Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh linked up with Wilco‘s Jeff Tweedy and Nels Cline and a slew of other talented “Friends” on Friday evening at the inaugural Sacred Rose for a never-before-seen collaboration billed as PHILCO.
In addition to Lesh, Tweedy, and Cline, the special PHILCO set featured multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Karl Denson (The Rolling Stones, The Greyboy Allstars), keyboardist Jeff Chimenti (Dead & Company), drummer John Molo (Phil Lesh & Friends), guitarist Stu Allen (Phil & Friends, Dark Star Orchestra), guitarist Grahame Lesh (Midnight North, Phil & Friends), and Elliott Peck (Midnight North) in addition to a guest appearance by artist-at-large Margo Price.
The blended worlds of Wilco and the Grateful Dead became quickly apparent as the ensemble kicked things off with a rendition of “Dire Wolf” sung by Tweedy. The Wilco frontman’s dive into the Dead songbook continued throughout the group’s two sets, leading the band through “U.S. Blues”, “Franklin’s Tower”, and more with his own unique indie flair. He also led the combo outfit through one of his own tunes, an appropriate reading of Wilco’s “Via Chicago”, and one of Woody Guthrie‘s, a first-set performance of “Airline to Heaven”.
Other highlights of the performance included “Doin’ That Rag”, “Pride of Cucamonga”, “Shakedown Street”, “Viola Lee Blues”, and emotional, show-closing rendition of “Ripple” sung by Tweedy.
The inaugural Sacred Rose continues Saturday and Sunday. Stay tuned for continued coverage of the festival. For more information about Sacred Rose, head here.
PHILCO – “Shakedown Street” (ending) > “Viola Lee Blues” – 8/26/22
[Video: Scott Sigman]
Setlist: PHILCO | Sacred Rose | SeatGeek Stadium | Bridgeview, IL | 8/26/22
Set One: Dire Wolf (Grateful Dead)^, Doin’ That Rag (Grateful Dead)*, Mr. Charlie (Grateful Dead)#, Jack Straw (Grateful Dead)*, Airline to Heaven (Woody Guthrie)^, U.S. Blues (Grateful Dead)^, Not Fade Away (The Crickets)$
Set Two: Shakedown Street%, Viola Lee Blues (Cannon’s Jug Stompers), Pride of Cucamonga (Grateful Dead)*, New Speedway Boogie (Grateful Dead)#, Via Chicago (Wilco)^, Ripple (Grateful Dead)^
*Phil Lesh on lead vocals
^Jeff Tweedy on lead vocals
#Elliott Peck on lead vocals
$Margo Price on vocals, tambourine
%Karl Denson on lead vocals, Margo price on tambourine