Phil Lesh & Friends returned to The Warfield on Wednesday to blow out the candles at the San Francisco theater’s 100th birthday party. The celebration saw the Grateful Dead bassist reconvene with Goose guitarist Rick Mitarotonda, the Trey Anastasio Band horn section of Jennifer Hartswick, Natalie Cressman, and James Casey, his son and Midnight North singer/guitarist Grahame Lesh, and drummer John Molo, with keyboardist Jason Crosby subbing in for Holly Bowling from the previous night.

Starting with the ballad of “Jack Straw”, Cressman then eased audiences in with a heavenly “He’s Gone”. Though it was a cool night in the San Francisco Bay, that didn’t stop the “Cold Rain and Snow” from blowing in courtesy of Rick’s scornful vocal delivery and bluesy licks.

From behind that “Cold Rain and Snow” came “Here Comes Sunshine”, as the chorus of Grahame and Rick’s guitars plunked out the serotonin-inducing opening riff. The first set continued to waft along the breeze with a leisurely “Bird Song” before a walk through the garden with “Scarlet Begonias” and finally the jazz odyssey of “King Solomon’s Marbles”.

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Returning for the run’s final set, Phil & Friends kicked things off with a brief “China Cat Sunflower” that took an unexpected yet welcome turn into “St. Stephen”. The Dead’s ’60s psychedelic anthem (or at least one of them) was then followed by a tender, Casey-sung “Dear Prudence”. Set two then set off on a streak of ornate compositions starting with the holy grail of “Unbroken Chain”, with Phil Lesh taking his rightful place as the leader of the pack.

The musical train then pulled into “Terrapin Station” for a journey along the Grateful Dead’s orchestral masterpiece, with the angelic choir of singers conducting the locomotive to its final destination. Out of the rise, fall, and climb of “Terrapin Station”, the group arrived at the delicate destruction of “Morning Dew” before closing out with a jovial “Uncle John’s Band”. Taking the stage one last time, Phil Lesh & Friends captured the interminable spirit of the Grateful Dead, The Warfield, and the legions of devoted followers who continue to flock to the holy ground of San Francisco with “Truckin'”.

Phil Lesh & Friends – “Jack Straw”, “He’s Gone”, “Cold Rain and Snow” [Pro-Shot] – 12/28/22

Phil Lesh & Friends – “Scarlet Begonias” – 12/28/22

[Video: Must Have Media]

Phil Lesh & Friends – “King Solomon’s Marbles” – 12/28/22

[Video: drbobzero]

Phil Lesh & Friends – “China Cat Sunflower”, “St. Stephen” [Pro-Shot] – 12/28/22

Phil Lesh & Friends – “Terrapin Station” – 12/28/22

[Video: drbobzero]

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Phil Lesh & Friends – The Warfield – San Francisco, CA – 12/28/22

[Audio: thomascirca]

Setlist: Phil Lesh & Friends | The Warfield | San Francisco, CA | 12/28/22

Set One: Jack Straw, He’s Gone, Cold Rain and Snow (Obray Ramsey), Here Comes Sunshine, Bird Song, Scarlet Begonias, King Solomon’s Marbles

Set Two: China Cat Sunflower, St. Stephen, Dear Prudence (The Beatles), Unbroken Chain, Terrapin Station, Morning Dew (Bonnie Dobson), Uncle John’s Band

Encore: Donor Rap, Truckin’