Furthur is on a very high level of consistency, even when its not killer, its still damn good. Obviously much more consistent then anything the GD were able to do in the 90's. Jerry's voice had major issues regularly and often forgot where he was mid song, Im not sure he ever got Days Between totally right lyrically but we still supported him and his music. Furthur delivers as if they were all 30 year olds again, if this was baseball I would wonder if they were using performance enhancing drugs.
finally there we go somebody hit something i am surprised was never mentioned...how inconsistent the grateful dead could be...being one who never saw but listened to entire years in chronological order, you can hear it on the tapes..sure there are exceptions but to say furthur is more consistent than the grateful dead says that furthur was or is consistent
William, I said this in an earlier post;
Perhaps this is new to some but for myself since I have been on the bus and from reading the history of the dead, this has always been the case. Read some interviews with jerry and you will hear the same statements and sentiments. We are a tough crowd to please for sure. My complaint in the mid 80's was they seemed to have a 20 song selction that was continuosly rotated.(hyperbole). An example of this. 1984-1986 had some fantastic shows and some terrible shows. Garcia was 400 lbs, couldnt breathe, could barley walk on stage. I saw the last leg before the coma and most were just a waste. post coma brought the best since I have seen them. 88-90 is as good as any span when speaking of consistancy. post brent had its ups and downs. I was not a big Vince fan so that brought some baggage with it for me. 94 and 95 had glimpses of strength, but most shows I saw I wish I stayed home.
Post GD is riddled with the same roller coaster as it has been from the beginning. Remember cats, there is nothing new under the sun. This was true in Solomons day as well as today. I go less frequently now than I used to and have a good time. I enjoy getting back together with old friends for a few shows and am thankful they still play.
As far as Furthur, there does seem to be a lack of cohesiveness. Remember, when the GD played, the whole is greater than the sum of all the parts. Add in the age of Phil and Bob, new musicians etc etc. Our expectations must be filtered through this. They must be beat to hell during a tour. This November run will be extremely exhausting. I hope they last!!!!!!
My advice is to enjoy the bad with the good. When they suck say they suck, when they are great, well that was always a special special feeling for me. Even if not at a show that is hot, listen to it with joy and enjoy it.
As an aside, perhaps Bob should shave. It does make him look 100 yrs old!!!!
i did read that, seemed like you were trying to avoid saying they were inconsistent so i didn't want to assume either way...
in my experience speaking with people who've seen many grateful dead shows, a common thought amongst these folks when discussing the band and music was a consistency furthur could show in a weekend or 5 nights that GD had trouble doing in their later years...i can only comment on what i see, what i hear on recordings, and what primary sources tell me but i think having band members not plagued by serious drug addictions gives us more stability
edit: with that "stability" comes many opportunities for other things to affect the music, heavy touring, age of musicians, etc