The former Grateful Dead guitarist played the Saenger Tuesday night and photographer Erika Goldring was there.
The jam band wave that first hit Jazz Fest when Phish first performed 1996 and resurged yearly since owes everything to The Grateful Dead. The Dead provided the blueprint for protracted musical explorations launched by classic American roots music, and while subsequent bands added their own twists--many of them funky--they're doing a thing The Dead did first.
For that reason, the appearance of a Grateful Dead member during the Jazz Fest fortnight excites the faithful, and this year Republic will present late night shows with Dead Feat April 29 and 30 featuring members of Little Feat, Anders Osborne, and Dead bassist Phil Lesh's son Grahame.
Dead guitarist Bob Weir jumped the gun and played the Saenger Theatre Tuesday night, and the show leaned heavily on The Dead and the the sorts of songs they covered, starting with Son House's "Walkin' Blues," which Weir performed solo on the acoustic guitar. The Meters' George Porter Jr. joined Weir and his band for "Sugaree" and "Bird Song."