On Friday evening, a pair of music legends—Melvin Seals and George Porter Jr.—brought their respective projects to Brooklyn Bowl for a spiritual performance.
George Porter, keyboardist Michael Lemmler, and drummer Terrence Houston got the evening started with some funky New Orleans flair. Porter, the founding bassist of The Meters, shined as always in his ever-present tie-dye, reminding the entire sold-out crowd why he’s still held in such high regard after all these years.
Following a brief set break, Seals, the longtime Jerry Garcia collaborator/bandmate and modern-day keeper of the JGB flame, took the stage with his band for a soul-cleansing headlining set. The latest iteration of the ever-evolving JGB lineup featured Seals on his throne behind the organ, veteran post-Jerry stand-in John Kadlecik on lead guitar, John-Paul McLean on bass, Pete Lavezzoli on drums, and Lady Chi and the newly-added Mary-eL on backing vocals. The band delivered a mix of favorite classic JGB covers, from “How Sweet It Is” to “After Midnight”, “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” to “My Sisters and Brothers”.
Late in the set, Melvin and company dove into a slow-burning rendition of classic Garcia/Robert Hunter Dead launchpad, “Help On The Way”. A customary transition into “Slipknot!” followed, Kadlecik and Seals driving the dissonant jam deeper and deeper. Rather than complete the tried and true Help > Slip > Franklin’s trio, however, the band made a surprise landing in another Grateful Dead staple, “Terrapin”. From there, a spirited “Midnight Moonlight” brought the show to a close.
Below, you can check out some photos of the performance courtesy of photographer Andrew Blackstein.
For a full list of upcoming Melvin Seals and JGB tour dates, head here.
For a full list of upcoming George Porter shows, head here.