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Published: 2006/02/13

Phil and Phriends

On Friday, Phil Lesh and Friends returned to Manhattan for the first time since 2003 for the opening performance of its eight-night New York run. As previously reported, singer Joan Osborne, keyboardist Rob Barraco, pedal steel guitarist Barry Sless, guitarist/fiddler Larry Campbell and drummer Jeff Sipe formed Leshs core band, though past Friends stopped by the Beacon Theater throughout the weekend. On Saturday, Warren Haynes replaced Sless for the entire second set of Leshs performance, leading the group through such numbers as Shakedown Street Hard to Handle and Caution. Sless and Haynes then shared string duties on Leshs three song encore of Strawberry Fields Forever Comes A Time and The Golden Road (to Unlimited Devotion).
Sless sat-out Sunday as well, with Trey Anastasio assuming guitar duties throughout Leshs entire performance. For Anastasios first Friends appearance since 1999, Lesh custom fit his setlist for the former Phish guitarist, performing such numbers as Eyes of the World, Help on the Way and Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad. Similar to his recent outing with Dave Matthews and Friends, Anastasio also sang lead on the Bands Up on Cripple Creek and led Lesh through a cover of Wolfmans Brother (a song the bassist covered on occasion through 2000). During Leshs encore, longtime scene photographer Danny Clinch also sat in on harmonica for In the Midnight Hour, marking his first onstage appearance sans lens since Coventrys soundcheck. While Ryan Adams did not perform, as some suspected, Lesh did offer a number of the former Whiskeytown front mans compositions including Magnolia Mountain and New York New York, runs unofficial theme. Lesh will return to the Beacon Theater tomorrow for the fourth night of his New York residency.

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