alabama getaway to get us started, sounds good. tempo is a little slow. tonight more than ever i am irritated john doesn't sing the right line during the chorus (he never does, and it's obviously intentional). he sings "just gotta leave and walk way" and it's really "turn around and leave and walk away". it never explodes but sets a nice rockin' tone. minglewood slides out. not my favorite. weir keeps it going, giving us the SF verse too. he seems to forget where we are when he needs to tell us where the little girls no just what to do. it's ok bob, canandaigua is a weird name. sound is great, phil's new meyer equipment is really giving him more low end, balancing out the sharp attack on his modulus. brown eyed women just doesn't do it for me. the sound coming from the amplifiers is on, but the tempo is just WAY too slow for me. almost a slow dance. i like my brown eyed women fast and bouncy. the bridge never hits that peak intensity where you can feel every foot hitting the ground to "TUMBLE DOWN SHACK...". jk does get some really smooth solo opportunities here though, he is graceful in his approach with this one. memphis blues..mixed feelings here. i publicly asked bob weir to stop playing that song with furthur on some message board either pz or here and (clearly not due to me) it disappeared for quite some time. it was always terrible in my opinion. if you can't get all the verses down (i know there are 9, i know bob is old, etc etc) then don't play it. this shows wasn't as rough as i previously thought. bob just kind of misplaces the "grandpa died last week" verse and totally botches my favorite, the "rainman" verse. they do a couple later verses with a reggae type sound that i personally don't like but they pull the rest of the tune off without a hitch including great solo contributions from jk and chimenti. just a little light, an interesting choice. i am not the biggest fan of them covering songs he did but this is pretty well played. nothing crazy but not boring. feel like a stranger is a nice choice. i kind of like it outside the opening slot. furthur tends to stick it there quite a bit. this is good jk really visits many levels and areas. a great crazy fingers to follow up. really nice tempo, phil's bass just dancing around every nuance of john's vocals. "gone are the days.." that line gives me shivers every single time i hear it. they really kick things up at the end of this and they start jammin real hard and it has all the makings for a bertha but within seconds phil is up and waving and the mason's children is on. they take about 20 seconds to feel it out and phil just goes for it. the front of the amphitheater went up in arms energy bouncing everywhere. they rock this one out to the very end, bodies flailing the entire time. great way to end the set. for me this set gradually got better, as can often be the case, but not always.
was nice to walk around this venue as there is a few places to mill around. unfortunately, less facilities than last year. less bathrooms but also vendors inside i noticed. place sure has changed a bit over the years and all but still a quality venue to catch a show.
a nice spacey exploration to start the second set. sounds real dark star-ish. the longer it goes on the more i lean toward dark star. after about 5 minutes phil and russo guide us right over to the estimated prophet, and the crowd slowly undulates in that 7 time. this is a textbook estimated. everything is there. they masterfully shift gears into what will obviously be colors of the rain. phil is leading the way. you know it's his time he gets a little more pep in his step, has that rooster-like bob in his head/neck and sometimes gets that cheshire type side grin. and there it goes, his voice so perfect for these words. they just jam right thru and slip right into a nice scarlet, all the folks who didn't know what colors was are back up and swaying. john is all over the solo sec tion, just pure beauty. their attention to dynamics seems significantly more in tune than previous tours. this song climaxes and i can't help it but i am just pulled in by the sound to the front area of the stage. i am down there by myself jumping what feels like 50 feet in the air and i can see the entire crowd behind me and everybody is ALL ABOUT IT. we're all one, music, band, crowd. it's there. wow out of nowhere phil is just all eyes and jk follows behind like a duckling behind his mother, and they're off. chimenti gives us his usual dissonant adventure and john just connects the dots during his solo to make one gooey, jazzy groove. on the outro jk nails that signature eleven lick and russo brings them down to really get 'er going. phils bass charging and john circling and circling until he hits the 11 beats per measure and he does it like he fucking means it. he pussy foots the eleven like it's his job most of the time but he fucking hits it on this night. well done by everybody, bob sounds awesome and forceful. they wind down to let it grow, weir continues his vibe, he is strong during this set. john uses his guitar and his equipment to full potential on this tune. chimenti has been adding such flavor to what john is doing and vice versa. aside from their "trading licks" type style, this is more complementary and together, rather than taking turns. very tight navigtion along the compositional borders this song has. comes a time hits the soul, deep. john is so delicate and graceful with his delivery on this song. it seems upstate NY is blessed with it almost everytime they come around. my favorite is how sunshine provides such beautiful backup vocals and hums/moans, especially the outro, when they hit that stride, feels like spring time to me. it evolves into what becomes a set ending viola lee blues, straight up, if you will. it really ventures out there on more than one occasion. they use the "new" sped up ending to close it out. what a set.
touch of grey encore is strong and well played. lyrics are hit right and the music is in line. no complaints.
second set was a much better improvement from the first set. still early in the tour so it is understandable and easily forgiven, without a thought. if you couldn't get down to set 2 then i am not sure what to tell you. it had it all. i was so ready to head to philly for what would surely be another scorcher, but not before meeting up with some of the FFF crew by the arrow before taking off.