The Terrapin Family Band was extra thankful last week after Bob Weir and Molly Tuttle made surprise appearances at the band’s concert in Menlo Park, CA. The concert at The Guild Theatre the day before Thanksgiving was originally supposed to feature Peter Rowan, who came down with a case of COVID.
Though Graham Lesh, Eric Krasno, Jason Crosby, Ross James, and Alex Koford already have a good handle on the Grateful Dead‘s catalog, it doesn’t hurt to have one of the band’s singer/guitarists on hand. While the announcement that Rowan would miss Wednesday’s concert still hung in the air, Ross informed the crowd that they had found somebody else to help out as Weir emerged to a hail of applause.
Krasno and Lesh performed on acoustic guitars which were accented by Weir’s sharp electric guitar tone during the first set—as Jerry Garcia‘s “Alligator” Stratocaster sat ominously on an onstage guitar rack. The venerable elder statesman kicked off the show with his own composition “Cassidy” as the band eased into the first set with “Friend of the Devil” and a swaying “He’s Gone”.
A lengthy “Bird Song” opened up the depths of improvisation before “Jack-A-Roe” kept things moving as the group took a departure into the Jerry Garcia Band catalog by way of Jimmy Cliff‘s “The Harder They Come”. The first set then came to a close with the perpetual pairing of “China Cat Sunflower” and “I Know You Rider”.
Coming back for set two, the extended ensemble took a dual Strat attack with Bobby donning his familiar pink Fender while Lesh took up Garcia’s sticker-adorned 1955 model. With the wealth of instrumentation, the band took on the Grateful Dead’s orchestral opus “Terrapin Station”. A reading of the full suite was followed by “Shakedown Street”, which finished with a playful “Tighty Whitey’s in the House” rap by drummer Alex Koford.
The hits kept coming with an extended “Scarlet Begonias” prior to the gospel hymn “Samson and Delilah”. The darkness had to give with “New Speedway Boogie” before Molly Tuttle took the stage to lend her voice on a tender “Standing on the Moon”. The unmistakable rhythm of The Crickets‘ “Not Fade Away” came next, with the expanded Terrapin Family Band ending the show with a bang by weaving the closer through Led Zeppelin‘s “Whole Lotta Love”, ultimately seguing back to NFA and walking offstage while the crowd kept the beat.
Taking the stage one last time, the band lulled the audience off into Thanksgiving with “Brokedown Palace”.
The Terrapin Family Band, Bob Weir – “Cassidy”, “Friend of the Devil”, “He’s Gone” [Pro-Shot] – 11/23/22
The Terrapin Family Band, Bob Weir – The Guild Theatre – Menlo Park, CA – 11/23/22 – Set Two [Pro-Shot]
The Terrapin Family Band, Bob Weir – The Guild Theatre – Menlo Park, CA – 11/23/22 – Full Show
[Audio: Eric Wilkens]
Setlist: The Terrapin Family Band | The Guild Theatre | Menlo Park, CA | 11/23/22
Set One: Cassidy, Friend of the Devil, He’s Gone, Bird Song, Jack-A-Roe, The Harder They Come, China Cat Sunflower, I Know You Rider
Set Two: Terrapin Station, Shakedown Street, Scarlet Begonias, Samson and Delilah, New Speedway Boogie, Standing on the Moon , Not Fade Away  > Whole Lotta Love > Not Fade Away
Encore: Brokedown Palace 
Entire show with Bob Weir
 w/ Molly Tuttle