Over the weekend, a quartet featuring Phil and Grahame Lesh, Stu Allen, and Jason Crosby performed a pair of rooftop concerts. The quartet played a medley of Grateful Dead hits in makeshift gigs thrown together after a pair of cancellations at Lesh’s Terrapin Crossroads.
This past weekend Lesh’s popular San Rafael restaurant-venue was set to host two concerts featuring his son, Crosby, and Allen. Those shows, set to pay tribute to Workingman’s Dead and the Festival Express film, were cancelled after a Terrapin Crossroads employee reported having a fever.
The rooftop concerts kicked off with “Bird Song”, and featured Grahame and Stu on guitar, Jason on keyboard, and Phil on bass, of course. The percussionless ensemble engaged in an improv-heavy intro as the daylight faded out against the rolling California hillside. The jam eventually ceded to a micless Phil Lesh providing vocals before the rest of the band chimed in for the refrain.
The concert was broken up into several separate streams as the group dealt with problems of a technical nature, and the second installment kicked off with “Cumberland Blues”. This tune allowed Crosby to step to the front on keys, whereas before he was a bit drowned out by the stringed instruments. Next up came “Liberty” which, though it wasn’t exactly a fan-favorite when introduced at the tail end of the Dead’s tenure, is apparently a favorite in the Lesh household as the father and son duo performed the Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter tune during a recent stream of their own.
The following day saw another pair of streams from the same quartet, kicking off with “Ship of Fools”. The song saw Grahame Lesh taking lead vocals and, once again, not utilizing the microphones set up that were also ignored the night before. Next come a rocking “Help On The Way” where Allen took over the a cappella vocals, yet the microphones were of little use as the band transitioned into the instrumental “Slipknot!” for a healthy jam. The quartet stopped just shy of the “Franklin’s Tower” that typically completes the “Help”>”Slip”>”Frank” movement, and instead went into “The Wheel”.
The final “set” of the weekend then got started with a lengthy “Playing In The Band” which saw a transition into the missing “Franklin’s Tower”. The band then launched into a seasonal “U.S. Blues” before a final, and unusually upbeat, rendition of “Ripple”.
Watch the two rooftop concerts from Phil and Grahame Lesh, Stu Allen, and Jason Crosby from this past weekend.
Phil and Grahame Lesh, Stu Allen, Jason Crosby — 6/27/20
Phil and Grahame Lesh, Stu Allen, Jason Crosby — 6/28/20