Thursday’s gig was already a big deal for top-notch local Grateful Dead tribute group The Stolen Faces. The show marked the end of guitarist (and Scene contributing editor) Jack Silverman’s seven-and-a-half-year tenure as the band’s Jerry Garcia. He’s stepping away to focus on his own music, while Ben Sparaco (who you may know from the band Slow Pass) is taking over his spot.
Word came on the day that a special guest was excited to play with them, if they’d let him. Said guest’s identity was kept secret, even from the band, until right around showtime. But sure enough, at the beginning of the second set, bassman Christian Grizzard introduced none other than Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon, who took over lead vocal duties for “Tennessee Jed” and alternated between backup and lead on “They Love Each Other.”
I happened to be at the gig and shot a little video; check out “Jed” above (as much as I could get before I ran out of storage space, cue sad trombone) and all of “Love” below. Fallon’s a little — OK, a lot — sloppy here, sure, but clearly having the time of his life, and the crowd was certainly into it. And if the impromptu appearance harshed the vibe for any O.G. Deadheads in the room, they got a mighty tasty follow-up of “Help on the Way / Slipknot!” with a ripping “Estimated Prophet” sneaked in for good measure before the band segued into “Franklin’s Tower.”
Keep up with The Stolen Faces via Facebook and Instagram — Jack-less though they’ll be, they remain one of the best Dead tributes I’ve ever seen. (I’d argue that includes Dead & Company.) Speaking of Silverman, watch his Instagram for more gig announcements. His quartet has a show Friday, in fact, playing their original “crime jazz” at Third Man Records’ Blue Room Bar. The bar is open 5 p.m. to midnight with Silverman & Co. onstage from 8 to 11 p.m. There’s no cover; see more details on the Facebook event page.