Phil Lesh And The Terrapin Family Band Keep The Dead Alive At Hollywood Forever [Videos]

first_imgNext month, Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band will regroup in Portland, OR for two nights at Roseland Theater on February 1st and 2nd. The next night, they will perform at Showbox Presents in Seattle, WA. On March 7th and 8th, Phil Lesh & The Terrapin Family Band will head to Chicago, IL for two shows at Thalia Hall. Then, during New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, they’ll spend two nights at the Joy Theater on April 25th and 26th. On May 29th, they’ll get together again for a headlining show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO with The Infamous Stringdusters. There are certain splits of bands in the music world that leave fans wondering “Why?”—or, really, “Why not?”—more than the rest. Two of those great divides took center stage during the second weekend of January, courtesy of Led Zeppelin and the Grateful Dead.The former came to the fore with the 50th anniversary of Led Zeppelin I, along with the solemn reminder that Robert Plant remains opposed to a reunion with Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones. The latter found renewed life above a celebrity-sodden burial ground, of all places, when Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band took the Dead’s catalogue out for a stroll inside the Masonic Lodge at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.The two-night stint, which tipped off the group’s 2019 tour, was jam-packed with classics from end to end. Night 1 got rolling with the killer combo of “Bertha”, “China Cat Sunflower”, and “Mr. Charlie”. Similarly, the band came out strong on Night 2 with “Tennessee Jed”, “Pride of Cucamonga”, and “Jack Straw” before mixing in Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s “Teach Your Children Well”. Whether plucking out “Ramble on Rose”, “Estimated Prophet”, “St. Stephen”, and “Uncle John’s Band” on Saturday or calling up “West LA Fadeaway”, “Playing in the Band”, “He’s Gone” and “The Other One” on Sunday, the Terrapin Family Band had no trouble filling the seemingly endless time and boundless space inside a standing-room-only upstairs room populated by a characteristically crunchy crowd.Fittingly enough, Phil and his friends spent a good chunk of that time on Sunday winding through a rendition of “New Speedway Boogie” that featured a venture into Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.” But where modern mentions of those British legends bring back bittersweet memories for those fortunate enough to have them, seeing Phil share an ethereal stage with, among others, Alex Koford, Jason Crosby, Ross James and, of course, his son Grahame Lesh did no such thing in relation to the Dead. Even without the benefit of Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart—not to mention the ghost of Jerry Garcia—Phil and his band expertly evoked the Dead’s grateful soul.Maybe it was the eery locale, set between elaborate headstones in the middle of Old Hollywood. Maybe it was the bone-ringing reverberation brought on by the Masonic Lodge’s white spackled walls. Maybe it was the smell of a certain kind of smoke filling a space that would otherwise be too somber and stolid to allow for that sort of celebration. Maybe it was a combination of those factors and more.Whatever the case may be, Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band made it feel as though those in attendance were watching the original lineup, irreverently reincarnate in a place that, contrary to convention, is plenty capable of revelry.So no, there’s no reason to mourn for the Dead, which last saw its living members on stage together for the Fare Thee Well shows in 2015. Rather, it’s incumbent upon fans and music lovers to enjoy and appreciate—nay, be grateful for—the many renditions of the legendary group’s music that are on offer across the current live landscape.And with Phil and his band already on the road, and Dead and Company soon to do the same, those who live for the songs of the Grateful Dead, and all that come with them, will have that many more opportunities to bask in their recreation by some of their aging originators.Thanks to Deadheadland, you can watch both sets from Sunday night below:last_img

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