Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration, Red Hat Amphitheater, Raleigh, NC 6/20/2013

By Joe Carney
An evening of Jerry’s music celebrated through a mixture of Warren Haynes magical guitar work and The North Carolina Symphony’s classical interpretation of some of America’s most Iconic music.  The evening started with a lovely pre equinox day of sunshine and cool breezes, the Red Hat Amphitheater filled steadily in anticipation of the evenings mysterious pairing, with a crowd that ran the gamut of Jerry Garcia followers, Warren Haynes fans and Symphony regulars, all mixed together in an evening gown, tie-dyed swirl of joy. Magic was in the air as the house music quieted down and led by Albert-George Schram, conductor for the North Carolina Symphony, the sounds of symphonic tunings poured into the excited crowd, paired with the all-star bands instrument adjustments.

Consisting of : Warren Haynes  ( Gov’t Mule, The Allman Brothers, The Dead)    Jeff Sipe, on drums  (Apt Q-258, Aquarium Rescue Unit, Trey Anastasio, Phil Lesh, Susan Tedeschi, Debashish Bhattacharya, Wmd’s, Jimmy Herring Band, Jeff Sipe Trio)  Lincoln Schliefer On Bass  ( Warren Haynes, Levon Helm, Yorma Kaukonen, Donald Fagan)    Alecia Chakour (Blues Siren) and Jasmine Muhammad (Soprano) Both backup singers with The Warren Haynes Band.

The air was electrified when the first notes of Dark Star, played by the symphony flowed into the amphitheater, the band joined in and we were off, the celebration had started. The night moved beautifully through Jerry Garcia’s crowd favorites and obscure delights, Bird song, Crazy Fingers and Scarlet Begonia’s.  With Warrens amazing voice and magical manipulation of Wolf, (Jerry’s Guitar), along with the Ladies backing up vocally, Jerry’s spirit was amongst us!
Shakedown Street, had the crowd on its feet and dancing in the isles. And the mood built from there, the sun set and the night sky brought back memories of shows gone by, the music was dreamily melting our souls with the symphony’s interpretations blended in. Next Standing On The, Moon, China Cat, and Morning Dew, had the crowd singing out loud.

The second set started off with Mission In The Rain, High time and Black Peter, and then favorites, Uncle Johns Band, West LA Fade Away and If I Had The World To Give had the crowd roaring.

 Then in a segue, a drum solo by Jeff Sipe had the crowd, band and Symphony smiling in awe at his amazing prowess of creating mood altering percussion vibes, while he led us into a Terrapin Station/Slipknot/Terrapin Station jam.

After a wild break filled with screams of encore Warren came out and thanked the Garcia Family for asking him to be the first to lead this amazing celebration of Jerry’s music, then ended the night with extended orchestral versions of Patchwork Quilt and finally Stella Blue.

The huge satisfied crowd moved into the Raleigh night amazed and honored to have been in the audience for this magical night, as the summer solstice began.

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