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Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir played the Blue Note (full set video, setlist)

Bob Weir at the Blue Note (photo via @meboudin)
Bob Weir at the Blue Note (photo via @meboudin)

Monday’s early show was particularly jazzy thanks in part to the handiwork of longtime RatDog saxophonist Kenny Brooks. The trio went at it alone to start and opened with “Dark Star.” Bob Weir & Wolf Bros would weave in an out of “Dark Star” throughout the 75-minute set in dreamlike fashion. One of the more interesting elements of the three-piece’s music is how at some points it’s incredibly loose and at others tight. There were points when it felt like the improvisation was dangling by a thread and the music was about to fall apart. Yet, this aspect was exciting and kept attendees hanging on every note.

[…] Weir, Was and Lane tipped their proverbial hat to a jazz legend by connecting on “A Love Supreme” jam. Bobby played the riff and Was picked up on it within seconds. Brooks emerged during the “A Love Supreme” jam and stuck around for two more forays into “Dark Star” land broken up by covers of Little Willie John’s “Fever” and Little Feat’s “Easy To Slip.” The latter saw Weir struggle with the second verse but he had fun with the flub and had the band restart the verse. Bobby was in fine voice all night long and the impeccable and unforgiving acoustics of the venue showed that at 71 years of age Weir is going through a renaissance.

Bob Weir and his new-ish trio Wolf Bros, who play stripped-down versions of Grateful Dead songs, are currently on tour and they squeezed in a last-minute, intimate NYC show at the Blue Note Jazz Club last night (3/11). They did early and late shows, and you had to win a ticket lottery to get in, but the show also streamed live via Nugs.tv and you can now watch an archived stream of both shows below. Setlists for both below too.

As the JamBase review quoted above points out, the trio (and at times a quartet at this show with Kenny Brooks) paid tribute to the jazz club environment by jamming on Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme,” and they also did a Bob Dylan cover, but mostly they stuck to Dead favorites. Bobby’s former bandmate Phil Lesh (who begins a NYC-area run at the Capitol Theatre this week) was in the audience but did not join Bobby on stage.

Bobby’s tour continues with two NJ shows this week, and he also plays Lockn’ Festival this summer. Also this summer, he’ll take Dead & Company back on the road. Dead & Co are also reportedly playing Woodstock 50.

As mentioned, Phil’s Capitol Theatre run is this week, and he’ll be back in New York for Mountain Jam (which now takes place at the site of the original Woodstock festival). Phil was also just added to Pickathon, alongside Makaya McCraven, Viagra Boys, Dan Mangan, The Richard Swift Hex Band (with members of Foxygen, Dr. Dog, and Pure Bathing Culture), and more. Updated lineup here.

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Setlists
Early Set: Dark Star v1 > A Love Supreme Jam* > Dark Star* > Fever* > Dark Star* > Easy To Slip* > Dark Star, Playing In The Band > Supplication Jam > When I Paint My Masterpiece > Supplication Jam* > Dark Star v2* > Playing In The Band Reprise*

Encore: Ripple*

* – w/ Kenny Brooks

Late Set: Eternity > Bird Song*, Most Of The Time, New Speedway Boogie > Morning Dew > Not Fade Away*

Encore: Not Fade Away Reprise > Oh Boy!

* – w/ Kenny Brooks

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