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Phil Lesh, Wilco Uniting as PHILCO at Sacred Rose Festival

Chicago-area event also features Khruangbin, The War On Drugs and Black Pumas
Photo: Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic, Inc.

In a pairing sure to delight jam band fans and rock aficionados alike, Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh is teaming with Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy and guitarist Nels Cline for their first-ever performance as PHILCO this summer. The musicians will collaborate Aug. 26 at the Sacred Rose festival outside of Chicago, in what is being described as “a once-in-a-lifetime musical moment.”

PHILCO will perform songs from both the Dead and Wilco, and will also be joined on stage by a host of guest musicians, including Jeff Chimenti (Dead & Co, Wolfpack), Phil Lesh & Friends collaborators John Molo, Stu Allen and Grahame Lesh, and Elliott Peck (Midnight North).

Lesh and Wilco have teamed up just once before, when they covered the Dead’s “Ripple” at Wilco’s May 29, 1999 concert in Angels Camp, Calif. Lesh and his Terrapin Family Band performed Wilco’s “Misunderstood” live in 2019, and Wilco has also drafted the Dead’s Bob Weir to cover “St. Stephen” back in 2013.

“Nels and I are honored to be asked to join Phil and Friends for Sacred Rose,” says Tweedy. “There has been so much about Phil and the Dead to be inspired by over the years, from their longtime musical brotherhood to their wonderful and incomparable music, to their relentless touring and longevity. But perhaps the biggest inspiration is their dedication to the community that has grown up around them. This is a trait that we in Wilco deeply appreciate and have aimed to emulate over the years. There’s nothing better than playing music with your friends, for your friends.”

Sacred Rose features a wealth of additional performers, including Khruangbin, The War On Drugs, Black Pumas, Umphrey’s McGee, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Goose, STS9, Greensky Bluegrass, Kamasi Washington, Animal Collective and Margo Price. Tickets are on sale at the event’s Web site.