Preview: Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros’ Long Strange Trip Picks Up Where it Left Off

photo by Todd Michalek

The Other One. The Kid. Ace. No matter the name you know him by, Bob Weir is undoubtedly a legend. He’s our beloved, Birkenstock-wearing, Crossfit-doing, guru-bearded, hippie dad who can croon like, well, a wolf.

Weir’s moved past his status as little brother of the Grateful Dead, amassing a prolific legacy of recording, touring, and performing. Between his solo projects and Dead-adjacent side bands, he’s always up to something. At 74, Weir appears to be exactly where he wants—living his best life, and gracing us with new gems in the process.

Weir is bringing his Wolf Bros and their brand of trippy Americana to the Chicago Theater on March 18 as part of a 13-city run. This return marks a full-circle moment for the venue they ironically stopped in the middle of a two-night run in March 2020 due to the initial COVID-19 wave.

A Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros show is the rugged, rootsy answer to a sold-out Dead & Company Wrigley blowout. Here he taps into the Jack Straw-type stories, the ones that make you feel like a cowboy wandering the wild American west. The focus is less on the psychedelic spectacle and more on the story, the saga, the struggle. These are the songs that make you hug the person next to you, light up, or even shed a tear.

This show comes on the heels of the collective’s Live in Colorado album, released Feb. 18. It features a heady blend of Dead classics, Cash and Dylan covers, and Weir originals. Recorded at Red Rocks, the album truly captures the venue’s essence, from the jazzy West L.A. Fadeaway, to the reflective Only a River, and closing with a jubilant Saint of Circumstance.

Rounding out Bobby’s Wolf Bros are Dead & Company veteran Jeff Chimenti on keyboards and Greg Leisz on pedal steel guitar. The Wolfpack includes a full string and horn section. And trust me, one high note from Weir and you’ll understand the ‘wolf’ name.

For Weir, it’s been a lifelong love affair with the music—and the movement—of the Grateful Dead. Weir’s passion and vitality have undoubtedly left a mark that will continue to inspire future generations. And we’re here for it, no matter what he does. Keep on goin’ on a dream, Bobby.

Bobby Weir & Wolf Bros will be playing Chicago Theater this Friday, March 18! Tickets are still available but are going fast.

This preview was written by Valerie Nikolas.

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