Bob Weir Hosts Thursday Night Jam at North Charleston PAC
Legendary Founding Member of Grateful Dead & Wolf Bros. Delight Sold Out Crowd For Nearly 3 Hours
Jeff Walker, Entertainment Review
His name is forever etched in rock n' roll history as one of the founding members of the Grateful Dead, without question 'not a but, the ultimate jam rock band'. For nearly 60 years vocalist and guitarist Bob 'Bobby' Weir has been entertaining baby boomers, their kids, and their grandkids with his eclectic mix of country & western, blues, folk, fusion jazz, and counterculture psychedelic rock.
Thursday night before a near sell out crowd at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center Weir and his latest jam band incarnation the Wolf Bros. alongside the Wolfpack performed for over two hours, carrying on Weir's tradition of non-stop unscripted shows, where he and his bandmates throw in everything from Weir's arsenal (Dead, Ratdog, etc) to familiar and unfamiliar cover songs.
Backed by veterans from Dead & Co., Weir's lineup includes bass player and producer Don Was, drummer Jay Lane, and keyboard player Jeff Chimenti. Together the foursome took a musical journey that explored more than seven decades of music from several genres or rock n' roll.
Just like the musical caravan that defined the Grateful Dead until Jerry Garcia's death in 1995, Weir's shows run at locomotive speed with no two shows alike. 75 years young Weir and company go full throttle for an hour, pausing for a well deserved pitstop before closing out the show with another 60 plus minutes of raw in your face songs fueled by exceptional musicianship.
The beauty and mystery of writing a Bob Weir review is that no two concerts are alike. While Weir may season his sets with a few signature standards, most of his setlists run the gamut, comprised of songs from the Grateful Dead, Ratdog, Weir's solo works, and a variety of known or unknown hits from fellow classic rockers.
Weir's first set was layered with familiar fan favorite numbers including 'The Music Never Stops', 'Me and My Uncle', and 'Ramble on Rose'. While all 2200 in attendance where on their feet the entire time, Weir offered up a nice sing-along with his cover of The Beatles 'Come Together', closing his first set with 'New Speedway Boogie'.
Little Feat's 'Easy to Slip' opened the second set with Weir's solo number 'Playing in the Band' a welcome crowd pleaser as were two popular Grateful Dead songs, the familiar classic rock radio hit 'Truckin' followed by 'Estimated Prophet'. Proving his appreciation knows no bounds Weir added 'The Race is On' by country legend George Jones before closing out the show with the Dead's 'Terrapin Station'. All in all 18 hellacious extended jams from Weir, the Wolf Bros., and his five member rhythm section dubbed 'The Wolfpack'.
A 1994 Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame inductee Weir is both a rock legend and a musical chameleon. Enjoying one of his shows is relative to the concert goer's state of mind. For some it's a slow building jam, while others celebrate Weir's legacy with endless spinning. No matter whether if you're 22 or 72 a Weir show is a euphoric experience.
The makeup of the fans may look different with more white and gray haired attendees, but like their younger counterparts their is no shortage of tie-dye, bell bottoms, sandals, beads, and psychedelic attire. The pre-concert scene outside was just as unconventional with the usual vendors selling Grateful Dead memorabilia and hippie clothing.
Weir's look may have weathered over time, but given the scope of his talent and his songs of choice, his vocal stylings complement the nightly playlist with just a hint of smokiness and rasp in his voice. One thing for certain, Weir's has mastered the six string since he began playing as a teenager. If fans were coming out for artistry alone, they no doubt left totally blown away, as Weir and his background musicians are all proficient at their craft.
While a couple of original and former Grateful Dead members are still with us, no one is carrying the jam band torch as well as Bob Weir, providing diehard followers of Weir a continued connection to the Grateful Dead. With a tour schedule running well into July, there is plenty of time for fans to catch Mr. Weir and his travelling wolves in 2023. For more or to book a VIP experience visit https://bobweir.net/shows/