The Power of ONE Person

Over the past two weeks I have gone to see the band Furthur five different times. I have seen them in New York four times at two different venues and one time in Philadelphia. Furthur consists of two original members of the Grateful Dead, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, and they re-live the Grateful Dead experience. The odd thing about the five shows that I went to, is that I brought someone different with me to each show. Usually when you go to multiple nights of a band you will go with the same person to the shows. I had five different people coming with me to the shows. It was definitely something different and something I have never experienced.

The first show of my five night run with Furthur. This show was played at the Best Buy Theatre formerly the Nokia Theatre. This was the fourth show at the Best Buy. I brought my good friend Derek with me to this show. Derek and I went to two Phil And Friends shows at this same venue a couple of years ago and it was a total shitshow. I just know that we were a total mess at these shows and by the second set we were incoherent. GOOD TIMES!!! This time was a little different since I don’t really drink anymore. Derek and I met up before the show to grab a couple of beers. We hadn’t seen each other since Saylestock, so we were catching up on all things. We finally went into the venue and started to get ready for the show. There was a great disclaimer that a guy came out to announce to the crowd before the show started. “NO SMOKING or you will be thrown out of the show!!!” I was pumped about that. I was checking the setlists before this show and I noticed that they were playing one Beatles song a show. And it was songs from Abbey Road and they were playing it in order. I was real excited to see that the band was doing this. It is something that I never heard of and its a very cool idea.

The show started around 8 o clock and the place was packed. Derek and I were on Jerry Lite’s side on the floor of the venue. I love this venue so much because you can be so close to the band and you never see Phil and Bob this close at a venue!!! The first set was a great setlist, but I think the band was lacking a little energy. I even saw Phil motioning to Jerry lite to bring it during this song. He was giving a nice little fist pump to him like YOU need to bring the heat in this song. During the first set, I noticed that I was a little off kilter. I was not at ease during the show. Something was keeping me off base, but I could not put my finger on it. During the set break the roadies were setting up another microphone, so it looked like we were getting a guest to come out and play. The second set started and Mr. Warren Haynes was the man that came to join Furthur for that night. Now, I am not a huge Warren Haynes fan at all; however, as soon as the crowd saw him the whole place lit up and the energy just quadrupled in the place. The band started off with an Allman’s cover of “Blue Sky,” and it was great. Warren definitely saved this show. The second set ROCKED!! I described it as coordinated chaos. They played Viola Lee Blues, but spliced it with songs like Shakedown and another song I cannot remember now. Warren truly saved this show and I was in awe of the second set. It was just true rock n roll and they kicked the crowd’s ass. The encore was a nice rendition of Attics of Your Life. I definitely left the show with a new fondess towards Warren Haynes, but I still noticed that something was missing.

March 13, 2011
Best Buy Theatre – New York, NY
Set 1:
Phils says, “We lost a good friend, more than just family, in Bear’s honor, I did something I haven’t done in years, I ate a steak, raw!!
Samson & Delilah
Queen Jane Approximately
After Midnight,
Seven Hills of Gold
Brown-Eyed Women
West LA Fadeaway
They Love Each Other,

Set 2 with Warren Haynes
(besides %):
*Blue Sky
Viola Lee Blues>
(Do Not Stop On Tracks)>
Viola Lee Blues>
Shakedown Street
Viola Lee Blues
Death Don’t Have No Mercy
(RIP Owsley “Bear” Stanley)
%King Solomon’s Marbles>
Franklin’s Tower

Donor Rap,
E: Attics Of My Life

If you could only go to one show that Furthur was playing, then this was the show to go to. I didn’t even realize it until the day before. This was Phil’s birthday show!! I was super pumped to hear that and I had no idea of it when I was buying the tickets. My cousin Katie was coming up to Jerz for the week to come visit, so I was going to surprise her and bring her to this show. This was going to be her first Dead show and first show in NYC. She was super pumped to be going. This was the last show at the Best Buy Theatre. You knew that there was going to be something special done at this show, but I really had no idea what that could be.

We got to the venue and there were free cupcakes for Phil’s 71st birthday. For the first set we were standing not on the floor but the area above it. This show was on fire from start to finish. This new song called Corrina really caught my ear during the first set. It was something new and just rocked. I think Katie was enjoying herself and taking everything in. She was really trying to get a good look of Phil and Bob up there. Again during this show I had that same feeling from the last show. Something was missing. I just felt at unease for some reason. After a nice forty minute set break the band came out for the second set. The second set started off really well. There was a nice Scarlet Begonias I believe, but the absolute highlight was….when the band went into the next song for their little Abbey Road compilation. It was awesome , but it did not end there. They kept on going. They were going to straight through the medley part. I was simply stunned. I could not believe my eyes or ears. On the floor, peoples jaws were dropped. The medley was amazing and just because I saw that this show was unbelievable. During the whole second set I was great and had no worries, but while walking out of the venue I knew that deep down something was missing, but I still could not put my finger on it.

March 15, 2011
Best Buy Theatre
New York, NY

Set 1: Dancin’ In The Streets>
Loose Lucy>
I Need A Miracle>
Tennessee Jed
Crazy Fingers>
So Many Roads>
Mason’s Children
*1st time played

Set 2: The Golden Road
(To Unlimited Devotion)
Scarlet Begonias>
China Cat Sunflower>
Ramble On Rose>
New Potato Caboose>
*You Never Give Me
Your Money>
*Sun King>
*Mean Mr. Mustard>
*Polythene Pam>
*She Came In Through
the Bathroom Window>
*Golden Slumbers>
*Carry That Weight>
*The End
Built To Last

Donor Rap
E: Happy Birthday To Phil!!
St. Stephen> *Her Majesty

My first Philly show ever. For any band!! So I was excited about that, but I was more excited that it would be my first show with my little bro Tim. I think it was his first show, also. The venue was the Upper Darby located outside of the actual city of Philadelphia and was the first show of the five night Philly run. I drove down to Philly during the afternoon and Tim and I hung out in his dorm room before the show. Man! college. The dorm rooms were like the rooms at Siena and it definitely brought back memories of hanging out in my old dorm room back in the day. Damn, I wish I could go back there for so many different reasons.

The venue was located in not the nicest of places. A bunch of dirty ass hippies mixing in with the black community. To get to the venue we had to walk through a minefield of dirty wooks. In NYC, the sidewalks are cleared for people to walk through, but in Philly the sidewalks are littered with hippies who would not get out of the way. The first pain in da ass of the night. We got into the venue and had to walk way up to the top of the theater. We got a little late to the show, so we got in during the third song of the set. The first set was good with a nice Wang Dang Doodle. The only problem was all the smokers. In New York, there is no smoking allowed in the venue, but in Philly there was no one regulating the smokers so it just ran rampid and that was a little bothersome. The second set started and it was a really good set. A very good New Speedway Boogie and Morning Dew and a great China > Rider. This was my third show and there was only one repeat of a song, so I was super stoked to see so many different songs. It was great to go my bro’s first show, but again I left the show with something missing. I was not at ease during the show.

March 18, 2011
Tower Theater
Upper Darby, PA

Set 1:
Feel Like A Stranger
El Paso
High Time
Beat It On Down The Line
Wang Dang Doodle>
Big Bad Blues>
Don’t Ease Me In>
Cold Rain And Snow

Set 2:
Cryptical Envelopment>
New Speedway Boogie>
A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall>
Morning Dew>
Cryptical Evelopment>
Eyes Of The World>
The Other One>
Chinacat Sunlower>
I Know You Rider>
Playin’ In The Band

Donor Rap
E: Brokedown Palace

This was the first night of the Radio City Music Hall run that Furthur was doing. I was real excited to be going back to Radio City to see a show. My last show at Radio City was String Cheese on NYE in 2004. I was going to this show with my best friend Nick. We have been fans of the Dead forever and I try and go see the Dead with him as much as I can. Now I was going to meet up with long lost friend Laura at a local bar before the show. Even though I only got to chill with her for a half an hour it was really good see her. Nick and I got to Radio City around 7 o clock and got to our seats. The band didn’t get on till 730. They opened with Jack Straw, which was a definite highlight and could be the best opening song ever. About half way through the first set Nick and I got bombarded with about 6 people cramming into our row. It was from here on out where I was getting a little frustrated with my neighbor. It was some woman who would constantly bounce into me and wave her hands in my face and turn to me and sing the lyrics into my face. A definite bring me down at the show. I was not happy about her and her cronies being there. Towards the end of the set the band went into Loser which is a crowd favorite and a great song. The silliest moment of the first set was the Clash cover Furthur played. It was pretty cool to hear, but honestly I thought it was a little silly and very PHISH like.

There was an hour set break which was abnormally long for the shows that I have been to. The second set got on its way and the woman that was next to me was not there and I was soooooo HAPPY!!!!! About 10 minutes into the second set they were back and man it was such a bummer. The second set was real good except the fact of dancing queen next to me waving her hands in my face. The band got into a great Eyes of the World and this is when this woman over stepped her boundaries. She turned to me and put her hands on my face and told me to smile. You need to smile she said. How annoying is that? So this woman was definitely bringing me down, but I was still trying to enjoy myself as much as I can. The set ended with a another great China > Rider and then into Not Fade Away. “Know our love will not fade away,” and I could only think of one person during this entire song. The encore was Touch of Grey which is another great encore. This was a great setlist and show, but dancing queen was definitely bringing me down and was all I was thinking about for the entire show.

March 25, 2011
Radio City Music Hall
New York, NY

Set 1: Jack Straw
Mississippi Half-Step
Uptown Toodleloo>
Dark Hollow
Stagger Lee>
On The Road Again
*Train In Vain
Might As Well

*1st time played

Set 2:
Hard To Handle>
Smokestack Lightning>
Bird Song>
The Other One>
Spanish Jam>
Other One>
Eyes Of The World>
King Solomon’s Marbles>
Dear Prudence
China Cat Sunflower>
I Know You Rider>
Not Fade Away

Donor Rap
E: Touch Of Grey

My last show of the Furthur run and the second show of the Radio City run. The last person to come with me to this show was Annie. I was super stoked that she was going to this show with me. We met at Penn and went to a local brewery by the venue to eat. We met up with Nick and Maggie there and had a good little dinner and some good drinks at the place. We walked into Radio City a little after 7 and the first thing we did was purchase the sweet ass posters they were selling for the three night run. We got to our seats and I had to buy our tickets separately, so I had to sneak into the seat next to Annie. We had a back row, but we had it all to ourselves which was really nice. We took our shoes off and just relaxed. This was really the first time at any of the Furthur shows that that uneasiness was not there. I was at complete ease and peace. I was not bothered by anything or thinking about anything else. I was just concentrating on that show and sharing my time with Annie. This was what was missing at all the other shows, Annie. I finally could put a finger on it. I don’t want to go to another show without her because I hate that feeling I had at the other shows that something was missing. Something was not correct. So I truly enjoyed this show the best. The band opened with Golden Road which is another great opening song. The set ended with Turn On Your Lovelight. “Come on baby, baby please and I’m beggin you baby cause I’m on my knees,” was ringing through my head as I was dancing next to Annie.

The second set was a little spacey and jammy for me. They played Dark Star which is not my favorite Dead tune, but the Floyd cover of Eclipse was amazing. I called the Terrapin suite they played which is one of my favorite songs. The Stella Blue was truly beautiful with Jerry Lite singing. Then to end the set with Help > Slip > Frank was just great. One of my favorite three song segues in the Dead catalog. I forget during which song, but Phil’s bass was turned up high and man you could just feel it when he played one note and it was amazing. It was such a cool feeling. Of course the One More Saturday Night for the encore because it was Saturday night. This was a great setlist, but more importantly I found out why I had that missing feeling in all those shows before. I know the root of it and why its happening. I had so much fun at this show and nothing special really happened. It was great that I was spending time with Annie and she was by my side.

Radio City Music Hall
New York, New York
Set I
Golden Road to Unlimited Devotion
Viola Lee Blues>
Minglewood Blues
Sittin on top of the World
Alice D millionaire>
Cream Puff War>

Set II
Playin in the Band>
Born Cross Eyed>
Dark Star>
Mountains of the Moon>
Dark Star>
Terrapin Suite>
Stella Blue
Help on the Way >
Slip >

Saturday Night