At this point, I am glad Dead & Company is done. While touring with John Mayer has certainly had its fair share of fantastic moments, it is time for Bob Weir to be free. And free he is. Bob Weir & The Wolf Brothers are some serious musicians. The lineup for this tour was: Bob Weir, Don Was, Jeff Chimenti, Barry Sless, and on horns/strings Alex Kelly, Brian Switzer, Adam Theis, Mads Tolling and Sheldon Brown. Yes, you heard that right, Bob Weir is on tour with a cellist, a violinist, a trombone, a trumpet, a saxophone, AND a pedal steel. With this, Bob Weir has granted himself the ability to do anything he wants.
The show at The Midland in KC did just that. Weir found himself transitioning from traditional country/bluegrass sounds to cool disco and r&b. Opening up the night for The Wolf Brothers was a solid Samson & Delilah. Huge fan of this song and its recent resurgence in setlists, although I will admit I was hoping for Hell In A Bucket. The first set really focused on the Bobby hits. Even So > October Queen to the delight of Ratdog fans. But perhaps most exciting in the first set were Friend Of The Devil as well as a Lost Sailor > Saint Of Circumstance. The band was sounding good, but they really got cooking for Lost Sailor > Saint, the horn line was especially impressive.
Going into the second set, anticipation was in the air. Everyone could tell that the band was going to be coming in hot. Set two opened with a Jack Straw, which I suppose was to be expected. This was a little slower than I think we could have liked, but boy howdy was Jack Straw a people-pleaser that night. My highlight of the night was the following Shakedown Street. Who would have thought Shakedown Street needed pedal steel? I sure didn’t, but I was happy to be blown away by the sound. Turns out disco and country go together really well.
Another highlight, recently featured on Weir’s 2022 release, Live In Colorado, was Eyes Of The World > What’s Going On (Marvin Gaye). As per the live release, this song is designed to please. The tunes were sweet, and the band was hot. Bob Weir took the people of Kansas City on a sonic journey. He pulls from all aspects of his music history, and presents a mature, tight knit sound that can be enjoyed by anyone. The music is simply timeless.