Bassist/producer extraordinaire Don Was led a special Friends set at this weekend’s Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival in San Francisco, and for his Saturday afternoon performance, Was welcomed a number of old friends, including guitarists Bob Weir and Buddy Miller, members of Was’ ’80s group Was (Not Was) and more.

Along with Weir, Was’ Friends lineup included three Was (Not Was) members—vocalists Sweet Pea Atkinson and Harry Bowens, and saxophonist David McMurray—plus trumpeter Terence Blanchard, drummers Terence Higgins and Kendrick Scott, percussionist Lenny Castro, guitarist Mike Moreno, keyboardist Kris Bowers, and Nashville vocal group The McCrary Sisters.

As Deadheadland notes, the collective kicked off the set with Was (Not Was) tune “Hello Operator” and continued with Gregory Porter’s “1960 – What?” and Hank Williams’ “Forever’s a Long, Long Time,” a song that appeared on Was’ 1997 Williams cover album of the same name.

Weir and Miller then came out, with the Grateful Dead guitarist leading the way on latter-day Garcia/Hunter ballad “Days Between.” Weir then stuck around for a medley of The Temptations’ “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” and Was (Not Was)’s “I Blew Up the United States,” before the band closed out the performance with a spirited run of Was (Not Was)’s ’80s hit “Walk the Dinosaur.”

See the setlist below, along with fan-shot video from the night. One fan also provided a live Periscope video of the show here. Was and Weir will kick off their Wolf Bros trio fall tour (along with drummer Jay Lane) on October 16 in Reno, NV.


Don Was & Friends
Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, San Francisco, CA

Hello Operator, 1960 – What?, Forever’s A Long Long Time, Days Between*^, Papa Was A Rolling Stone*> I Blew Up The United States*> Papa Was A Rolling Stone* Walk The Dinosaur*

Notes: *with Bob Weir
^with Buddy Miller