Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Mother's Day with The Dead

(Phil Lesh, Bob "Monopoly Mustachio Man" Weir, and Warren Haynes)


I hope everyone had a nice Mother's Day yesterday with your families, to celebrate and/or remember your moms. I wish I could have spent time with my loving mom who died much too soon. Instead, I got my second wish.

Mine was spent with family and friends at a sold out Grateful Dead concert at Shoreline where the band played all night. (Make that "The Dead"). They blew the tent off of this magical open air, outdoor theatre. This was the band's first appearance in five years, and the show was unf**king believably so incredible that I'm going back for the second show this Thursday for another round of signature DEAD aural bliss (not that the light show was chopped liver). The first act was typically good, all loosey-goosey, warm up. But by the second act, the band was done with the suble jazzy stuff and ready to play tight and loud.

The most amazing second set below KICKED ASS:

"Unbroken Chain"; "The Other One"; Drums/Rhythm Devils/Space segment; "Sugaree"; "Gimme Shelter"; "Sugar Magnolia" Encores: "St. Stephen"; "The Eleven"; "Touch of Grey"

I haven't seen The Dead since Jerry died and couldn't imagine anyone filling his shoes, an impossible act to follow, but this new band is a keeper. The set opened with my all time favorite, Phil Lesh's "Unbroken Chain" where Ratdog keyboardist Jeff Chimenti took Keith Godchaux's place on the keyboards (Before Keith died, he was the original pianist on the sleeper "Unbroken Chain" with the album recording From the Mars Hotel) and played this complex, hauntingly beautiful tune that's filled with a myriad of changes and unusual minor chords, along with a funky bridge.

When the band then opened into "Gimme Shelter", the place lost it. Not getting one's hands on this outrageously awesome recording ought to be a crime. Allman Brothers/Gov't Mule lead guitarist Warren Haynes was the lightning strike of the second set's encore when he rocked out with Bobby and Phil doing "St. Stephen" and "The Eleven" in time-warp time - seamlessly interweaving shades of "Whipping Post" into these two Grateful Dead treasures.

Did I forget Mickey? The god of drums needs no introduction. Now I remember why I loved this band so much and went out of my way to see them. Life is too short not to spend time with the second coming of The Dead.


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