Last weekend, the historic Warfield in San Francisco hosted a special two nights in honor of the life and legacy of Jerry Garcia. It is fitting, as the storied 86-year old theater hosted Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia Band dozens of times and continued to book acts that bring an adventurous music spirit. One of the beloved guitarist and bandleader’s closest collaborators outside of Grateful Dead was organist Melvin Seals.
One of the most important live recordings of the last fifty years, “Friday Night In San Francisco” (1982) brought together three prodigious guitarists of different legacies to one stage. John McLaughlin, one of the three guitarists, recognized the tour with progressive flamenco master Paco De Lucia and fusion marvel Al Di Meola as an essential collective performance. San Francisco’s Warfield Theatre had many legendary musical performances prior, but after that Friday night of acoustical transcendence on December 5th, 1980, McLaughlin further mystified the storied venue.
“This recording of the final set at the Warfield Theatre brings to full circle the amazing advent of The Mahavishnu Orchestra In 1971, and its renaissance on this night in San Francisco.” mused the boundary-shattering guitarist John McLaughlin. On his farewell tour of America, which was comprised of 25 concerts, John invited one his favorite musicians, guitarist Jimmy Herring and his band “The Invisible Whip” to explore the timeless music he had created four decades ago. Watch and listen to a teaser, HERE
One of the most anticipated jazz events of 2017 was The Meeting of The Spirits tour, a co-billing of celebrated fusion icon John McLaughlin & The 4th Dimension with the astoundingly diverse Jimmy Herring and The Invisible Whip. Though the two guitarists/bandleaders spawned from different generations and backgrounds, their affinity for bringing exploratory styles including Indian Classical Music, Spanish guitar, funk, and blues, are an ever-bonding force.
In a three-set, five hour night of music at the Warfield Theatre on February 25 that began with an unusual David Nelson Band performance, the current, proficient Melvin Seals and JGB turned in an fine set before giving way to special band roster, also led by monster organist Seals, but with the addition of Stu Allen on lead guitar, Oteil Burbridge on bass and 1980s-‘90s-era JGB v
The air was crackling with energy last Saturday night as fans piled into The Warfield to witness a tribute to hometown hero Jerry Garcia. The significance of the venue was certainly not lost on the audience, smiles abounding through the crowd on the floor of the theater, which provided a home-base for the Jerry Garcia Band in the 1980s and 90s. Garcia performed at the hallowed venue 88 times, and the memories of countless transcendent nights of music have seeped into the bones of the old theater.
Billy & the Kids made their San Francisco debut on Saturday April 9, 2016 with a performance at The Warfield Theater with The Greyboy Allstars supporting. The previous night was Billy & the Kids’ first show in northern California, as Bob Weir joined the gang up at Bob’s Mill Valley venue Sweetwater Music Hall, an event that certainly dominated conversation amongst
While the San Francisco Bay Area might have some mighty fine music venues in the present, there are fewer that remain from the city’s bright musical past. One of the few that’s stood the test of time is The Warfield. Right off of Market Street, adjacent to downtown’s Tenderloin neighborhood, it’s hard to tell the insides majesty from the somewhat seedy exterior.