Weir and Wolf Bros — drummer Jay Lane and bassist Don Was — kicked off with “Only a River,” a solo track Weir released on 2016’s Blue Mountain. Then they launched into Dylan’s “When I Paint My Masterpiece,” with Weir strumming his acoustic guitar and belting out the iconic lines: “But someday everything’s gonna be different/When I paint that masterpiece.”
The musicians were joined by harpist Mikaela Davis for the last two songs: the Grateful Dead’s “Bird Song” and “Ripple,” both written by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter. The sparkling harp makes “Ripple” even more whimsical, with Weir and his mustache sounding incredibly wise as he sings: “If you should stand then who’s to guide you? If I knew the way, I would take you home.”
Weir and Wolf Bros kicked off their spring tour last week at the Fillmore in Miami Beach. They’ll play intimate theaters in several states, including two consecutive nights at the Chicago Theatre on March 11th and 12th. The trek will conclude in Aspen on April 1st. After a few months off, Weir will join Dead & Company for a summer tour, starting with two evenings at Folsom Field in Denver on July 10th and 11th. The trek will wrap up with back-to-back nights at Fenway Park in Boston on August 7th and 8th.
“The overall arc of the evening then turns into something really quite akin to opera,” Weir recently told Rolling Stone of Dead & Company’s shows. “There’s an overarching story — though it may be nebulous, it’s still there. Some evenings have it stronger than others, and that’s just part of the luck of the draw. You can never predict what a night’s going to bring you, or what a given song is going to bring you that night, but you get a feel for it. The element of risk and reward is there for everybody.”