On Thursday night, Phil Lesh opened his new venue called Terrapin Crossroads. Lesh conceived of creating this space in 1999, but has just now realized his dream. Bobby also created his own venue, TRI studio, which he created as an audio/video space.
Lesh billed the opening as a "Special Album Night". The assembled band played, "The Band" by The Band and the Grateful Dead classic "Workingman's Dead" in two sets. Before the music, Phil dedicated the show and the space to the memory of Levon Helm, who held his Midnight Ramble in Woodstock, NY. Phil played a Midnight Ramble with his sons and Levon about 2 years ago. After walking through the kitchen and onto the stage, Phil decided that he wanted to create his own venue in the same vein as Levon's Midnight Ramble. So he has adopted calling his events, "West Coast Rambles".
The house band consisted of musicians such as Chris Robinson and Adam MacDougall of the Black Crowes, Jon Graboff of Ryan Adam's Cardinals, Tim and Nikki Bluhm, and Railroad Earth's John Skeham. Phil's son Grahame also sat in on guitar and vocals.
Having their own venue is something that has been kicked around the Grateful Dead family since 1975. In an interview for "Blues for Allah", Jerry Garcia said that instead of touring, the band thought that they might set up a single venue where people could travel to to see the band play all their shows. Hence the beginning of, "Who is the Grateful Dead and why are they following me?"