Grateful Ed

Phil and Friends at The Capitol Theatre

Concert Attendee: Mary Call-Blanusa

Venue: The Capitol Theatre

City: Port Chester, NY

Date of Show: March 13th, 2024

The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY is a special place in Grateful Dead Lore. Jerry Garcia once stated that The Cap was one of his two favorite places to play, the other being The Fillmore. Today, The Cap has been returned to its glory by Peter Shapiro, hosting old and new jam bands and other acts and with a nod to Jerry at Garcia’s Bar where smaller acts play on off nights and during set breaks.

Phil Lesh has taken the Grateful Dead connection with the Cap to the next level, having played over 100 shows there since 2012. This March, Phil and Friends played three nights for Phil’s 84th birthday run (with two more nights by The Q), which has become a local tradition.  Phil’s birthday run holds special meaning for me as the first Dead show I ever saw was 3/15/90 at The Capital Centre in Landover, MD on Phil’s 40th birthday. Back in the 1900s, we didn’t have cell phones or texting so people passed out little pieces of paper saying everyone would sing Happy Birthday to Phil when the band came back on stage for the second set. That was the show that got me hooked.

This was the third night of Phil’s birthday run. I went in expecting a pretty mellow Wednesday night show and was pleasantly surprised to see Phil rocking out for most of the show, just taking a seat during a mellow Stella Blue in the second set. A highlight of the evening was a rocking Ripple, two words that are not frequently used together, to close out the first set. Probably the highest energy Ripple I have ever seen. Phil was clearly at home on the stage of The Cap.

The second set Terrapin was beautiful and flowed out of Stella Blue, building energy for the remainder of the show.  Another highlight was seeing Phil exchange glances with his “best-friend”, his son Grahame Lesh, throughout the show. The love and energy shone through the music making it a great show.

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