Phil Lesh & Friends
Lifestyle Communities Pavilion
June 12, 2008
“I’ve never liked the studio experience or making records for some big company,” legendary bass player Phil Lesh once told LEO. “I’m more into the originality and freshness of every new performance.”
When Lesh’s latest tour kicked off Thursday night in Columbus, it was easy to see what he meant.
Though a fast and furious storm forced opener Levon Helm off-stage after a mere three songs, Lesh, a veteran of Woodstock, Monterey Pop, and Altamont (sort of), was not shaken.
As the rains subsided and Lesh and friends finally emerged, it was clear that we were in for a wild ride with San Francisco hipster Jackie Greene at the wheel.
This inspired show featured a pair of Greene originals, a heaping helping of Dead-related staples, and the usual elongated jams. Throughout, Lesh was in fine form, the band (which also included Larry Campbell, John Molo and Steve Molitz) was spot-on, and the minor rain-related sound issues were easily overlooked.
The only disappointment was the brevity of Helm’s warm-up set and the fact that he did not sit in later with the friends. In any event, Lesh’s portion of the concert unfolded like this (and definitely left us wanting more):
Set One: “Minglewood Blues,” “Doin’ That Rag,” “Gone Wanderin’,” “Dire Wolf,” “Mama Tried,” “Cumberland Blues,” “Bertha.”
Set Two: “Passenger,” “Don’t Let The Devil Take Your Mind,” “High Time,” “St. Stephen,” “The Other One,” “The Wheel,” “Scarlet Begonias,” “Sugar Magnolia.”
Encore: “Cold Rain And Snow.” —Kevin M. Wilson