Though Bob Weir is regarded as an exalted elder statesman of the rock community, even he must prostrate himself and pay tribute to The King. On Tuesday night, during a show at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, Weir and Wolf Bros honored Elvis Presley with a cover debut featuring a guest sit-in from Daniel Donato.

The show got started with business as usual, as Weir and his Bros Don Was (bass), Jay Lane (drums), and Jeff Chimenti (keyboards) along with The Wolf Pack string/horn section and Barry Sless (pedal steel guitar) took an ambient opening jam straight to the underworld with “Hell in a Bucket”. Moving through typical first set fanfare, covers of Bob Dylan‘s “Queen Jane Approximately” and Johnny Cash‘s “Big River” followed before Weir and his Wolfen brethren welcomed Cosmic Country guitarist Daniel Donato.

Those following along at home were already aware of the Nashville guitarist’s impending sit-in as Weir teased the appearance on social media ahead of the show—a growing trend on this winter tour. While RatDog‘s “Ashes and Glass” probably wasn’t at the top of everyone’s wishlist for this cross-generational guitar summit, Donato was in no hurry to get home, sticking around for the bulk of the first set.

The extended ensemble wound through the Jerry Garcia Band favorite “Don’t Let Go” before reprising “Ashes and Glass”, a favorite sandwich of this tour. Donato’s psychedelic twang came through in full effect for a take on Marty Robbins‘ “El Paso” ahead of some classic Grateful Dead with “Candyman”. To close out the set, Weir and Donato tipped their caps to the King of Rock n’ Roll with “Hound Dog”, marking Wolf Bros’ first-ever performance of the quintessential Presley track. Weir had not performed the song live since July 21st, 1998 with The Other Ones.

The party continued in the second set, with Bobby & Wolf Bros opening with “Iko Iko” in a nod to Fat Tuesday. Following performances of Weir’s solo track “Bombs Away” and “Greatest Story Ever Told”, Donato reappeared to kick off a lengthy stretch of improvisation that wove “Dark Star” through “China Cat Sunflower” and into “I Know You Rider”. Bidding farewell to the fiery young guitar player, Weir and his band finished out the show with runs through “New Speedway Boogie”, “Black Peter”, and “Going Down the Road Feelin’ Bad” ahead of a “U.S. Blues” encore.

Stream full-show audio of Tuesday’s Bob Weir & Wolf Bros show featuring The Wolf Pack and check out a fan-shot video of the Daniel Donato sit-in.

Bob Weir & Wolf Bros ft. The Wolf Pack – “Big River” (Johnny Cash) – 2/21/23

[Video: Cole Rector]

Bob Weir & Wolf Bros ft. The Wolf Pack w/ Daniel Donato – “El Paso” (Marty Robbins) – 2/21/23

[Video: Cole Rector]

Bob Weir & Wolf Bros ft. The Wolf Pack w/ Daniel Donato – “China Cat Sunflower” > “I Know You Rider” (Traditional) – 2/21/23

[Video: Daniel Donato]

Bob Weir & Wolf Bros ft. The Wolf Pack – Orpheum Theatre – Memphis, TN – 2/21/23 – Full Audio

Setlist: Bob Weir & Wolf Bros ft. The Wolf Pack | Orpheum Theatre | Memphis, TN | 2/21/23

Set One: Hell in a Bucket,  Queen Jane Approximately (Bob Dylan), Big River (Johnny Cash), Ashes and Glass [1] > Don’t Let Go (Roy Hamilton) [1] > Ashes and Glass [1], El Paso (Marty Robbins) [1], Candyman [1], Hound Dog (Elvis Presley) [1] [2]

Set Two: Iko Iko (Sugar Boy and His Cane Cutters), Bombs Away, Greatest Story Ever Told, Dark Star [1] > China Cat Sunflower [1] >  I Know You Rider (Traditional) [1], New Speedway Boogie, Black Peter,  Going Down the Road Feelin’ Bad (Henry Whitter)

Encore: U.S. Blues

[1] w/ Daniel Donato

[2] Wolf Bros debut, LTP played by Bobby 7/21/98 (with The Other Ones)