The “Q”, the longest-running version of Grateful Dead / Furthur bassist Phil Lesh’s Phil and Friends projects returned last night for the first of four shows at Lesh’s Terrapin Crossroads venue in San Rafael, Calif. The band, which features Jimmy Herring and Warren Haynes on guitars, Rob Barraco on keyboards, Phil on bass and John Molo on drums mixed classic rock covers with gems from the Grateful Dead songbook during the first two sets of the long-awaited four-night run.
Both Passenger and Doin’ That Rag, the first two songs played, were among the tunes that best showed the power of the ensemble during their early ’00s heyday. The group nodded to one of Haynes’ other bands, the Allman Brothers Band, by working Midnight Rider into the middle of China Cat Rider. Viola Lee Blues, another song that thrived in the “Q” era finished the first set.
The second set saw the quintet stretch their legs improvisationally, weaving Playing In The Band into Shakedown Street with a ferocious jam. Lesh and his band worked a cover of Blind Faith’s Can’t Find My Way Home out of Caution before settling into Southern Cross by Crosby, Stills and Nash. The typical China > Rider pairing was split up last night as China Cat came in the first set while I Know You Rider closed out set two.
Set One: Jam > Passenger, Doin’ That Rag, China Cat Sunflower > Midnight Rider > China Cat Sunflower, Just Like Tom Thumbs Blues, Althea, Viola Lee Blues
Set Two: Playing In The Band > Jam > Shakedown Street > Can’t Find My Way Home > Caution > Southern Cross > Terrapin Station > I Know You Rider, Donor Rap
Encore: US Blues
[Setlist via PhilZone.org]
The “Q” plays Terrapin Crossroads tonight, tomorrow and Sunday. You can watch from home.