Weir & Wolf Bros ft. The Wolfpack | Au-Rene Theater | 12/31/23

Article Contributed by Chris Marden | Published on Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Bob Weir & Wolf Bros, accompanied by the vibrant Wolfpack, delivered a spectacular New Year's Eve performance at Ft Lauderdale's Au-Rene Theater on Sunday evening. This grand finale of a three-night extravaganza was not only a musical journey through Grateful Dead classics but also a visual feast featuring dancing dragons, elegant ballet dancers, and whimsical portrayals of Father Time and Baby New Year.

Broward Center for the Performing Arts

Broward Center for the Performing Arts

Getting ready for Weir & Wolf Bros on New Year's in Florida

Bob Weir | Au-Rene Theater

Weir & Wolf Bros | Au-Rene Theater

The evening commenced with Weir's solo acoustic renditions of 'Loose Lucy' and 'The Winners', setting a warm, intimate tone. The energy swiftly escalated as he transitioned to electric mode, delving into Grateful Dead favorites like 'Samson & Delilah' and 'Hell in a Bucket'. Each song saw more band members join, enriching the sound. The first set meandered through a mix of tunes including 'Silvio' and 'Tequila' (the former a collaboration between Bob Dylan and Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter), culminating in the haunting 'Black Throated Wind' and a mesmerizing 'Birdsong'.

Bob Weir | Au-Rene Theater at Broward Center For The Performing Arts

Weir and Wolf Bros featuring the WolfPack | Au-Rene Theater

Bob Weir | Ft. Lauderdale, FL

The second set soared with 'Cassidy', showcasing the Wolfpack's exceptional horn and violin contributions. A seamless medley of 'Eyes of the World', Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On', and a reprise of 'Eyes of the World' followed, each enhanced by the Wolfpack's superb horn arrangements. The set crescendoed with a dynamic rendition of 'The Wheel' and a crowd-energizing cover of Dylan's 'All Along the Watchtower'. A shift in tempo allowed for a poignant performance of Hunter/Garcia's beloved 'Stella Blue', before the set closed with a raucous version of Chuck Berry's 'Around & Around', sending the audience into a dancing frenzy.

Weir & Wolf Bros | Broward Center For The Performing Arts

The third set opened with an electrifying 'Year of the Dragon' celebration led by drummer Jay Lane. The audience was enthralled as two dragons danced through the crowd, eventually joining Father Time (portrayed by Matt Bush in tribute to the late Bill Graham) and an ensemble of modern dancers and family members on stage for a dazzling countdown to 2024. The year kicked off with a rockin' 'Sugar Magnolia' segueing into 'Scarlet Begonias', both elevated by the Wolfpack's brilliant horn sections. 'Help on the Way', 'Slipknot', and 'Franklin's Tower' kept the celebratory mood alive. A rip-roaring 'Sunshine Daydream', peppered with Weir's classic vocal stylings, brought the main set to a close, followed by an evocatively performed encore of 'Brokedown Palace'.

Much love to Bobby for another wonderful year of music

Bob Weir's next venture is with his latest project, Dead Ahead, set to captivate audiences in Cancún, México on January 12.

Band Members:

    The Wolf Bros: Don Was (bass), Jay Lane (drums), Jeff Chimenti (keyboards).
    The Wolfpack: Alex Kelly, Brian Switzer, Adam Theis, Mads Tolling, Sheldon Brown.
    Special mention: Barry Sless on Pedal Steel.

Setlist Overview:
Set 1: Loose Lucy, The Winners, Samson and Delilah, Hell in a Bucket, Silvio > Tequila > Silvio, Black-Throated Wind, Bird Song.
Set 2: Cassidy, Estimated Prophet, Eyes of the World, What's Going On, Eyes of the World, The Wheel, All Along the Watchtower, Stella Blue, Around and Around.
Set 3: Sugar Magnolia, Scarlet Begonias, Help on the Way, Slipknot, Franklin's Tower, Sunshine Daydream.
Encore: Brokedown Palace.