Bob Weir Leads Kimock, Burbridge, Mendelson, Bluhm, And More During Backyard Benefit Concert [Video]
Setlist via Jambase: Bob Weir, Steve Kimock, Eric Krasno, Leslie Mendelson, Nicki Bluhm, John Morgan Kimock, and Oteil Burbridge | Heroes Rock Benefit House Concert | Mill Valley, CA | 5/19/2017Set: Walkin’ Blues (Bob Weir solo), Blue Mountain (BW solo), Easy to Slip (with Steve Kimock), Only A River (with SK, Oteil Burbridge & John Morgan Kimock), Happy Birthday (sung to Steve Parish), Friend of the Devil (w. SK, Leslie Mendelson & Nicki Bluhm), Deep Elem Blues (w. SK, OB, JMK, LM & NB), Blue Bayou (w. SK, OB, JMK & LM), Bird Song (w. SK, OB, JMK, LM & NB), Ripple (w. SK, LM & NB) On Friday night, the stars aligned at a house in Mill Valley, California, bringing together huge names in the jam band scene for a charity concert benefitting Heroes Rock, a nonprofit that serves veterans and first responders by connecting them with musicians, providing music lessons, and translating their experiences to song. Bob Weir, Steve Kimock, Eric Krasno, Leslie Mendelson, Nicki Bluhm, John Morgan Kimock, and Oteil Burbridge were all tapped to perform the intimate backyard concert.Watch Bob Weir And Eric Krasno Join Steve Kimock & Friends In CaliforniaSteve Parish, a former Grateful Dead roadie came forward to introduce Weir and Kimock at the start of the performance, with all three cracking jokes. The first two songs of the nine-song set, “Walkin’ Blues” and “Blue Mountain,” featured a solo Bob Weir on an acoustic guitar. Weir then invited Kimock (referring to him as “my friend Little Stevie Kimock”) to join him for Little Feat’s “Easy To Slip” and the rest of the performance.The duo was joined by Oteil Burbridge and John Morgan Kimock for the next number, “Only A River” before a rendition of “Happy Birthday” in honor of Steve Parish. The birthday shout out was followed by a rendition of the classic “Friend Of The Devil,” which saw Weir and Kimock joined by Leslie Mendelson and Nicki Bluhm. The remaining songs of the night saw Burbridge, John Morgan Kimock, Mendelson, and Bluhm slip in and out on “Deep Elem Blues,” “Blue Bayou” “Bird Song,” and the final number of “Ripple.”You can check out the setlist from the fundraiser below, courtesy of Jambase, as well as a video of the entire concert, courtesy of Deadheadland Film shot by Doug Clifton.[H/T Deadheadland]
Rock and roll titans Widespread Panic returned to stage last night at the Legacy Arena in the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex, known to many as simply the B.J.C.C. The six-piece powerhouse band appeared to be refreshed after their four-night run in Mexico, with hints of twinkling eyes and a reddened skin color from the week spent under the tropical sun. However, it seems they swapped out the tequila for whiskey as they began an unusually gritty night of music to represent the deep south with badass veterans-of-the-blues swagger.They began the first set of the two-night run with a kickin’ version of their original tune, “Pleas”, in which JB [John Bell] implored to “Don’t let it get too sad (and later don’t let it get too dark),” possibly in reference to the recent horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Just as “Pleas” opened the 1993 album Everyday, it commenced last night’s show as well. Jimmy Herring destroyed a guitar solo before segueing into a cover of Bloodkin’s “Makes Sense to Me.” Danny Hutchens’ song describes three everyday tales of social injustice, in which the singer sympathetically responds “Well, makes sense to me.” John Bell imbued the bluesy lyrics with soul in his remarkable croak. Herring and Bell dominated until JoJo Hermann was summoned by JB with a cry of “JoJo, Go!” to play a jumpin’ organ solo.The band returned to their fourth studio album, Ain’t Life Grand, with a bass-thumpin’ rendition of “Little Kin”. The original tune was only played twice last year, and the boys nailed this top-notch version. Jimmy Herring crafted a masterful solo around Dave Schools’ pulsating bass line. John Bell blended his swampy voice into the mix while Schools added his own take on backup vocals. The song faded off to the lingering notes of Jimmy Herring and JoJo Hermann and a temporary silence ensued.This silence didn’t last long, however, as the boys jumped right into a scorching “Action Man.” The high intensity of this song hinted at chaotic revelry to come. “Action Man”, from their seventh studio album Don’t Tell the Band, was written about horse racing, specifically Triple Crown winner War Admiral and his elite sire, Man O’ War. Herring, JoJo, and John Bell danced methodically around the heavy drums and bass rhythms provided by Duane Trucks, Sonny Ortiz, and Dave Schools. Sonny, Schools, and Trucks stood out in this driving rhythmic barrage.JoJo Hermann led the band through two songs with his keyboard talents on full display. A jovial “Street Dogs for Breakfast” from their last studio album with the same name epitomized JoJo Hermann’s casual barroom vocals and honky-tonk piano playing. Hermann kept the conducting baton to direct the band through a rarely played version of a brilliant cover of “Red Beans” popularized by Muddy Waters and Professor Longhair. Widespread Panic last played the song at St. Augustine Amphitheatre in 2016. With assistance from Dave Schools, JoJo paid tribute to Professor Longhair, the blues piano legend from New Orleans, and brought a taste of swampy funk to Alabama.The band kept the crowd on their feet all night and followed up with a cuttin’ “All Time Low” from the album Til’ the Medicine Takes. John Bell and JoJo Hermann both crushed the vocals, but at some point, Jimmy Herring took the metaphorical wheel of Doc Brown’s DeLorean and, much like Elon Musk’s “Starman” in the driver seat of the interstellar Tesla Roadster, brought the music to galactic proportions. For a wizard with powers over time and space, the first step into overdrive was a cinch for Jimmy Herring. He began lightly playing in the background behind John Bell and JoJo Hermann’s vocals, but soon he accelerated past lightspeed and the masterful band embraced his fluid tempo changes. Dave Schools took over the helm of the ship and coordinated with the percussionists through a transitional jam while the formidable Jimmy Herring worked his guitar wizardry throughout intergalactic realms. These between-song improvisational jams consistently proved the incomparable skill of Widespread Panic, and this particular build-up exploded into one of the highlights of the night.Widespread broke it down for a sentimental “Space Wrangler”, a beautiful tribute to late founding member Michael “Mikey” Houser. This version was executed flawlessly with a sweet solo by the patient and wise Jimmy Herring and included several perfectly synchronized tempo breakdowns and progressions. JoJo Hermann and Jimmy Herring worked together to interlay melodies while Schools pummeled his bass unmercifully. To finish the first set, the band returned to the swamps with a raunchy cover of Calvin Carter and Bobby Rush’s “Bowlegged Woman”, which was later popularized by Hot Tuna. The band annihilated this erotically suggestive tune with smoking parts by the omnipresent Herring and steady beats provided by Dave Schools. John Bell pulled out aces from his sleeves with an unbelievable improvisational rap that warrants many re-listens, and JoJo Hermann chimed neat cascades around Bell’s erratic phrases before Panic broke it down one last time for a final verse before they walked offstage for a set break.Widespread Panic returned to the stage to obliterate a mind-blowing version of “Greta” from Bombs & Butterflies. Dogs howled, bees swarmed, JB crooned behind JoJo’s lead vocals, and JoJo chased Jimmy Herring up and down his keyboard. The saucy tune wasn’t overextended; it was direct and straight-to-the-point. The band transitioned indirectly into Neil Young’s “Walk On”, but not before a heavy jam that featured teases of the Allman Brothers Band’s “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”. Schools, Herring, and Hermann absolutely rocked out in their distinctive, badass style.“Walk On” slowed the tempo down and gave John Bell room to expand his vocal fills. Widespread continued the Neil Young theme with “Tortured Artist”, an original tune from the album Ball that has only been played once in the last four years: In it, John Bell paints a masterful depiction with the descriptive lyrics of a “tired, old cowboy who lets his horses run free” with other dirty lyrics and stinging guitar licks.The music subsided momentarily before the band delivered an energetically charged version of “Flicker” from Free Somehow. The snare drum provided a quick tempo throughout with bursts of the pure mayhem of Dave Schools. Jimmy Herring maneuvered with a heavenly brilliance while Dave Schools threatened to crush his instrument to bits with the colossal force he drove into his fretboard.The ultra-talented group of musicians executed a nearly twenty-minute old-school sandwich that surrounded “I’m Not Alone” and an improvisational jam between the two halves of “Driving Song”. A crowd-favorite sandwich brought decisive jams and heartfelt lyrics served a reminder that they are never truly alone. “Driving Song” was featured on the band’s debut album, Space Wrangler, while “I’m Not Alone” came on the subsequent album, the self-titled Widespread Panic. Jimmy Herring–as always, but especially last night–was playing perfectly and squeezed so many purposeful notes inside very small pockets of silence.A consolidated version of “Tie Your Shoes” followed. It was not as drawn out as the version from New Year’s Eve in Atlanta, still maintained an absurd amount of energy from each musician in the band. Duane Trucks and Jimmy Herring preserved musical perfection with spirited performances while JoJo Hermann splashed notes with methodological precision. Dave Schools dominated near the end and led the group into another illustrious transition jam. John Bell left the stage as JoJo, Jimmy, and Schools weave skillfully around the drummers’ percussive rhythms.Next, the rest of the band besides the percussionists left the stage, allowing the two rhythm players to vigorously duel for a solid 10 minute “Drums” jam. Sonny recently switched to a new drum kit, and he broke them in with an impressive molly-whopping. The drummers caught their breath for less than a half dozen seconds before they switched gears into a new pace as the other band members resettled into their positions.The ensuing “Diner” was extended and featured another outstanding JB rap. Schools punctuated, Hermann squealed, Herring generated lightning bolts from his deft fingers in overdrive. JB’s “Diner” rap typically describes a man waking up cold and early on a park bench and stumbling into a diner for a tepid cup of “yesterday’s coffee.” Last night’s version began with him indifferently admitting that he “couldn’t sleep anyway.. [when] a face in the window [appears]…. A friend from long ago (long, ago)… how you been? Where you been? Is there coffee yet? Still got some of yesterday’s donuts… ?[etc. etc]” John Bell repeatedly delivered the improvisational goods again and again and provided another reason to re-listen to this show many more times.Dave Schools took over lead vocal duties for his version of Vic Chestnutt’s “Sleeping Man”, which he supplied with his usual flair. The dynamically coupled bassline inexplicably intermixed with Jimmy Herring’s wizardry and JoJo’s exploratory synthesizing. They finally closed a prodigious second set with a rare cover of The Guess Who’s “No Sugar Tonight / New Mother Nature”, which they performed only once last year at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in June. Schools and Herring fought a musical battle from opposite ends of the stage while ol’ John Bell tried to navigate a treacherous position in the middle ground, avoiding bullets and shellshock alike.Widespread Panic returned to the stage to finish the night with an explosive closer. “Gimme” became the first encore with a poignant lyrical tribute to long-time friend of the band, Garrie Vareen, who passed away seven years prior. The band played deliberately and furnished the song with a very emotionally cutting tone.The boys then abandoned all sentimentality with a fiery performance of a crowd favorite, Funkadelic‘s “Red Hot Mama.” With true Prankster irony, the band typically plays “Red Hot Mama” and “Bowlegged Woman” near Valentine’s Day. Schools bestowed his heavy bass notes upon Herring’s conductive guitar prowess while John Bell’s verbal command and timing never ceased to amaze.To conclude the first night of music, the band dove headfirst into a deep jam-filled well of “Chilly Water” which was conspicuously absent from Panic en la Playa’s setlists. As to be expected, the already-enraptured audience went absolutely apeshit, and harmonious pandemonium ensued. Due to its unexpected position in the setlist, not many audience members had cups of water to throw, but even still, empty water bottles soon filled the air. The excitement persevered right until the very end of the show and left the audience drooling in anticipation of the next night of music tonight.Widespread Panic is back at the B.J.C.C. tonight for night two. For a full list of upcoming Widespread Panic shows, head to the band’s website.You can watch assorted fan-shot videos from the show below: Widespread Panic – “No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature” – 2/16/18[Video: Fred Ramadan] Widespread Panic – “Diner” – 2/16/18[Video: Fred Ramadan] Widespread Panic – “Bowlegged Woman, Knock Kneed Man” – 2/16/18[Video: Julia Scott] Widespread Panic – “Sleeping Man” – 2/16/18[Video: Julia Scott]SETLIST: Widespread Panic | Legacy Arena @ The BJCC| Birmingham, AL | 2/16/18Set One: Pleas, Makes Sense To Me%, Little Kin, Action Man, Street Dogs For Breakfast, Red Beans*, All Time Low > Jam > Space Wrangler, Bowlegged WomanSet Two: Greta > Jam > Walk On^, Tortured Artist, Flicker, Driving Song > I’m Not Alone > Driving Song Reprise > Tie Your Shoes > Drums > Diner > Sleeping Man**, No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature^^Encore: Gimme, Red Hot Mama$, Chilly WaterNotes:%Bloodkin cover*Professor Longhair cover^Neil Young cover**Vic Chesnutt cover^^The Guess Who cover$Chilly Water
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