The first local appearance of Weather Update on its initial tour might have been expected to be a strong box-office attraction. Surprisingly, perhaps due to the threat of rain or because of some confusion about the group's name, attendance Saturday at the Greek Theatre was a dismal 1,600.
This is Weather Report in its new guise, with one notable change: Wayne Shorter is missing, his sax having given way to the guitar of Steve Kahn. The others are all familiar faces: Josef Zawinul on synthesizer; Victor Bailey on bass, Robert Thomas Jr. on percussion and, back in the drum chair, Peter Erskine.
The new quintet is not all that different, given that Shorter's role both as soloist and composer had diminished almost to the vanishing point and that guitarist Carlos Santana was a guest on the final Weather Report album. The basic sound has changed minimally.
Nor has Zawinul turned his back on a long and distinguished past. Included in the program were the earlier "Dr. Honoris Causa" and "Madagascar." Most of the material, much of it his own, was drawn from the recent "This Is This" set, from "Man With the Copper Fingers" (with Erskine in demonically vital form) to "Consequently," written by and featuring Bailey.