Phil Lesh & Friends Enter the "Psychedelic Rock Palace"
Photos by Dino Perrucci
Phil Lesh & Friends made their debut at Port Chester, NY’s recently reopened Capitol Theatre last night. The performance marked the first time Lesh had appeared at the theater since the Grateful Dead’s final stop at the Cap on February 24, 1971. The Dead played 16 shows at the Cap from 1970-71, some of which were double-headers or part of multi-night runs. Jerry Garcia once stated that the venue was one of his personal favorites, and Bob Weir played the theater’s second show after reopening (longtime Dead friend Bob Dylan officially reopened the space in early September).
Like his recent New York shows, Lesh’s core band consisted of singer/songwriter Jackie Greene, Furthur guitarist John Kadlecik and Furthur/Duo drummer Joe Russo. For the third night in a row, Black Crowes/Chris Robinson Brotherhood member Adam MacDougall also played keys. The younger musicians sped up
the show’s tempo, which featured numerous songs from the Grateful Dead’s ‘70s era.
Partway through the night’s opening number, “Jack Straw,” the Cap turned on their high-definition projectors, which painted the theater’s walls with unique visuals at select points during the night. Cap proprietor—and Relix publisher—Peter Shapiro brought in the high-end projectors to cement the venue’s reputations as “a psychedelic rock palace.” The theater’s team has been working with artists to custom design projections for their shows and, during “He’s Gone,” the Dead’s Steal Your Face insignia was projected on the venue’s multi-story walls (the song includes the iconic “steal your face” lyrics).
The band kicked off their second set with a well-placed cover of Traffic’s “Dear Mr. Fantasy” and offered a full suite of songs, segueing from “Help on the Way” into “Viola Lee Blues,” “Alligator,” “The Eleven,” “Standing on the Moon,” “Uncle John’s Band,” “Slipknot” and “Franklin’s Tower.”
Phil & Friends will return to the venue this evening. Their residency at the theater will close on Sunday.
*Here’s a look at the show’s setlist via Philzone.org
Thursday November 15, The Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY
Set I: Jack Straw, Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo > Crazy Fingers > He’s Gone, Cold Rain and Snow, Ship of Fools> Mason’s Children
Set II: Dear Mr. Fantasy > Help on the Way > Viola Lee Blues > Alligator > The Eleven, Standing on the Moon > Uncle John’s Band> Slipknot > Franklin’s Tower
E: Box of Rain