Phish’s Mike Gordon Joins Phil Lesh’s Birthday Celebration at The Capitol Theatre (A Gallery + Recap)

March 16, 2024
Phish’s Mike Gordon Joins Phil Lesh’s Birthday Celebration at The Capitol Theatre (A Gallery + Recap)

Photo Credit: Dino Perrucci

Last night, March 15, Phil Lesh celebrated his 84th birthday with the penultimate performance in his annual birthday residency at Port Chester, N.Y.’s The Capitol Theatre. For this fourth sold-out show, the legendary Grateful Dead bassist was joined by an all-star band, including his son Grahame Lesh, Amy Helm, John Molo, Jason Crosby and rising jam star Daniel Donato, who joined the Friends lineup for the first time on Friday. In a night filled with thrilling festivities, the cherry on top arrived after the conclusion of the second frame as a surprise extended encore, featuring Phish’s Mike Gordon.

Lesh kicked off the evening’s presentation with the slow-burner “Cosmic Charlie,” a relative rarity from the Grateful Dead’s Aoxomoxoa, leading into a subtly emotive treatment of Jerry Garcia’s “They Love Each Other,” led by Donato. After the barn-burning fan-favorite “Friend of The Devil,” the group presented “Bird Song” and the traditional “Jack-A-Roe” before closing the first frame with the Dead’s “Brokedown Palace.” Highlights continued with the thrilling second-set opener of Chuck Berry’s “Promised Land,” busted out by Phil & Friends for the first time since 2018, and the chilling “Box Of Rain,” composed by Lesh for his dying father more than half a century ago. The band closed out the main portion of its performance with the only medley of the evening, splitting “Viola Lee Blues” across “Bertha,” and a culminating odyssey of “Eyes of the World.”

Following the Cap proprietor Peter Shapiro’s annual birthday toast to Lesh, in which the jam figurehead termed the artist an “inspiration to all of us,” Lesh’s cake was carried to the stage by his grandson Levon and Gordon. The two prolific bassists then led a three-song encore, composed of “Estimated Prophet,” “Let It Grow” and a touching show-closer of “Sweet Magnolia” from the Dead’s beloved American Beauty.

Lesh & Friends will take the stage at The Capitol Theatre again tonight for the fifth and final engagement in the artist’s birthday residency. For more information, visit

Read on for photos from Lesh’s birthday celebration, courtesy of Dino Perrucci and Marc Millman.