Bob Weir will join Phil Lesh for a performance of the Grateful Dead's 1977 classic Terrapin Station at the 2017 Lockn' Festival. The annual event will take place at Oak Ridge Farm in Arrington, Virginia August 24th through 27th.
Lesh was already set to return to Lockn' for the fifth year in a row, planning performances with both Phil Lesh and Friends and the Terrapin Family Band. The latter group – the official house band at Lesh's Terrapin Crossroads venue in San Rafael, California – was set to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Terrapin Station, though Weir wasn't initially slated to join.
Lesh and Weir have only played together a handful of times since the Grateful Dead's Fare Thee Well shows in 2015. The pair reunited for a surprise set at Terrapin Crossroads in May 2016 and earlier this month, Weir joined the Terrapin Family Band for another performance at Lesh's venue.
"Having Bobby and Phil perform Terrapin Station together is one of those moments that we created Lockn' for," festival promoter Peter Shapiro says. "I'm hoping it's a musical experience that Deadheads will be able to lose themselves into and then live on as a live recording that will create lasting magic for a long time after."
Weir tells Rolling Stone he's taking a very laissez faire approach to the performance. "I get to the festival and somebody slaps me on the shoulder and says, ‘You’re on,'" he says.
Terrapin Station marked the Grateful Dead's first album after the group returned to the road following a nearly two-year hiatus that began in 1974. The LP was their first on Clive Davis' Arista Records and found them working with producer Keith Olsen, who'd just produced Fleetwood Mac's self-titled debut. The polished pop sound of Terrapin Station marked a significant departure for the Dead and the group's tours both before and after the LP's release remain among their most legendary.
Since the Grateful Dead took the stage for the last time, both Lesh and Weir have continued touring. While Lesh focused on Phil Lesh and Friends and the Terrapin Family Band, Weir formed Dead and Company with John Mayer and Dead drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart. That band will embark on a summer tour May 27th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
As for the 2017 Lockn' Fest, the lineup also boasts the Avett Brothers, Gov't Mule, Brandi Carlile, moe., the String Cheese Incident, Widespread Panic, Margo Price and Umphrey's McGee. Phil Lesh & Friends are expected to join moe. at the festival, while Weir is rumored to join other bands on the lineup. The festival will also feature two Grateful Dead tribute acts: Keller Williams' Grateful Gospel and Joe Russo's Almost Dead.
Additional reporting by Patrick Doyle.