Bob Weir

The Wiltern Theater, Los Angeles, CA.

October 10 2016
by Andrew Schuman

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After the crazy weekend of music I had just experienced any show that I would see for weeks, months, and years and quite possibly for the rest of my life would pale in comparison. Truly only one living man could compete with the heavy hitters of the rock and roll world I had just witnessed. For I had just attended week #1 of Desert Trip, featuring The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, The Who, Neil Young and others.

Yes, only one man, from the one band who would have been the missing link in this nearly perfect rock and roll chain in the desert. Lead Man from the beloved Grateful Dead, Bob Weir. Much to my continued luck, Bobby just happened to be playing a solo show at the Wiltern Theater in L.A. on Monday, the very next night after weekend round one of Desert Trip and my very good friend had an extra ticket for the gig. Sweet! Got to the Wiltern in time to find many old friends and familiar faces waiting in line to get in. Got inside to find the Wiltern is still a pretty theater with a cool Art Deco sunburst on the ceiling and cool G.A. standing areas instead of seats in the front on different levels with actual seats in the rear, for better viewing, dancing and sound.

Bob Weir hit the stage completely solo with just an acoustic guitar on this his Camp Fire Tour. The Camp Fire Tour will span nine shows and eight venues on the East and West coasts for his newly released 3rd solo album, Blue Mountain. Weir opened the show with his version of the traditional song KC Moan followed by Grateful Dead classic Loose Lucy which really grabbed the crowd. Then the last song played solo of the night, was Blue Mountain (the title song off of his new album). Weir was then joined by this tour’s band members Steve Kimock (guitar), Jon Shaw (Bass) and Bryan Devendorf (drums). Now together on stage Weir’s band played Cottonwood Lullaby, Lay My Lilly Down, Only a River and Ghost Towns (all songs off of the new album). Weir then played the Marty Robbins tune El Paso, a wordy song that Weir had to stumble his was through. Followed by a song off the new album and first set closer, Gonesville.

From the youtube posting by Brian James

The Band took a short set break so I stepped outside and got some fresh California night air. I made it back to my place up front in the GA pit ready just in time for second set. Weir and the band opened with Me and My Uncle, a  song with a pretty interesting story behind it. As the story goes “John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas originally wrote “Me and My Uncle” at a drinking session in a hotel room with Judy Collins, Stephen Stills, and Neil Young among others in 1963. John often used to tell the story behind “Me and My Uncle.” Years ago he began receiving publishing royalties from a song on a Judy Collins record with which he was unfamiliar. It was titled “Me and My Uncle”. He called Judy to let her know of the mistake because he hadn’t written any such song. She laughed and told him that about a year before, in Arizona after one of her concerts, they had a ‘Tequila Night’ back at the hotel. They were running a blank cassette and John proceeded to write “Me and My Uncle” on the spot. The next day, John woke up to the tequila sunrise with no recollection of the songwriting incident. Judy kept the cassette from that evening and then, without informing John, recorded the song for her own record.

Over the years the song was recorded by several people, and eventually became a standard of the Grateful Dead. John used to joke that, little by little, with each royalty check, the memory of writing the song would come back to him.”

From the youtube posting by Ed Congdon:

Me and My Uncle was followed by two other Grateful Dead classics Jack-A-Roe and the well timed West LA Fadeaway. Weir was then joined onstage by his new Dead and Co. band buddy, John Mayer. They play a great version of Jack Straw and an outstanding rendition of Morning Dew with a great Jerry Garcia inspired lead by Mayer that melodically blended that song into I know You Rider that ended the set.

Also on a side note, Matt Berninger, the singer from the indie band The National, sang back up with Weir on the last few tunes but truly didn’t seem to know the songs too well (he seemed to apologize to Weir as show ended for not knowing the lyrics.)

Weir and band came back onstage to play 3 encores to the already thrilled crowd. The new song Ki-Yi Bossie followed by Grateful Dead classics Peggy-O and Ripple to end the show.

Bob Weir, unlike the other classic musicians I had just seen who play their songs in a very neat, 3 or 4 minute version of the classic tunes we all know, plays his songs with an extended blues/jazz jams in the middle of each song. So every one of Weir’s tunes take you on a musical journey that weaves a tapestry of sound into the fabric of each song. Yes, The Rolling Stones, Sir Paul and the other huge bands I saw in the desert are talented and have some seriously huge hits, but there was, is and never will be anyone who does what Bob Weir and the Grateful Dead did.

Taped by Pat Myers

Set 1:
K.C. Moan (Memphis Jug Band cover) (Weir solo acoustic)
Loose Lucy (Weir solo acoustic)
Blue Mountain (Weir solo acoustic)
Cottonwood Lullaby (live debut)
Lay My Lily Down
Only a River
Ghost Towns
El Paso (Marty Robbins cover)

Set 2:
Me and My Uncle (John Phillips cover)
Jack-A-Roe ([traditional] cover)
West L.A. Fadeaway
Jack Straw (with John Mayer)
Morning Dew (Bonnie Dobson cover) (with John Mayer) (Matt Berninger vocals)
I Know You Rider ([traditional] cover) (with John Mayer) (Matt Berninger vocals)

Ki-Yi Bossie(Weir solo acoustic)
Peggy-O ([traditional] cover) (with John Mayer) (Peggy-O)
Ripple (Grateful Dead song) (with John Mayer) (Matt Berninger vocals)
Note: with Steve Kimock, Bryan Devendorf, Scott Devendorf, Jon Shaw and Josh Kaufman (‘Blue Mountain’ co-producer)

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