Phil It Up

by | Nov 12, 2001

Phil + Friends

Phil kicked off The Quintet’s fall tour in da Windy at the Aragon Ballroom in Uptown. The theater features a sweet wood floor and Arabanian themes throughout. We were late getting into the show due to big city pressures. Namely, traffic and no parking spots. We missed “The Eleven” opener, but in a way it was perfect to enter this Arabian-themed venue to the otherworldly strains of “Blues for Allah.” It’s been public knowledge for years that Grateful Dead used to pick a topical theme and work it out in the music. Clealry, the theme for this night was war. The band broke out “Liberty” for the first time, and this furthered the theme perfectly. In the morning we hit the road and arrived in St. Louis with time for a couple beers at a downtown bar before the 7:30 show. The Fox is a spectacle to behold, but Bud is all they have on tap. I guess it’s a company town. Naturally, this matters not when the band is treating all to Cosmic Charlie>I Am the Walrus>Cosmic Charlie. Saturday brought us into Eastern Time and The South. The Palace Theater in Louisville is the most architecturally significant venue I’ve ever encountered. The word trippy applies. The musical theme this night seemed to move to a new topic–the passing of Ken Kesey, Merry Prankster and literary hero. Phil sang “Black Peter” and I was moved. Milt, Boss, and I got to hang with Warren after the show and be assured, we let him know how much we love him, and his work.