After knocking down a couple of back-to-back shows at Brooklyn Bowl on Friday and Saturday, Melvin Seals & JGB headed north about 50 miles up I-95 to Fairfield, CT to finish out the weekend at The Warehouse at FTC. The Sunday spectacle from Jerry Garcia‘s longtime organist also marked bass player John-Paul McLean‘s birthday.
The regular ensemble of Seals, McLean, guitarist John Kadlecik, and drummer Jeremy Hoenig was once again joined by saxophonist Ron Holloway (Warren Haynes, Susan Tedeschi) who is on board as a special guest for many October dates. The freshly minted quintet dug into a set of covers favored by the late Grateful Dead guitarist including the opening instrumental “Merle’s Tune” as well as “Ain’t No Bread in the Breadbox”, “Catfish John”, Los Lobos‘ “Evangeline”, Bob Dylan‘s “When I Paint My Masterpiece”, and more. The “penultimate song” of the set arrived with Peter Rowan by way of Old & In The Way‘s “Midnight Moonlight”, before a participatory “Happy Birthday” to JP finished off the first frame.
Returning for the second set, Melvin Seals & JGB would adopt a more Dead-heavy approach. Following mellow takes on “Let the Good Times Roll” and “Get Out of My Life, Woman”, the group would take the Grateful Dead’s catalog through the rest of the performance, beginning with “Bird Song” before igniting a continuous stream of music that would last through the entire show. Lighting up the improvisational juggernaut “Eyes of the World”, Melvin Seals & JGB rode the vehicle into Jeremy Hoenig’s drum solo before emerging on the other side with “Help On the Way”. The customary “Slipknot!” instrumental came next but, rather than finishing off the sequence with “Franklin’s Tower”, the band took a hard left turn down “Shakedown Street” to end the show.
Melvin Seals & JGB – The Warehouse at FTC – Fairfield, CT – 10/9/22
Setlist: Melvin Seals & JGB | The Warehouse at FTC | Fairfield, CT | 10/9/22
Set One: Merle’s Tune, Ain’t No Bread In the Breadbox, Catfish John, Evangeline, When I Paint My Masterpiece, We Be Jammin’, Twilight, Tough Mama, Midnight Moonlight, Happy Birthday
Set Two: Let the Good Times Roll, Get Out Of My Life, Woman, Bird Song, Eyes of the World > Drum World > Help On the Way > Slipknot! > Shakedown Street
Notes: With special guest Ron Holloway