On this particular night, musician Bob Weir offered a solo acoustic set, with a little help from opening act and guitarist Jonathan Wilson. Weir had a great deal of energy and enthusiasm as he seamlessly made his way through the various songs from his career.
Highlights included "The Music Never Stopped," "Loose Lucy," "Looks Like Rain," "Sugar Magnolia" and "Not Fade Away." A couple of surprises for me included The Beatles' "Blackbird" early on in the set as well as Bob Dylan's "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" as the one encore song. His vocals and guitar playing were stronger than ever, although he did receive plenty of help from the many hardcore fans that showed up to hear him sing.
Unfortunately, about one fourth of the crowd had left at intermission. Either they didn't hear Weir mention that he'd be back in a few minutes or they simply had enough of the show. For my money, those who left missed the best part of the concert. Jonathan Wilson joined Weir onstage and the two offered a magical energy for the rest of the show. One could tell that the two guitar players were quite comfortable with each other and enjoyed sharing the stage.
What I found most unfortunate about the concert goers was the fact that many of the people sitting around me were too interested in either getting stoned or talking strategies at the craps table after the concert ended. There was way too much chatter, especially for an indoor acoustic show.
I felt badly for Weir as well as for the people who didn't have the attention span to sit through a concert featuring a rock legend. Rock and roll royalty was right in front of us, and some chose to ignore it. This was not the case for everyone, however. Those who actually showed up to listen to the music got their money's worth, with a concert that lasted well over three hours.
Jonathan Wilson offered an excellent opening set, reminiscent of the sounds of Bob Dylan and Neil Young, but clearly offering his own voice. After doing a little research, I was certainly impressed with the lineup of rock legends he has worked with before, including Jackson Browne and Robbie Robertson.
Wilson has had a worthy career so far and was the perfect complement to Bob Weir. As for Weir, he continues to stay busy with more acoustic shows as well as dates with RatDog and Furthur. It is clear that he still enjoys the music, still enjoys performing and will continue to do so for many years to come.
by Bob Weir
Bob Weir performed on March 1 at The Pearl Concert Theater at The Palms 4321 West Flamingo Road in Las Vegas. For info about upcoming shows, call 702-944-3200 or visit www.palms.com/las-vegas-pearl-theater/. For more info about Bob Weir tour dates, visit www.bobweir.net.