MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. Former Grateful Dead bassist Phil
Lesh joined Phish onstage at the Shoreline Amphitheatre on Friday for
a few Phish tunes, a few Dead staples and a turn on the trampoline.
Lesh joined the jam band late in its second set for the funky
"You Enjoy Myself" (RealAudio excerpt), from Phish's 1988 debut album, Junta. Lesh
took the stage during the song's extended jam and soon bounced beside
guitarist Trey Anastasio and bassist Mike Gordon on a trampoline
a longtime fixture of Phish's shows.
"Phil didn't have his guitar strap on, so it didn't look like he was
playing while he was on the trampoline," said Peter Charles, 28, of
This was not the first meeting between members of the two oft-compared
bands. Anastasio and Phish keyboardist Paige McConnell played three
shows of mostly Dead tunes with Lesh as "Phil Lesh and Phriends" in
San Francisco in April.
As the "You Enjoy Myself" jam continued, Lesh took off on a bass solo,
which led into a thumping duet with Gordon. An eager fan leapt onstage
and bowed to Lesh before being escorted away by security.
Thoughts of Lesh's recent liver transplant were piqued when a glowstick
flew from the audience and hit him in the chest. The bassist pretended
to be hurt but seemed fine.
The band then launched into the groovy and wah-wah-laden "Wolfman's
Brother," from Hoist (1994).
Lesh sang the lead on "Cold Rain and Snow," a traditional song that
appeared on the Dead's self-titled 1967 debut and became a concert
Guitarist Warren Haynes came out with Phish and Lesh for the encore,
"Viola Lee Blues." The heavy-grooved jam was a frequent vehicle for
the Dead's early improvisational explorations, and it became a
favorite feature of the April "Phriends" shows.
The guitarist and the bassist locked in, and the jam was tight and
loud, with Haynes best known for his role as second lead
guitarist in the Allman Brothers Band from 198997 adding
a new dimension to the already meaty mix.
Haynes sat in with the Burlington, Vt., band Thursday night, too, for
a take on Led Zeppelin's "Misty Mountain Hop." The guitarist has
played several shows as a member of "Phil Lesh and Friends," including
a run on the jam-based 1999 Summer Sessions tour.
Earlier in Friday's show, Phish mixed the old with the new. First,
they ran through "Guyute" (RealAudio excerpt), "The Moma Dance," "Water in the Sky" and
"Roggae" from The Story of the Ghost (1998). Then the band
reached back to 1990's Lawn Boy for that album's title cut,
"The Squirming Coil" (RealAudio excerpt) and "Runaway Jim." They threw in the strange ode
"David Bowie" a song whose only words are "David Bowie" and
"UB40" and played a faithful rendition of the Frank Zappa
instrumental "Peaches en Regalia."
Since the Dead called it quits following Garcia's 1995 death, Lesh has
been hosting "Friends" shows, part of the proceeds of which benefit
his nonprofit Unbroken Chain Foundation. Performers have included
David Crosby and Graham Nash, guitarist Jorma Kaukonen (Jefferson
Airplane, Hot Tuna) and '70s Dead vocalist Donna Jean Godchaux-McKay.
A version of "Phil Lesh and Friends" including Haynes, Jeff
Mattson and Rob Baroco of the New York band Zen Tricksters will
tour with Bob Dylan in the fall.