On Monday night, Bob Weir and Wolf Bros closed out their first-ever tour with a bang at New York’s storied Beacon Theatre. While Bob Weir, Jay Lane, and Don Was‘ first night at The Beacon highlighted the core trio’s abilities as a unit, the final night of the tour was all about getting their friends involved, as a rotating cast of guests joined the band throughout the show.
The performance began with Weir/John Perry Barlow classic “The Music Never Stopped” before segueing smoothly into Rob Wasserman‘s “Easy Answers” with help from the first guest of the evening, guitarist Steve Kimock. “Easy Answers” found its way back into a brief reprise of “The Music Never Stopped” as Kimock left the stage. Next up was a cover of Bobby Darin‘s deceptively upbeat “Artificial Flowers”, marking just the second rendition of the vocal standard this tour. Blue Mountain track “Only A River” followed, featuring another appearance by Kimock.
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A spirited run through “Black-Throated Wind” saw Weir welcome saxophonist Kenny Brooks and trumpeter Reggie Pittman to the fold for the first time on the night. After the tune, Bob Weir thanked the Monday night crowd. “Thanks for your kind attention,” he noted. “How’re y’all doin’ out there tonight? Y’all having fun? Of course you are. This next one’s a true story. It’s about a girl I know, but everybody knows one of these girls. And it’s just a little advice for her…” The girl in question was “Odessa”, the big-mouthed heroine of RatDog lore, who made just her second appearance of the tour. To close out set one, Weir brought out Australian bassist Tal Wilkenfeld for an unusual one-two punch of “Scarlett Begonias” and “Cassidy”, the latter featuring Kimock on guitar. As Cassidy finished, Weir encouraged those in attendance to donate to victims of the devastating fires that engulfed California this week.
In the spirit of giving, we’re donating proceeds from last night and tonight’s shows in New York to those affected by California wildfires.
— Bob Weir (@BobWeir) November 20, 2018
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When Weir and company returned to the stage for set two, the once again had Brooks and Pittman in tow. The pair would remain onstage for the duration of the seamless set two. As they slid into their “Even So”, Weir noted, “We’re gonna start off with a ballad, which hardly anyone ever does. Probably for good reason.” The song’s appropriate lyrics (“Bad news, the wolfman’s at the door”) set a smokey tone for what would become a remarkable set.
Yet another RatDog tune came next in “October Queen”, followed by a soaring rendition of “Bird Song” and a jazz-inflected run through “Eternity”. “Eternity” eventually bled into “The Other One” as Kimock once again entered the fold, where he’d remain for the rest of the show. An emotional reading of “Days Between” succeded “The Other One” before a celebratory “Turn On Your Love Light” rounded out the set. Finally, Wilkenfeld rejoined the band for the encore, helping the trio-turned-sextet through a powerful “Ripple” > “Brokedown Palace” encore.
With that, Bob Weir and Wolf Bros’ first-ever tour has reached its conclusion. From here, Weir has a few weeks off before heading to Hawaii on New Year’s Eve to join Bill Kreutzmann, George Porter Jr., and more for Billy’s “Rising Up To Paradise” benefit.
Thank you, Bobby, Jay, and Don, for a real good time this fall.
You can watch full crowd-shot video of Bob Weir and Wolf Bros’ tour finale at The Beacon below:
Bob Weir and Wolf Bros – 11/19/18 – Set One
Bob Weir and Wolf Bros – 11/19/18 – Set Two
Setlist: Bob Weir and Wolf Bros | The Beacon Theatre | New York, NY | 11/19/18
Set One: The Music Never Stopped > Easy Answers* > The Music Never Stopped (Reprise), Artificial Flowers, Only A River*, Black-Throated Wind#, Odessa*#, Scarlet Begonias^ > Cassidy*^
Set Two: Even So# > October Queen# > Bird Song# > Eternity# > The Other One#* > Days Between#* > Turn On Your Love Light#*
Encore: Ripple*^ > Brokedown Palace*^
*with Steve Kimock (guitar)
^with Tal Wilkenfeld (bass)
#with Kenny Brooks, Reggie Pittman (sax, trumpet)