Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Mark Karan and More Celebrate Jackie Greene’s 32nd Birthday
Photo via Greene’s Instagram
Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Mark Karan, John Molo and many other guests joined Jackie Greene at San Francisco’s The Fillmore last night. The performance closed Greene’s three-night residency at the venue—with a day off for Thanksgiving—and celebrated the singer/songwriter’s 32nd birthday. Greene’s Fillmore birthday parties have developed into an annual tradition and have included numerous members of the Grateful Dead family in recent years.
The show was divided into four different segments, each of which featured some special guests. Greene opened the night with a solo acoustic set, but invited out The 77s drummer—and past Greene and JGB collaborator—Bruce Spencer for “I’m So Gone,” “Moment Of Temporary Color,” “Don’t Let Me Down” and
“Uphill Mountain” at the end of his solo performance.
As a preview of his upcoming tour, Greene’s second set was a duet with Bob Weir. They focused mostly on material from the extended Grateful Dead family songbook, including “Friend of the Devil,” the bluegrass number “I Ain’t Broke But I’m Badly Bent,” Little Feat’s “Easy to Slip” and “US Blues.” During the final number, Phil Lesh joined in on the final two choruses of “US Blues.” Greene has regularly performed with the Grateful Dead bandmates and their individual projects during the past five years.
For his next set, Greene plugged in and invited out some other musicians with deep ties to the Grateful Dead family. The ensemble featured Greene, Lesh, the bassist’s sons Grahame and Brian, RatDog/Phil & Friends guitarist Mark Karan, Phil & Friends/Moonalice/Bruce Hornsby drummer John Molo and Greene bandmate Steve Taylor. The birthday band kept the focus on the Dead’s catalog, running through “Shakedown Street,” “New Speedway Boogie,” “I Know You Rider,” “Dire Wolf” and “So Many Roads.” Between “New Speedway Boogie” and “I Know You Rider,” the musicians formally welcomed in Greene’s birthday at midnight with a balloon drop and “Happy Birthday” sing-along.
For his final set, Greene brought out his solo band for a mix of covers. In addition to his regular players, Greene’s souped-up backing group featured Spencer, Karan and Gov’t Mule keyboardist Danny Louis. They surveyed classic rock history, including Elton John’s “Benny and the Jets,” Bob Dylan’s “
It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry,” The Allman Brothers Band’s “Ain’t Wasting Time No More,” Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter’s “Sugaree,” JJ Cale’s “After Midnight” and The Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar.” Weir, Cake bassist Gabe Nelson and Furthur singer Sunshine Becker also sat in at various points during the set. Then, Greene closed the evening with a solo piano take on “Hallelujah.”
Earlier in his Fillmore run, Greene also welcomed Tim and Nicki Bluhm, Alex Nelson, Adam Wade, Nick Swimley and Mike Curry to the stage. Greene will help Lesh reopen his San Rafael, CA venue Terrain Crossroads this coming weekend.
Here’s a look at last night’s set via the RatDog.org forum
Saturday, November 24, The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA
Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You
I’m So Gone (enter Bruce Spencer through end of set)
Moment Of Temporary Color
Don’t Let Me Down
Set II: (Bob Weir and Jackie acoustic)
Friend of the Devil (Bob vocals)
I Ain’t Broke But I’m Badly Bent (Jackie vocals)
Easy To Slip (Bob vocals)
US Blues (Bob & Jackie vocals, Phil on last two choruses)
Set III: (Jackie, Phil, Grahame, Brian, John Molo, Steve Taylor, Mark Karan)
New Speedway Boogie
(balloon drop / Happy Birthday)
I Know You Rider
So Many Roads
Set IV: (Jackie’s band plus Bruce Spencer, Mark Karan, Danny Louis)
Benny and the Jets (Jackie / Steve vocals)
It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry (With Bob Weir, Mark Karan vocals)
Ain’t Wasting Time No More (Nate vocals)
Rock Your Papa (Mark Karan vocals)
Sugaree (with Sunshine on lead vocals)
After Midnight (Jackie / Sunshine vocals, Gabe Nelson on bass)
Brown Sugar (Jackie vocals)
Hallelujah (Jackie solo piano)