Phil Lesh Awarded Key To The Village Of Port Chester At Capitol Theatre Halloween Show

first_imgLast night, Phil Lesh continued his Halloween tradition with his annual “Phil-O-Ween” show at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY. At the show, Port chester Trustee and Deputy Mayor Luis Marino presented the founding Grateful Dead bassist with the “Key to the Village of Port Chester.” The presentation of the “Key to the Village” is an honor that harkens back to the days of medieval “walled” villages, guarded by day and locked at night, where possession of such a key symbolized the freedom of the recipient to enter and leave at will as a trusted friend of the village.Lesh has been playing music at The Capitol Theatre for decades. The historic venue was famously one of The Grateful Dead‘s favorite places to play: As Jerry Garcia explained in November, 1970, “See, there’s only two theaters, man, they are the only two places that are set up pretty groovy all around for music and for smooth stage changes, good lighting and all that – the Fillmore and the Capitol Theatre. And those are the only two in the whole country.” The Dead played the ornate concert hall 17 times in 11 months between 1970 and 1971, and chose their run of shows at The Cap in February of 1971 to debut a whole batch of new material, debuting now-beloved classics including “Loser,” “Playing In The Band,” “Bertha,” “Greatest Story Ever Told, “Wharf Rat,” “Deal,” “Bird Song,” and more over the course of their 6-night run. The recordings of the run have circulated for years, and remain a treasured piece of Deadhead lore.Phil Lesh’s relationship with The Cap has only gotten stronger in the years since Jerry’s death. After being closed as a concert hall and mainly used as a venue for private events and catered parties throughout 00’s, the venue was renovated re-opened as a live music performance space in 2012 when it was purchased by Pete Shapiro. In 2013, the New York Times reported an extensive deal between Shapiro and Lesh that would see him play 45 shows with the NY-based impresario, 30 of which would take place at The Capitol Theatre–a mark which he has since surpassed. With his official “retirement” from touring, The Cap has become his de facto east coast home base, making an incredible 70 appearances with Phil & Friends since the venue’s reopening.Phil Lesh Celebrates 77th Birthday With Joan Osborne, Stanley Jordan, Jason Crosby, & More [Audio]As The Cap explained in a statement, “Phil Lesh received the Key to the Village not just for his triumphs in the music industry, but also for his promotion of unity, community, and self-expression in his music and his actions. An outspoken advocate for organ donor programs, Lesh makes it a point to promote organ donor awareness all of his performances. Phil Lesh’s performances have created everlasting memories for people of all ages, backgrounds, and genders, making him the ideal candidate to receive this prestigious honor from the place that has become his home-away-from-home.”For more information on Phil’s upcoming shows, head to his website. You can also see a calendar of performances at The Capitol Theatre here.[Cover Photo via The Capitol Theatre]last_img

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