“Did you ever waken to the sound of street cats makin’ love?”
-“Looks Like Rain”
Members of The National, The Walkmen and Future Heart favs Yellowbirds played in front of a small audience tonight at Bob Weir’s TRI Studios – with the Grateful Dead/ Furthur/ RatDog singer/ guitarist. Produced by HeadCount, the performance was a voter education event including a political discussion in between sets.
UPDATE – Watch the entire show – plus details on a similar follow-up webcast featuring Yellowbirds and Weir in honor of Jerry Garcia’s 70th birthday – here.
The concert opened with “Help on the Way” and a groovy solo from Yellowbirds’ Sam Cohen. Other early highlights: “Friend of the Devil,” “Daughters Of The SoHo,” “Cassidy” and – at the backing super-group’s request – Weir aptly brought back Biblical Vietnam anthem “Brother Easau” for the first time since the ’80s (with a rewritten/ updated bridge by Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow): “Shadowbox the apocalypse all across the land…”
A teaser video snippet of Bob Dylan’s “Most of the Time” briefly appeared on YouTube earlier this week. That cover appeared in set 2 between “Fake Empire” and “Brown Eyed Women”>”That’s It For The Other One: The Faster We Go, The Rounder We Get.” Wait…there’s more highlights: “Standing on the Moon” and – best of all – a super jam “China”>”Rider” with organ and trumpet solos… and Sam ripping it up…
But that’s not all. A mini-acoustic set with all the musicians circled around a single microphone closed the performance: “Ripple,” “Uncle John’s Band,” “Broke-down Palace.” The entire set streamed for free at tristudios.com and music.yahoo.com… with a live party projection at Brooklyn’s Littlefield NYC.
The one-off super group prepared for 16 hours in rehearsals (so says Yellowbirds’ Sam Cohen) under the direction of musical director/ Yellowbird Josh Kaufman. The Disco Biscuits’ Marc Brownstein MCed a panel that included independent presidential candidate Buddy Roemer, Mark McKinnon (former media advisor to George W. Bush, John McCain…and Bono!), climate change activist Jessy Tolkan and Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow. Questions for Weir were fielded from fans via Twitter during the panel discussions (tweet @yahoo_music with hashtag #BridgeSession).