Thursday, February 21, 2008

P&F #4 -- a Phil & Bobby phun time shindig in The Haight

Birth, school, work, death...

and hopefully some great music in between!

Phil Lesh & Friends

August 7, 1998
The Fillmore
San Francisco, CA
A benefit for the Unbroken Chain Foundation

The Band
Phil, Bobby
Steve Kimock: guitar ~ Jeff Chimenti: keyboards
Dave Ellis: sax ~ Prairie Prince: drums

1st Set: Jam-> Playing In The Band-> Terrapin Station->
Sugaree, West L.A. Fadeaway, Mountains Of The Moon

2nd Set: Jam-> Truckin'-> Smokestack Lightning-> The Other One Jam,
Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo, Easy Answers->
All Along The Watchtower-> A Love Supreme->
Playing In The Band Reprise->
Box Of Rain, Cassidy

Encore: Ripple

Summer of 1998 was a return to touring as I knew it for so many years following the Grateful Dead. Sort of. The Furthur Festival had been put into motion for the third year in a row -- Bobby, Phil, Mickey and Bruce together again as The Other Ones -- rollin' through America, hittin' many popular outdoor music sheds (and a few arenas) across the land. Determined was I to get out there on the road and catch a few dates, as many as time and money (the most significant factor) would allow.

Playing one show only at each stop meant the party kept Truckin' along from town to town. The many tour stops was good as well as bad: more fun places to enjoy a show but many, many miles to travel especially considering my home base at the time was the town of Missoula in western Montana. Compared to the overall number of nights that The Other Ones played, I didn't see many: Deer Creek-> Riverport-> Fiddler's Green-> Vegas, baby. Twas a helluva trip with more than quite a few hours behind the wheel. Thankfully the miles of interstate ran through much of the most beautiful scenery that America's Lower 48 has to offer.

On the 21st of July, after the last song was played at the Thomas & Mack Center at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, the music stopped for me (for awhile, at least) and the long, fun trip began to become etched into my memory. Two long days of driving due north and I was back where the journey started eleven days before. My old VW bus really hated me for awhile after that.

Two weeks later it was time to get On The Road Again -- off to San Francisco for my very first Phil & Friends shows!

My tour buddy April, who I had met and became fast friends and eventually roommates with back in Salt Lake City when I went to the University of Utah, had left the Rocky Mountain west behind and moved back to the Bay Area, well, Santa Rosa specifically, where she was from, about an an hour north of San Francisco.

When these two nights for Phil & Friends were announced, she spent every last cent in her bank account to get as many tix as she could. And two were for me! [Huge smile on my face right now remembering that... damn girl, I just wish I knew where in the freakin' world she was nowadays!] I think she left like 10 messages a day on my machine in Montana, and if I recall correctly, an inbox full of e-mail. She did not quit until I answered her and told her, yeah, sure, I can head on down. It was a matter of money and making sure my bus was okay for 3 more thousand miles. ♫ Over mountain passes and through a hot desert, to Phil Lesh & Friends I go...

After over 1,000 miles and two solid days of driving (well, from sunrise to late at night,) finally... the Pacific Ocean! Not quite but close... Santa Rosa is inland a short a ways... but we did go to the beach the morning after I got there, the morning of the show. Bunches of Heads who April was friends with came over later that afternoon and we all trucked on down over the Golden Gate Bridge and straight to The Haight. My first time ever at The Fillmore. This was gonna be sweet!

The band for this Phil & Friends go around looked somewhat similar to The Other Ones a couple weeks before. Half of TOO was here as well as half of Ratdog. Seeing those players on stage gave folks a mildly good idea of the type of show it would be.

Playin' out of a short Jam to start the show had the place movin'. Soon enough it would be quite clear that something's a little different on this night. A regular first set moving from one song to another, this most definitely is not. Within a few minutes Playin' gets left behind for a jam that goes a little spacey but doesn't pack much punch and doesn't really go anywhere great... until eventually they break out the first notes of Terrapin. Whoa, baby! In late '97 at Maritime Hall in San Francisco, with David Gans' band The Broken Angels, Phil was a part of a Terrapin twice... but this is different. This one, methinks, could and should truly be considered the first playing of the song since Jerry on 7/8/95 at Soldier Field. There were no vocals here, which was rather interesting. Phil & Bobby led the band through the instrumental version so perfectly at times. Dave Ellis shines and when it wasn't his turn to step up, Steve Kimock adds nicely... and almost respectfully, careful not to sound like Jerry. After all, this show was two days before the anniversary of Garcia leaving us. It may have been three years since... but believe it or not, a lot of people were still mourning, at least to some degree. Of course over time life had gone on and new musical projects started and others were still growing... but healing takes time. And especially at the anniversary there was a lot of thought from people on Jerry. Maybe Steve realized that and was careful out of respect for his friend who I'm sure he missed as much as we did.

While it was so nice to have been at the last GD Terrapin and the first again here, Sugaree was the first great moment of the night. This may have been a much-loved Jerry song but Kimock turns it on here. His guitar work seems to be a perfect compliment to Phil singing as well as the rest of the band playing this so nicely. Finally a tune with structure all the way through and the crowd loved it! West L.A. I hadn't heard since the summer before at Shoreline, and with Bonnie Raitt, so that was treat... and Mountains I heard at Deer Creek but hearing it again was just damn sweet! Only 5 songs in the first set but not bad. The territory out of Playin' and into Terrapin was just a little weird and had it been in the 2nd set it woulda made a lot more sense. Still, I remember feeling on freakin' top of the world to be there.

Now, how is it the most played Grateful Dead song ever (live + radio) could be sooooo incredibly popular... still!? What a damn treat this was! Better than Terrapin I dare say. Bobby & Phil played Truckin' with Bruce in April '96 and later Weir busted it out on the Furthur Festival that summer. Phil sat in at Shoreline that summer (where it was in the setlist) so before it re-emerged with TOO in '98, it had been played. But here was my first time hearing it live since Riverport Summer of '95. Hell yeah!!!! This recording and bringing in facts from other setlists, man... bringin' so much back to me!

[Hmm... I had no idea that my posting yesterday of the little dog in tie-dye from between shows on the Dead's '95 Summer Tour would some somehow sort of tie in with this. Interesting...]

Another treat followed Truckin', very brief but... oh yeah... wow, holy crap, what are the odds, seriously? First Smokestack Lightnin' (and I didn't know this until just a moment ago) since 10/18/94 Madison Square Garden... and I was there. From 10/18/94 until 10/29/00 when Bobby would finally bust it out with Ratdog (and he's only done once since,) this was it's only time played. Okay, so this isn't super-monumental but kinda neat.

Smokestack moved into a cool little O1 Jam which helped establish that this was Bob Weir show? Nah, but it felt like it at times. This was only Phil's 4th show as Phil Lesh & Friends, he hadn't really put together a (semi) permanent band yet. Why not bring Bobby back into the fold for a weekend at The Fillmore? Since fans had been exposed to a different lineup each time out so far for Phil, and since Bobby's been there twice, and since no one knew what was on the horizon for P&F, it was great to have Bobby Rockstar there.

Phil stepped up to the mic and took the show over with a nicely done Half-Step. He did this back at his first show in February and again a bunch o' times on Summer Tour. It was really feelin' like his... which... it's not his but he's doing it really well and paying a beautiful tribute to Jerry each time. To see Bobby & Phil playing these Jerry songs and to hear Bob's rhythm on them -- so bitter sweet. The feeling back then was ten times as deep as it is now, across the hearts and souls of so many people. Three years [since Jerry's death] was awhile but when hearing certain songs that haven't been in the kids' ears regularly in that time, it brought tears to people... and I don't blame 'em.

Following Half-Step, Bobby mixed in more Ratdog flavor, a pretty big helping this time with a sweet Easy Answers. Not many people called that song sweet when it was in the GD repetoire... but with Ratdog and here with Phil -- so nice. Going right into Watchtower, moving into A Love Supreme (which was just excellent) then through a Playin' Reprise (with bits of O1 here and there) ... and then capping all this off with Box of Rain -- holy cow, just a really nicely played and oh so sweet section of music. It was not a perfect night of music, but Box of Rain made it a perfect night.

For my money, I think they shoulda skipped Playin' Reprise and gone with Love Supreme-> Cassidy-> Box Of Rain and end of set. Wrapping things up Ratdog-style with 10 minutes of Cassidy still wasn't bad and the Ripple encore sent us into the night just a whole bunch of happy little Deadhead campers.

Between bars and going to the beach in the wee hours of the morning, we eventually headed back across the bridge, finally pulling off the highway and into April's neighborhood just as the first light of the day was showing itself. There couldn't have been any other summer day when sleeping until noon was so sweet, only to eventually wake up and have a big Saturday breakfast in the early afternoon ... and then do it all over again!

Two long days of driving was worth every mile to be hanging out with one of my closest friends and seeing Phil and Bobby at The Fillmore... oh my God, life was so damn good!!
Grateful Dead Steal Your Face

source: Neumann KM184 > lunatec preamp > 20bit A>D >
Tascam DA-P1 > digi patch bay > D7 > CD

music note 8/7/98 Phil & Friends is @ music note
for both Downloading & Listening

8-07-98 a.k.a. 8-7-98 a.k.a. 8/07/98 a.k.a. 8/7/98 a.k.a. 98-08-07 320 kbps mp3 download & setlist
Grateful Dead Steal Your Face


Anonymous said...

the fillmore isn't technically "in the haight"

Zooomabooma said...

True True. Thank You. Thank You.

I always thought it was especially since it seems each time I went, Haight-Ashbury was somehow involved with whatever show it was, meaning being in the Haight either beforehand or afterwards. Wasn't that long of a trek if I remember correctly... half hour it may've been.

one says one number and the other another
but they were set at the same time. Hmmm...

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated