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Vibes Dispatch: Phil Lesh and Friends
What sets Phil Lesh and Friends apart from the other Dead offshoots is the interplay between Lesh and drummer Joe Russo. When you listen to a Band that jams a lot, it's easy to get distracted. You start wondering what each band member is thinking, and that's usually a sign things aren't happening. After a long rain-related break, Lesh and friends returned to open their second set with "St. Stephen," which got kind of messy in the middle. But the jam at the end, well, it made me stop wondering. Whatever spark he and Garcia (and Kreutzmann) shared can't be duplicated, but with Russo it's as though he's found a new start. Lesh is an incredible musician with a great sense of time, and for all his experimentation he's also a solid anchor, even when he's all over the place, running up and down and all over, that style he invented. oing melodic runs up and down. Fun to watch. Highlights: "St. Stephen," "Pride of Cucamonga," the 7/8 jam at the end of "Uncle John's Band" and pretty much anything Lesh and Russo played throughout. More tomorrow (or, rather, later today).
By Michael Hamad
July 21, 2012