On what would have been Jerry Garcia’s 74th birthday, it was guitarist Warren Haynes who had the unique role of throwing the late Grateful Dead member a birthday party for the ages. Haynes, who has performed with the living members of the Grateful Dead on many occasions, has been touring a Symphonic Tribute to the late great Garcia. Last night, Haynes brought that concept to Red Rocks Amphitheatre, with some added significance for the momentous occasion.
Not only is Red Rocks itself celebrating 75 years of existence, but the venue also hosted the Dead for numerous performances during their career. The parallels continued, as Haynes made history by playing Garcia’s guitar Tiger publicly, for the first time since the Grateful Dead’s final performance in 1995. Of course, the majority of the Dead’s Red Rocks performances were during the period when Tiger was used predominantly, from 1979-1989.
Adding to the occasion was the presence of Melvin Seals, a member of Jerry Garcia’s band and another torch bearing troubadour in the Grateful Dead community. Seals has performed with JGB for many years since Garcia’s passing, and even recently made his Phil Lesh & Friends debut earlier this year. Naturally, Haynes was playing guitar with the band for those performances at the Capitol Theatre.
The Red Rocks performance featured three full sets of music, including two with the Colorado Symphony and a special third set with just the core band members. Haynes has assembled a top notch lineup for these tributes, including drummer Jeff Sipe, bassist Lincoln Schleifer, and vocalists Jasmine Muhammad and Jacklyn LaBranch.
The band opened with a towering “Dark Star” instrumental and worked through two sets and an encore with the Symphony, letting loose on an array of Grateful Dead songs. The third and final set was more of a JGB tribute, with Melvin Seals helping to lead the charge. The band also welcomed Dave Bruzza and Anders Beck of Greensky Bluegrass for the finale, a charged two-song punch of “Don’t Let Go” and “Deal.”
You can watch highlights from the performance below, courtesy of Jerry Garcia on Facebook on YouTube user Jeremiah Rogers. The full setlist can also be seen at the bottom of the article, as reported by Philzone member gilman. Enjoy!
Dark Star Instrumental
Bird Song/Crazy Fingers
I’m A Road Runner
Stop That Train
That’s What Love Will Make You Do
Fire On The Mountain
Don’t Let Go (w/ Dave Bruzza and Anders Beck of Greensky)
Setlist: Warren Haynes Symphonic Celebration at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO
Set One: Dark Star Instrumental>Bird Song>Crazy Fingers, Shakedown Street, China Cat Sunflower, Scarlet Begonias, Morning Dew
Set Two: Uncle John’s Band>West LA Fade Away, Black Peter>Drums>Touch Of Grey, Space>Blues For Allah>Terrapin Station>Slipknot>Terrapin Refrain>Terrapin Station
Encore With Symphony: Patchwork Quilt, Ripple
Set Three: Jam, Roadrunner, Stop That Train, That’s What Love Will Make You Do*, Fire On The Mountain*, Loser, The Harder They Come>Tough Mama>Don’t Let Go^>Deal^
*acc by Chris Daniels
^acc by Greensky Bluegrass guys