Sunday, May 23, 2004

Again- another Review! This one from Paul:

Paul Wozniak - 04:52pm May 23, 2004 PDT (#2583 of 2585)
I don't know, maybe it was the roses

Spencer Dryden Barn Raiser

The evening kicked off with Nick Gravenites and the original "Animal Mind." Doug Kilmer, Nick's bassist of many years came out of retirement for the benefit. He's been retired for close to 10 years now. The will call line was slow, and the show started early....I walked in on the 3rd song which was Flag (Long Lonesome Road). Next up was a standard Nick blues number, I forget which one....Greg Elmore (QMS) was on Drums. David Freiberg then joined, along with Harvey "The Snake" Mandel, and the band ripped an awesome Pride of Man! Wow! Nick then did a dedication to Spence, and funnily enough played "Funky News", asking Spence not to take it personally, LOL!Let's Get together followed, with Terry Hagerty joining with some sweet riffs. The set closed with Born in Chicago. Great stuff. I was so psyched to see Nick, and he delivered in spades.

DNB was up next. I forget the opener, but John Harding’s Wedding was second. David then did a great version of "Oh The Wind and Rain". Here is where IMO they really took off. Peter Rowan joined for great versions of Panama Red, Lonesome LA Cowboy and Midnight Moonlight. Tremendous. Barry Sless was really "on" all night. I've always loved Rowan, and he fit right in. They squeezed a little bit of Free Mexican Air Force in the middle of Panama Red (another Rowan dope song). It was sweet. Another DNB tune and then Weir joined. After a miscue starting "The Wheel" (DNB does it slightly differently then the Dead), they really grooved on the tune. A rousing Cumberland ended the set. Weir sounded and played great. He sang, instead of talking the verses.

Wavy Gravy mc'd between sets, and did a nice tribute to Spence, who was pretty choked up and gave a short speech.

Next up was Flying Other Brothers. These guys are just plain bad, but money buys you access. Fortunately, Barry Sless and Pete Sears were on stage and made them bearable for the two or three tunes they played before Weir hit the stage. Bobby did great versions of FOTD, Masterpiece and Cassidy (with Sless ripping it up and sounding just like Jerry). Warren then joined and took it up another notch, playing great subtle slide on Desolation Row (an odd choice, IMO). Warren sand a great version of "It Hurts Me Too." We were treated to a rousing Aiko-Aiko, and Warren kicked ass on Sugaree. Definitely his signature Garcia tune. Saturday Night followed, a classic Saturday rocker, they had to play it! Oddly enough, Pete Sears sang Stella, but it was saved by a great pedal steel solo by Barry Sless. The show closed with a ripping GDTRFB. Warren and Bob played very well together, and I now have high hopes for a great summer tour.

Slim's sucks as a venue, but it was a good crowd. Too packed for my tastes, but I saw a lot of people from the old days of Gravenites/Cipolina and GD days of old.