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Hot Tuna played Capitol Theater w/ New Riders of the Purple Sage (pics), celebrating Jorma’s 75th bday at Beacon Theater

photos by Greg Cristman, words by Andrew Sacher

Jorma Kaukonen / Jack Casady / New Riders of the Purple Sage
Hot Tuna
Hot Tuna
New Riders of the Purple Sage

The San Francisco Sound is unavoidable this year, but the Grateful Dead 50th anniversary shows aren’t the only ways to remember what a long strange trip it’s been. Another band that counted Jerry Garcia as a member, New Riders of the Purple Sage, made their way to the East Coast over the weekend to open for the equally legendary San Fran band Hot Tuna at Port Chester’s Capitol Theatre (7/18). The New Riders only have one original member (singer/guitarist David Nelson) and one longtime member (pedal steel player Buddy Cage, who took over for Jerry in ’71), but the current lineup of the band is still fantastic. (One of the members is guitarist Michael Falzarano, who also played in Hot Tuna in the ’90s.) They played a few off one of their recent albums, 2009’s Where I Come From, which Nelson wrote a lot of with Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, but otherwise stuck mostly to their early ’70s years, including “I Don’t Know You,” “Henry” and “Louisiana Lady” off their classic debut. And they ended with their version of The Stones’ “Dead Flowers” which got most of the previously-seated crowd to their feet.

Hot Tuna, who tour as a variety of different lineups, chose to keep things bare-bones this time with main members Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady backed only by a drummer. That’s not to say it was more simple though. Without guest vocalists or additional players, the spotlight really was on Jorma and Jack the whole time, and those guys are a thrill to watch. They’re both past 70, but they’re still touring machines and it shows. Their energy never waned throughout the set, their level of musicianship impresses but never shows off, and when they lock into a jam it’s tight and focused. We got Tuna faves like “I See the Light,” “Hit Single #1″ and “Funky #7,” plus a couple Jefferson Airplane tunes (“Good Shepherd” and “Trial by Fire”) and more. Full setlist and pictures in this post.

Hot Tuna‘s upcoming tour includes two newly-announced NYC shows: Beacon Theatre on November 20 & 21 in celebration of Jorma’s 75th birthday (they played the same venue last December to celebrate Jack’s 70th). Tickets go on sale Friday (7/24) at 10 AM with local/AmEx/chase/VIP presales starting Thursday (7/23) at 10 AM. Tuna’s tour also hits Virginia’s Lockn’ Festival in September, where they’ll play an acoustic set and a full Jefferson Airplane set for the Airplane’s 50th anniversary. Phil Lesh, Robert Plant, Carlos Santana and more are also on the lineup (tickets).

New Riders also have more dates coming up, including Connecticut’s Gathering of the Vibes festival (with Wilco, Weezer, Gregg Allman, Sharon Jones, The Gaslight Anthem and more), other CT stops, shows in NJ and NY state, and more. David Nelson is also playing as a member of Phil Lesh & Friends at the 11/6 and 11/7 dates of their six-show Capitol Theatre run (tickets).

All New Riders and Hot Tuna dates are listed, with more pictures and setlists from The Capitol Theatre, below…

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New Riders of the Purple Sage

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Electric Hot Tuna

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New Riders of the Purple Sage at The Capitol Theatre – 7/18/15 Setlist (via)
Where I Come From
I Don’t Know You
Lonesome L.A. Cowboy
Henry
Louisiana Lady
Big Six
Higher
Wookie Kids
Dead Flowers (Rolling Stones cover)

Hot Tuna at The Capitol Theatre – 7/18/15 Setlist (via)
I See the Light
True Religion
Hesitation Blues
I Can’t Be Satisfied
A Little Faster
Trial by Fire
Watch the North Wind Rise
Bowlegged Woman, Knock Kneed Man
Ode for Billy Dean
Good Shepherd
99 Year Blues
Bar Room Crystal Ball
Water Song
Come Back Baby
Funky #7

Encore:
Hit Single #1

New Riders of the Purple Sage — 2015 Tour Dates
7/22/15 Humbloldt Brews 856 10th Street ARCATA, CA
7/23/15 Caspar Inn 14957 Caspar Rd. CASPAR, CA
7/24/15 Caspar Inn 14957 Caspar Rd. CASPAR, CA
7/25/15 Terrapin Crossroads 100 Yacht Club Drive SAN RAFAEL, CA
7/26/15 Terrapin Crossroads 100 Yacht Club Drive SAN RAFAEL, CA
7/31/15 The Freight House Hall 188 S. Main Street WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT
8/1/15 Gathering Of The Vibes Seaside Park BRIDGEPORT, CT
8/4/15 Flour City Station 170 East Avenue ROCHESTER, NY
8/5/15 The Westcott Theater 524 Westcott Street SYRACUSE, NY
8/6/15 Chenango Blues Association Summer Series East Side Park NORWICH, NY
8/7/15 A Bear’s Picnic Liberty Festival Grounds 173 Taylor Run Road ROARING BRANCH, PA
8/8/15 Turkey Trot Acres 188 Tubbs Hill Road CANDOR, NY
9/17/15 Daryl’s House 130 Route 22 PAWLING, NY
9/18/15 The Stanhope House 45 Main Street STANHOPE, NJ
9/19/15 Camp Jam In The Pines Old Cedar Campground/274 Richwood Rd. MONROEVILLE, NJ
9/20/15 Wormtown Music Festival Camp Keewanee GREENFIELD, MA
9/24/15 The Ridgefield Playhouse 80 East Ridge Avenue RIDGEFIELD, CT
9/25/15 Infinity Hall 20 W. Greenwoods Road RT. 44 NORFOLK, CT
9/26/15 Autumn Equinox Page Farm 46 Sand Hill Road CROYDON, NH
10/1/15 Southland Ballroom 614 N. West Street RALEIGH, NC
10/2/15 Albino Skunk Bluegrass Festival 4063 Jordan Road GREER, SC

Hot Tuna — 2015 Tour Dates
07/25/15 Fur Peach Ranch Pomeroy, OH*
08/01/15 Fur Peace Station Pomeroy, OH&
08/06/15 Ponte Vedra Concert Hall Ponte Vedra Beach, FL*
08/07/15 Capitol Theater Clearwater, FL*
08/08/15 Studio Theatre @ King Center for the Performing Arts Melbourne, FL*
08/09/15 The Funky Biscuit Boca Raton, FL*
08/12/15 Cox Capitol Theatre Macon, GA*
08/13/15 The Pour House Charleston, SC*
08/15/15 The Lincoln Theatre Raleigh, NC*
08/16/15 Rams Head Annapolis, MD*
09/11/15 Lockn’ Festival Arrington, VA#
09/12/15 Lockn’ Festival Arrington, VA^
09/23/15 Kent Stage Kent, OH^
09/24/15 Babeville Buffalo, NY^
09/25/15 Center for the Arts Homer, NY^
09/26/15 Speed of Sound Festival Dutchess County Airport Wappingers Falls, NY&
10/01/15 Bret Harte Hall @ Roaring Camp Railroads Felton, CA^
10/22/15 Iron Horse Music Hall Northhampton, MA*
10/24/15 Woodstock Playhouse Woodstock, NY*
11/06/15 Terrapin Crossroads San Rafael, CA*
11/07/15 Great American Music Hall San Francisco, CA^
11/14/15 Fur Peace Station Pomeroy, OH^
11/20/15 Beacon Theater New York City, NY
11/21/15 Beacon Theater New York City, NY
11/25/15 Keswick Theatre Glenside, PA^

* – Jorma Solo
^ – Acoustic Hot Tuna
& – Electric Hot Tuna
# – Hot Tuna celebrate 50 years of Jefferson Airplane

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