Bob Weir delivered his first public performance since the pandemic alongside Wolf Bros at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on Tuesday night.
The first of a two-night run at Red Rocks—and a larger, four-night Colorado run—saw the Wolf Bros debut of “Lady With A Fan” and “Terrapin Station”.
Much like the Grateful Dead guitarist’s run of quarantine livestreams, the Red Rocks performance once again saw Wolf Bros joined by the Wolf Pack string section. Alongside Weir’s bandmates bassist Don Was, drummer Jay Lane, pedal steel guitarist Greg Leisz, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, the Wolf Pack included woodwind specialist Sheldon Brown, violinist Mads Tolling, trombonist Adam Theis, trumpeter Brian Switzer, and cellist Alex Kelly.
The extended ensemble kicked off the evening with the eerie “New Speedway Boogie”, with its ominous refrain of “One way or another, this darkness got to give.” The low rumble of the “New Speedway Boogie” eventually bled into the rollicking locomotive of “Truckin'” before the Wolf Pack shuffled offstage and Weir and company once again dug up “My Brother Esau”, a tune brought out of retirement during the band’s Chinese New Year stream after nearly seven years of lying dormant.
A docile “Peggy-O” provided a slight breather before Bob serenaded the crowd with “Black-Throated Wind”, followed by the reflections of “Brown Eyed Women”. The Wolf Pack then returned to the stage to close out the set with the eternal pairing of “Weather Report Suite” / “Let It Grow”.
Upon returning to the stage with the five-piece band, Weir and the Bros queued up Kris Kristofferson‘s “Me & Bobby McGee” before Bobby sat everyone down for storytime.
Weir regaled the audience with the story of how “Playing In The Band” came about when David Crosby paid a visit to Mickey Hart‘s ranch and the iconic riff was born. With that, the Wolf Pack returned to the stage as the enhanced ensemble lit into the riff in question and set up a lengthy jam. The jazz-infused space of “Playing” took a detour through “Uncle John’s Band” before hopping the onramp back to the “Playing” reprise.
The fiery improvisation of “Playing In The Band” was counterbalanced by the cool breeze of “He’s Gone” before Weir and Wolf Bros offered the debut of the “Lady With A Fan” / “Terrapin Station” cycle. With the Wolf Pack strings in tow, the band was able to recreate some of the mighty orchestral movements heard on the studio Terrapin Station recording.
The ebb and flow of the show continued with another brief respite, this time provided by the five-piece’s take on “Standing On The Moon”. Ending the second set on a high note, the Wolf Pack re-emerged as Bob lead the band through his signature “Sugar Magnolia” to close the frame before everyone returned for the encore of “Touch Of Grey”, with the reduced capacity crowd gleefully chiming along that “we will get by, we will survive.”
Watch the set one and two openers from Bob Weir and Wolf Bros with the Wolf Pack at Red Rocks Amphitheatre from Tuesday and scroll down to see the full setlist. The band returns tonight, June 9th, for its second of two shows at Red Rocks before moving onto the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail on Friday and Saturday.
You can tune in from anywhere for this week’s remaining three Wolf Bros shows. For more information or to order your livestream tickets, head here.
Bob Weir and Wolf Bros – “New Speedway Boogie” – Morrison, CO – 6/8/21
Bob Weir and Wolf Bros – “Me & Bobby McGee” (Kris Kristofferson), David Crosby Story – Morrison, CO – 6/8/21
Setlist: Bob Weir & Wolf Bros | Red Rocks Amphitheatre | Morrison, CO | 6/8/21
Set One: New Speedway Boogie , Truckin  > My Brother Esau, Peggy-O, Black-Throated Wind, Bown Eyed Women, Weather Report Suite  > Let It Grow
Set Two: Me & Bobby McGee (Kris Kristofferson), Playing In The Band  > Uncle John’s Band  > Playing In The Band , He’s Gone  > Lady With A Fan   > Terrapin Station  , Standing On The Moon, Sugar Magnolia 
Encore: Touch Of Grey 
 w/ Wolf Pack