Legendary guitarist, Bob Weir, of the original Grateful Dead drew a sold-out show at the Palace Theatre in Saint Paul, Minnesota on March 19, 2019. Weir played with the trio The Wolf Bros consisting of bassist Don Was, and drummer Jay Lane.
Weir and the Wolf Bros played two-sets for Grateful Dead fans that paid reference to Minnesota. In the first set, Weir and the Wolf Bros played the song “Big River” with lyrics: “… I met her accidentally in St. Paul (Minnesota). And it tore me up every time I heard her drawl, Southern drawl.” Following “He’s Gone” which had the crowd swaying and singing along to the tribute to Jerry Garcia, who had originally written the song with Robert Hunter, the trio performed “All Along the Watchtower.” The lyrics in “All Along the Watchtower” written by Minnesota-musician Bob Dylan, can be viewed as another nod to the venue’s setting alongside the Witch’s Tower located in Saint Paul, Minnesota:
“All along the watchtower, Princes kept the view, While all the women came and went —Barefoot servants too. Outside in the cold distance, A wildcat did growl. Two riders were approaching, and The wind began to howl.”
Crowd favorites consisted of songs such as: “Lost Sailor” and “Wharf Rat.” During the second set, Deadheads sang along with Weir, with his gruff and grittier sounding voice. Since playing with the Grateful Dead, Weir has performed with many smaller musical projects; most recently he has been touring with the trio, The Wolf Bros. Weir’s performance on March 19th, showed an older, but more musically-matured and vocally-talented, Bob Weir since his early Grateful Dead days.
For many Deadheads, the show on Tuesday at The Palace Theatre was reminiscent of earlier shows The Grateful Dead had played at Soldier Field or the Watkins Glen Speedway- including the sights and smells. Weir’s slide-guitar caused familiar vibes, while the scent of marijuana perforated the air. Members of the crowd sported colorful tie-dye t-shirts, long beards, and dreadlocks, and some wore their original Grateful Dead tour-shirts featuring Jerry Garcia.
The second set consisted of songs from Bob Weir’s catalog and classic Grateful Dead hits including: “Bombs Away,” “The Music Never Stopped,” “Standing on Shaky Ground,” “Easy Answers,” “He’s Gone,” “All Along the Watchtower,” and Grateful Dead’s popular, “Wharf Rat.”
The crowd clapped to the beat of “He’s Gone” while also harmonizing with Weir during the chorus. The second set ended with an encore of “It’s All Over Now Baby Blue” that kept the crowd singing along to the lyrics: “You must leave now, take what you need, you think will last But whatever you wish to keep, you better grab it fast.”
One fan shared what he took away from the show; Tod from Minnetonka reflected on Tuesday’s performance and The Grateful Dead’s lyrics as, “I see all the lyrics as sermons; they’re blessings in my life.”
Although Deadheads hoped for Grateful Dead classics, such as “Scarlet Begonias” or “Samson & Delilah,” no one left disappointed after witnessing Weir and The Wolf Bros performed on Tuesday at the Palace Theatre. Everyone present in Saint Paul was glad to have witnessed a legend – Weir – visit Minnesota.