Photos by Geoff Tischman

Last night, Phil Lesh performed his 100th show at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, N.Y. The gathering was the fourth of the week with his Phil Lesh & Friends arrangement, which started on Wednesday for a celebration of the Grateful Dead co-founder’s 83rd birthday. For the milestone, Lesh was joined by Rick Mitarotonda, John Medeski, Grahame Lesh, Nicki Bluhm, James Casey, Katie Jacoby and John Molo.

Notably, the owner of The Capitol Theatre, Peter Shapiro, gave a reflective speech that looked back on Lesh’s history at the venue, his return in November of 2012 and commemorated the achievement in Madison Square Garden-style giving Lesh “what champions get” a banner that read “Phil Lesh 100 Shows” that was raised above the stage.

Lesh kicked off the show with “Tennesee Jed” and “Bertha” before they flowed into a cover of Bobby “Blue” Bland’s “Turn On Your Love Light,” which the Grateful Dead often performed in the late ’60s. Next came another cover and live staple, “Me and My Uncle” by John Philips, during which Mitarotonda and the younger Lesh launched their individual fretboard fireworks. The ensemble carried on with the Jerry Garcia penned “Bird Song” before rolling out more classics, including “Ramble On Rose” and an ensemble uniting “Box of Rain.”

The second set kicked off with a masterful rendition of “Terrapin Station,” which many associate directly with the Grateful Dead bassist. The strings sections cascaded during the next song, another Robert Hunter penned number, “Jack O’Roses.” The proceeding “Touch of Grey” saw euphonious additions by Bluhm, Casey, and Jacoby. Lesh & Friends then performed “West L.A. Fadeaway” before bass lines gave way to “Shakedown Street.” After the funk-fueled favorite, they dipped into the bluegrass inclinations found across “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo.” “Estimated Prophet” served as the frame’s penultimate song, and the milestone evening was closed with “Sugaree.”

After applause and onstage appreciation that is so often felt at the collaborative performances under Lesh’s name, the ensemble returned for an encore of “Brown-Eyed Women.”

Phil Lesh & Friends
The Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, N.Y.
March 19, 2023

Set I: Tennessee Jed, Bertha, Turn On Your Love Light (Bobby “Blue” Bland cover), Me and My Uncle (John Phillips cover), Bird Song (Jerry Garcia cover), Ramble On Rose, Box of Rain

Set II: Terrapin Station, Jack O’Roses (Robert Hunter cover), Touch of Grey, West L.A. Fadeaway, Shakedown Street, Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo, Estimated Prophet, Sugaree (Jerry Garcia cover)

Enc.: Brown-Eyed Women