Last night, Voodoo Dead–a limited-time NOLA-fied Grateful Dead tribute group featuring Steve KimockOteil BurbridgeJeff ChimentiJackie GreeneWally IngramPapa Mali and more–continued their current run of shows with a performance at New York City’s Irving Plaza. After an opening set from Funky Dawgz Brass Band, the show kicked off with “Shakedown Street” > “Brown Eyed Women,” followed by a take on “Loser.” The “Dark Star” > “The Other One” > “Dark Star” sandwich that came next let the band stretch out a little, as they patiently explored some laid-back improvisatory space. To close their first set, the band welcomed vocalist Leslie Mendelson for spirited renditions of “That’s What Love Will Make You Do” and “Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad.”

You can listen to full audio of the performance below, courtesy of taper nico11104:

While this year’s Voodoo Dead lineup is teeming with seasoned veteran performers, it was their young surprise guest who stole the show in set two. After the opening “Eyes of the World”–and without any introduction–guitar prodigy Brandon “Taz” Niederauer walked onstage and led the band through a mesmerizing, extended take on The Meters‘ “Cissy Strut.” The excited smiles on Kimock and Oteil’s faces as they traded solos with the diminutive guitarist and the touching band group hug after the song made the moment all the more special. After Taz left the stage Greene, joked that you can’t help but be impressed by this young performer. “It’s like Star Wars…The last Jedi…a New Hope” for music. And it would be difficult for anyone in attendance to argue with the sentiment. You can watch footage of Taz’s sit-in with Voodoo Dead below, courtesy of YouTube user themeboudin:

The band rounded out their four-song second set with “So Many Roads” and “In The Midnight Hour” before sending the audience home with a “Not Fade Away” encore.

Voodoo Dead rounds out their 2017 run tonight with a two-night, sold-out run at Ardmore Music Hall in Ardmore, PA this weekend.

Setlist: Voodoo Dead | Irving Plaza | New York, NY | 2/10/17

Set 1: Shakedown Street > Brown Eyed Women, Loser, Dark Star > The Other One> Dark Star, That’s What Love Will Make You Do*, Goin’ Down the Road Feeling Bad*
Set 2: Eyes Of the World > Cissy Strut^, So Many Roads, In the Midnight Hour*
E: Not Fade Away*
Steve Kimock: guitar
Jeff Chimenti: keyboards and vocals
Jackie Greene: guitar, keyboards and vocals
Oteil Burbridge: bass and vocals
Wally Ingram: drums
Papa Mali: guitar and vocals
*w/Leslie Mendelson: vocals and percussion
^w/Brandon “Taz” Niederauer: guitar
[Cover Photo – Andrew O’Brien]