Shortly after Billy Strings took audiences to the end of the rainbow at the Arena, lespecial took the stage across town at the Asheville Music Hall for its own Halloween celebration on Sunday.

The theme for the lespecial Halloween show was the “Ungrateful Dead”, with guitarist Jon Grusauaskas dressed as Jeff Garcia, bassist Luke Bemand as Bob Weird, and drummer Rory Dolan as Zombie Jay Lane. The show would see a myriad of mashups, not limited to just the Grateful Dead, as displayed by the pairing of King Crimson‘s “21st Century Schizoid Man” with Black Sabbath‘s “Iron Man” that came following the opening original, “Fruit Wolf Dance”.

lespecial explored its latest album, 2020’s Ancient Homies, with “The Vessel” which segued into “Homie”. The power trio offered its first Dead take with a honky-tonk rendition of “Friend of The Devil”, pairing the American Beauty track up with Primus‘ “Frizzle Fry“. lespecial then mashed up two of its own songs with “Jackfruit”, a combination of “Jackwise” and “Fruit Wolf Dance”.

The band revisited the King Crimson catalog with “One More Red Nightmare”, segueing into the original “Pressed For Time”. Things got cinematic with a take on John Carpenter‘s iconic Halloween theme ahead of the Ancient Homies original “Snell’s Fleet”. A bit of setlist humor continued with some Slipknot—the mask-wearing metal band, not the Grateful Dead song—as the band covered “(sic)” ahead of Zombie Jay Lane’s drum solo, which rolled into “Stingy Jack”.

A tribute to Metallica came next with “Nothing Else Matters”, which flowed into the Dead’s “Fire On The Mountain”, featuring assistance from Donna of the Dead. lespecial still wasn’t done with the segue train, transitioning into Slayer‘s “Raining Blood” and a mashup of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” with the electro-classic “Sandstorm” by Darude. The band then finished off the set with a pair of originals, “Lungs of the Planet” and “Tonberry”.

Returning for the encore, lespecial had one more Dead tribute planned with a mashup of “Scarlet Begonias” and Primus’ “Spegetti Western”. The original “What’s Crappenin” came right before the grand finale, a combination of “Bugg’n” by TNGHT and “In The Air Tonight” by Phil Collins.

A full-show video of the lespecial “Ungrateful Dead” Halloween show at the Asheville Music Hall is available on YouTube. lespecial’s tour continues on Wednesday with a show at Heist Brewery Barrell and Arts in Charlotte, NC. The trio will return to Asheville on February 25th and 26th to support Umphrey’s McGee for its annual run at the Arena. For tickets and a full list of dates visit the band’s website.

lespecial – Asheville Music Hall – Asheville, NC – 10/31/21 – Full Show

[Video: Iam AVL]

Setlist: lespecial | Asheville Music Hall | Asheville, NC | 10/31/21

Set: Fruit Wolf Dance > 21st Century Iron Man (1), The Vessel > Homie, Friend of The Devil > Frizzle Fry (2), Jackfruit (3), One More Red Nightmare > Pressed For Time (4), Halloween Suite (5), Snell’s Fleet, (Sic) > Drum Solo> (6) Stingy Jack, Nothing Else Matters > Fire On The Mountain > Raining Blood > Enter Sandstorm (7), Lungs of the Planet, Tonberry

Encore: Scarlet Spegetti Western (8), What’s Crappenin> Buggn In The Air TNGHT (9)

(1) King Crimson/Black Sabbath mashup
(2) Grateful Dead/Primus
(3) Jackwise/Fruit Wolf Dance mashup
(4) King Crimson
(5) John Carpenter
(6) Slipknot (sic) not “Slipknot” by The Dead
(7) Metallica>The Grateful Dead>Slayer>Metallica>Darude. feat. Donna of the Dead
(8) Grateful Dead/Primus mashup
(9) TNGHT/Phil Collins mashup