Bob Weir made a rare appearance at the Ventura Theater Saturday night. Rare in that he had heretofore, not been known to tour solo acoustic. And while he did some of that, he played much of the show with a couple of friends nearby. Bob is the youngest and currently most well-known of the living members of the Grateful Dead.
The show was attended by a mix of dead heads from back in the day and a younger set who are Phish and Further Festival experienced. The show started off with opening act Jonathan Wilson, who looks like a modern-day version of what Weir looked like back in 1966. He plays and sings well enough and joined Bob during the second set.
Weir, who will turn 65 this year, came out and immediately started in with Hell in a Bucket, then a Dylan cover, followed by Dark Hollow, On the Road Again… Local favorite Phil Salazar came out with his fiddle to a warm greeting by the audience and the two them proceeded to launch into Mexicali Blues. After that Bob veered into The Other One, which was the first time of the evening I truly missed the drums of Hart/Kreutzmann and the thunder-clap of Phil Lesh’s bass. If you’d like to hear a version from 1971, here’s a good one:
My first experience of Ventura was hitching to a Dead show at the Fairgrounds in 1977. It was another scene, but I remember more dirt than many of the other venues…I also recall seeing some friends from elementary school there – can’t say I remember much else about that show though.
Saturday’s show was well attended and enjoyed by all, perhaps some more than others. Maybe it was the beer, maybe I’m getting on, but I nodded off for a song or two before the night was through…