PORT CHESTER, N.Y. — A belligerent and incoherent Bobby Weir collapsed onstage at about 11 p.m. Thursday night during a Furthur concert at the Capitol Theatre and was assisted off-stage by crew members.
Police told me he was taken away in an ambulance and the Furthur Twitter feed and Website had no update on his medical condition as of 8 a.m. Friday.
Weir, 65, is the longtime rhythm guitarist of The Grateful Dead and the band Furthur was playing its ninth sold-out show in 12 days. His voice and guitar playing had been strong in the previous performances in the run.
“Hope he’s OK. I wish they would have pulled the breaks before it got to this point,” one fan wrote on ThePhilZone.com, a fan Website.
At about 11:10 p.m., the lights went on inside the 1,800-seat theatre and the show was briefly halted as crew members helped an incoherent Weir off-stage.
Some fans left the building, but Phil Lesh, Weir’s longtime Grateful Dead collaborator, opted to play on after a break.
“I mean, Phil almost stopped playing when his buddy took a dive onstage and buddy gets carried out by the audience,” another fan wrote on the site.
Lesh told the audience that Weir strained his shoulder in a workout and the band continued to play an encore set of “Stella Blue,” “China Cat Sunflower” and “I Know You Rider” without him.
At least one fan who left after Weir collapsed verbally lashed out in the front of the theatre that Lesh kept on playing despite the incident.
Weir appeared to limp out on stage to begin the night.
Standing to the left of the stage during an opening set that began with with “Feels Like a Stranger,” Weir appeared OK at first. But during a second set that included “Eyes of The World,” “Uncle John’s Band, “Scarlet Begonias” and “Unbroken Chain,” Weir could barely remember the words to several songs and was increasingly unable to stand up.
He nearly fell into the amps behind him at one point before tense crew members brought out a red folding chair and placed it in front of Weir as the band played on. Weir kicked the chair and continued to play guitar standing up. He then swayed to his left and fell down, stunning the audience.
With the help of crew members, he was assisted up and sat in a red folding chair before nearly falling over several times.
Eventually, after Weir began to play something on the guitar by himself, the crew unplugged his guitar. Lesh and bandmate John Kadlecek walked off stage, leaving Weir alone before he was escorted off by the crew.
The band is scheduled to play Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Saturday.
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