Inspiration moved Bob Weir & Wolf Bros brightly on Thursday in Iowa, with the Grateful Dead guitarist honoring the late Wayne Shorter. The innovative jazz saxophonist who left his mark on the genre through stints with everyone from Miles Davis to Herbie Hancock to John McLaughlin—as well as founding Weather Report—died on Thursday at the age of 89.
Weir and company’s tributes to Shorter were twofold last night at Stephens Auditorium in Ames, IA. At the tail end of the first set, Weir dedicated the Dead’s intricately expansive “Weather Report” suite to Shorter, who founded the landmark progressive jazz ensemble of the same name in 1970 with Joe Zawinul, Miroslav Vitouš, Alphonse Mouzon, Don Alias, and Barbara Burton.
Later on, in the second set, Weir, Wolf Bros, and The Wolf Pack string/horn section were in the midst of The Beatles‘ “Come Together” when keyboardist Jeff Chimenti signaled the change into Shorter’s own “Footprints”. Thursday marked Weir & Wolf Bros’ first-ever performance of the composition from Shorter’s 1966 LP Adam’s Apple.
The jazz textures allowed representatives from The Wolf Pack horn section to deliver solos in tribute to the towering saxophonist. As the band transitioned to “Footprints”, drummer Jay Lane was moved to exclaim “Thank you, Wayne! Wayne Shorter. Where are you right now?” As the band transitioned out of the “Come Together”/”Footprints” sandwich, Weir offered his first public performance of “Josephine” since March 29th, 2019. The track appeared on the self-titled Bobby And The Midnites album from 1981.
Related: Bob Weir & Wolf Bros Celebrate Women’s History Month In St. Paul [Audio]
Elsewhere in the show, Bobby and the band dished out a pair of tour debuts. Both arrived in the first set, with Weir’s original “Salt Lake City” igniting a segue train that rolled through the Dead’s “He’s Gone” and “Brown Eyed Women”. Later on, following a performance of “Passenger”, Bob Weir & Wolf Bros performed the first cover of Bob Dylan‘s “Maggie’s Farm” of the tour that began exactly a month prior in South Carolina.
Stream full audio of Bob Weir & Wolf Bros show with The Wolf Pack from Iowa featuring tributes to Wayne Shorter.
Bob Weir & Wolf Bros ft. The Wolf Pack – Stephens Auditorium – Ames, IA – 3/2/23 – Full Audio
Setlist: Bob Weir & Wolf Bros ft. The Wolf Pack | Stephens Auditorium | Ames, IA | 3/2/23
Set One: Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo, Salt Lake City > He’s Gone > Brown Eyed Women, Passenger, Maggie’s Farm (Bob Dylan), Weather Report Suite  > Let It Grow
Set Two: Playing In The Band > Scarlet Begonias > Viola Lee Blues (Noah Lewis) > Come Together (The Beatles) > Footprints (Wayne Shorter)  > Josephine , I Need A Miracle > All Along The Watchtower (Bob Dylan) > Black Peter, Casey Jones
Encore: Liberty > Playing In The Band
 Dedicated to Wayne Shorter
 LTP 3/29/19