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Published: 2008/01/28

Ivan Neville Celebrates Mardi Gras with Phil Lesh

Over the weekend, Phil Lesh played a pair of hometown shows timed with Mardi Gras. Like his recent national tour, Leshs band featured John Molo (drums), Jackie Greene (guitar, vocals), Larry Campbell (guitar) and Steve Molitz (keyboards) and boasted a mix of Grateful Dead classics, newer material and festive covers. On Friday the group headlined a benefit for Habitat for Humanity at San Franciscos The Fillmore, where the quintet introduced the new Particle song The Great Unknown into its repertoire and ran through meaty Dead-classics like Dark Star, The Other One and Eyes Of The World. Lesh also announced from the stage that the evening successfully raised enough money for Habitat for Humanity to build a full house.

Saturdays Mardi Gras Ball performance took place at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium and, as expected, took on a celebratory New Orleans feel, complete with a Lesh MCed costume contest. Crescent City-hero Ivan Neville also took the stage with Phil Lesh & Friends at the start of their second set, playing keyboards on Shakedown Street, Iko Iko and Truckin. In-between the latter two numbers, a colorful Mardi Gras parade snaked through the crowd, featuring costume-clad dancers, stilt walkers and an abundant number of beads. The evenings festivities wrapped up after 2 AM with a touching version of Leshs signature Box of Rain.

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