieted to a hush. A bombastic bass explosion torched the breakdown and set off the jam – Trey was just in the zone. It seemed as if Phil stoked his flame, the proud papa throwing down the monster grooves. They were too much for Trey, he just couldn’t help himself, answering Phil with straight Garcia phrasings. His blistering Jerry leads like those of the old Gibson SG continued throughout the set. Epic.

[Phil & Friends with Trey Anastasio – St. Stephen, Camden | Slideshow shared by acdcbagofbones]

The band peaked at “St. Stephen” and proceeded to noodle around a bit to ease the transition and to tackle the enormous “The Eleven.” A difficult time signature and a complex arrangement, Trey tried to hang while Molo and Phil were just working it, pummeling the rhythms into the ground with magnanimous force. Larry Campbell picked up some shine on “The Eleven” as well. The jamming between songs was lengthy and exhilarating, so the slowing down of the set was indeed welcome. A descending jam quieted to reveal the beautiful lullaby “Rosemary,” and again it was Larry Campbell stepping up with choice serene licks. Joan’s sultry vocal tones soothed the melodies elegantly. “Desire” was sandwiched between sections of “Rosemary.”

Osby and Trey then squared off for an interesting duel of free-form guitar and saxophone, and that meandered into a buoyant “Fire On The Mountain.” Not only did Trey introduce the vocal lead, he delivered mesmerizing reproductions of the classic “Fire” Garcia leads. Of all the guitarists that have played with Phil, Trey has ironically remained most steadfast and true to the Garcia lead guitar lines. It’s as if they are ingrained in his brain and fingers; he effortlessly plays the classic Garcia lines in riff, verses and solos. For a guy who swore forever he was nothing like Jerry, his masterful dedication to the timeless Garcia licks is something special. All of Phil’s Friends on guitar have added their own flair and style to the songs, and Trey does that as well. But more often he stays true to Garcia’s sonic visions, and that I applaud mightily. The screaming “Fire” guitar work from Trey cements this point. The band flowed finally into an anthemic “I Know You Rider,” with Phil and Rob singing and saving Garcia’s “headlight” verse for the redhead. The band country-jammed out the end of the mammoth set, which ended just after 1 a.m. Phil and his band, sans Trey, returned for a gripping “Box Of Rain” that, as per usual, tugged on the heartstrings of most in the venue. The roughly two-hour journey was exhilarating and served to further develop the bond between generations. This particular evening of music was a filial exchange of song and emotion, from the monumental GD catalog through the fearless and ambitious guitarist, among all of the other magical collaboration that filled the night.

The following day’s events at Holmdel paled in comparison to the previous enchanted evening. Formerly the Garden State Arts Centre, the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel is also a sight of various great shows in Phishtory. This day was probably a good time, but still reeling from Camden and on the heels of that second Phil set, it was difficult to focus. Phil & Friends opened this Saturday show, and Mike and the Italians closed the concert.

The only thing similar about the two shows was The Duo opening set, where on Saturday they chose to perform “Play Pause Stop” as well as several songs from their last two records. This was in essence a hometown show for these two North Jersey cats, who grew up playing kickball, listening to hair bands, and hanging out at the mall in these Babylon suburbs. Joe Russo reveled on the drum riser, looking out into a crowd that held many of his lifelong friends and family and Marco’s as well – a proud night for The Duo indeed.

Phil & Friends took the stage early in the evening, with the sun still shining brightly and people filing in a few at a time. The vibe was almost that of a West Coast GD/Phil show, with some dancing, talking and a good-time vibe permeating during the band’s set. Their selections were choice but seemingly less inspired (or less intense). A show-opening sing-a-long in “Truckin'” set the tone, and soon after, Mike Gordon ambled onstage with a banjo and plucked along to a hot “Cumberland Blues” and “Big River,” the latter featuring a sizzling jam that Larry Campbell tore to shreds with some sweet, clean Fender licks. The classic “Stagger Lee” was told with Phil tackling the tune with bounce aplenty and Rob Barraco peeking out with sweet ragtime piano and vocals. A Joan-led “Sugaree” closed out the fun first set.

“Playing In The Band” launched the second set, and the energy and focus seemed a bit more prevalent as the night wore on for Phil & Friends. A 1990s style “Eyes Of The World” allowed Greg Osby to shine with soaring saxophone leads, a la Branford Marsalis. Barry Sless was following Osby’s lead and playing impressive Garcia tones with serene pedal steel phrasings. Ryan Adams’ “Magnolia Mountain” is an interesting alt-country track that Phil has taken quite a liking to, and Larry Campbell soothed the humid Jersey faithful with tranquil passages. A monster “Help On The Way” > “Slipknot!” > “Franklin’s Tower” suite closed the set, with Phil, Molo, and Larry laying out tasty, snake-charming rhythms, locking into a colossal groove that shook the foundation of the pavilion. Trey was late to the party, arriving onstage to strum along to “Franklin’s” and smile at friends and family in the first two rows. He emerged for the fun and spirited “Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad” encore, playing along with the band and soaking up much of the adulation remaining from the previous night’s supernatural experience.

The G.R.A.B. band, as Phil called them, had some bigger shoes to fill in the headlining slot. On this night, the exquisite lighting of longtime Phish director Chris Kuroda would be on display. They opened curiously with “Plasma,” a solo Trey song from the album of the same name. The Duo laid a sinister foundation for Mike and Trey to build upon, and Trey’s aural six-string assault was on display, a la mid-1990s pure shred. Though I love “Drifting,” a sappy Trey song that is quite well-written, The Duo and Mike didn’t add much to it. I prefer Trey’s other versions, with the subtle horns and female vocals.

Some songs were very successful in taking advantage of the strengths of this band, most notably “Suskind Hotel,” sung by Mike. This original featured phenomenal IT-era type jamming, full of tension, sonic noise rock, release and suspense. Joe’s drumming on this song was exemplary, his masterful use of cymbals on display. “Suskind Hotel” truly demonstrated the heights this band can ascend to if they focus on their strengths and play reciprocally. “Goodbye Head” was a song with potential, a prog-rock track with many sections that were expounded upon with alert and spirited interplay between Marco and Trey. This has been played in other Trey incarnations as well, but I found most of Trey’s previous solo work to be inappropriate for this project.

G.R.A.B. launched into an arena-rock jam, full of bombastic energy and wailing leads emanating from the Languedoc, and then “Mud City” was balls-out rock to the core, with Gordon and Russo locking in and chugging it along like a Mack truck. Russo is an animated player and under these circumstances he was no different. You can clearly see him enjoying himself during the charging “Host Across The Potomac,” “Dragonfly,” and definitely “Mr. Completely,” which at Holmdel was delivered with a confidence and freedom Trey has lacked in recent endeavors. As Trey led the band into his solo “anthem,” the extremely generic and woefully inept “Shine,” complete with plodding, Def Leppard-esque outro jam, one had to wonder what Russo must have been thinking – the eclectic, cutting edge, avant-garde player/listener that he is. Pin Me. Pay Me!!?? Just a thought …

Marco Benevento, on the other hand, is certainly stoked. His virtuoso keyboard prowess and inventive jazz/rock styles have awoken a sleeping giant. Marco has pushed Trey back toward the fire and is challenging him each and every night in front of thousands. Marco isn’t in awe of this man, nor is he employed by him. Trey is playing with The Duo because The Duo is that good. It is evidenced each time they take the stage.

A raging rock cover was added to the repertoire for Holmdel, a ferocious take on The Beatles’ “Get Back.” The jam that followed this vigorous song was pure rock & roll swagger, a la Phish’s “Loving Cup” or the GD’s “Baba O’Reilly.” The four musicians seemed to check their agendas at the door for this one and united in a collaborative tribute to another of the great rock songbooks. Quite conversely, Trey made the sad attempt at covering one of Russo’s demigods, Elliott Smith. The resulting flubbing of “Coming Up Roses” was sincerely embarrassing. A good intention was evident, but Trey really should have better familiarized himself with the composition before attempting to deliver it to thousands of paying fans. Sound familiar?

Just to right the ship in regards to cover songs, G.R.A.B. attempted another in the bag of Duo tricks, a Zeppelin cover. Those in Duo-land know what Marco and Joe are capable of when it comes to getting the Led out. Phish themselves have a storied history of Zeppelin covers as well, so it was fairly disappointing when the “Communication Breakdown” encore lacked the punch that any of their previous Zeppelin tributes had displayed. Sure, one can’t expect Bustle In Your Hedgerow, but this limp-wristed version of a classic fuzz-box riff was just flat. Many would have preferred a Duo or Mike original to help balance out the plethora of Trey solo material that has plagued this project, especially early in this tour. One must assume some were quite thrilled with the early Zep chestnut, as it received a raucous ovation from the still-strong Holmdel massive as the show drew to a close. Trey fired up the Languedoc for one final time while Joe Russo was a flailing, whirling dervish behind the kit, emulating John Bonham in a flurry of bass/tom fills and rollicking bottom end. Mike Gordon, he of the Modulus bass bombs and bobbing hair helmet, was left to rumble beneath the cacophony that surrounded him. His creativity and general personality are somewhat muted in this collaboration, and that is certainly unfortunate, as it was indeed his charisma and energy that first piqued The Duo’s curiosities.

And so it ended, this first pair of shows – the second and third of this short tour. The music sounds different to each set of ears, and I am only one voice, one opinion. In regards to these performances, my thoughts and emotions were all over the place, akin to the playing itself throughout the weekend. Needless to say, the phenomenal second Phil set in Camden is already the stuff of legend, and a precursor to a tour filled with Trey’s magnificent Garcia lines. But that brings us to the question, and uncertainty, that surrounds Anastasio. After a career spent running from beneath the shadow of Garcia, the irony lies within. Searching for his own voice after silencing his most revered, celebrated and recognizable band, Trey is now most comfortable, distinguished and triumphant playing the music of Jerry Garcia, the label he so desperately sought to shed.

The project with Gordon and The Duo is looking and sounding more like merely a different Trey solo outfit, as opposed to a collaborative band of equal company. Fans may have to wait until Mike regroups with The Duo, sans Trey, for a return to the experimental, liberating vigor that defined that “Trio.” Either that, or hope that Trey begins to trust his instincts and allows Mike and The Duo to contribute their talents and creativity equally to this project, and leaves the “Shine,” “Sweet Dreams Melinda,” and other pop-slop to his other endeavors. I for one hope that Trey, Mike, and The Duo hunker down and write a couple dozen songs and learn a couple dozen more. Then take this project on the road in smaller, indoor venues, where the acoustics and claustrophobic atmosphere would far better serve the dynamic talents of these musicians.

As for Mr. Phil Lesh and his fantastic Friends, things are only getting better. Fans should hope that this lineup stays together for some time; their classy and humble playing lends itself mightily to the concept of communal playing. The depth and breadth of the GD’s oceanic songbook, myriad of styles, and timeless repertoire allow for endless wading though sonic psychedelia. Driven by the bruising pairing of John Molo and Phil Lesh, this conglomerate will only serve the magic in greater doses in the months and years to come. Thank-you Phil.

Till the morning comes…

Setlists via Phish.net

June 30, 2006 Tweeter Center at the Waterfront, Camden, NJ

Phil Lesh & Friends

Set One: Jam > China Cat Sunflower > The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion), Bird Song, Bartering Lines, All Along the Watchtower

Set Two: Jam -> Terrapin Station -> St. Stephen -> The Eleven > Rosemary -> Desire > Rosemary -> Fire on the Mountain -> I Know You Rider

Encore: Box of Rain

Notes: Benevento/Russo Duo and G.R.A.B. opened. Trey sat in for “All Along the Watchtower,” the entire second set and the encore.

G.R.A.B.

Set One: Jam -> Play Pause Stop, Host Across the Potomac[1], Susskind Hotel, Goodbye Head > Something for Rockets, Drifting, Dragonfly, Spin > Hap-Nappy[2] -> Mr. Completely, Tuesday, Seasons, Mud City

[1] G.R.A.B. debut.

[2] Debut.

Notes: Benevento/Russo Duo opened, Phil Lesh & Friends closed. “Host Across the Potomac” was a G.R.A.B. debut and “Hap-Nappy” was a debut.


July 1, 2006 PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ

Phil Lesh & Friends

Set One: Jam -> Truckin’ -> Cumberland Blues[1], Big River[1], Stagger Lee -> Sugaree

Set Two: Playing in the Band -> Eyes of the World > Magnolia Mountain, Turn On Your Lovelight, Help on the Way > Slipknot! > Franklin’s Tower[2]

Encore: Goin’ Down the Road Feeling Bad[2]

[1] Mike on banjo.

[2] Trey on guitar.

Notes: Benevento/Russo Duo opened, G.R.A.B. closed. Mike sat in on banjo for “Cumberland Blues” and “Big River.” Trey sat in on guitar for “Franklin’s Tower” and “GDTRFB.”

G.R.A.B.

Set One: Plasma[1], Drifting, Mud City, Trouble, Goodbye Head > Sleep Again, Get Back[1] > Shine[1], Susskind Hotel, Coming Up Roses[1], Host Across the Potomac, Mr. Completely > Dragonfly > Communication Breakdown[1]

Encore: Tuesday

[1] G.R.A.B. debut.

Notes: Benevento/Russo Duo then Phil Lesh & Friends opened. This show featured the G.R.A.B. debuts of “Plasma,” “Get Back” (The Beatles), “Shine,” “Coming Up Roses” (Elliott Smith) and “Communication Breakdown” (Led Zeppelin).

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