Phil Lesh & Friends at Terrapin Crossroads
W John Scofield, Anders Osborne, Jeff Chimenti, John Molo and Alex Korford - January 26, 2018
From Ted’s perspective:
Last night's throw down had some explosive aspects but markedly more awkward WTF moments then did Thursday.
Despite the fact that it was a less perfect experience compared with the previous night there were some very strong jams, great vocal harmonies (at times) and more face melting from both Sco and Anders.
Anders mangled more covers via his interpretations of songs as he read the lyrics. While for me it detracts from the experience to see an artist not focusing on the audience, but instead on a chart or lyric page/screen, what's worse is when the artist seems to have never listened to the song (throwing off the expected cadence of the lyric). With Anders this seems to be a regular feature.... But at the same time, his voice is clear, pleasant to listen to and powerful.
Then there is Phil who's playing is always interesting, but who's vocal approach can occasionally be jarring. Phil's vocals on The Other One last night were off-kilter and out of time - perhaps, much like his bass playing, he wants to purposely alter the timing?
Ross and Grahame took some fine turns and a few leads last night - alternating their moments onstage.
Alex's vocals are always great - while his presence on drums would have been redundant with Molo chugging like an octopus driving a freight train, IMHO they oughta let him set up another kit and have at it instead of sitting in the background with his hands in his pockets.
Chimenti - no words necessary - dude frikkin' kicks ass melodicaly no matter what the material is and ALWAYS has interesting moments. His telling eye rolls during some of Anders' vocal flubs last night were funny to witness.
Not enough good can be said about the "secret tone sauce," produced by Scofield. Sure, he doesn't know the songs and does nothing to align with the zeitgeist of the history of GD music, but god damn - when he steps up he brings shock and awe to the proceedings unlike just about any other guitarist I've seen standing next to Phil at TXR. He simply tosses out the rule book and starts fresh with explosive from the get-go tone, ideas, melodic and harmonic deconstruction and impactful, intelligently developed solos filled with interesting ideas. I love this combination of elements.
If we decide to "pick nits," last night had a lot of issues, but over all, the effect of the show on my mind, head, emotions and head space was pretty much just as strong as the more perfect Thursday show... From the Jack Straw shred fest, (including the midway through the song, one chord set up jam led by RMFJ) to the pounding heaviness of the Rockin' in the Free World Encore, I was thoroughly engaged with every note played.
At the same time I'll admit that anyone watching my vids may take issue with all sorts of odd details that don't jibe with their sense of appreciation. Personally I don't care. We have this BBS to both celebrate this music and bitch about it but I choose in nearly all cases to laud these artists and their music.
Fuck the haters. LONG LIVE THE GRATEFUL DEAD!