Forum Subject #7: Furthur Comments
So now you have been to a Furthur Concert. What did you think? How was
the scene? How was the music? Would you like to see more? What was your
favorite part? What would make it better? Did it help fill the void? Address
these or any other issues you find relevant. (Posted 6/29/96)
6/22 Blockbuster Pavilion, Charlotte, NC - Stacy Beard
It looks as though the setlists have changed quite a bit throughout the
summer. I guess seeing only the second show may have been a disadvantage.
The highlight for me was Hornsby. Nothing else all day could touch the "Jack
Straw" he and Bobby did. The crowd went nuts- finally some sort of
fix for that jones... Rat Dog was pretty much the same as the last two times
I saw them, but I guess it was still just Weir/Wasserman back then. Same
tunes. Good, but not as energetic as I would like. The addition of keyboards
will help. Lots of people seem to be dogging Mystery Box, but it was great
to see Mickey out front, enjoying himself.
And wasn't it just the best feeling to drive into the lot after a year of
thinking you'd never be back?
6/26 Nissan Pavilion Bristow, VA - JONATHAN HART (9999999@mcimail)
We walked in to the opening strains of Walkin' Blues from Hot Tuna... My
buddy Joel had been to the previous two shows and missed Tuna both times
so he insisted we rush inside. I didn't complain. Jorma and Jack sounded
great as ever, though I admit to being suprised at their early slot in the
line-up. They successfully (sp) warmed us up and the show got rolling. Los
Lobos (whom I, like most of the audience, had never seen before) ruled!
They lived up fully to my expectations and exceeded them even, when amid
their own material which sizzled they threw in a rockin' Evangeline, a smoking
Lovelight(!) and closed with a raging Bertha!! They might not be Jerry and
Co. but they make this song soar the way it's supposed to. Alvin Hart seemed
dwarfed on the stage despite being a large dude, but his slide and his voice
filled the joint. Don't be caught looking at the vending sites during his
set. I fact, it was hard to tear ourselves from our seats (beside the SBD)
during much of the show. The Karamazov Bros. were awesome. Comedy, juggling,
and music (sort of) rolled into one. Great stoner humor, though it was a
bit hard to hear all of their jokes and the people on the lawn were pretty
much out of luck as far as that went (doubt they noticed though).
Bruce lit the stage on fire and it did not cool down until the lights came
up after the jam. His band is quite hot, and tight! Then there was Mystery
Box. Fatty! I have always loved drums and though Mickey's on stage presence
made me giggle when he came out from behind the drums,I liked it quite a
bit. Mickey reminds me of a nervous rapper when he does his vocals but he'll
get used to it and so will we. Besides, the band rules and those chicks
can sing (they're cute too!).
There has been too much Bobby bashing lately and this tour should end it
(I hope). We saw Rat Dog last August in Wash. DC about a week after Jerry
passed away. The show was quite emotional for everyone and I couldn't make
a good critical analysis of the show. This time we were back together (now
with excellent addition Johnnie Johnson on piano) and it smoked! I admit
to wanting to hear Jerry's lead on Rider but that's not Bobby's fault and
it's not like he could replace him. Rat Dog, on the whole was excellent,
and I suspect that this band will continue to grow in strength.
Then there was the JAM!!! All I can say is Low Spark of High Heeled Boys...
and Around & Around with Jorma!!!! WOW!!!!] Megan was pregnant and the Baby
boogied so much, that the next night she boogied on into this world, as
a beautiful 7lb, 1oz girl. Her name is Althea Eliza Hart. What A WEEK!!!
Peace and Love. Jonathan Hart
6/28 Deer Creek Music Center, Noblesville, IN - Brett
When I first purchased my ticket to further my hopes were high. I was looking
foward to seeing Bob and company in hopes too fill the void that this deadless
summer had left in my heart..the closer it came to the day of the show the
lower my expectations became. Then my brother called to tell me about the
Virginia Beach show..and my hopes were raised once again, he had nothing
but good things to say. The scene was definatly good, well compared to nothing
at all. thanks to road construction, getting detoured in the parking lot
by vendors and seeing some old friends I managed to miss most of Tuna..what
I heard was real good though. The flying karamazov brothers provided a nice
change of pace between groups.los lobos was next..maybe my memmory gets
aliitle fuzzy during this part of the show, but I do remember is some good
stuff.Bruce was next and I was really looking foward to seeing him again..well
as I said my memmory is a little fuzzy...well somewere in there I got a
little confused and I tried to listen to the music .... but it didn't help
much. The music just never reached the great peaks that I had become used
to and had been hoping for at shows.. I still had a pretty good time.. Brett
6/29 Alpine Valley, E. Troy, WI - Fritz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Went up a day early and camped at Bong Recreational Area which was just
wonderful. Very mellow scene, no uptight park ranger action. Headed into
the lot and was shocked at not having to pay the usual $5-10. Parked, got
out and instantly heard the familiar hiss and watched a reall big line form
instantly. Ah, well, the more things change... Anyway it was amazingly hot
so we didn't eat quite as much of our special chocolate chip cookies as
we'd planned, and quickly ran out of water. Since it was getting close to
3 we decided to head in and fill up there. We found out that the gates were
not open yet and the whole show was going to be moved back an hour. First
bummer, but what can you do.
Once inside we got a sweet spot in the center of the front part of the lawn.
I hadn't been back to Alpine since 89 and it seemed like I wasn't alone.
It was a bit like Old Home Week, with lots of old bikers and plenty of families
with kids in tow, something that I hadn't seen in a while. Overall the whole
scene was very relaxed and friendly and uncrowded, but REALLY FUCKIN HOT!!!
Tuna finally came out and the show started up. Having Cassady there really
filled out the sound of the Jorma Kaukonen Band who I'd seen a few months
earlier. I'm a long time Tuna fan, but some of the newer material just left
me cold. Overall though, they were good and tight, and played too short.
I was pretty bummed when I heard they had started pulling acoustic sets
out later in the tour.
I missed JWH set while waiting in line for the water fountain, using the
bathroom, and checking out the "CyberTent". It was also nice to
get out of the sun for a little while (did I mention it was hot out?)
Los Lobos were just fantastic. I didn't know they'd do so much jamming.
Cinnamon Girl had many jaws hitting the lawn. However, the sound was pretty
Alvin Yougblood Hart seemed like he was pretty good, but I couldn't tell
since almost none of what he played came through the speakers. Too bad,
I'd heard good things about him and really like Delta Blues stuff.
I guess I just don't quite get the fascination with Bruce Hornsby. Some
of his stuff was ok, but a lot of it just didn't do anything for me. I liked
Mighty Quinn->ITALTLITATTC->Quinn though. Also it seemed like somebody
found the 'on' switch for the PA.
Then we got a REALLY long break while we tried to understand what the FKB
were saying. The sound system had apparently been shut off again. We gave
up after a while and watched clouds and people. Mystery Box was a revelation.
I got the CD and was pretty underwhelmed. Live, the music really came alive
and gained some depth. You could actually tell that Mickey Hart was involved
with it. Also I think it helped that the cheesy synth sounds were not prominent.
The sound system came alive again and the lights were well done. Hart's
vocals will never be his strong point but it seemed like he was having fun.
I know it's blasphemy, but I think that 'Down the Road' is one of the weaker
songs, musically and lyrically, in MB's catalog. But like I said, seeing
them live changed my whole opinion about this band. I'd go see them again.
Then we got another REALLY long break. Storm clouds were brewing and severall
groups of drunken bozos had arrived in our section and we were all pretty
exhausted. When Ratdog finally came on we stayed for about three thin, tinny
sounding tunes and decided that we'd rather beat the traffic and heard back
to camp for cold beer and muffaletta sandwiches and a better sound system.
Which we did.
All things considered, I had a good time and saw some excellent music. It
was good to be back amongst the best audience in the world (with a few notable
exceptions) at one of my favorite venues. The sound was a real disappointment,
and I think took away from a LOT of the performances. That needs to be improved.
Also, the long delays before and after MB kind of took the wind out of my
sails at least. Future Furthurs might also consider a wider variety of music,
perhaps spread over two days.
7/4 Darien Lake Amphitheatre, Darien Center, NY -
Rob "Gumby" Hillard (rhillard@cc,atinc.com)
THE BUS CAME BY AND I GOT ON AGAIN... =====================================
Going on the road with the Grateful Dead, joining up with the circus of
crazed characters that followed them across the country, was one of the
most educating experiences during my half-decade as a college undergrad.
As I drove north across the lush farmlands of New York's southern tier towards
Darien Lake, I found myself reminiscing about those days of wine and roses.
A time when all one needed to join the parade was a ticket and a desire
to explore the passion of the musical unknown. Now here I was, preparing
to rejoin the tribe to remember what had been, and what it has all now become.
Unfortunately, some of this romanticism began to fade as our caravan arrived
at the venue. Suddenly, memories surfaced of ticketless deadheads seeking
miracles, adolescent teens strung out on powerful psychedelics, and parking
lot dogs tied to car bumpers, scrounging for food. Some of the same elements
of the scene that forced veteran deadheads off the bus in the 90s were still
here, rearing their ugly heads, although in much smaller proportions.
Having been forewarned that Hot Tuna's set would start promptly at 4:00,
we had arrived early. Unfortunately, parking hassles and the customary full
body search reserved exclusively for deadheads forced many to listen to
Jorma and Jack from outside the fence.
In at last, we waded through the vendors fair and secured a spot on the
lawn, just off to the left of the taper's section. While Hot Tuna rambled
through Uncle Sam Blues, I managed to secure a line out for my tape deck.
I opted not to record the last few tunes, but I did manage to scribble down
a set list:
HOT TUNA (electric): Let Us Get Together / Candyman / Walkin' Blues / Ice
Age / Hit Single #1 / Uncle Sam Blues / Just My Way / Come Back Baby ***************************************************************************
John Wesley Harding took the microphone as the roadies prepared the stage
for Los Lobos. This friendly Brit treated the growing crowd to a thirty
minute set of gangsta folk, including Talking Return of the Great Folk Scare
Blues, Ricky Nelson's Down Home, The Devil In Me, and Red Rose in the Briar
with a Jack-a-Roe ending. In spite of some reports that he had been sardonic
in his earlier performances, my wife and I found his performance to be very
entertaining and enthusiastic.
Los Lobos opened their set with a special appearance by John Wesley Harding,
singing an old X tune called The Fourth of July. It took a little while
to iron out some of the sound problems, but once the sound was tweaked it
became clear why many consider Los Lobos to be one of the premier rock n
roll bands in the country. David Hidalgo is clearly the band leader, taking
most of the lead vocals and guitar riffs. Cesar Rojas, sporting shoulder
length hair and a red, white, and blue Steal Your Face tie-dye, provides
solid rhythm and lead support from the other side of the stage. He also
took lead vocals, singing in Spanish, for Mas y Mas. One of my favorite
tunes featured the drummer on vocals, a cool number called Everybody Loves
a Train. They closed the set with a ripping version of Bertha that put the
first real charge of the day into the crowd.
Next, Alvin Youngblood Hart entertained the now capacity crowd with a short
set of delta blues. The highlight was an awesome version of Pony Boy Blues.
He also performed a few songs off his critically acclaimed debut release
"Big Mama's Door," including the title track and Fairweather Friend.
He finished his 30 minute set with a traditional take on the classic Gallows
It was now almost 6:30, and the Bruce Hornsby was next on the platter. Always
a dynamic performer, Hornsby and his talented band shot out right of the
gates, opening with a short piano melody that was very reminiscent of the
piano jam that led into drums/space when Hornsby played with the Dead in
Charlotte on 3-23-95. This opened up into Jacob's Ladder, then funked into
a surprising version of the old mo'town classic Tighten Up. By special request,
he played The Way It Is, the apparent debut of this song on the Furthur
tour. Switching to accordion, he played a medley of four songs, including
Dylan's classic When I Paint My Masterpiece. After two songs from his latest
release "Hot House," Bruce introduced Bob Weir. The crowd went
wild, which only fueled the predictable but exhilarating version of Jack
Straw which followed. Hornsby closed his set with a rambling version of
Quinn the Eskimo that kept the crowd's adrenaline pumping.
BRUCE HORNSBY piano jam > Jacob's Ladder > Tighten Up / The Way It
Is / Jack of Diamonds > Western Skyline > Masterpiece > Baby Don't
Do It / Cruise Control / White Wheeled Limousine / Jack Straw w/ Bob Weir
/ Quinn the Eskimo ***************************************************************************
The Flying Karamazov Brothers filled the next few slots with vaudevillian
humor, working hard to keep us entertained during two of the long set changes.
They tried everything, from juggling to ballet to barbershop quartet, with
a general degree of zaniness wrapped around it all. At one point, they traipsed
out in the stage in pink tutus and performed what appeared to be a synchronized
swimming routine, although without the water. There were even some cool
recitations of Allen Ginsberg and Groucho Marx. Pretty wild stuff, although
a bit tough to appreciate from my vantage point way out on the back forty.
As the sun began to set, Mickey Hart, Giovanni Hidalgo, Zakir Hussain, David
Garibaldi, Sikiru Adepoju paraded out on stage banging on a variety of percussion
instruments. They were soon followed by the remaining members of Mystery
Box: Bakithi Kumalo on bass, Jeff Sterling on keyboards, and the enchanting
Mint Juleps. Based out of England, the Mint Juleps are an a capella group
comprised of the four Charles sisters (Debbie, Elizabeth, Marcia, and Sandra),
Julie Isaac, and Debbie Longworth. While the ladies handle most of the vocal
work, Mickey took the lead vocals on a few songs, including Only the Strange
Remain and Down the Road. Using a headset to amplify his spoken rap, Mickey
prowled around the stage playing a variety of hand percussion. But Hart
spent most of his time on a platform behind the Juleps playing on his Random
Access Music Universe (RAMU), an ultra modern version of the electronic
drum that unleashes a vast array of sounds.
MYSTERY BOX Bani We > Full Steam Ahead / Only the Strange Remain / Where
Love Goes (Sito) / The Next Step / The Sandman > drum jam / Down the
Road (w/ Hornsby on accordion) / Fire on the Mountain (w/ Hornsby on accordion
and Jack Cassady on bass) ***************************************************************************
The Mystery Box set was intriguing, presenting an incredible blend of percussion
and sound, interwoven by the fantastic melodies of the Mint Juleps, all
supporting the ingenious lyrics of the masterful Robert Hunter. I loved
the opening Bani We into Full Steam Ahead, but the real crowd-pleaser was
Down the Road.
After another stint by the Karamazovs, the stage was set for RatDog. Unless
you've been living under a rock, you probably already know that RatDog is
the latest project headed up by former Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir.
While RatDog had been performing for several months prior to the death of
Garcia, most would agree that it was not until that fateful August day that
they officially became a band. The talented ensemble includes Weir's long-time
acoustic partner Rob Wasserman on bass, Matt Kelly on harmonica, Jay Lane
on drums, and the most recent addition, 72-year old piano legend Johnnie
Opening with Robert Johnson's Walkin' Blues, RatDog rocked and rolled through
a 90 minute set of rhythm and blues tunes. Weir clearly asserted himself
as the band leader throughout the set, belting out the lead vocals and laying
down some good guitar licks. Weir stepped back from the limelight briefly
while Johnson belted out a rollicking version of Gone Fishin'. Kelly stepped
up to the microphone next, taking the lead vocal on a great version of I
Know You Rider. Seemingly oblivious to the fact that Hornsby had performed
Masterpiece earlier in the day, RatDog tossed out another version of this
song. Hornsby played accordion and shared the vocals with Weir during Masterpiece,
then sat down at the piano for a blistering version of Little Red Rooster.
Following a hot version of Victim or the Crime, the band cleared away while
Wasserman performed some wizardry on his electric upright bass. A thumping
Not Fade Away beat gave way to an absolutely amazing rendition of the Star
Spangled Banner (a la Jimi Hendrix). When the band returned, Hornsby was
back on the keyboards for a crowd-pleasing version of Throwing Stones.
At this point, the lights dimmed as the stage was quickly prepared for the
final all-star jam. Having read the set lists from the previous Furthur
Fests, I knew this portion of the show had the greatest potential. RatDog
soon returned with a variety guests, including Hornsby on piano, Jack Cassady
on bass, and Pete Sears on accordion. The jam began with a magical version
of Traffic's Dear Mr. Fantasy with David Hidalgo of Los Lobos on lead vocals.
Hidalgo's sound was so true to the classic original that I had to look closely
to convince myself it was not Steve Winwood himself! This was definitely
one of the highlights of the entire day.
After Fantasy, a few more guests came on stage, including John D'earth (trumpet)
and Bobby Reed (sax) from Hornsby's band. From where I was, it looked like
Johnnie Johnson was out there playing trumpet as well. As they broke into
Truckin' the crowd cheered, then proceeded to shake their collective asses
off as the band jammed away on this infamous Dead anthem. The local crowd
let out a huge roar as they belted out the line "Truckin' up to Buffalo."
A few more folks came and went before they broke into the Promised Land
finale, accompanied by a dramatic fireworks display that reached full pyrotechnic
splendor during the final riffs. WOW!
RATDOG Walkin' Blues (Bob acoustic w/ band) / City Girls (Bob acoustic w/
band) / Fever / KC Moan (trio: Weir, Wasserman, & Kelly) / Goin' Fishin'
(Johnnie Johnson on vocals) I Know You Rider (Matt Kelly on vocals) / Masterpiece
(w/ Hornsby on accordion and harmony vocal, no JJ) / Little Red Rooster
(w/ Hornsby on piano, no JJ) / Victim Or The Crime > bass solo (Not Fade
Away >Star Spangled Banner) / Throwing Stones (w/ Hornsby on piano, no
JJ) / Dear Mr. Fantasy * / Truckin' ** / Promised Land ***
* - David Hidalgo on vocals/guitar, M. Falzano on guitar, Hornsby on piano,
Jack Cassady, Pete Sears on accordion, and Mickey Hart ** - Jorma, Jack
Cassady, Hornsby, Mickey; John D'earth on trumpet, Bobby Read on sax, and
Johnnie Johnson on trumpet *** - same as above, also with Cesar Rojas from
Los Lobos ***************************************************************************
All in all it was a great day, with some moments relived and some new horizon's
expanded. The weather could not have been more perfect, with sunny skies
and temperatures in the upper 70s. The show was very well- produced, with
quick stage changes, but NO encores whatsoever (unless you count the all-star
jam finale). Well worth the trip and the price of the ticket. And these
shows should simply get better and better as the busses roll on...
TAPERS NOTE: A strong breeze early in the afternoon marred most audience
recordings of Hot Tuna, Harding, Los Lobos, and AY Hart. Fortunately, there
are soundboard tapes of Los Lobos, as well as Hornsby. The wind died down
as the sun went down, and there is no noticeable wind noise on tapes of
the later sets. There wasn't a designated tapers section on the lawn, but
the gearheads had staked out prime real estate along the fence, extending
back about 25 yards. I heard that a few front-of-board tapers were busted,
although I'm not sure if they were ejected or simply had their tapes confiscated.
Enjoyin the ride... I just want to make sure you all are too.
7/6 SPAC, Saratoga, NY - Alan Topal (email@example.com)
What an enjoyable day. If you are contemplating going to Furthur Fest, by
all means do! I would advise you to arrive as early as possible, as traffic
is quite heavy. Also, bring as much of your own food and water as you can,
the lines for vending and water fountains got unbelievably long at SPAC.
Now for the music:
I've always enjoyed the acoustic version of HOT TUNA more than the electric,
and this show was a perfect example why. The music is way over-amped, and
the result is just waves of noise. It seemed like they were playing good,
but most of the time it was hard to tell. I was sitting right in front of
the SBD, so it's not like the location was the issue. Next time Jorma, bring
the acoustic, please!
This was my first time seeing LOS LOBOS in concert, and boy was I impressed.
Their own tunes were great, the Cinnamon Girl cover was tremendous, and
the Bertha was incredible! It had the same instrumental intro as their version
on "Just Another Band from East L.A.", but they also added a couple
more trancendant Jams on the end, wringing every last drop out of the thing.
Definitely the highlight of the day for me.
It was also my first time seeing HORNSBY (except for accordian on one Dead
show), and thoroughly enjoyed him as well. He nicely blended jazz riffs
into many of the songs, as he and his bandmates really got off on playing
with one another. As an added bonus, one of the Mystery Box percussionists
sat in for the entire set. The highlights were a latin-flavored Scarlet
Begonias, Tangled Up in Blue, and a percussion jam with SAMBA NOVA (who
also played before Tuna).
MYSTERY BOX was a lot of fun. It helped that I had bought the album and
heard it twice through, I recommend you do the same. While "Down the
Road" (with Garcia verse) and "Fire" were obvious high points,
I enjoyed the mid-set percussion jam the most.
RATDOG has come a long way in one year. I saw them at SPAC last August,
and left thinking I wouldn't be willing to pay money to see THAT again.
Last year they seemed to just be a collection of rhythm players, this year
they were a BAND. The harmonica is much more in the mix, plus they now have
Johnny Johnson's keyboards. They could still use a lead guitarist or horn
player for a little more color, but the sound is much fuller now. The Need
a Miracle was much better than the 3-minute-ditty version the Dead have
been doing in recent years. Minglewood smoked. Cassidy was terrific, with
a Victim-like jam in place of the spacey Dead jam. Saturday Night was the
last true Ratdog song, with Hornsby taking Johnson's place, and the horn
players from Hornsby and Lobos sitting in. Then more people started to come
and go, as "Ratdog and Freinds" rocked the house with one encore
after another: The Weight; Good Lovin; Higher and Higher; Gloria; and finally,
Also, the Flying Karamazov Brothers performed during several of the breaks.
These guys are unbelievable jugglers, and quite entertaining.
In summation, this was quite an entertaining and diverse show. As long as
you attend with the proper expectations, you should enjoy yourself immensely.
7/7 The Meadows, Hartford, CT - John Scott (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sunday defied the forecast showers and proved to be a beautiful day, if
a little on the warm side in the 80s. We arrived to find that most of the
parking was very convenient from I-91, but a bit of a hike from the venue.
The scene as we approached was eerily identical to the traditional Dead
lots. I found myselt swept up in bittersweet nostalgia as I ran into eighteen
years worth of tour buddies.
The venue itself was a nice new shed with good site lines. Unfortunately
the sound was another matter. The acoustics were horrible up front where
we were blessed with excellent seats, and from what I have heard they weren't
that much better behind us. I could not tell if it was due to the sound
system, or the venue itself, just that the sound was dramatically better
on the subsequent two nights.
Absolutely no food or drink allowed inside. Threw away two sealed water
bottles, a Gatorade bottle, and gave away half of Terrie's delicious cookie
bars (snarfed the balance on the spot). This is stupid if not immoral conduct
for the venue to deny outside liquids on such a hot day.
The music was excellent. It was an exceptionally long show, almost too packed
-- if you wanted to get something to eat or even visit the restroom, you
had to pick what you were going to miss. Each setup time between main attractions
was filled. They dropped a curatin infron to the main area onstage and various
acts came out to entertain us in the meantime. With all this talent one
wonders how the tour can break even, let alone turn a profit. Are half these
bands performing gratis?
The bands kept to a very quick schedule. The stop time was posted on a chalk
board for the band to see, alongside a schoolroom clock. And they payed
attention: almost every act kept to the schedule within the minute.
Electric Tuna opened. Pete Sears was playing with them on organ and accordion.
They were very good as expected; it was comforting to be greeted by a familiar
John Wesley Harding had some impressive licks, but I found his brand of
folk a little trite. His lyrics relied on cutesy irony, and were rarely
incisive. His ego dominated the stage.
Los Lobos was quite good, but somehow I had expected even more. How selfish
of me. I guess not having seen them live allowed those expectaions to be
based largely on unbounded fantasy of a concert-starved junkie. I had half-expected
them to be on a par with say the Allman Brothers. They are not. Their bass
player was too loud, and somewhat limited. Fortunately, this was their weakest
performance of the three I saw; I was quite impressed the following night
Not being familiar with his work, we missed Alvin Youngblood Hart in order
to wait in a tortuously slow line as they hand made each burrito to customer
spec (the hotter than hell sauce was barely mild, adding insult to injury).
Big mistake all around. On the subsequent nights his material proved to
be the best of the "filler."
We even missed Bruce's first song, returning during Samson. Excellent set,
the best band performance of the night. His bass player is particularly
sunny and infective. Later on Bobby joined them for a second Samson. While
the previous version had seemed more than adequate at the time, this one
rocked. GDTRFB was fun, and a hot Valley Road closed the set.
The Karamazov Brotheres were honoring a previous engagement, so rumors of
Warren Zevon preceded him. He was still anther impressive feather in an
already heavily plumed hat. He was on for only a very short while. Played
Lawyers, Guns & Money on 12 string. Also Excitable Boy with help on sax.
I was somewhat underwhelmed by the performance -- it seemed very raw, unfinished
and short. I had also hoped for Werewolves.
Mystery Box was great. It was the most dancable act of the evening by far.
Cool percussive flowers played by Zakkir Hussein. Fire on the Mountain was
their highlight, but the new material was not far behind. The sound on Mickey's
headset microphone was terrible. I could barely understand the words to
Down The Road. Mickey used a Julep mic on the very next song. The Mint Juleps
were excellent. It was an amazingly effective convergance of some very different
styles. There was no guitar, just percussion, bass; the keyboards were rarely
present in the mix. It was interesting to hear vocals centered around percussion
rather than melody.
Acoustic Hot Tuna was superior to electric. The whole band came out. The
drummer played an over the head washboard, and somnetimes a strap-on drum.
Pete Sears played accordion. While I missed hearing some of their best acoustic
material such as Water Song, I was still thrilled to get my double dose.
Bob and Rob were as good as I have seen them. While some was bland, there
was some genuine saprkle to much of it. Johnny Johnson is an important addition
to the band, and I hope they take better advantage of his vocals and general
experience in the future.
Then there were the jams. We got our Werewolves with all the appropriate
fanfare and accompaniment. My personal highlight was a no brainer: Little
Wing. Bliss was me. It's only flaw was its brevity. I wish they had reprised
the verses rahter than suddenly finishing.
The best part of the event was the various collaborations. The guests sprinkled
thoughout the afternoon, evening and night always livened things up, and
the various configurations at the end were fabulous. There should be much
more time alotted to the finale, and greater cultural exchange would also
be welcome. Unfortunately subsequent nights actually had fewer guests throughout
the show, and the ultimate jams were shorter, not longer.
Don't miss the Furthur Tour. It is easily worth the ticket price, even if
it is not the Grateful Dead.
7/11 Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ - Erin Barry
Seeing as this was the very first concert I have ever been to, some may
not consider my opinion a good one. However, my friends, I assure you that
I was at the show and I was completely blown away! Besides the absolutely
gorgeous weather and the killer view of the Statue of Liberty, the bands
were fantastic. My personal favorites were Hot Tuna, Los Lobos, Bruce Hornsby
and Rat Dog. The atmosphere was great; I even ran into people I knew there
that I never would've expected to see. I had the time of my life and if
this is the only concert I ever go to, it was the right one!
7/15 Polaris Amphitheatre, Columbus, OH - Spud (email@example.com)
Rumor has it that only about 5,000 folks showed. Harsh!
7/17 Riverport Amphitheatre, St. Louis, MO - phil pusateri (firstname.lastname@example.org)
-MH Full Steam Ahead..When in Rome..Down the Road,Fire(w/steel drumz?) Sandman,EnsembleJam
(note Lobos drummer's "breast" percussion)________
-JWH,lyrical skills add a facet + positive contrast to overall show;__ Dylan
fan - warmup w/"Dont think twice..."chords - still, willJWH name
his firstborn "Blood on the Tracks",e.g?;xtranice Jack-a-roe acoustic_
w/JORMA(nice to see"cutesy irony"*-toting chap take on a Mr.RobtHunter
original... ended w/"Devil in Me" -[* see NYmeadows comment
-RATDOG:Walkin'(smoother,but is it s'posed to be smooth?Vocals on-key, melodic,but
not too emotional);TakeMe tothe River(vocals dig in),Rob W now establishes
his rumblin' and fukngruven backbone-presence,into____ Wang Dang;bluesyDog
spotlighting Johnson's keyboard licks to his home- town crowd; Wang Dang's
evocations coming more to life in the presence of the 71-yr.-old and his
ties to the song's lore/americana; Bobby and_ Bruce on nice milked and drawn-out
Masterpiece-close to beautiful, but Bruce was a little slow finding the
vocal harmony..Tanqueray coincided w/lastcall at 9:55, Johnson's vocals
were gritty and soulful (does/will he sing anything else?), jam, (Thistimeforever)
Shade of Gray->Easy2Slip (grabbing everybody's usually and clinically
deficient attention)> SUPPLICATIONjam launched a mind-excursioncomparable
towhat,a nice Slipknot!... untilBob gently returns to finish Easy2Slip;
BassSolo w/St. Stephen,star-spangled jam; Easy Answers outtathat..>ensembleTruckin'w/3+horns,
Bruce, (grewonyou exponentially assong progressed:crescendoat"getback
truckin'onhome"repeatedly was like a shamanic session to conjure up
familiar ghost,mojocontinued to rise w/JoRMAleadsolo >OtherOneJam
beforeJ.B.Goode at FillmoreWest 7-7-71:"Folks, this is the one it's
all about"; no encore
7/18 Sandstone Amphitheatre, Bonner Springs, KS - Scott Finkeldei
Like most people, i had really been looking forward to the Further tour
to hit my area. I had talked to other people who had been to some of the
other stops on the tour and had heard great things. It would be nice to
be among friends again.
When i arrived at the lot 2 hrs or so before show time, the vending was
in full swing. Talking to others in the lot, it sounded like it had been
going all morning. It was nice to be among the "freaks" again.
One of the things i miss most when not on tour is that feeling of community
and oneness that i get in the lot, walking around, seeing old tour friends,
talking to new friends, etc. Anyway the security didn't seem to tight although
there were event staff as well as cops around. Right before the show was
about to begin, it seemed that the cops decided to crack down on the vending
and started hasseling some of the people, particularly people selling hemp
products and pipes. We were sitting next to a drum circle in the lot that
was jamming when we heard the first notes of Hot Tuna and decided to head
in. Before we could some event staff and cops came over and asked the drummers
why they weren't heading into the show. They said they were playing and
didn't want to go in so the cops tried to intimidate them into going in.
Immediately someone came over with some "bad cop, no donut" stickers
and began giving them away to everyone in the area and more people came
over to join the circle. The cops seemed to give up and move on and a few
of them even took a bad cop sticker.
When we got in Hot Tuna was jammin and i was glad we made it in to see them.
I had been told Los Lobos put on a hell of a show and they sure did. I had
never had to much interest in them but now i do. Hornsby was also great
and they were one of the bands i really wanted to see. They did not disappoint
and jammed some long tunes and played a rockin Mighty Quinn. Mystery Box
also really got me moving. The playing was great, the singing was great,
even the showmanship was great. I had been listening to the cd and was ready
for their dance/r&b thing but seeing it live is another matter. And i always
thought Bob was the cheesy GD member. i will never forget the way Mickey
acted on stage that day. RatDog blew me away. i had never had a chance to
see a RatDog show till now, but now i will see as many as i can. A nice
LL Rain and a hugh Victim were but two of the highlights. The jam the end
was what everyone had been saying it would be! I was told by people who
had been following the tour that there was as many people as they had seen
all tour on stage the whole time for this encore. Playin>Gimme Some Lovin>Gloria>Playin!!
They played it hard and got the crowd into it.
All and all, it was better than i hoped it would be. Every band exceeded
my expectations and even the transition acts were great. the John Wesley
Harding/Jorma Jack-a-Roe was a particular highlight. It definately filled
the "summer tour void" that i was missing. I highly recommend
everyone catch at least one show!!!
7/18 Sandstone Amphitheatre, Bonner Springs, KS - Scott Finkeldei
This is an amendment to my previous review about Sandstone in Bonner Springs,
KS. The encore jam was Playin>Kansas City(w/ Johnnie Johnson on piano).Gimme
Some Lovin'>Gloria>Playin'. I left out a really hot Kansas City with
Johnnie Johnson taking over keyboard from Bruce.
Could whomever administers this site add this to my review of the Sandstone
show add this to it. As you can see it is a pretty major oversight. Thanks
and keep up the good work on the web site. It is interesting and I hope
you continue to keep up the interesting interactions and pics. It's in my
7/28 Country Fairgrounds, Eugene, OR - Casey (email@example.com)
Sun & fun in Veneta, home of the legendary Country Fair and other assortedf
hippy-happenings. Before the day was through Bobby would have to restart
Sampson and Delilah after screwing up the first verse, Ken Kesey would get
up and read an ode to Jerry, and the whole gang would do a rendition of
the 'Gloria' into 'America The Beautiful' ("the whole gang" meaning
everyone plus Kesey). On paper, an utterly phenomenal show! In reality,
I was disappointed. I thought Hornsby was the best part of the show while
Mickey's new thing was a low point. I will never get used to hearing 'Fire
On The Mountain' done with a rapper! RatDog was good, but through it all
Bobby seemed somewhat displaced. A guest on his own stage, giving serious
back-up vocals to Ken Kesey's non-melodic bellowing through the JAM (Gloria>America)
Perhaps I've been spoiled by years of enchantment at the hands of Mr. Garcia,
and possibly I went there half-expecting to have the fat guy with the beard
come out & melt my heart once again. Whatever the case, Furthur was a disappointment
for me in many ways. Yes the music must go on, however, I think its going
to have to be in tapes for me if Furthur is the best I can expect. That
is, tapes and a Hornsby show now and again... and Phish, and Ratdog, and
the Allman Bros., and Santana, and Leftover Salmon, and Steve Miller, and
Calobo, and Reggae Sunsplash, and Merl Saunders, and some more Phish, and
Jimmy Buffet, and whoever else will grace our Northwest stages without all
6/29 Alpine Valley, E. Troy, WI - Sis Kind (Spectsx6@Juniata.edu)
when I pulled into the parking lot and saw all the old sites my heart gave
a leap. yet, I didn't know what to expect. what I remember most and will
always stay with me happened when Rat Dog took the stage. For some unknown
reason the heat had been upon us all day and frequent trips to the water
cooler were needed to keep from dehidration. then just as they layed into
a sweet rendition of "It looks like rain" a clash of thunder echoed
through the sky. I don't know how many of you live in this area but about
a year ago on August ninth when I heard the devistating news the sky turned
from a pleasant sunshine to feverent turrencial summer rain storm. When
on this night the rain visited us again I could feel Jerry there with us
looking down and my heart wells up with admiration, love, and indiscribable
awe. Later, that night they boomed out "Not fade away" and more
than the music I felt the anticipation, and love from every audience member
as they clung to thier memories. The chorus not only lasted long after Rat
Dog had left the stage but continued the entire length of that monsterous
climb up the hill and into the parking lot in full force. I hope this love
will help us find our way in the future. I know like the rest of you my
love will not fade away.
7/28 Country Fairgrounds, Eugene, OR - Don Wolfe (firstname.lastname@example.org)
It was nice to give the tribe a place to gather again, and especially one
that had been the site of true Dead shows. The lineup had something for
everybody, and was run like clockwork so there were no gaps in the entertainment.
I had a really good time, and I really needed to hear the poetry and tributes
to Garcia to help get over his death. Hearing White Rabbit was quite a kick!
What I wish had been part of it was some jamming that wasn't just assembling
various musicians from the different bands for familiar tunes. I wanted
some space, some drums (couldn't Mickey have jump-started some drumming).
I wanted a group to stay on stage long enough to really get into something.
When you're used to Dead shows that last four hours (counting breaks of
course), an hour a band only seems like enough time to warm up, but in the
Furthur Festival, by that time, their set was over. I especially wanted
to hear more of Los Lobos. Santana would have been good to have there, or
Traffic. Somebody who really likes to jam.
8/4 Desert Sky Pavilion, Phoenix, AZ - Shane Matolyak (email@example.com)
I started listening to the Dead in 93. I finally decided to see them the
following fall and only made it to one other show since then. I felt like
I got on the bus right before it got a flat tire. Since I knew I'd be in
Az at the time I figured "ahh, what the heck" and ordered my ticket.
I thought it would be strange being at a show "alone" with my
pals at home. MAN, I HAD A BLAST!!! Even after being to other shows I didn't
really get what people meant by "the sense of community". I figured
it out in AZ. Me and some new found friends set up a tarp and met others
who migrated over to our island of shade in the hot parking lot sea. So
the crowd scene was way cool. The show was awesome too. I'll never forget
when they wheeled a big cake onto the stage for Bruce's Birthday. Yeah,
I was in the "concert state of mind" and really thought Jerry
would jump out but I wasn't too let down when it wasn't him. The best Samson
and D. I ever heard.
7/4 Darien Lake Amphitheatre, Darien Center, NY - Beadz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Further Festival was one of the most beautiful places that I have ever
visited. My friends and I set off early in the morning as it was about a
three hour drive and we also needed to clear the boarder. The day started
out great as we didn't get stopped at the boarder. When we finally reached
the park, the magic of the tour began to rise. All of the people parked
around us got together and we all had a great time getting to know each
other and listening to some tunes before the show started. When finally
getting into the show, the music was already going and spirits were high.
All of the bands turned out to be really great! Evereyone was freely sharing
their music and all of the crowd was taking in as much as they could. The
high point of the show for me was when Truckin came on and the crowd went
wild! There were even fireworks going off in the background to add to the
excitement of the ending of a truely great day!
7/15 Polaris Amphitheatre, Columbus, OH - JerryHead (email@example.com)
Very disappointing. Though I have to admit I went there with a chip on my
shoulder about Mr. Stirfried himself. I said I would go only if it was to
protest against that pompus ass. But a need for a fix I went any ways. No
wonder Bruce was Jerry's boy. He certainly had some sweet points that night.
MB was new to me, I didn't know what to expect and I wasn't thrilled when
Mickey was not drumming away. But I have heard alot more now of that group
and I have to say I really enjoy it. Ratdog could not even be saved by Bruce.
No matter what Bobby always trys to take the lead, and he is still not after
all of these years a talented guitar player. Maybe he didn't have a large
enough crowd. I think alot skipped out on him because of the USA article.
I personally would never travel to see Rat Dog. They would have to come
to my back door. To do Rider without Jerry is a huge mistake.
8/1 Ventura County Fairgrounds, Ventura, CA - William Graney (WTG1@Juno.com)
I enjoyed Further as i really liked the musical line up. To me the week
link was Ratdog. Always been big on Tuna and Los Lobos and they certainly
did not fail to satisfy. I hadn't heard Mystery Box before the show and
I was impressed enough to buy their cd right after the set. The end jam
was very cool too. The scene was subdued but I like that, in fact I stopped
going to shows for a few years after '89 because I couldn't take the hugeness
of the scene. So I kind of appreciated the return to reasonable crowd levels.
Of course it was difficult getting through without Jerry. From what I have
seen of this year's line up I am less than enthused.
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