It was a full on Jerry Garcia love-fest at the Merriweather Post Pavilion, as pretty much everyone came out to the “Dear Jerry” tribute last night. With music spanning the length of Garcia’s career, including favorites from the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia Band catalogs, legends took turns honoring some of the most beloved and influential music.
The first set mainly featured individual artists, as the show opened with Dead bassist Phil Lesh playing with his new band, Communion. They played a number of Grateful Dead classics, including “The Wheel,” “Uncle John’s Band,” “Standing On The Moon,” and “Liberty.”
The next artists played with the house band, and included Allen Toussaint, David Grisman & Sam Bush, Peter Frampton, Buddy Miller, Jorma Kaukonen, and Jimmy Cliff. Cliff was joined by Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, and Dave Schools (WSP) to round out the first set with the intro to “Attics of My Life” into “Fire on the Mountain.”
The second set was all bands, with Billy & The Kids playing the famed “Help on the Way > Slipknot! > Franklin’s Tower” song trio. The majority of the band remained on stage, as The Disco Biscuits kept things going, bringing in Tom Hamilton and Bill Kreutzmann for a “Scarlet Begonias > I Know You Rider > Scarlet Begonias.” These guys have been immersing themselves in the Dead music since last year, and it really shows.
moe. and O.A.R. rounded out the second set with covers of “Loser” and “St. Stephen,” respectively.
Finally, set three brought it all home, with Bob Weir in the spotlight throughout. Weir opened the set with Los Lobos, playing “Not Fade Away” and “Bertha.” The next two performances, Trampled by Turtles’ “Brown Eyed Woman” and Yonder Mountain String Band’s “Shakedown Street,” brought some of Garcia’s beloved bluegrass into the mix.
Weir came back for a version of “Days Between” with the House Band, and then Grace Potter and Matt Burr joined him for a memorable “Friend of the Devil.” Blues guitarist Eric Church surprised with a stunning “Tennessee Jed,” but it was Widespread Panic’s “Morning Dew” that brought the house down.
To end the show, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, and Bob Weir joined up to sing the popular hit, “Touch of Grey,” before one grand finale, as just about everyone from the performance came on stage to sing the classic tune, “Ripple.”
Spanning three sets and four-plus hours, the all-star cast continuously showed their support and admiration for Jerry Garcia and his work. While some sets were unfortunately cut, including Railroad Earth and Greensky Bluegrass, the stars came out in spades for an artist truly worthy of an all-star tribute.
The concert was also filmed, and will eventually be released (most likely in DVD form). Check out the full setlist below:
“Dear Jerry” Tribute Concert Setlist – 5/14/15
Communion with Phil Lesh: The Wheel > Uncle John’s Band, Standing On The Moon, Liberty
Allen Toussaint with House Band: Get Out Of My Life Woman
David Grisman with House Band & Sam Bush: Shady Grove
Peter Frampton with House Band & Bill Kreutzmann: (I’m A) Roadrunner
Buddy Miller with House Band: Deal
Jorma Kaukonen with House Band: Sugaree
Jimmy Cliff with House Band: The Harder They Come
Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Dave Schools, Bill Kreutzmann & Jimmy Cliff with House Band: Attics Of My Life intro > Fire On The Mountain
Billy & The Kids: Help On The Way > Slipknot! > Franklin’s Tower
Disco Biscuits with Bill Kreutzmann & Tom Hamilton: Scarlet Begonias > I Know You Rider > Scarlet Begonias
O.A.R.: St. Stephen
Los Lobos with Bob Weir: Not Fade Away > Bertha
Trampled By Turtles: Brown-Eyed Women
Yonder Mountain String Band: Shakedown Street
Bob Weir with House Band: Days Between
Grace Potter, Bob Weir, Matt Burr & House Band: Friend Of The Devil
Eric Church with House Band: Tennessee Jed
Widespread Panic: Morning Dew
Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann & Mickey Hart: Touch Of Grey
Most Of The Evening’s Performers: Ripple