Season 2, Episode 5: Phil Lesh & Phriends Retrospective


The JamBase Podcast, a partner of the Osiris Media network, takes a look back at the Phil Lesh & Phriends concerts featuring Trey Anastasio and Page McConnell of Phish that were held back in April 1999. Narrated by JamBase’s Andy Kahn, the episode is the first to present a new format exploring seminal moments in the history of the jam scene.

The long strange trajectories of the Grateful Dead and Phish have been intertwined for 40 years. When Phish formed in 1983, the Grateful Dead were a touring juggernaut – though still years away from mainstream popularity that came with their lone hit, if you can call it that, “Touch Of Grey.” By the mid-1990s, Phish and the Dead were among the top touring acts going, with similar rabid fan bases that followed each band from city to city to see them play night in and night out.

The episode explores the early connection between the Grateful Dead and Phish, as well as the latter’s attempt to distance themselves from the former, despite the undoubtedly strong influence. Phish would eventually come around to embrace the Dead and the focus of the episode is on the moment in April when 1999 members of the two bands shared the stage together for the first time, performing each other’s music and more over three nights at the famed Warfield Theater in San Francisco.

The Phish/Dead summit led by Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh was held on April 15, 16 and 17 and also featured guitarist Steve Kimock and drummer John Molo, as well as former Grateful Dead vocalist Donna Jean Godchaux-MacKay. Revisit the magic of the landmark run that took place 24 years ago and ended up being merely the first of many subsequent collaborations between the members of the Grateful Dead and Phish.

This episode is sponsored by DelFest. Taking place Memorial Day Weekend, May 25 – 28, and hosted by Del McCoury and family, the 15th annual DelFest welcomes to the stage the Del McCoury Band, the Travelin’ McCourys, St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Trampled by Turtles, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Sam Bush, The Infamous Stringdusters, The California Honeydrops, Sierra Farrell, Molly Tuttle and Golden Highway, and so many more musical acts playing around the clock for nearly four days. Grab your tickets today!

This episode is also sponsored by 2023 destination vacation events Moon Crush “Pink Moon”, Brandi Carlile’s Mothership Weekend and Moon Crush “Blue Moon”. Event producers Topeka Live connect you with your favorite artists and people through meaningful shared music experiences in Miramar Beach, Florida. Moon Crush “Pink Moon” (April 20 – 23) features The Black Crowes, The Avett Brothers, Jason Isbell and more; Brandi Carlile’s Mothership Weekend (May 12 -14) features Brandi Carlile, Bonnie Raitt, Mavis Staples, and others; while Moon Crush “Blue Moon” (September 1 – 3) features Ben Rector, NEEDTOBREATHE and more. Visit www.topeka.live for details and to purchase tickets to Moon Crush Pink Moon, Mothership Weekend and Moon Crush Blue Moon.

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Listen to the new episode of The JamBase Podcast via all major podcast services including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Google Podcast.