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Benmont Tench Makes Phil Lesh & Friends Debut In Port Chester: Full Show Audio

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Former Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers keyboardist Benmont Tench made his debut as a member of Phil Lesh & Friends on Thursday at the first of three shows at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York honoring Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh‘s 79th birthday. Phil and Benmont were joined by drummer John Molo and guitarists Grahame Lesh, Jackie Greene and John Scofield.

While Tench had played the music of the Grateful Dead before at various events, he took to the material surprisingly well in Port Chester. Benmont’s setup featured a piano, electric piano and organ. He swiftly moved before three and shined on the “Mason’s Children” opener. Greene and Scofield dueled away for the first time during “Mason’s,” a trend that would be repeated throughout the night. A raunchy “Mr. Charlie” featuring Jackie on vocals came next along with a Phil-sung “Bird Song.” The differences between Greene and Scofield’s styles were on display as they each took extremely varied solos. Jackie was also up front for a joyous “Scarlet Begonias.” Tench accented Greene’s vocal delivery as if he had been performing the song for decades. Benmont also took a raucous piano solo that drew cheers from the crowd.

An adventurous jam connected “Scarlet” and “Eyes Of The World” that at one point broke form. Tench unleashed another impressive piano solo in “Eyes,” which was followed by a sublime Scofield solo. The band then took it down a notch for the late era Hunter/Garcia gem “So Many Roads.” Jackie handled vocals and did a fine job of building the chorus to a crescendo. A run through “U.S. Blues” closed the first set. Phil & Friends went the “Dark Star” route to open set two. Lesh sang the first verse before the ensemble completely went outside the lines towards a more rocking jam space. Tench laid down solid organ riffs as the band made a transition into “Box Of Rain.” An unusual and well-executed move came next, as Phil & Friends worked “Wharf Rat” within “Box.” Molo picked up on the segue the second Jackie Greene played the “Wharf Rat” riff and powered the return to “Box Of Rain.”

After taking a minute to compose themselves, Phil & Friends played the end of “Slipknot!” as an introduction to “Franklin’s Tower.” Each of the guitarists had a turn to shine during “Franklin’s” and pushed each other to greatness before Phil sang the final verse. Grahame, Jackie and Phil’s voices meshed well on the Sco-heavy “Uncle John’s Band” that followed. Greene took the outro solo and showed why he was a member of Lesh’s band for so long in the ’00s. A powerful “St. Stephen” filled with bright piano fills from Tench and fretboard fireworks from the guitarists kept the set moving. The song’s final jam took on the feel of “Mountain Jam” ahead of a drop into “Let It Grow” sung capably by Grahame. A “The Wheel” that didn’t quite get there but had its moments led into a powerful “I Know You Rider” set closer. Phil Lesh & Friends ended the night with a “Goin’ Down The Road Feelin’ Bad” encore. The run continues on Friday and Saturday with webcasts available via The Relix Channel.

Pro-Shot Video

Dark Star, Box Of Rain > Wharf Rat//

#WERELIVE! We’re back with the first few songs of Phil Lesh & Friends’ second second, live from The Capitol Theatre. Want to watch the entire livestream? Go here–>> http://relix.com/live

Posted by Phil Lesh on Thursday, March 14, 2019

Full Show Audio (Captured by Taper Rob)

Set One

Posted by Thanks Taper Rob on Thursday, March 14, 2019

Set Two & Encore

Posted by Thanks Taper Rob on Thursday, March 14, 2019

Fan-Shot Videos (Captured by Sean Roche Except Where Noted)

Mr. Charlie

Scarlet Begonias > Eyes Of The World

Box Of Rain > Wharf Rat > Box Of Rain

Uncle John’s Band

Let It Grow

I Know You Rider

Dark Star Captured by bronx apostle

Source: JamBase.com