Photo by Dino Perrucci
Last night, Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh brought his eclectic and talented group of contemporaries to celebrate the fourth of July with a concert at The Stone Pony Summer Stage in Asbury Park, N.J. The list of friends that joined him on the Shore included Dawes members Taylor Goldsmith, Griffin Goldsmith, Lee Pardini, and Trevor Menear, along with vocalist Nicki Bluhm, his son and guitarist Grahame Lesh, saxophonist Stuart Bogie and vocalist and trumpeter Jennifer Hartswick. Though he was previously slated for the performance, James Casey was unable to attend after he tested positive for COVID-19.
Phil Lesh & Friends kicked off the night with “The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)” –Taylor Goldsmith handled vocals on the 1967 summer song. Next, Hartswick took the lead on “Dancing In The Street.” Lesh’s friends continued to share their individual skills as Bluhm shepherded the group on “Deal,” during which the younger Lesh, Taylor Goldsmith, Menear and Bogie all traded solos. They continued with “Estimated Prophet” before Phil Lesh allowed himself to take the front and center stage for vocals on “Uncle John’s Band.” They closed their first set with Chicago’s “Saturday in The Park,” a nod to their beautiful surroundings and flourished with the iconic lyrics “I think it was the Fourth of July/ People dancing, people laughing.” During the track, Bogie and Hartswick gave their all to honor the Illinois band and the holiday with triumphant solos.
The second set, once again, began with Taylor Goldsmith taking the reins, this time on “Alabama Getaway.” Afterward, Grahame Lesh helped move the group into the appropriately timed Grateful Dead anthem, “Liberty,” which was followed by “Let it Grow.” The ensemble followed up with the classic “Eyes of the World,” which flowed into “The Wheel” and was followed by “Standing On The Moon.” Next, Phil Lesh & Friends ramped things up with “Not Fade Away,” which showcased intercommunication from all three guitarists and saw gilded triple-layered harmonies. They closed the set with “The Music Never Stopped.”
After a short break, Phil Lesh & Friends returned to the stage and the Grateful Dead bassist spoke to the joyous crowd about the importance of organ donation, before moving into a 10-minute performance of “Truckin'” sung by his song and propelled by the horn section.
Watch a fan-shot video of the performance below:
Phil Lesh & Friends
The Stone Pony Summer Stage – Asbury Park, N.J.
July 4, 2022
Set I: The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion), Dancing in the Street, Deal, Estimated Prophet, Uncle John’s Band, Saturday in the Park
Set II: Alabama Getaway, Liberty, Let It Grow, Eyes of the World, The Wheel, Standing on the Moon, Not Fade Away, The Music Never Stopped
Enc.: Donor Rap, Truckin’