Twas a gorgeous summer-like fall evening at the charming outdoor venue that rests in between the Shelter Island Harbor and San Diego Bay almost completely surrounded by water, boats and palm trees. Humphrey’s was way past sold out but the good news – most of the heads standing outside the gates holding up their finger eventually got in so “miracles” do happen…
Slated for an early 6:30pm start, the music commenced promptly at 6:48pm with an always damper Bobby walking out on staged dressed in gray white striped culottes, a light tan colored polo type shirt, Birkenstocks, no hat with freshly styled back hair. The gals in attendance (along with your writer) were definitely swooning by his overtly GQ look.
The band (consisting of Bob Weir on guitar, Don Was on upright bass, Jay Lane on drums, Jeff Chimenti on keyboards, Barry Sless on pedal steel guitar and Matthew Kelly on harmonica along with the wolf pack quintet members Alex Kelly, Brian Switzer, Adam Theis, Mads Tolling, Sheldon Brown serving up some psychedelic horns and string fillers) opened the show with the a crowd moving first two verses of Not Fade Away into a bouncy cover of Johnny Cash’s Big River. A beautiful rendition of Mission in the Rain followed Lil’ Red Rooster. Ashes and Glass led into a peppy Don’t Let Go that went back into Ashes and Glass. Next came a show highlight – a masterful, lovely and heartfelt Weather Report Suite that smoothly transitioned into the set closing Let It Grow. The solid all around first set with a well chosen, well played song selection ended nicely at 8:08pm. During set break a young (possibly influenced) fan asked why no one was leaving yet. He was relieved to realize more music was on its way.
When the house lights dimmed at 8:49pm, the already full stage was even fuller as three guys from Geensky Bluegrass suddenly emerged. Paul Hoffman on Mandolin, Anders Beck on Dobro and Mike Bont on banjo encircled Bobby for the acoustic 2nd set opener Friend of the Devil along with a lively Wolf Bros debut of Stealin’ followed by a mind bending, jammed out Cassidy. Such a treat to see all these talented musicians playing so well together.