Tour opener in Pawtucket
A hot (93 degrees) afternoon commenced at 3:30pm as about 1000 waiting people piled into the parking lot. Shakedown was in full growl in the dusty, unpaved parking lots in about fifteen minutes. Numerous vendors were happy, if not exactly busy despite the size of the crowd. There was very little hassle from McCoy Stadium security. The attitude was whimsical: "This is what it is these days, about 4 hours before the show and about a half hour after." Attitudes were as sunny as the sky as many old friends met up after the journey to the venerable triple A minor league baseball park. Furthur came out and did a sound check at about 4:30. Amazing how they can just launch into a jam at will...
The show was crowded, though not sold out. The stadium holds 10,000 and the grandstand was about half filled with the entire outfield almost packed from wall to wall for the general admission show with the band's stage set up in deep center field. If the paid attendance wasn't 10k it was damn near close for the GA event. Temps. came down significantly after twilight and settled into the high 70s for the rest of the show, with a decent breeze.
The boys came out at 7:15pm and launched into a nice Dancin' that segued cleverly into a spry Shakedown that was tasty and morphed into Jack Straw. All in all a nice way to open the tour. Bob did a nice job on BT Wind. JK shined on Reuben & Cherise. The Last Time had a nice beat to it reminiscent of All Over Now. 70 minutes of music for the 1st set ended with a passable Casey Jones that had all the flourishes but not the insanely fast ending Furthur is known for, though the pace did pick up.
The second set set was tasty with a Golden Road opener. That's It>Other One>That's It was very nice. Phil still gives a hint of the old days when he revs it up for the O1 intro. Bob throws a nice SOTM ballad and then Furthur does a great job of jamming Hey Pocky Way which to my ears was the highlight of the second set. Uncle John's Band was a sweet ending to the first show on the tour. 2nd set timed in at 90 minutes. The shows are 20-30 minutes shorter but it seemed to be about just right on this mid-summer eve.
I had a great time seeing old friends drop in from out of the woodwork and hanging with "T-Shirt Tommy" who was hawking beer and soda and water and woman's t-shirts under a canopy.
It is not the same as a Grateful Dead show. Nothing ever can be, but it definitely has all the elements of "Grateful Dead Liite" and you have to love the band for that.