The Midnight North perform at The Hamilton Live on Oct. 7, 2021. (Photo by Mark Caicedo)
After a two-year absence, Midnight North recently made a much-anticipated return to the DC area, even briefly renaming The Hamilton on the strength of the two “Graham(e)” bandmembers. The show featured an appearance by Phil Lesh, beloved Grateful Dead bassist and father of Midnight North guitarist and founder, Grahame Lesh. For two-plus hours, the “Gramilton” felt like an extended family reunion with fans from differing generations and bands reuniting after a too-long pandemic hiatus.
Trey Anastasio leads his band during a performance at The Anthem on Oct. 1, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)
The pandemic and the impacts of COVID have been seen across the music industry since it began and especially hard hit has been the live music segment, with it being a challenge for both touring acts and venues to get all this right in an uncertain environment.
Maybe nowhere has that been more obvious lately than the Trey Anastasio Band tour, an outfit that, just a few weeks ago, would have looked entirely different. Then came a couple positive tests, and trumpet player Jen Hartswick and drummer Russ Lawton were sidelined, putting the back half of the tour in jeopardy.
Commander Cody (Photo courtesy the artist)
George Frayne, who performed under the moniker “Commander Cody,” passed away Monday, according to his wife, Sue Casanaova. Frayne’s passing follows several years of treatment for cancer.
Trey Anastasio Band (Photo by Rene Huemer)
Trey Anastasio Band recently announced its long-awaited return to the road with a series of live dates, including The Anthem in DC on Friday, Oct. 1.
Dr. Dog perform at 9:30 Club on Sept. 16, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)
“All good things come to an end” has to be one of the most extremely overused, inflated perspectives on any favorable scenario, especially relationships, and it seems that statement is most often inappropriately used to sum up the end of relationships built around music.
But, nevertheless, the proclamation does tend to be true, as is currently demonstrated by the Philadelphia-based band Dr. Dog, a group that sold out consecutive gigs at the 9:30 Club Thursday and Friday — its last shows in the nation’s capital on what has been announced as its last tour together. [Parklife has learned Dr. Dog does indeed have one more sold-out show at 9:30 Club on Oct. 1! — Ed.]
Jim James of My Morning Jacket performs at Merriweather Post Pavilion on Sept. 7, 2021. (Photo by Kyle Gustafson)
One of my favorite summer traditions in DC is the seemingly annual My Morning Jacket show at Merriweather. Tuesday’s show with opener Brittany Howard was the band’s 8th show in Columbia since they graduated to amphitheaters in 2010. I’m not going to lie and say that I’ve been to all of those shows, but I’ve seen most of them and the 2011 and 2015 shows still stand out to me. The Circuitual tour show in 2011 might be the best show I’ve seen the band do locally.
Merriweather was a little over half full on Sept. 7, which was actually a wonderful thing. If you wanted to experience the show in a crowd, there were plenty of people around to remind you how that felt, pre-COVID. If you were still a little freaked out by maskless people singing and shouting along to the music, there were plenty of empty spaces to claim and still have a great vantage point for the show.
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead performs at MECU Pavilion in Baltimore on Saturday Aug. 21, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock.)
The Grateful Dead certainly aren’t done yet, as a recent stop at Jiffy Lube Live by Dead & Company showed us last week. But even if they were, there are so many musicians dedicated to carrying their torch that fans of the San Francisco-based band can rest assured they’ll be able to enjoy the catalogue of music in some live form for years to come.
Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, a highly talented five-piece outfit obviously led by respected veteran drummer Joe Russo, who himself is not yet close to passing away, made a timely stop in the Charm City this past weekend to drop two world-class sets of music paying tribute to the Grateful Dead.
Dead & Company performs at Jiffy Lube Live in Bristow, Virginia, on Aug. 18, 2021. (Photo by Casey Vock)
What’s not to be appreciated about a musical act — more so a community and now essentially a culture — that has stood the test of more than 55 years? Nearly six decades after a band calling itself The Warlocks randomly switched its name to Grateful Dead, the most current amalgamation of some of the group’s original members and carefully chosen friends can still draw thousands of people together for a kaleidoscopic celebration of music.
Dead & Company rolled into Bristow, Virginia, last week for a show at Jiffy Lube Live, their second stop of the current tour, and created two robust sets of songs that not only paid tribute to the large family of musicians and songwriters that is the Grateful Dead, but gave many of the band’s songs a refreshing new twist that brought out the best in the group gathered on stage.
One Way Out (Photo by Carter Louthian)
On Friday, Aug. 20, DC rockers One Way Out take their energetic live show to Union Stage. That same day, the band releases their sophomore full-length album The Sun, The Moon, The Truth!
Dead & Company (Photo by Danny Clinch)
Psychedelic rockers Dead & Company visit Jiffy Lube Live in Virginia on Wednesday, Aug. 18, for a stop on their What a Long Strange Trip Its Been Tour.