Grateful Dead members Bob Weir and Bill Kreutzmann joined forces to headline the inaugural Rising Up To Paradise event at the Crazy Rooster Ranch on Kauai’s North Shore in Hawaii on New Year’s Eve. The Dead & Company band mates fronted an ensemble dubbed The Big Swell with a rotating cast of musicians.
Weir and Kreutzmann initially took the stage with keyboardist Jeff Chimenti, bassist Robin Sylvester, percussionist Wally Ingram and guitarist Steve Kimock to kick off the first of two marathon sets with “Sugar Magnolia.” Next up was a memorable “Cassidy” as rain started to fall on the crowd. A particularly groovy “Franklin’s Tower” followed along with “Tennessee Jed.” The legendary Taj Mahal then made a guest appearance to team with Weir, Kreutzmann, Ingram and bassist Don Was for “Deep Elem Blues” and “I’ve Been All Around This World.” Bobby, Billy, Don, Wally, Jeff, Robin and Steve went on to end the frame with a full “Weather Report Suite” including a “Let It Grow” finale.
Monday’s second set started with “Help On The Way” featuring Weir, Kreutzmann, Sylvester, Chimenti, Ingram and Kimock. The band took their time working through “Slipknot!” before landing on “Scarlet Begonias.” After jamming on “Scarlet,” legendary bassist George Porter Jr. swapped in for “Fire On The Bayou,” “Sugaree” and “Iko Iko.” Kreutzmann and Ingram then provided the evening’s “Drums” segment. When Bobby, Robin, Jeff and Steve returned, the ensemble lit into “Estimated Prophet.” Next up was an “Eyes Of The World” that was followed by Weir counting into 2019. The band started the New Year with the pairing of “The Music Never Stopped” and “Touch Of Grey” before ending the night with a tender “Ripple.” Video on demand of The Big Swell’s debut is available via nugs.tv.