Phil & Friends at The Capitol Theater- Port Chester, NY

phil lesh birthday card
Happy Birthday Phil! Turning 77 this night, Phil Lesh started a 3-night run at the Capitol Theater in Port Chester, NY. This feels like home for the septuagenarian as he is part owner of the venue. What always surprises me is how late he plays. 8:15 – 8:30 starts and an extended set break with music playing into the next day.
The amazing lineup of musicians afforded me a treat I’ve not experienced in a while. On guitar was Stanley Jordan and John Kadlecik, drummer Mark Levy worked double duty, Joan Osborne sang and Jason Crosby played keys. Now I’ve seen John K a bunch (probably 3 or 4 in the last 6 months) in various groups. The rare addition is Stanley Jordan. Many guitar geeks are already major fans. Those in the crowd unaware invariably lose their minds. This night, the woman behind me tapped my shoulder and asked, “What’s that?” The sound and play style were so different she didn’t know it was a guitar. Throughout the night I helped people write notes for themselves as reminders to look up Stanley Jordan on YouTube. You may have heard his 80’s fusion music on the Weather Channel, on hold, or in an elevator. It’s still amazing and has to be seen to be believed. Here he is on Letterman:
One upside to having a music degree from Princeton and not conforming to standard tunings or play techniques is you can play Mozart piano concertos on guitar:
The rest of the show was amazing. As terrific as he is, he can still be incorporated with the rest of a group. In fact, one year he was the artist in residence at Gathering of the Vibes. For four days he jumped on stage and played with everyone. Tonight was no exception. A powerful group lead by jam-master Phil. Any band lead by a bass player is going to do interestings things. From Thin Lizzy through Iron Maiden, and Trauma, all the way through Primus and tonight. Phil took the songs on a walk which more than made up for his singing.
I wasn’t even sure I would make it to the show. It was a mid-week show after a snowstorm so there was a good chance I’d get a ticket and many friends would be there. 2 miracles later I was able to give a miracle and see the whole show.
Lots of friends were there. I saw my new friend from the JGB show and the Edie Brickell lookalike from the Golden Gate Wingmen show. That on top of the people I knew would be there and it was a sold-out love fest. Dancing was much easier in the lobby but it was still tight. The security was dancing, the crowd was happy, the music was amazing, and did I mention 2 miracles? These were the first of the year!
  1. Set 1:
  2. After Midnight
    (J.J. Cale cover)
  3. Mr. Charlie
    (Grateful Dead cover)
  4. Bertha
    (Grateful Dead cover)
  5. Broken Arrow
    (Robbie Robertson cover)
  6. Sounds of Silence Jam
  7. Eleanor Rigby Jam
    (The Beatles cover)
  8. Box of Rain
    (Grateful Dead cover)
  9. What Becomes of the Brokenhearted
    (Jimmy Ruffin cover)

Set 2:

  1. Shakedown Street
    (Grateful Dead cover)
  2. New Speedway Boogie
    (Grateful Dead cover) (>)
  3. The Other One
    (Grateful Dead cover) (> “My Favorite Things” jam >)
  4. Stairway to Heaven
    (Led Zeppelin cover) (instrumental)
  5. Sugaree
    (Jerry Garcia cover)
  6. Lady With a Fan
    (Grateful Dead cover)
  7. Terrapin Station
    (Grateful Dead cover)
  8. I Know You Rider
    ([traditional] cover)
  9. Not Fade Away
    (The Crickets cover)
  10. Encore:
  11. Donor Rap
    (with video message from Bob Weir and birthday cake brought out by Peter Shapiro )
  12. Turn On Your Love Light
    (Bobby “Blue” Bland cover)
  13. Happy Birthday
    (Mildred J. Hill cover)

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