Rounding out their second trip out to the East Coast, psychedelic cowboys Grateful Shred stopped by the Ardmore Music Hall this past Sunday, March 3rd for a truly special show to close out their 2019 winter tour. We all know the phrase about shows on Sundays, right?

Trekking through cold rain, snow, and icy conditions, fans were treated to a high-energy, guitar-laden show from start to finish. Adding to the mind-bending fray alongside Grateful Shred this time around were Brooklyn-based guitar wizards Garcia Peoples. The usual four-piece comprised of guitar tandem Tom Malach and Danny Arakaki, bassist Andy Cush and drummer Cesar Arakaki, was also joined by contributing keyboardist Pat Gubler (PG6, Wet Tuna). The quintet kicked off the show at Ardmore in style underneath the liquid lava lights of The Mad Alchemy Liquid Light Show.

In short, Garcia Peoples took the crowd in Ardmore on a ride through space and time in just 4 songs. Each tune offered a glimpse into the vast well of influences that makes their sound so unique. The weaving and cohesive guitar work of Malach and Arakaki called to mind the most classic guitar tandems—think the tasteful runs of Television’s Richard Lloyd and Tom Verlaine mixed with the high-velocity riffing of Dickey Betts and Duane Allman, with some Jerry Garcia thrown in for good measure. In other words, it’s like nothing this scene has heard before, making it difficult to pick a single highlight of the set. What really stood out, though, was the fact that the crowd was completely tuned in from beginning to end, a rare sight to behold in any set these days, particularly an opener.

Enter the final East Coast sets of Grateful Shred. The lineup of bassist Dan Horne (Cass McCombs, Circles Around The Sun), guitarists Clay Finch, Sam Blasucci, and Austin McCutchen was once again joined by keyboardist Frank LoCrasto and drummer Austin Beede in their second-ever show at the Ardmore.

Clearly full of life from their second East Coast run and ever expanding their vast catalogue, it was all business for the Shred from the start. The first set opened with the classic patriotic jammer “U.S Blues,” followed by laid-back takes on “West LA Fadeaway” and the always welcomed “They Love Each Other”. A full-steam-ahead take on “Casey Jones” and an extended “Dancin’ In The Streets” featuring a shout out to the city of Brotherly Love brought the first set to a close.

In true prankster fashion, Grateful Shred opened up set two with “Cold Rain & Snow”, a sly nod to the inclement weather that pounded the city throughout the night. The song itself, however, was a textbook heater. It seemed that the band was fully prepared to get into the swing of things. The remainder of the set featured a metric ton of improvised interplay from the band, which the crowd welcomed with wide open arms.

Blasting out of “Cold Rain & Snow” into a monster string of “China>Rider>Eyes of the World”, there wasn’t a still body in the room or a frown in the place. A slight breather with “Cumberland Blues” found the band and audience reeling for more. What really sets this band apart from being “just another Dead cover band” was demonstrated in the back end of the second set. Diving deep into the catalog, they pulled out a stellar “Rubin and Cherise”, which led into a sonically intense “Truckin > Space” that twinkled and wound into a powerful live JGB favorite “Shining Star”. As if that wasn’t enough to call it a night, the band didn’t offer a chance to catch up before launching into a funky “Help > Slip > Frank” to close out the set. The band wrapped up the night with their newest recorded release, “Man Smart, Woman Smarter.”

From here, Grateful Shred will head back out west for a break before hitting the road again this spring for a run of shows on the left coast. Check their tour dates here.

Setlist: Garcia Peoples | The Ardmore Music Hall | Ardmore, PA | 3/3/19

I: One Step Behind, Feels So Great, Dishpan Boogie, Show Your Troubles Out

Setlist: Grateful Shred | The Ardmore Music Hall | Ardmore, PA | 3/3/19

I: US Blues, West LA Fadeaway, They Love Each Other, Casey Jones, Dancin’ In The Streets

II: Cold Rain & Snow, China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider > Eyes of the World, Cumberland Blues, Rubin & Cherise, Truckin > Space > Shining Star, Help On The Way > Slipknot! > Franklin’s Tower

E: Man Smart, Woman Smarter