Recap & Full Setlist: Bob Weir & Wolf Bros Welcome SF Rapper Berner, Debut “Whiskey in the Jar” and “Liberty” for St. Patrick’s Day Livestream
After a successful livestream for Chinese New Year, Bob Weir assembled his Wolf Bros – bassist Don Was, drummer Jay Lane and special auxiliary players Jeff Chimenti and Greg Leisz – for a St. Patrick’s Day pay-per-view celebration on March 17 via FANS. The stream featured Weir’s ‘Wolf Pack’ string and brass section, as well as special guest rapper Berner and even a couple of bust-outs.
“We hope you enjoy tonight’s Live Performance,” read a message from Weir before the show. “Please follow the CDC guidelines, be safe, and enjoy the show. We hope to see you on the road this summer or fall.”
Naturally, a “Shakedown Street” kicked off the festivities.
“This is way cool,” Weir said afterwards, adding with a chuckle that he’d been pressured by his team to chat with the audience more.
From there, a pensive “Weather Report Suite” gave Weir’s Wolf Pack string-and-brass section ample room to bolster the composition. Similarly, auxiliary player Leisz got a few bars of his own for a pedal steel solo.
“Weather Report Suite” bled into “Let It Grow,” perhaps nodding to the green-themed holiday being celebrated. The band really hit their stride here with Weir giving “Let It Grow” plenty of his signature growl.
“This is a whole lot like the real thing, except you can hear better,” the bandleader said after “Peggy-O,” another psuedo-St. Paddy’s Day nod as it originated as the Scottish folk song “The Bonnie Lass o’ Fyvie.”
However, there was no doubt that Weir was celebrating the land of Ireland with the following traditional “Whiskey in the Jar.” This marked Wolf Bros first time playing the jig; however, a studio version of “Whiskey in the Jar” appeared on the Grateful Dead’s 1999 So Many Roads compilation, and Weir last performed it with Furthur on March 17, 2011.
“That one will be a collectors item,” Weir said with a grin afterwards.
Later, Weir added a surprise guest into the mix, rapper/San Francisco native Berner who freestyled over the Grateful Dead deep-cut “Liberty.” This acted as another Wolf Bros debut – the last time Weir offered “Liberty” was on July 13, 2018 with Dead & Company.
To end set one, “Lost Sailor”> “Saint of Circumstance” afforded Weir yet another St. Paddy’s Day nod, with the lyric “This must be heaven/ ‘Cause here’s where the rainbow ends.”
The second set kicked off with “Me and Bobby McGee,” followed by a sequence which saw the band weave between “Ashes and Glass” and “Don’t Let Go,” and then back again. The remainder of the set saw Weir work through a series of Grateful Dead classics: “Estimated Prophet,” “Bird Song,” and “Scarlet Begonias” (sans its usual companion “Fire on the Mountain”), followed by a touching rendition of “Morning Dew” and a raucous “Not Fade Away” to close things out. Weir opted for “U.S. Blues” as the encore.
Check out the full setlist below.
Bob Weir & Wolf Bros
March 17, 2021
TRI Studios, Mill Valley, Calif.
St. Patrick’s Day Livestream
Set I: Shakedown Street, Weather Report Suite > Let It Grow, Peggy-O, Whiskey in the Jar^, Black-Throated Wind, Liberty*, Lost Sailor > Saint of Circumstance
Set II: Me and Bobby McGee, Ashes and Glass > Don’t Let Go > Ashes and Glass, Estimated Prophet, Bird Song, Scarlet Begonias, Morning Dew, Not Fade Away
Enc: U.S. Blues
*w/ Berner freestyle
^ Wolf Bros debut, last played by Weir with Furthur on 3/17/2011
+ Wolf Bros debut, last played by Weir with Dead & Company on 7/13/18