Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros at North Charleston P.A.C. (Photos + Recap)

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    Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros at North Charleston P.A.C. (Photos + Recap)
    Published: February 6, 2023

    Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros at North Charleston P.A.C. – Feb 2 2023. Photo by Zach Ubaldini.

    Last Thursday, February 2nd, Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros kicked off their 2023 winter tour with a stellar show at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center. We were lucky enough to be in the mix for this one, with none other than Zach Ubaldini documenting the evening through a lens.

    Having the opportunity to cover this show represented something of a dream come true for the team at Extra Chill, as Bobby’s career has been a major source of inspiration for us and everything we do.

    This sentiment was clearly shared by everybody there, as you could feel the pure respect and love for the music and the musician from the fans before the show even started. You could see it on the tie-dye, and you could hear it in the conversations buzzing about the lobby.

    This was what was on my mind as the band played the opening notes to “The Music Never Stopped” — a fitting song, both for a tour-opener and within the context of the modern Grateful Dead story.

    Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros at North Charleston P.A.C. – Feb 2 2023. Photo by Zach Ubaldini.

    However, despite the positive vibrations in the room, the beginning of the show was plagued by a sound issue that became impossible to ignore.

    At first, it was hardly noticeable, but as the band played on you could hear an audible clipping sound piercing out over the music, and it was getting worse. Even when Bobby pulled out the acoustic for the classic tune “Friend of the Devil”, the clipping continued, and it seemed the band was not able to hear it.

    Thankfully, just as I was starting to think the sound issues were going to fog the whole show, a stage hand walked out after the band finished the Rat Dog song, “She Says”. He informed Bobby of the issue, and they promptly stopped the show to fix it.

    Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros at North Charleston P.A.C. – Feb 2 2023. Photo by Zach Ubaldini.

    They returned about five minutes later, with everything “just exactly perfect”, to a blistering “Ramble on Rose” that was extremely well-received. All of us were glad to have it sounding crisp and clear, and the band seemed to have an extra pep in their step after what must have been a frustrating moment for them.

    Next up was a bust-out of “Come Together” by the Beatles, a Wolf Bros debut and the first time Weir had performed the song since January 2017. They worked through a fantastic rendition that had the whole band in full stride, including the four-piece horn section, the Wolfpack.

    The set closed with “New Speedway Boogie”, and after a quick break they returned to the stage as a four-piece that included Bobby alongside Jeff Chimenti, Jay Lane, and Don Was, to open with Little Feat’s “Easy to Slip”.

    Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros at North Charleston P.A.C. – Feb 2 2023. Photo by Zach Ubaldini.

    After the opener, the full ensemble returned and the rest of set two saw creative renditions of many Grateful Dead live staples, including Bobby favorites “Playing in the Band”, “Truckin’”, and “Estimated Prophet”.

    The show’s peak came late in the second set with a personal favorite of mine, “Wharf Rat”, the Robert Hunter-penned Grateful Dead staple that has been inspirational for many listeners over the years, even starting a whole movement of sober Deadheads who use the song’s title as their moniker.

    Bobby’s rendition was slow, just as the song requires, and he hit each emotional peak with the intent that only an old road dog like himself could muster.

    Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros at North Charleston P.A.C. – Feb 2 2023. Photo by Zach Ubaldini.

    This special moment continued straight into the next song, which was the full “Terrapin Station” suite. This is something that was not really done live by the Grateful Dead themselves, but that Bobby has accomplished with several other projects, including of course Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros.

    With a full brass section plus Barry Sless on the pedal steel, their take on the “Terrapin” suite had all the necessary layers and embellishments to do justice to the delicately composed second part of the song, as heard on the album.

    To cap it all off, they closed with the late-game Grateful Dead song, “Liberty”, and sent us all out into the night.

    See the full setlist.

    Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros at North Charleston P.A.C. – Feb 2 2023. Photo by Zach Ubaldini.
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