Former Grateful Dead frontman Bob Weir threw quite a party at his new TRI Studios in San Rafael this weekend: Weir invited a bunch of East Coast musicians, including three members of the National, out for a special in-studio jam called the Bridge Session that was broadcast live over the web.
The two-set performance drew from both Dead classics and lesser-known tunes, and included two National songs and even a Dylan cover, according to a report by Benjy Eisen in Rolling Stone. With nine musicians altogether -- including Weir, National members Bryan and Scott Devendorf and Aaron Dessner, band collaborators Thomas Bartlett and Kyle Resnick, Walt Martin of the Walkmen, and Conrad Doucette of Takka Takka -- the ensemble put out a warm, full sound flush with instrumentation. Its version of "My Brother Esau" sounds especially layered and rich. There's plenty of documentation out there of what went down -- after the jump, check out video of the entire performance and the between-set political discussion panel.
For details on what songs the group played and how Weir repackaged traditional Dead material to fit the new group, check out Eisen's review. We'll offer one hint: the encore saw Weir and the National members gather with acoustic instruments around a single microphone for some very special songs off American Beauty and Workingman's Dead.