The National Members Join the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir for ‘Bridge Session’
Flanked by images of the Golden Gate and Brooklyn Bridge, Saturday's "The Bridge Session" spanned the gap between coast, genre and generation, as members of the National and other Brooklyn darlings joined legendary Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir for an intimate, one-shot performance at the legend's TRI Studios in San Rafael, California.
As we previewed, the indie-classic-jam amalgam brought together the National's Aaron Dessner and Scott and Bryan Devendorf, plus Walt Martin of the Walkmen, and members of the Yellowbirds and Takka Takka.
While most of the songs were culled from the Dead's library, including jams like 'The Other One,' 'Friend of the Devil,' 'Uncle John's Band' and a rare performance of 'My Brother Esau,' Weir got into the National's 'Daughters of the Soho Riots' and 'Fake Empire.' He said the show "fell together rather sweetly. These guys are good players… I did a couple of their tunes, at their insistence. I learned 'em and loved 'em."
Presented by voter registration group HeadCount.org, the session's two sets were separated by a political roundtable discussion, featuring independent presidential candidate Buddy Roemer, No Labels cofounder Mark McKinnon and Grateful Dead lyricist and Electronic Frontier Foundation cofounder John Perry Barlow. The personalities parlayed on energy production, women's rights, and personal freedoms. Weir, a board member of HeadCount.org, brought together the musicians and thinkers for a night that thrilled.
"It was surreal," said the National bassist Scott Devendorf in an interview. "We've been huge fans for a very long time. That this actually came together was a little miraculous." Check out one song from the performance below, and click here to watch several more.
Watch Members of the National and Bob Weir Perform 'Uncle John's Band'