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Published: 2012/07/21

Phil Lesh, Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann Perform (Separately) at Gathering of the Vibes

Bridgeport, CT’s annual Gathering of the Vibes kicked off on Thursday night. The veteran Northeast festival started as a tribute to Jerry Garcia in 1996 and has become something of a second home for members of the Grateful Dead’s extended family over the past 15-plus years. This year’s lineup features all four “core” surviving members of the Grateful Dead as well as touring Dead keyboardist Bruce Hornsby. However, unlike some past years where Furthur and The Rhythm Devils have performed, this year’s lineup focused on the musicians’ solo projects.

After Dark Star Orchestra kicked off the Grateful Dead celebration on Thursday night, drummer Bill Kreutzmann took the stage on Friday afternoon with his 7 Walkers project. The quartet—which also features singer/guitarist Papa Mali, Meters bassist George Porter Jr. and multi-instrumentalist Matt Hubbard—offered a mix of original songs and Dead world classics like “Sugaree” and “Bird Song.” Max Creek/Mike Gordon guitarist
Scott Murawski, who moonlights as a member of Kreutzmann’s B3, also sat in with the group.

Later in the day, Bob Weir returned to the Vibes for a set with Hornsby and saxophonist/occasional Grateful Dead guest Branford Marsalis (the trio debuted the project at All Good on Thursday). Like Thursday’s show, their setlist featured a mix of Hornsby originals and Dead catalog material. The three musicians started out acoustic, including a stripped down version of “Dark Star,” before members of Hornsby’s Noisemakers band took the stage to flesh out the songs. Of particular note, the ensemble performed Hornsby’s “Might As Well Be Me,” a number the piano player co-wrote with longtime Dead scribe Robert Hunter. Hornsby also led the group through his arrangement of “Standing in the Moon” and shared vocals with Weir on “Big Boss Man.”

In addition, Primus drummer Jay Lane—who will headline Vibes this evening—sat in on both “Me and My Uncle” and “Mexicali Blues.” Lane is a member of Weir’s RatDog and a former members of Furthur. His sit in has some historical ties: In 2000, Les Claypool and RatDog participated in a duel stage jam session at Gathering of the Vibes. The collaboration—along with his work with Oysterhead—helped usher Claypool into the jamband scene after Primus’ split.

Phil Lesh & Friends closed Friday night’s mainstage festivities with a full two-set show. Like his All Good set on Thursday, Lesh’s band included Jackie Greene (guitar/keyboards/vocals), longtime Levon Helm Band members Larry Campbell (guitar, vocals, string instruments) and Teresa Williams (vocals) and Furthur’s Joe Russo (drums) as well as the bassist’s sons Brian and Grahame Lesh (mandolin and vocals/guitar, respectively). The evening’s first set focused on the often sped-up,roots-leaning material that characterized Lesh’s recent Terrapin Crossroads rambles, including “Till The Morning Comes,” Greene’s “Gone Wanderin‘” and “Tell Me Mama, Tell Me Right,” the day’s second take on “Bird Song,” The Band’s “Up on Cripple Creek,” “Pride of Cucamonga,” “Tennessee Jed” and “Cumberland Blues.”

After a set break, Phil & Friends stretched out with a run from “St. Stephen” into “The Other One” and
“The Wheel” and “Uncle John’s Band.” The group offered another Band song, the Bib Dylan collaboration “This Wheel’s on Fire,” and then moved into “So Many Roads,” “Scarlet Begonias,” “Fire on the Mountain” and “I Know You Rider.” A high-energy take on “Shakedown Street” closed the show. During his donor rap, Lesh also admitted that Vibes was his favorite festival to play.

In other collaboration news, noted jazz percussionist Kenwood Dennard joined Greyboy Allstars for their mainstage set. Dennard, whose credits include everyone from Hornsby to Miles Davis, quietly performed near the back of the stage, including a cover of Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel.” Deep Bannana Blackout keyboardist Cyrus Madan also sat in with fellow Connecticut group Kung Fu, which features DBB’s Robert Somerville.

Here’s a look at Bob Weir/Bruce Hornsby/Branford Marsalis’ set via

Friday, July 20, Gathering of the Vibes, Bridgeport, CT

Monkey Business
Dark Star
Chicago Blues Jam
King of the Hill
Big Boss Man
Might As Well Be Me
Me and My Uncle(+)
Mexicali Blues(+)
Standing on the Moon
Other One
Playing’ in the Band

(+) with Jay Lane

Here’s a look at Phil & Friends’ setlist via

Friday, July 20, Gathering of the Vibes, Bridgeport, CT

Set I:
Till The Morning Comes
Gone Wanderin’
Bird Song
Up on Cripple Creek
Pride of Cucamonga
Tell Me Mama, Tell Me Right
Tennessee Jed
Cumberland Blues

Set II:
St. Stephen>
The Other One>
The Wheel>
Uncle John’s Band
This Wheel’s on Fire
So Many Roads
Scarlet Begonias>
Fire on the Mountain
I Know You Rider

E: Shakedown Street


There are 8 comments associated with this post

Pooja August 9, 2012, 01:20:18

Having first seen Chris with the Black Crowes in NYC in 1990 and many times after that and having trlaeved around the USA to see Neal with the Cardinals for a few years my GF and I knew last March when we first saw an ad for a local CRB gig that we’d have to check it out. Especially since the band was not only playing in nearby Santa Cruz, CA, but also at our local Mexican restaurant/music venue a mere 15 minutes away from our place.Little did we know then that the numerous local gigs wouldn’t be enough and that multiple trips to Oakland and San Francisco along with seeing the Boulder, CO show after catching Phil and Bob with Furthur at Red Rocks would be necessary to feed our CRB jones. The live recordings of the shows have also been in heavy rotation at home and the CRB truly was a large portion of the soundtrack to our 2011.You guys rocked and to have our year of CRB culminate with seeing both Phil and Bob sit in with the band was crazy. We didn’t need to have anyone validate our feeling for the band but it was great to see two of our musical heroes had picked up on what we had known for a while that the CRB was something worth checking out over and over again.While we already knew Neal and Chris, it was great getting to know you, George, along with Adam, Muddy, Possible Dust Clouds and the various crew people we’d come to recognize after stalking the band for a good nine months.So thank you for keeping us smiling during a year where we often didn’t have much to smile about. I can tell you that our little Hallucination Nation looks forward to hearing some CRB from the studio in 2012 and we know that the California traffic ain’t no fun, but we hope to see you guys again next year too. We will welcome you back with open arms if you bless us with another date in Felton, but rest assured that were ever it is you play we will be there smiling from ear to ear.Have a great NYE show, we will be seeing Phil and Bob with Furthur for the next three nights and hopefully they’ll bust out a Rosalee>Vibration>Sunday Sound>Cold Roses for us to put a bow on this musical gift we were given this year.Thanks again and keep making those beats.Cheers

glennw July 23, 2012, 11:33:20

During Bob, Bruce and Branford’s set, a young, dark-haired man, unannounced, was sitting in on guitar. He looked a lot like Dweezil Zappa. Does anyone have any more information?

Glenn Bouchard July 23, 2012, 16:18:33

He is from The Noisemakers.

Davino July 29, 2012, 05:35:37

Sorry, but this Dark Star is a snoozer.

Mike July 30, 2012, 13:43:39

Everything Bobby has done recently is a snoozer… I wonder if any of the bands give a shit what the other bands play or have played? I think we heard 3 Bird Songs, 4 Saint Stephens, etc etc… Phil far and away blew the rest of the boys out of the water, but I wish he had Warren, Scofield, or someone like that with him. Just my 2 cents.

kevy mac July 31, 2012, 11:56:06

phil rocked the house and larry campell is a badass lead guitarist he was bob dylans main man for years and can hold his own to warren or scofield any day just my two cents

scott July 31, 2012, 15:03:12

Mike I have to agree i was bored with the Hornsby show. To me it was a Hornsby publicty avenue for his new record. Thats what it was and it seemed like there was no cohesion amongst them. Marsalis came off like he didnt know any dead songs. The other players were studio guys and the bassist didnt have the lesh sustain on “other one” sorry for sounding like a Hater, but I was not the only one in my group that was happy. DSO was the best out of them all, and I think ALLgood screwed up the whole schedual for the bands.

Kaeli August 11, 2012, 20:22:27

Tracy. When you see a huge spike in your site hits, that’s me. Great site although ntonihg that you can’t do on your own. Well, not true, given how that cool grey box tracks with your mouse movements, I don’t even bother to spend time trying to figure out how dynamic site design works. I want to start a blog on our site, but now that websites are passe (?), we can only assume that blogs will suffer the same demise? (!). Keep feeding the chickens. The sheep are getting fat. With animals, I feel so landed. Kurt

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