Photo by Casey Martin

On Sunday night, Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum mystified the crowd at Frost Amphitheater on Stanford University’s campus in Palo Alto, Calf. The ensemble delivered a jaw-dropping display of rhythmic and hypnotic faculty as they led the audience through a global music excursion. The set break split the two-part two-act performance, and during the latter half of the show when Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros took the stage they debuted the first electric rendition of “She Knows What I’m Thinking.” The evening marked a historic moment for the two ensembles, considering the Grateful Dead had performed at Frost 14 times in the ’80s.

Sunday night began with Hart and his two-time Grammy Award-winning ensemble Planet Drum promptly taking the historic stage a few minutes past 6 p.m. P.T. The master of beats and his constituents, Zakir Hussain, Giovanni Hidalgo, Sikiru Adepoju, Issac Eady, Danda Da Hora and Mandjou Kone, kicked things off with groove infused “Drops” before moving into “Balafon Intro.”

The second song of the set segued into “Gadago Gadago,” at which time the ensemble was joined by Sunny Jain and Anthony Carrillo, who aided in the song’s delivery. Then, West African singer, dancer, and storyteller Kone and Hora led the band through a shekere chant, with incorporated lyrics of Shakira’s 2010 top charter, “Waka Waka (This Time For Africa),” before breaking into “Tides.” 

Then, Hart took the band through an otherworldly “Temple Caves,” which segued into “Phil Da Glass” and capped it all with a drum roll. For the final song of Planet Drum’s single set Frost Amphitheater performance, the world musicians chose to finish on “King Clave.” Before leaving the stage, all the performers gathered for a jam, only to form a line and dance their way off the platform and into the night. 

Following a brief set break and complete makeover of the stage, including a roll-out of vintage rugs and a shift in the instrumental lineup, Weir along with Jay Lane, Jeff Chimenti, Don Was and Barry Sless took their positions. The quintet noodled with their instruments, playing just a riff of “Jackstraw,” a moment that provided fans the opportunity to call the song before the first bars were sung. Soon after, they were joined by the Wolf Pack, who lent their virtuoso abilities to the Grateful Dead fan favorite. 

For the second song of the set, the band played a hot take on “Brown Eyed Women,” conjuring imagery of the tune’s narrative with the lyrics “Tumble down shack in Big Foot county/ Snowed so hard that the roof caved in/ Delilah Jones went to meet her God/ And the old man never was the same again.” Then, Weir paused the music and glanced at his watch before addressing the crowd by introducing a new song, “She Knows What I’m Thinking.” Weir performed the tune at Radio City Music Hall in New York, as part of his album Ace‘s 50th-anniversary celebration, as a solo acoustic. Last night’s rendition featured the band and Weir on electric guitar, adding new depths to the seasoned musician’s delivery. 

“She Knows What I’m Thinking” segued into a crowd-rousing “Ramble On Rose,” which included a refined and perfectly delivered guitar solo by Weir. Then, with the audience’s energy at an all-time high, the band slowed things down with “Weather Report Suite,” featuring the Wolf Pack, who stuck around for a segued “Let It Grow.” 

Next, the band moved into “Eyes of the World,” which featured bluesy jazz undertones coupled with the rockabilly nuances in classic Grateful Dead delivery. Midway through the tune, Weir cut into Marvin Gay’s “What’s Goin’ On?” Before returning to “Eyes of the World” to cap off the momentous and elongated jam. Then, with horns blaring, they broke into “The Other One” before slowing things down once more with an emotional “Standing on the Moon.” 

For the final song of Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros’ performance, they played the crowd favorite, “Not Fadeaway.” The tune allowed fans to feel like a part of the action as they called the band back on stage with chants of “Know our love will not fade away.” After returning for their encore, they played a passionate take on “Brokedown Palace.” After finishing the final song, the band came together at center stage for a bow as the audience erupted with intense excitement.

Planet Drum

Frost Amphitheater– Palo Alto, Calif. 

May 1, 2022 

Set: Drops, Balafon Intro > Gadago Gadago, Girls in Front Shekere Chant > Tides, Temple Caves > Phill Da Glass > Drum Roll > Storm Drum, King Clave 

Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros

Frost Amphitheater– Palo Alto, Calif. 

May 1, 2022 

Set: Jackstraw, Brown Eyed Women, She Knows What I’m Thinking*, Ramble On Rose, Weather Report Suite > Let It Grow > What’s Goin’ On? > Eyes of the World > The Other One > Standing On The Moon, Not Fade Away 

Enc.: Brokedown Palace 


* Electric debut, performed with band