Bobby and Phil 3/7/18: Round and Round

“Bebop baby, how can this be, I know you've been out a cheating on me”
 
Twenty-three years after the passing of Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir continues to howl the Garcia showstopper, “Loose Lucy”, alongside his friend, and ours, Phil Lesh. The duo’s Spring tour continued last night in Boston with a thunderous charge. Weir and Lesh took the audience on a journey from the beginning of the night with a gargantuan “Loose Lucy”. I may be wrong but I believe “Loose Lucy” is one of the Weir’s favorite tunes to play. Every time Weir attacks this tune you could swear you’re listening to a 1987 Bobby at moments. After, “Lucy”, well not all the Lucy in attendance, I suppose, left the scene Lesh and Weir went into, “Me and My Uncle”, which holds its reign as the fifth most played Grateful Dead song of all time after “Drums”, “Space”, “Playin in the Band” and “Not Fade Away”. As always, this one was always a crowd pleaser. The Dylan classic and Weir favorite, “When I Paint My Masterpiece” followed and then the knee stomper, “Deep Elem Blues” got the footwork of the Wang Theatre moving. The acoustic mood switched to an electric, “Althea” with Weir once again on the vocals. Alright, so this has not been a problem this tour so far but I believe Weir’s guitar gain was turned way too high during this Althea. I think the tune would have gone much smoother given if Weir would’ve played acoustic. There were a number of “squeaks” made with too much feedback than Bobby intended at times, Regardless, Lesh dropped bombs the entire tune to save the day. The redemption came with an adventurous and daring, “Bird Song” extraordinarily experimental chord play featured Weir. The energy continued with a soul-soothing, “He’s Gone”. We here at So Many Roads just finished a piece on the legendary Garcia/Hunter ballad. Check it out
 
After a long setbreak, the boys hit the Wang stage once again along with guests Larry Campbell, Phil friend, multiinstrumentalist and ex-Bob Dylan guitarist and Teresa Williams. Along with special guests, Weir, once again perhaps trying to make due for the partially flubbed, “Althea” earlier, picked one out his back pocket. In Dead and Company, Mayer has usually taken control of the lyrics to, “Crazy Fingers”. In recent memory, Dead and Company played a beautiful rendition at Phoenix 2017. Bobby played a, “Crazy Fingers” that sent Boston to the acoustic deep sea of love. Phil bounced off massive Phil Bombs off “Ace’s” slick chord progression transitions. The night’s musical pioneer’s turned around and grabbed their acoustics and Larry Campbell reached for a rare mandolin on, “Friend of the Devil”. I’m not going to lie, I didn’t recognize Larry at first although I’ve seen him with Dylan in the past. I’ve got to say, the “mysterious man” on stage, who I would later find out was Larry didn’t impress me that much on, “Crazy Fingers”, it was mostly Weir and Lesh. “Friend of the Devil” knocked my socks off, Larry ripped up and down his mandolin like he could play it in his sleep. The dexterity of mandolin players is absolutely insane. Teresa also provided impressive backup vocals. The night continued along into a rare acoustic, “Tennessee Jed”. Even more unusual “The Maker” by Daniel Lanois was busted out in a mesmerizing acoustic fashion. Campbell once again ripped alongside Lesh and Weir who at this point looked like they were completely comfortable. The Maker melted into, “Cryptical Envelopment > The Other One”. Lesh was put front and center with a particularly low tempo “The Other One”. Not a band thing, the slow tempo allowed Phil’s bass to fill the space between Bobby’s chord changes with bouncing rhythm. “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo” put Weir in the spotlight once again. You’ve got to think, Weir is used to doing strictly rhythm guitar, yet he still manages to execute both lead and rhythm at the same time with this duo tour. Truly, a musical visionary. “Black Peter” and “Music Never Stopped came closed out the second set. As an encore, once again after the impressive “Cassidy > Touch of Grey > Cassidy” from their last show the boys topped off the night with, “Touch”. What will Phil and Bobby bring tomorrow to Boston, one of the most played Dead towns of all time? Whatever happens it’ll only get stranger.
 
Setlist
 
Set 1
Loose Lucy
Me and My Uncle
When I Paint My Masterpiece
Deep Elem Blues
Althea
Bird Song
He’s Gone
 
Set 2
Crazy Fingers
Friend of the Devil
Tennessee Jed
The Maker >
Cryptical Envelopment >
The Other One
Mississippi Half-Step
Black Peter
Music Never Stopped
 
Encore:
Touch Of Grey
Bobby and Phil duo tour

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