Deadheads gathered at Brooklyn Bowl in New York City on Thursday to dance the night away in tribute to the late John Perry Barlow, the beloved Grateful Dead lyricist and Internet freedom pioneer who died one year ago. To celebrate Barlow’s life, members of the Terrapin Family Band including Jason Crosby, Grahame Lesh, Ross James, and Alex Koford were joined by a mix of friends and special guests ranging from Jerry Harrison (Talking Heads), Josh Kaufman, Elliott Peck, professional baseball player/outspoken Deadhead Jake Peavy, Rachel Ana Dobken, Brian Stollery, and more.
The first set opener of the Thursday night show featured the standard TFB lineup of Lesh (guitar), Crosby (keyboard), James (bass/guitar), Kaufman (guitar), Peck (vocals), and Koford (drums) starting out with a lively rendition of “Mexicali Blues” from Bob Weir‘s Ace solo LP, followed by “My Brother Esau”. Singer Rachel Ana Dobken and bassist Brian Stollery then came to the stage to perform “Black Throated Wind”, with Dobken on vocals. The band then turned into a stripped-down quartet for the next song with Lesh, Koford, Crosby, and Stollery performing “Blow Away” from the Dead’s Built To Last LP. The next song saw Ross James return to the stage with his guitar to sing and play on a lively rendition of “Throwing Stones”. Lesh then brought out multi-instrumentalist Leslie Mendelson to help sing “Looks Like Rain” while strumming away on her acoustic guitar.
Next, it was Talking Heads‘ guitarist Jerry Harrison’s turn to make his way to the stage to sing and play guitar for a rugged rendition of Barlow and Weir’s Dead anthem, “I Need A Miracle”. Harrison then took a seat at the piano to help perform a cover of Talking Heads’ “Heaven”, featuring Aishlin Harrison on vocals and Crosby on violin to close out the first half of the show. Fans can check out the video below to watch the first few songs from the opening set.
John Perry Barlow Tribute – Set One Opener
Following some emotional speeches by Barlow’s close friends and family during set break, the band returned to start the second half of the show with the help of Bob Weir. Weir appeared on the Brooklyn Bowl screens with his guitar to get the band started into “Ki-Yi Bossie”, a folky cowboy tune from his 2016 Blue Mountain solo album, featuring Mendelson on lead vocals. Mendelson then left the stage for the standard TFB lineup to perform “Just a Little Light”, another Dead tune from their latter era catalogue. Next, it was professional baseball pitcher and guitarist Jake Peavy’s turn to jam out for a little, helping the band play through some heady live versions of “The Music Never Stopped” with Peck on backing vocals, and “Feel Like A Stranger”, with some fantastic lead guitar work from Lesh during the latter.
Peavy left the stage for Lesh and Peck to take the band into “Let It Flow”, featuring more excellent heady solo work between Lesh and Ross James. The show continued with two fantastic performances of “Saint of Circumstance”, followed by “Estimated Prophet”, with everyone in the audience singing along to the latter’s anthemic chorus to close out the set. Following a brief speech by Pete Shapiro, Barlow’s daughters then returned to the stage alongside Lesh to perform an enchanting duet cover of “I Will Take You Home”. The full band, plus Jerry Harrison, returned to the stage for the final song of the night with a group performance of “Cassidy”.
Fans can watch the entire performance from Thursday in the video below.
Terrapin Family Band – Songs of John Perry Barlow Tribute (full show) – 2/7/2019
Now, you can listen to the full show below, courtesy of taper McRoberts.
Terrapin Family Band – Songs of John Perry Barlow Tribute (full audio) – 2/7/2019
Setlist: Terrapin Family Band with Special Guests | Brooklyn Bowl | Brooklyn, NY | 2/7/19
Set One: Mexicali Blues, My Brother Esau, Black Throated Wind, Blow Away, Throwing Stones, Looks Like Rain, Heaven (Talking Heads cover)
Set Two: Ki-Yi Bossie (Bob Weir cover), Jast a Little Light, The Music Never Stopped, Feel Like A Stranger, Let It Flow, Saint of Circumstance, Estimated Prophet
Encore: I Will Take You Home, Cassidy