Dark Star El Paso
Transported back 42 years, Phil Lesh and his “Sunstroke Serenaders,” played tribute to one of the Grateful Dead’s most historic and beloved performances last night before a sold out crowd at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, California. Complete with banter filled stage announcements of lost kids & shortages of water, along with some vintage instruments, that blazing hot day from a huge meadow at the Old Renaissance Faire Grounds in Veneta, Oregon from August 27th, 1972 came alive in adventurous fashion.

Since the March 2012 opening of Terrapin Crossroads, there have been rambles, hoedowns, a hootenanny and a wonderful plethora of ever changing lineups and sit ins. This marked the first time that Phil & his musical friends chose to pay homage by recreating an actual Grateful Dead show. The band featured Stu Allen on vocals & playing lead guitar on a 1963 Stratocaster loaned to him by Lesh himself, Grahame Lesh on rhythm guitar and vocals, Jeff Chimenti on keyboards, Ezra Lipp on a drum kit nearly identical to the one played that day and Midnight North’s Elliott Peck on vocals.

The three set “Sunshine Daydream” show or “Field Trip,” was originally billed as a benefit for the nearby Springfield Creamery, which was owned and operated by Ken Kesey’s brother Chuck. Following the introduction presented by Go By Ocean’s Craig MacArthur, Grahame & Stu comfortably traded Garcia & Weir songs. From the opening notes of “Promised Land,” to the raucous “Bertha” the hour long first set flowed seamlessly by honoring the originals while being boldly present. Grahame’s rendition of “Black Throated Wind,” was passionately delivered and tightly woven around Stu Allen’s lilting leads.

Set two seemed to elevate quickly with a beautifully done fifteen minute exploratory version of “Playing In The Band.” “He’s Gone,” & “Jack Straw,” featured some of the sweetest vocals of the night with the pure honeycomb tone of Elliott Peck blending perfectly with Stu & Grahame. Allen had jaws dropping during the “Bird Song” and the elder Lesh pounded out the intro on his new Alembic bass, while Grahame the younger served up a spirited “Greatest Story Ever Told,” to complete the set.

Following a short fifteen minute break, the third & final hour long set commenced with the famous “Dark Star > “El Paso” sandwich of ever changing time signatures lead by Ezra Lipp and Jazzy Jeff Chimenti and a seamless transition. Perhaps the show’s most memorable gem then and now was the compassionate version of Merle Haggard’s “Sing Me Back Home,” combining Allen’s heartfelt manner together with Elliott Peck’s tender expression, had the sing along crowd in unison.

Add this to the ever growing list of special moments that continue to accumulate at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael. Grateful for what was, grateful for what is, a little bit further than we’ve gone before…
by Rob Scalcione

Playin In The Band - Eliott Peck

Phil Lesh & Friends
Phil Recreates an old Grateful Dead Show (8-27-72 Veneta, OR)
Thur. Oct. 2, 2014
The Grate Room
Terrapin Crossroads
San Rafael, CA

Phil Lesh – bass, vocals
Grahame Lesh – guitar, vocals
Stu Allen – guitar, vocals
Jeff Chimenti – keyboards
Ezra Lipp – drums
Elliott Peck – vocals
Craig MacArthur – Announcements

Set 1 8:00pm – 9:00pm
Intro (by Craig CMac MacArthur)
Promised Land gl
Sugaree sa
Me & My Uncle gl
Deal sa
Black Throated Wind gl
(Lost Kids dialogue – CMac)
China Cat Sunflower sa >
I Know You Rider sa gl pl
Mexicali Blues gl
Bertha sa

Set 2 9:35pm – 10:30pm
Playing In The Band gl ep
(Water update dialogue – CMac)
He’s Gone sa gl ep
Jack Straw sa gl ep
Bird Song sa
(Little Kiddies dialogue – CMac)
Greatest Story Ever Told gl

Set 3 10:45pm – 11:50pm
Dark Star sa >
El Paso gl
Sing Me Back Home sa gl ep
Sugar Magnolia gl
E: (Phil – Kids & delinquent parents banter)
Casey Jones sa gl
One More Saturday Night gl

*This Grateful Dead show was originally performed on 8-27-72 at the Old Renaissance Faire Grounds in Veneta, Oregon. The show was a benefit for The Springfield Creamery in nearby Springfield, Oregon.*

Set list compiled by Rob Scalcione
Because the Phans want to know!