Over the weekend, LOCKN’ Music Festival saw some of the most highly anticipated performances of the summer, such as Bob Weir and Phil Lesh’s set recreating the Grateful Dead’s 1977 seminal album, Terrapin Station, with The Terrapin Family Band, among many others fine performances. With beloved original members of the Grateful Dead and some of the biggest acts in the jam scene today on hand, LOCKN’ saw a number of once-in-a-lifetime collaboration across its four days at Infinity Downs Farm in Arrington, Virginia.
To close out the festival with a bang, on Sunday night, Phil Lesh joined forces with friends from moe. for a special set affectionately dubbed phil.moe. Unfortunately, ahead of their LOCKN’ performance, moe. announced its sudden hiatus after bassist Rob Derhak announced he had been diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer and would need to start treatment at the beginning of August. While the show continued on sans Rob in person, the band figured out a fun way to ensure that their longtime bassist would be on-hand for their special set, which also saw appearances by Bob Weir; Nicki Bluhm; David Shaw, Rob Ingraham, and Michael Giradot of the Revivalists; and Lesh’s son, Grahame Lesh.
Throughout the phil.moe. set, Rob Derhak was there both in spirit and in the form of a tiny robot. The robot had a tiny picture of the bassist taped on top of it, ensuring that Rob could be there on-stage for moe.’s collaboration with Phil Lesh on Sunday night. Even better, the robot, appropriately nicknamed the “rob.ot,” was equipped with a camera, so that Rob could stream the group’s emotionally charged set from the comfort of his home. You can watch this video of the rob.ot checking out the scene at LOCKN’ during phil.moe’s rendition of “Four” below, courtesy of Live For Live Music’s Sarah Bourque. “Four” morphed into Jerry Garcia’s “Birdsong” before landing in its reprise to close out the all-star collective’s set, at which point, the tiny rob.ot was held up triumphantly to the cheers of the crowd. You can also read an in-depth play-by-play and listen to the full audio of the phil.moe set here. While we dig the rob.ot, we love you, Rob, and can’t wait to see you back on the stage!