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  • Phil Lesh and Friends – 1/26/2008 Set 2 ALL
  • Phish – 12/31/2009 – Fluffhead w/ Sarah!
  • Ratdog – 8/06/2005 – Standing on the Moon 
  • Blind Melon – 4/08/1994 (RIP Kurt Cobain) – Change
  • Gov’t Mule – ?/?/2007  – The Letter (cover)

Dead to the World?

Believe it or not, it’s 2012. The Grateful Dead has been an American institution for almost 50 years, longer than many people live. And it’s not just Furthur out there touring, the Dead’s music continues to live on in more bands than one could ever imagine after so many years. Here’s a sampling of what 2011 meant in Grateful Dead land, and what’s in store for 2012:


Photo: Mary Ouellette / SoundSpike

Photo: Mary Ouellette / SoundSpike

Bob Weir and Phil Lesh’s Furthur continue to tour from coast to coast, the incarnation closest to the original Grateful Dead experience. While there are haters and lovers of Furthur, all true deadheads can rejoice in seeing Bobby and Phil share the stage and make magic. To get a feel for where the band is at today, check out this show from Madison Square Garden from November 10th.

2012 Forecast: Furthur already has a spring tour booked, and will likely continue to tour at least through the end of 2012. With more Phil and Friends shows in the works and a possible Ratdog reunion tour, 2012 may be a lighter touring year than 2011.


7 Walkers

7 Walkers

If you haven’t heard the debut album or caught a show from Billy K. and Papa Mali’s ‘7 Walkers’, do yourself a favor and check them out. This stripped down ensemble invented a whole new genre of Grateful Dead known to fans as ‘Swampadelica’. Their album is soulful, bluesy, fun, and a must have for deadheads. You can buy it from the official 7 Walker’s site here.

2012 Forecast:  Next up for 7 Walkers is a series of shows with Steve Kimock aboard next week’s Jam Cruise. After that, look for continued dedicated attention and touring from Billy K. as well as a possible follow-up studio album.


Mickey has put together a brand spanking new band for 2012 with a whole slew of new original songs taboot. Check out the YouTube above to see the cast of characters that Mickey has assembled. The band just recently finished up a winter tour that was pretty smoking from what I’ve heard. Let’s hope Mickey keeps this band around for a while and releases some of the great new originals they’ve composed.

2012 Forecast:  Mickey and his new band already are still in the midst of a few January shows and then will likely be releasing an album of original material with a supporting tour to follow later in the year.


Phil Lesh reunited ‘Phil and Friends’ this year at Warren Haynes’ annual Christmas Jam. Check out the vid above of a playful China Cat Sunflower from the reunion. The Xmas Jam group featured Jackie Greene, Warren Haynes, Jeff Chimenti, Joe Russo, and of course uncle Phil himself.

This was just a preview though, Phil and Friends will be playing 3 shows in Colorado in February of 2012 with an amazing lineup of John Scofield and Warren Haynes on Guitar, Jackie Greene on Keyboard/Guitar, John ‘The Lion King’ Molo on Drums, and Phil. These shows promise to be nothing short of epic. To get a feel for what the shows might be like, check out the vid below of a very similar band featuring Warren and Sco from Mountain Jam 2007. I was at this show and it is probably my favorite P&F show ever out of many, many shows I’ve seen.

2012 Forecast:  Aside from the February shows, rumors have been swirling that Phil and Friends will crank out some more shows in 2012. Expect to see some one-off or mini-runs at Phil’s new Terrapin Crossroads venue.




DSO continues to tour relentlessly, from New York to San Francisco to Jam in The Dam and beyond, bringing unmatched energy, passion, and love for the Grateful Dead canon to ‘Starheads’ everywhere. With Jeff Mattson firmly settled into the lead role in Dark Star, fans everywhere (including myself) can’t stop singing the praises of the new frontman and the raw 60s and 70s style psychedelic guitar work he brings to the band. If you’re still a skeptic on Dark Star and think they’re just a ‘cover band’, stop fooling yourself and catch them on their upcoming tours, you will not be sorry!

2012 Forecast:  DSO is sure to keep up the relentless touring in 2012. So far the band is playing the NE and SE in the winter, Jam in the Dam in March, and the West Coast in April. Expect a NE and festival tour in the summer, West Coast in late fall, and a return to the NE for NYE 2012.

Bonus Dead: As if this wasn’t enough, RATDOG is reuniting on January 25th for a special webcast show from Bob Weir’s TRI Studios venue that he launched in 2011. The golden road really does go on forever, and there’s nothing to do but smile about it.



Backwards Down The Number Line: Welcome To Now Turns 1

Today we celebrate the one year anniversary of Welcome To Now! Founded on March 25th, 2009, WTN has been there over the past year along with all you freaks out there, sharing in the groove and digging the wonderful music taking place all across this great land. In honor of this special day, let’s look back at the 10 biggest musical moments of the past year in Jam:


Phish @ Hamtpon - 3/07/09

Phish returned to the stage in 2009, with a more than triumphant year of playing. The reunion began with a historic 3 show run at Hampton Coliseum in March. Things just got better as the year went on for The Phish – the band released a new album, ‘Joy’, and hit the road for a big 2-leg summer tour, Halloween at Festival 8 in Indio, CA, an East Coast fall tour, and New Years in Miami. All in all, 2009 was a great year to be a Phish-head!

Hampton Fluffhead


Lesh, Weir, and Kadlecik - Dec. 09'

Phil Lesh and Bob Weir shocked deadheads everywhere in August of 09′ when they announced their newest post-Jerry Dead project: Furthur. Unexpected to all, Phil and Bobby called on John Kadlecik, aka ‘Faux Jerry’, aka ‘The Ghost of Jerry’, DSOs long-time axe-man, to join the band. The new project laid to rest indefinitely both Phil Lesh and Friends and Ratdog, and dealt a major blow to DSO, leaving them without a front man. In the 6 months the band has been together, they’ve played a big coming out 3-show run in Oakland, a brief Northeast December tour, New Year’s run in San Fran, and a smoking Winter tour of the East Coast and Midwest. Coming up in 2010, the band will hit the stage for a Memorial Day Festival and a mini-tour of the Northeast in late June and early July.

Furthur NYE 2009 Poster

Furthur NYE 2009 Poster


The Dead - Spring 09'

Months before Furthur, the Core Four reunited for the first time in over 5 years for a one-off Spring Tour across the US. The boys were joined by Warren Haynes on lead guitar and vocals, and Jeff Chimenti of Ratdog on the keys. Check out a few tour highlights below for download!

The Dead 09 Logo

Download Tour Opener – 4/12/09 Greensboro, NC
Download Madison Square Garden, 4/25/09
Download 5/2/09 – Final show at the Spectrum
Download The Dead at Shoreline – 5/10/09


Bisco - Fall Tour 2009

The Disco Biscuits closed out a fantastic year of playing with their second Annual  5 show run at the Nokia Theater in New York City. By all accounts and from personal experience, this string of shows was top-notch and a real exclamation point on the year for the band. Check out choice downloads, videos, and news from 2009 in the Bisco Archive.

Bisco NYE Run 09 Flyer


Phish - 10/31/09 Set 1

Phish re-launched two traditions on Halloween weekend 2009 with their first festival of Phish 3.0 along with a highly anticipated Halloween musical costume set – The Rolling Stones’ ‘Exile on Main Street’. Breaking new ground, the band also performed an intimate and picturesque acoustic set at Noon on Sunday, with complimentary donuts and coffee for phans. Truly a magical weekend, and it’s now going to be seen like never before in a full length 3D film being released April 30th. Check out this crisp video/audio stream of the Sunday acoustic set here!


ABB Beacon Marquis 2009

After canceling their annual Beacon run in 2008 due to Greg Allman’s battle with Hepatitis C, the band returned in 2009 with a guest-filled 40th anniversary run at the Beacon Theater. The run included guest stops from a star-studded cast including Clapton, Lesh, Weir, Helm, Scaggs, Anastasio, and McConnell. The band kept trucking in 09′ with spring and summer festival appearances including Wanee and Mountain Jam as well as big summer and fall tours. The band just wrapped up a fantastic 9 show run at the United Palace in New York city, is sounding better than ever, and has more shows plotted for 2010 already. Check out setlist, vids, and a review of the final night at the United Palace here.

Haynes, Trucks, and Clapton - Beacon 2009


Lesh, Robinson, Weir, Greene, and Kadlecik - 3/12/10

On March 12th 2010, Phil Lesh celebrated his 70th birthday (technically 3/14/10) with a big bash at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, CA. The evening featured a fun 3 set format complete with an opening acoustic set and 2 raucous electric sets featuring special guests from throughout Phil’s solo career including John Molo, Chris Robinson, Jackie Greene, and Steve Molitz. Give it a listen here:

Download Link ~ Stream Link


Phish at 'Roo 2009 - First Tube

Breaking with long-standing tradition, Phish played their first mainstream festival with 2 separate appearances (an extended late night set and a 2 set show) at 2009’s Bonnaroo festival in Manchester, TN. The band realized a long time dream and provided the festival’s highlight with a big collaboration with Bruce Springstreen, who also headlined the festival in 09′. The boss and the boys treated fans to a fun cover/bust-out of ‘Mustang Sally’, as well as performances of Bruce’s own songs ‘Glory Days’, and ‘Bobby Jean’. To re-live this special moment, check out this smoking video of Glory Days:


SCI @ Rothbury 2009

The String Cheese Incident reunited for a special one-off show at 2009’s Rothbury music festival. The band put on a massive spectacle of a show enhanced with massive light and art installations. The show went off with flying colors, so much so that the band has decided to tour further in 2010, with gigs at Red Rocks and beyond already announced and more in the works. To get a taste of the Cheese to come, buy the Soundboard of the Rothbury show here.

SCI at Red Rocks


Markelis, Lawton, Anastasio, and Paczkowski

Markelis, Lawton, Anastasio, and Paczkowski

Having brought back the core four of his Classic Tab Band – Russ Lawton, Tony Markelis, Ray Paczkowski, and, of course, Big Red himself – in the Fall of 2008, Anastasio hit the road with a bigger-and-better Classic TAB band a few months ago in the Winter of 2010. For the tour, Trey added to the core four with a 3-piece horn section featuring TAB vets Jeffier Hartswick and Russell Reminton along with new-comer cutie Natalie Cressman. The tour was a massive success and featured some of the most enthused and passionate guitar work from Trey since Phish’s 2009 return. Check out lots of downloads, setslits, vids, and more in the TAB Winter Tour archive, enjoy!

And remember folks, WELCOME TO NOW!

Ratdog Tour Closer at the Beacon, 10/24/09

Ratdog blew the roof off the Beacon Theater last night – a real smoking show from cover to cover. Highlights include a first set Cassidy>Jack Straw>Rooster>DS Jam sequence that really took off and shined. The 1st set closing Liberty>Bertha had the place jumping – smiles all around.

Dark Star Jam - 10/24/09

Dark Star Jam - 10/24/09

The second set begins with a nicely chosen trio of tunes with Bobby on acoustic – Mexicali, FOTD, and fan-favorite Black Throated Wind that really hit a nice groove. The heart of the show has to be magnificent Other One>Stuff>Morning Dew>Dark Star Jam>Cassidy (Repirse), so glad the boys saved so much good stuff for night 3 at the Beacon. A raucous One More Saturday Night, and one-two punch Ripple, US Blues encore drove things home on a high note. All in all, quite an evening, way to go Bobby!

For setlists from the rest of the NE mini-tour, go here. For downloads of almost every night, go here. Enjoy!

Ratdog w/ the Persuassions - 10/24/09

Ratdog w/ the Persuasions: Ripple - 10/24/09

Ratdog, 10/24/09, The Beacon Theater, New York, NY
Set I: Jam > Casey Jones > Jack Straw > Cassidy > Little Red Rooster > Dark Star Jam > Lazy River Road, She Says > Liberty > Bertha
Set II: Mexicali Blues@ > Friend of the Devil@, Black-Throated Wind@, It Must Have Been the Roses*+, He’s Gone* > Jam > The Other One > Stuff > Morning Dew > Dark Star > Cassidy > One More Saturday Night
E: Ripple*+, U.S. Blues

@-Bobby on Acoustic; *-with The Persuasions (Vocals); +-a capella, The Persuasions only; Hippie Bill waved a Yankees flag on stage during “U.S. Blues”

Download Link – Torrent

Download Link – MP3s

Sweet vid of the Persuasions doin’ Roses:

Tie Dye Sky

As we speak, the Empire State Building is being lit up in tye dye colors in honor of the Grateful Dead. Specifically, the celebration is for the opening of an exhibit at the New York Historical Society honoring the band and  cataloging the career and accomplishments as of one of America’s most socially influential bands. On Wednesday night, Bob Weir and Phil Lesh will attend a charity fundraiser to celebrate the opening of the exhibit.

Picture 1

On a side note, rumor has it that Phil will be sitting in with Bobby tonight for the first of his 5 Ratdog shows in the city this week. Today is truly a proud day to be a New York Deadhead!


Ratdog Tour Kick-Off

Bob Weir and his scrappy Ratdog clan kicked of a short Northeast tour last night at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, PA. The tour consists of  a Friday/Saturday 2 night stand at the Tower, Monday and Tuesday at the Grand Ballroom in NYC, and a 3-night run next weekend at the newly renovated Beacon Theater in NYC.

Happy B-Day Bobby!

Happy B-Day Bobby!

Last night was a special night for the band as it was Bobby’s 62nd birhtday. The song selection was classic Bobby – Help/Slip opener, 3 Dylan tunes, Ripple closer, and a nice Blackbrid, Masters of War, Masterpiece acoustic mini-set. Hopefully the band will really bring it this tour, look for a first hand review of next Saturday’s tour closer at the Beacon.

Weir, Lane, and Sylvester

Weir, Lane, and Sylvester

10/16/2009 Tower Theater, Upper Darby, PA

Set 1: Jam > Help on the Way > Slipknot! > Maggie’s Farm > Baby Blue > Youngblood, Crazy Fingers > Take Me to the River > Brown-Eyed Women > Eyes of the World

Set 2: Happy Birthday*, Blackbird@4, Masters of War@, When I Paint My Masterpiece@5 > She Says > Liberty > Stuff > Death Don’t Have No Mercy, Two Djinn > Franklin’s Tower

Encore: Ripple

**Download Coming Soon**

Ratdog in Vegas

You gotta hand it to Bob Weir – the man just won’t quit. Weir and Ratdog just finished a massive summer tour and have more  2009 dates lined up with a week of fall shows in Philly and New York City. Then, in January 2010, the Dog’ is off for their annual winter getaway in Jamaica. While all seems to be as expected in the Bobby camp, lots of rumors have emerged in recent months that this year’s Jamaica excursion could be the official winding down of Ratdog and the band’s last shows. Only time will tell, but I’ll say this – catch em’ while you can. And go Bobby!

In the mean time, check out this show from one the of final shows of the summer tour in Sin City, Las Vegas. Bobby may be goin’ to hell in a bucket, but at least he’s still enjoying the ride…

Bobby - 9/2/09

Bobby - 9/2/09

The House of Blues
Las Vegas, NV

Weir w/ Jackie Greene - 9/2/09

Weir w/ Jackie Greene - 9/2/09

Set I: Viola Lee Blues > Maggie’s Farm, Baby Blue, It’s All Over Now > She Says > Liberty > Viola Lee Blues

Set II: Stealin@, Mexicali Blues@, Friend of the Devil@, Two Djinn > Stuff > Stella Blue* > Viola Lee Blues* > Throwing Stones*

E: Gloria*

@-Acoustic; *-with Jackie Greene (Guitar/Harmonica/Vocals); Bob, Jeff, and MK sat in with Jackie Greene on “Deal”; Jackie Greene opened

Torrent Download

MP3 Download


Phil’s New Band – ‘Furthur’

As rumoured here the other day, Phil has teamed up with Bobby, John K. from DSO, Jay Lane and Jeff Chimenti from Ratdog, and Joe Russo under the name ‘Furthur’ for a few shows in Oakland in mid-September.


More info here

Gathering of the Vibes – Levon and Bobby Go Big

Welcome To Now is back from the Vibes with smiles on our faces, mud caked on our shoes, and sunshine daydreams still firing through our synapses. What a fantastic weekend – it dosen’t getter much better than that. The highlight of the weekend imho was the back-to-back performances of Levon Helm Band and Ratdog on Saturday night on the main stage. The rain had left, clouds had parted, and the stage was set for a magical evening of music.

GOTV 2009 Main Stage

GOTV 2009 Main Stage

Levon Helm Band started off and played an eclectic and upbeat set with Larry Campbell and wife Teresa leading most of the vocal efforts along with Levon’s daughter Amy. Levon was on medical orders not to sing but the band was smiles all around and really seemed to be throwing down, Levon included. The set started off with The Band classic ‘The Shape I’m In’ – a fitting opener for day 3 of a rain, mud, and heat filled festival. The band then dropped into a few newer selections before giving a nod to Dylan with a nicely re-worked rendition of ‘Simple Twist of Fate’. Teresa then took over a beautiful cover of ‘Long Black Veil’.

Levon Helm Band - 7/25/09

Levon Helm Band - 7/25/09

That’s when things really heated up – Larry delivered a smoking ‘Deep Elem Blues’ to set the stage for Levon welcoming out Bobby for a perfect 1-2 punch of ‘Attics of my Life’ and ‘Tennessee Jed’. Bobby really clicked with the band on both tunes delivering a surprisingly well done harmony part on the ‘Attics’ and doing a stand-up job of leading the band through a fun version of ‘Tennessee Jed’. All in all, quite a treat – the kind of moment that reminds you why festivals like GOTV are so special.

Levon w/ Bobby - Tennessee Jed

Levon w/ Bobby - Tennessee Jed

After saying farewell to Bobby, the Band kept charging through the rest of the set and finished things off with two of my favorite Band songs – the soulful ‘It Makes No Difference’ followed by the rock anthem ‘Chest Fever’. To close things out on an even higher note, Bobby re-emerged for a picture perfect rendition of ‘The Weight’ complete with crowd singalong.

Levon Helm - 7/25/09

Levon Helm - 7/25/09

Levon Helm Band
Gathering of the Vibes
Bridgeport, CT

Shape I’m In
Love Played A Game
Crazy ‘Bout My Baby
Simple Twist Of Fate
Long Black Veil
Before I Get Too Old
Did You Love Me
Deep Elem Blues
Attics Of My Life (Amy Helm, Teresa Williams, and Larry Campbell w/ Bob Weir)^
Tennessee Jed (full band, Bob lead vocal)^
All On A Mardi Gras Day
It Makes No Difference
Chest Fever

The Weight^

^ – w/Bob Weir

Levon Helm Set – 256 mp3 Download

Levon Helm Set – Torrent Download (Flac Files)

Ratdog - 7/25/09

Ratdog - 7/25/09

Bobby and Ratdog were up next and the band came out firing on all cylinders. There were many complaints about Bobby as the choice for the headliner slot (from myself included) but it seems Bobby has gotten the message about the slow playing and flubbed lyrics – at least for the evening. Hands down, this was the best showing from Bobby I’ve seen in years. The band started out with the rarely played ‘Festival’ which set the mood and eventually segued into a smoking ‘Jack Straw’ complete with glow stick war and rocking jam section. After cooling things down with a soothing ‘Lazy River Road’, the band kept things rocking with a surprisingly upbeat ‘Bird Song’ that led into a fun ‘Bertha’. The band was just in the zone nailing seamless segues between numbers like it was their job.

Ratdog w/ Donna - 7/25/09

Ratdog w/ Donna - 7/25/09

The band then dove deep into their cover repertoire with a memorizing sequence of Silvio (Bob Dylan)> Tequila(Danny Flores)> Silvio> Tequila> Silvio. This sequence eventually gave way to the pleasant sounds of the ‘Scarlet Begonias’ intro vamp and out from side stage emerged Donna Jean Godchaux for an upbeat deadhead singalong galore. After Scarlet, the band launched into the closing and most intense part of the evening, finishing things off with Ashes and Glass> Iko Iko> Stuff> Days Between> Bird Song. Bobby really did ‘Days Between’ justice and channeled his love for Jerry along with the rest of the crowd – a truly special moment. Sandwiching this bust out between straight fire takes on Iko’ and ‘Bird Song’ (reprise) was just what the doctor ordered.

Ratdog - Iko Iko - 7/25/09

Ratdog - Iko Iko - 7/25/09

It wouldn’t be a Saturday Night with Bobby if he didn’t hit you with his classic ‘One More Saturday Night’ romp and tonight was no exception. The band welcomed Donna back out for a set closing rendition that just flat out rocked. After a quick break, the band launched into a beautiful though expected ‘Ripple’ encore (see Mountain Jam 2008). All in all, a great way to close out a truly, truly magical evening. To all you Bobby haters out there, remember: Bobby fans are people too!

Gathering Of The Vibes
Bridgeport, CT

Jam >
Festival >
Jack Straw
Lazy River Road,
Bird Song >
Silvio >
Tequila >
Silvio >
Tequila >
Silvio >
Scarlet Begonias*
Ashes and Glass >
Iko Iko >
Stuff >
Days Between >
Bird Song
One More Saturday Night*

E: Ripple*

*-with Donna Jean Godchaux

Previous ”Festival” 8/24/2006 [175 shows]

Ratdog Set – 256 mp3 Download

Ratdog Set – Torrent Download (Flac Files)

Long live the Grateful Dead and long live Vibe Tribe!