Photo Credit: Bob Minkin
Last night, Nov. 17, Bobby Weir & Friends celebrated the 50th anniversary of the legendary non-profit music venue Sweetwater Music Hall in Mill Valley, Calif. The one-off concert featured two frames of music flushed with Grateful Dead favorites and on-stage accompaniment by special guest musicians: David Nelson, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Lorin Rowan, Matt Michna and Matt Jaffe.
The night got underway with fan favorite “Jack Straw” before Weir and his billed collaborators, including Jay Lane, Berry Sless, Jason Crosby and Samson Grisman, worked their way into Johnny Cash’s “Big River.” For their following number, the seasoned rockers landed on a cover of Bob Dylan’s “Queen Jane Approximately,” a number performed with some frequency by the Grateful Dead beginning in 1987.
Next, Weir led the ensemble through “Ramble On Rose” before plucking a number from his 1972 solo debut, Ace, and delivering a passionate take on “Black-Throated Wind.” For their follow-up, Jaffe took the stage and lent some chords on Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone” before Michna showed up and added to “Eyes of the World,” which flowed over into Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” and a set ending return to “Eyes.”
Following a break from the stage, Weir and his friends returned with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott in tow for a take on Jimmie Rodgers’ “Mule Skinner Blues (Blues Yodel No. 8).” Next, Elliott left the stage, and Weir welcomed Nelson and Rowan to assist on “Friend of the Devil,” followed by the traditional tune, “Peggy-O.” The on-stage collaborations continued as the musicians landed on “New Minglewood Blues,” followed by an illustrious rendition of “Dark Star.”
Subsequently, Lorin Rowan, the younger brother of bluegrass legend Peter Rowan, left the stage, leaving only Nelson to assist Weir and friends on a geographically fitting number for their Golden State concert on “The Other One.” For the final number of the second frame, the band worked through The Cricket’s “Not Face Away.” Finally, Weir brought out Nelson and Rowan for the night’s encore, a sweet take on the American Beauty standard, “Ripple.”
After last night’s concert, Weir will take a well-deserved break from touring before returning to the road for Dead & Company’s sold-out Playing in the Sand event in Mexico. Then after a duration of time, the Grateful Dead legend will play newly announced gigs with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra on Feb. 17 through 19. Read more here.
Scroll down to see last night’s complete setlist.
Bobby Weir & Friends
Sweetwater Music Hall – Mill Valley, Calif.
Nov. 17, 2022
Set I: Jack Straw, Big River, Queen Jane Approximately, Ramble On Rose, Black-Throated Wind, Like A Rolling Stone@, Eyes of the World# > What’s Going On#
Set II: Mule Skinner Blues (Blues Yodel No. 8)&, Friend of the Devil+^, Peggy-O+^, Minglewood Blues+^, Dark Star+^, The Other One+, Not Fade Away+
@ With Matt Jaffe on guitar
# With Matt Michna on guitar
& With Ramblin’ Jack Elliott
+ With David Nelson on guitar
^ With Lorin Rowan on mandolin