Phil Lesh & Friends - Brooklyn Academy Of Music, Brooklyn NY 4.14.2014
Last night, Phil Lesh and Friends performed at the iconic Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City. It was the first show of a two night run at the 106-year-old venue and the first time Phil Lesh has performed there. John Medeski, Warren Haynes, Joe Russo, and Jackie Greene rounded out this incarnation of the group and performed a nearly three hour show in front of an estimated 2,100 dance-happy fans.
"Sunshine Of Your Love" - Phil Lesh & Friends at Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn NY 4.14.2014
First set highlights included a fast paced "Let It Grow" followed by "Scarlet Begonias," which got the crowd out of their seats and dancing. A cover version of the Beatles' "She Said She Said" surprised many fans and brought smiles to faces all around. In celebration of the "Blood Moon" lunar eclipse scheduled to happen that night, the band performed a psychedelic-heavy "Mountains of the Moon" that allowed the crowd to sit and let their minds be blown. Allman Brothers fans cheered with approval as Phil and friends performed an energetic version of "Jessica," with inspired singing from Warren Haynes. Closing out the first set was the often performed "Sugaree," which featured an impressive solo from Jackie Greene. During the set break, many in the crowd commented that this first half of music was better than any of The Capitol Theater shows they had recently attended.
The second set kicked off with a popular Grateful Dead second set opener from the 1970s, "Playing In The Band." Once again, Warren Haynes elevated the energy in the room with an inspiring solo mid way through, then led the charge with a funky "Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks)" that had fans shaking their bones in the hallways and throughout the venue. A "New Speedway Boogie" was teased for a minute before Phil took control of the show with a mellow version of "Unbroken Chain." Accomplished jazz keyboardist John Medeski shined during his solo part before Warren took over the song and carried it to a soft ending.
For many, the highlight of the second set was the sandwich of "Help On The Way > Slipknot! > Franklin's Tower" that featured the Beatles tune "Tomorrow Never Knows" and Cream's hit song "Sunshine Of Your Love" mixed in. The guitar interplay between Jackie and Warren was a treat to watch as they fed off each other's energy during "Slipknot!" The band came together for a version of "Franklin's Tower" that ended the second set with fans dancing and swaying their bodies in time with Phil's bass lines.
After a brief recess, Phil came out to give what has become known to fans as his "Donor Rap," where he encourages fans in the audience to be organ donors. The rest of the band came back out and Warren led the way once again, this time with an emotionally charged and lyrically powerful version of "Morning Dew." To bring the second set and encore to a complete circle, the band ended the night with "Playing In The Band (Reprise)." I did not see one unsatisfied fan leave the venue as most were basking in that afterglow show feeling. It was a great night of music at a historic venue with a roomful of friendly vibes. I can't see how night two could get any better.
Lastly, I want to personally thank Mr. Peter Shapiro for allowing me to experience this A+ show. I arrived to the venue in hopes of obtaining a reduced ticket; preferably from a fan. When I saw Mr. Shapiro on the sidewalk in front of the venue, I went up to him and introduced myself. After we shook hands, he asked me if I had a ticket for the show. When I told him I did not, he reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out two tickets. One for me and one for a friend. I was shocked then grateful as I thanked him with the excitement of a 9-year-old boy at Christmas time. Peter Shapiro miracle'd me!
Tickets for the April 15th show are still available and you can purchase them at the BAM event page. A limited number of tickets will be for sale at the BAM box office the night of the show. Below are more crowd sourced YouTube videos from the night as well as pictures and the setlist.
"Mountains of the Moon" - Phil Lesh & Friends at Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn NY 4.14.2014
"St. Stephen" - Phil Lesh & Friends at Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn NY 4.14.2014
Source: WMWV Radio SoundCloud