Phil Lesh and Friends with Trey Anastasio & Mike Gordon at the Tweeter Center on July 6

A Review of Phil Lesh and Friends with Trey Anastasio & Mike Gordon at the Tweeter Center on July 6

, Staff

Tie-dye shirts, dreadlocks, and plenty of dancing were the norm last Thursday night (July 6) at the Tweeter Center, as Phil Lesh and Friends supplied the soundtrack for an entertaining night. To make for an even better bill, former Phish members, Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon, opened the co-headliner show.

The former Phish bandmates were accompanied by keyboardist Marco Benevento and drummer Joe Russo, who took stage themselves first to welcome the early-comers with a few songs from their “Benevento/Russo Duo” catalog. With Anastasio and Gordan back on stage together, many expected to hear plenty of jam filled Phish classics, but rather the two included a substantial amount of new material that they had recently written together such as “Suskind Hotel," " Hap-Nappy", and “Dragonfly”, which closed out their eleven song set. Other highlights were provided from Anastasio’s solo catalog from “Drifting” to the great “Sweet Dreams Melinda.”

For the most part the energy throughout the night was high on stage, with Anastasio constantly bouncing back and forth standing in place in front of Russo. Anastasio worked his magic on the guitar through the night, highlighted by a rousing rendition of “Spin” that created an atmosphere in the crowd where one couldn’t help themselves but dance.

Phil Lesh then followed by delivering a two-part set of classic Grateful Dead tunes that included fan favorites, “Brown-Eyed Women” and “China Doll”. Lesh and friends kicked the crowd into high gear, starting their second half set with a jammed out version of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower”. Anastasio joined them and proved once again that he is a living legend with a six-string in his hands.

One of the surprising elements of Lesh’s friends was the inclusion of singer/songwriter Joan Osbourne. She supplied great vocals showing a bluesy side to her that you would have never known existed from the likes of the singer still most remembered for her popular single, “What if God was One of Us?”.

The jam-fest drew to an end as Lesh and friend’s played a two-song encore of the Grateful Dead’s “Goin’ Down the Road Feelin’ Bad” followed by a climactic rendition of “Box of Rain” that would have sent even Oscar the Grouch home with a smile on his face. All in all, it may not have been a Phish and Grateful Dead co headliner, but these former members sure did deliver one entreating night.
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If you’re into the Grateful Dead or Phish but missed the show, then take a drive north to Essex Junction Vermont, when they play on July 12 as part of the Champlain Valley Expo.

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