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Behind The Scenes With Phil Lesh At Port Chester’s Capitol Theatre

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By now, you probably know the story of The Capitol Theatre. If not, a brief primer: opened in 1926; became a haven for rock ‘n’ roll during the 1970s, when the Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, Van Morrison, and other luminaries graced the stage; was the backdrop to David Bowie’s and The Rolling Stones’ MTV broadcasts in the late 1990s; was an odd mixture of boxing venue/catering hall for a decade; Peter Shapiro, mastermind behind the Brooklyn Bowl, breathed new life into it in 2012, reopening with Bob Dylan.

As a founding member of the Grateful Dead, Phil Lesh is entrenched in that history, having performed at The Capitol dozens of times over the years. His bandmate Jerry Garcia even said The Capitol was only one of two theaters in the country, alongside the Fillmore East, set up “pretty groovy all around for music.” As such, Lesh has taken up residency at The Capitol, signing on to play 30 shows there this year alone. 

We were backstage when he performed this past April with John Kadlecik, Larry Campbell, Teresa Williams, Jeff Chimenti, Joe Russo, and special guest Boyd Tinsley. Before Lesh takes the stage for another string of shows this month, see what makes The Capitol one of the premier theaters in the country. 

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