Bill Kreutzmann Wraps Grateful Mahalo Run With Special Guests Carlos Santana and Bill Nershi
On Sunday, May 10, Bill Kreutzmann’s three-night Grateful Mahalo birthday celebration came to a close, with the final show of the three airing on FANS.live. As with the last two nights, Kreutzmann was joined by his Billy & The Kids bandmates (Tom Hamilton, Aron Magner, Reed Mathis) and “honorary Kids” Billy Strings and James Casey. For the Sunday night finale, Carlos Santana joined the band for the entire first set, and The String Cheese Incident’s BIll Nershi joined for a bonus acoustic jam set.
The show kicked off with “Scarlet Begonias,” which saw Santana announce his presence with some inspired lead playing. The band then moved into “Iko Iko” before dropping into a deep “The Other One” jam, which included elements of “My Favorite Things” and “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl.” “Scarlet Begonias” partner, “Fire on the Mountain,” emerged out of “The Other One.”
Later in the set, after a pairing of “Riders on the Storm” (sung by Santana) and “China Doll,” the band performed The Beatles’ “Dear Prudence,” with sax player James Casey singing lead vocals. The set – and Santana’s guest appearance – finished up with “It Hurts Me Too.”
The core band returned for a very short encore set, but as they took the stage, a clip of Kreutzmann’s fellow Rhythm Devil Mickey Hart came on screen. Hart wished Kreutzmann “Happy Birthday” by performing the song on kazoo. Then, a card was displayed on the livestream urging fans to “stay tuned after the encore for a very special bonus jam.” The band then dropped into “Cold Rain and Snow,” followed by “Alabama Getaway.”
The bonus jam took the form of a half-hour acoustic performance featuring SCI’s Bill Nershi. The band performed “Ripple,” with Nershi singing lead vocals, to kick off the bonus set. Later, after a jam on The Beatles “Day Tripper,” Nershi once again sang as the band performed “Peggy-O.” The weekend event finished up with a performance of “Train Carried My Girl from Town.”
“Bliss is timeless, friendships are forever, and music connects us all in the slipstream,” Kreutzmann wrote on social media after the event. “Thank you all for celebrating my birthday with me. What a weekend! I hope to see all you Kids again soon…”
Check out the full setlist and watch a portion of the first set below.
SET 1 [2:01 HST – 3:37] (with Carlos Santana)
Billy & The Kids (w/ Billy Strings and James Casey)
May 9, 2021
Set I: Scarlet Begonias > Iko Iko, The Other One > Fire on the Mountain, Riders on the Storm > China Doll, Dear Prudence, It Hurts Me Too
Enc: Cold Rain and Snow, Alabama Getaway
Bonus Acoustic Set: Ripple, Steel Guitar Rag, To Lay Me Down, Smoke Break (Spoken) > Day Tripper Jam, Peggy-O, Train Carried My Girl from Town
-entire first set w/ Carlos Santana
-entire acoustic set w/ Bill Nershi