Phil Lesh & Friends Begin 1st ‘The Q’ Tour On This Date In 2000

Back in the fall of 2000, Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh recruited four other musicians to join his Phil Lesh & Friends ensemble establishing what became known as “The Quintet” lineup. It was 21 years ago today that Lesh and guitarists Warren Haynes and Jimmy Herring, keyboardist Rob Barraco and drummer John Molo set out on the first “The Q” tour.

Reunited for Lesh’s birthday concerts in March of 2016 and set to perform at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York October 11 – 13, the lineup was active from the 2000 Fall Tour through Phil’s joining his former band mates in The Dead in 2003. The Quintet’s first show of the tour took place on September 30, 2000 at Memorial Auditorium in Burlington, Vermont.

That night saw Haynes, Barraco and Lesh trade vocals on such Dead staples as “Here Comes Sunshine,” “Friend Of The Devil,” “Cosmic Charlie” and “Cold Rain & Snow” in the first set. Van Morrison’s “Into The Mystic” – a first time played by Phil & Friends – also sprung up in set one with Haynes taking on the singing duties.

The second set opened with Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone” trailed by a lengthy portion of improv that saw Herring and Haynes swirling together while Lesh and Molo established a stable but ever shifting rhythm for them to follow. The post-Dead Robert Hunter composition penned with Lesh, “Mirror of Thalassa,” appeared in the second set, as did the first Phil & Friends renditions of “Lazy River Road” and “The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)” as well as stretched out performances of “Viola Lee Blues” and “Sugaree.” The set ended with “Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad” and the singalong hymnal “And We Bid You Goodnight.” Perhaps in a nod to being in the band’s hometown, Phil and “The Q” worked up Phish’s “Wolfman’s Brother” for the evening’s encore and final song.

Full show audio of the concert from 21 years ago today can be streamed below:

Setlist (via Philzone)

Set One: Jam > Here Comes Sunshine (RB) > Friend Of The Devil > *Into The Mystic (WH) > Here Comes Sunshine > Jam > Foolish Heart > Jam > Jack-A-Roe, Cosmic Charlie (all), Cold Rain & Snow

Set Two: Like A Rolling Stone > Jam > *Lazy River Road > Jam > The Eleven (RB-all) > Jam > Mirror of Thalassa, *Golden Road To Unlimited Devotion (WH) > Viola Lee Blues, Sugaree (WH), GDTRFB (all) > And We Bid You Goodnight

Encore: Wolfman’s Brother

*1st time played

[Originally Published: September 30, 2016]