Last Friday, Buffalo saw one of the true pioneers of the jam band movement as Bob Weir brought his new project Bob Weir and The Wolf Brothers to Shea’s Performing Arts Centers for a sold-out show. The Wolf Brothers include famed producer Don Was on bass and Further founder Jay Lane on drums and backing vocals. Even with the emergence of Dead & Company over the last few years, Weir still has the itch to get out there and play. This outfit fit right into what the fans of any of his projects (RatDog, Further, Dead & Company, etc.) have come to expect. Lots of extended soloing, lots of grooves and lots of dancing to follow.
The set started off with the band taking the stage at about 7:58 pm to a round of applause. The crowed was itching for some band music and the band kicked into the appropriately “Friend of the Devil” off of the 1970 album “American Beauty.” This was a perfect mood setter for the rest of the nights evening of music.
Was and Lane were locked and loaded right off the bat. Their joyous rhythms were what the doctor ordered as the crowd swayed and moved the entire night. Weir was the ring leader and kept the chatter to a minimum. He left his 6th string do most of the talking. He went back and for the all evening switching out a multiple of guitars, including both acoustic and electric. Of course, Grateful Dead staples like “Bertha,” “Passenger” were big hits of the set.
One of the highlights of the evening was the band inviting Rochester native Mikaela Davis to join them. She played a harpsichord on all the tracks she played on. She also provided lush vocal harmonies to Weir’s leads. Bringing her on to join was a wonderful addition to the show.
The 2-hour show was a perfect antidote to the St. Patty’s Day weekend in the Queen City. Bob Weir and Wolf Brothers left the fans wanting more. Currently there isn’t a Dead and Company stop in the area this summer, so they will have to savior what they saw on Friday for a little while.
Friend of the Devil (Grateful Dead song)
Deep Elem Blues (Georgia Crackers cover)
The Maker (Daniel Lanois cover)
Althea (Grateful Dead song)
Bertha (Grateful Dead song)
Peggy-O (Traditional cover with Mikaela Davis)
Bird Song (Jerry Garcia cover with Mikaela Davis)
Scarlet Begonias (Grateful Dead song)
Two Djin (Ratdog song)
Playing in the Band
Passenger (Grateful Dead song)
Dark Star (Grateful Dead song with Mikaela Davis)
The Other One (Grateful Dead song with Mikaela Davis)
Morning Dew (Bonnie Dobson cover with Mikaela Davis)
Brokedown Palace (Grateful Dead song with Mikaela Davis)
We would like to thank Kate Rakvik from Sacks Co. for the credentials to review the show.