On Saturday, September 9th, an impressive crew of musicians converged on the Mountain Theater in Marin County, CA’s Mount Tamalpais State Park for the 2017 edition of Sound Summit: A Benefit For The Mountain. Sound Summit is presented by Roots & Branches Conservancy, a group dedicated to raising funds for natural resource protection and conservation of Mount Tamalpais State Park and the surrounding areas.
In addition to serving as a benefit for the state park, explained the Marin Independent Journal, the third consecutive Sound Summit was hosted “in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival, a historic weekend that drew tens of thousands of young people to the same 3,700-seat amphitheater on Mount Tam in June 1967, the Summer of Love, to hear then-fledgling bands like The Doors and the Jefferson Airplane. It was the first major rock festival in America, preceding the storied Monterey Pop Festival by a week…And it was the last major rock event of its kind on the mountain for 46 years, until Sound Summit executive producer Michael Nash staged Tam Jam in the Mountain Theater in 2013.”
The 2017 Sound Summit event featured a very special Phil Lesh & Friends show with fellow founding Grateful Dead member Bob Weir, keyboardist Holly Bowling, and more, as well as a solo set by Jim James of My Morning Jacket and performances from indie rocker/actress Jenny Lewis, the legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and San Francisco-based folk band Vetiver.
After an afternoon of music from the various opening acts, Jim James took the stage for a solo performance that included Paul Williams‘ classic ballad “Rainbow Connection,” Simon & Garfunkel‘s “America,” and various selections from the Jacket and his solo band’s catalogue. As a special surprise, Bob Weir came out and joined him for the end of his set, marking the second time in as many nights that Weir joined James onstage for an acoustic duo. The two finished out James’ set with Daniel Lanois‘ “The Maker,” as well as the Dead’s “Brokedown Palace” and a set-closing rendition of Buffalo Springfield‘s “For What It’s Worth.” However, this would not be the last time James and Weir shared the stage on this evening.
Check out full video of Bob Weirs’s sit-in with Jim James at Sound Summit below, via YouTube user Steve Kiebus:
SETLIST: Jim James | Sound Summit | Mountain Theater at Mount Tamalpais State Park | Mill Valley, CA | 9/9/17
Rainbow Connection, Here in Spirit, Changing World, Everything Must Change, Wild Honey, America^, Over and Over, A New Life, I’m Amazed, Bermuda Highway, Same Old Lie, State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.), Wonderful^, The Maker* , Brokedown Palace*, For What It’s Worth*
* – w/ Bob Weir
^ – w/ Eric Johnson
On the heels of their collaborations at the recent LOCKN’ for, among other things, a run through the Grateful Dead’s classic 1977 album Terrapin Station, Sound Summit 2017’s Phil & Friends show with Bob Weir marked another rare modern onstage collaboration between the two founding band members. The set began with Bobby and Phil onstage playing an acoustic “Dark Star” similar to the one Weir played with Dead & Company during their 2017 summer tour. As the song went on, the rest of the band, including Holly Bowling and Ross James, joined the group onstage. The set went on to include takes on live Dead classics like “Playing In The Band,” “Box of Rain,” “Jack Straw,” and “Bird Song.” In addition, the band welcomed out Jim James to add coevals to “Tennessee Jed.” Finally, the band closed out the night with an appropriate “One More Saturday Night.”
SETLIST: Phil Lesh & Friends with Bob Weir| Sound Summit | Mountain Theater at Mount Tamalpais State Park | Mill Valley, CA | 9/9/17
Dark Star (acoustic) > Dark Star (Full Band) > Playing in the Band, Viola Lee Blues, Mexicali Blues, Tennessee Jed* > Down on the Bottom* > Tennessee Jed*, Box of Rain, Jack Straw, Bird Song, Not Fade Away, One More Saturday Night
* – With Jim James
You can check out a gallery of gorgeous photos of Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Jim James, and Preservation Hall Jazz Band below, courtesy of photographer Dave Vann.
[Cover photo via Dave Vann]