It was a hot summer night for Friday the 13th and unlike the 2010 shows there was hardly a breeze. I had a field ticket and was position between JK and Weir about 10 feet from the stage. I like to stand on this side because Weir has a tenancy to sing and look to his right most of the time. The band took the stage at about 720, a little later then most of the punctual start dates of this tour. After a bit of noodling and messing around with gear the band got ready to play. Hey Pocky way way came out firing, JK seems really into this song, he does the Brent tunes very nice and this song really delivered. The band was on show #7 and they are in a groove. I really like this song as an opener and glad to see it in the mix. After a stellar Hey Pocky Way the band takes a moment to breathe and then we move into the key of C for Greatest Story Ever Told. Good position for this song, Bobby seems to do better when he doesn't play this one out of the gate. Having caught this song last year in Philly this version delivered! Bobby was really on enjoying himself and singing it well, no lyrical flubs and the new Jam section which is more of less just vamping over C takes this song in a new direction, on the longer side a little over 7 minutes I'm glad to see this song being jammed out more. Good interplay between JK and JC and I dig the piano on this version, sometimes he plays the B3. Backup singers really add a nice touch to this one, and the tempo was just right! One of the best versions I've heard them do of this one as Furthur. After Bobby took us to school on a almost 40 year tune, John steps up to the plate for Crazy Fingers. A crowd favorite this was a perfect song for slot #3 of the show. Up next was Ballad of a thin man, and If you took notice to any of the warm up shows you would have seen this tune played at TC. I nearly forgot about this song but had a feeling it would come out on tour. Bobby seemed into it and was smiling and having a good time, doing interesting voices and hand gestures. This show has the mark of Weir all over it. Up next was Built To Last, a stellar version and meaningful, this band and music is really built to last. JK on top notch vocals, I really dig the processing he uses on his vocals a nice and still transparent effect, solo was played using a little bit of guitar synth throws you back to some Jerr midi sounds. Let it ride was Phils moment to shine and the time was right. This song I heard in RI as well and it was pretty solid, def one of the more enjoyable Ryan Adams tunes this band does imo. I can feel a little bit of Welcome to the Dance in this song, possibly inspired by it? I'd still take a Welcome to the dance for a 1st set Phil tune but this song wil suffice. JC had nice bits on this too, I really like hearing him on the Piano a lot. The song transitioned out of the end jam into the closer of Jack Straw. A pretty formula version and there was no big Jam between the first set of verses and the "we used to play for silver" part like they did in RI. Bobby was really singing this one out. Joe Russo had been more then superb the whole set and really drove this band hard, it really shows the power of his playing, his dynamics and intensity. The end jam built slowly with JC was going full steam by the time he had given it over to John to take things even higher. Joe Russo absolutely beat the shit out of his drums during the jam and things just got even crazier with the big hits the band does towards the end. Grate way to close out the first set! If you were wondering why they cut down to 7 songs in set 1, the band might have been thinking the same thing, as Weir and Lesh both came up to announce a break and both sounded rather confused as they spoke over each other followed by Lesh saying were taking a really short break.
After what was a smokin set 1 and a more then typical furthur setbreak the band took the stage shortly after sundown for set 2. Still with a lack of breeze coming through on the field the temp started to slowly cool down. As the temps dropped the music got hotter. A Scarlet>Fire was how I would have done it and they set the pace for a eventful set 2. JK playing his new Orion guitar and weir on his fender still, nice to see him play this axe as he tends to favor his Gibson a lot. By this time the skies had opened up a little and brought a little rain down. It was so hot it felt nice! The lights really gave the rain some colors or shall I say colors of the rain . A stellar Scarlet and a spacey and interesting transition into fire, a tad awkward but then again this is live music people you venture into the unexpected and thats what you get. Not a bad way to start the 2nd set. Phil brought us into fire and shook the place with his bass. His new rig sounds amazing and the bass hits you in all the right places. Lesh locks into Russo like one complete unit. A bit on the relaxed side the Fire was solid, Bobby using a cool effect on his guitar and with minimal feedback too. JC took us to new heights on the B3. Great dynamics on Fire the sign of a truly good band, they go from rip roaring solo to uber quite for the verses, amazing! Up next was the Weather Report Suite or shall I say the Sailor Report Suite. After a comical flase start for a few seconds Bobby starts lost sailor, I think everyone got a good kick out of that and prob toyed with the people in the crowd for a hot second. Not to worry Bobby gets right into it. Prelude/part 1 is a powerful and moving piece of music. This version was gripping, I tend to favor Let It Grow when its played with the suite but this song is always a favorite for me. Beautiful slide work by JK on WRS. The vocals on this song are absolutely stellar, props to Sunshine & Jeff they really make this one shine. With 5 people singing at times the harmonies they produce are absolutely beautiful! A brisk tempo let it grow was to follow, Bobby was def feeling it as he kept throwing his leg up in the air. The first solo was really nice, JK doing a bit of tremolo picking is always nice and I see more interplay between Weir and John this tour then ever before. The rise and fall jam or what i refer to it as was phenomenal. I really dug this jam it had a more bluesy feel to it then other versions I've heard and they really embellished on this jam. If anyone notices what Weir does about mid way through the jam its really cool he does this little lick in almost every LIG and its really cool! Taking things Furthur they move into another section of the jam breaking it down to absolute zero a real foreshadow for the Dark Star to come next, a very very spacey end to LIG I really dug it, and by this time you were absolutely just dying for the Dark Star as the band couldn't have made it more obvious. A Dark Star supplemented by a fireworks show, the band played off the fireworks something that was really cool to see. I really enjoy Furthur Dark Stars, the arrangement with the vocals is really beautiful. All I can say is they take this one Furthur every time. A 2nd set of serious songs was followed by the big one for Lesh, Unbroken Chain. This song has some serious elements of Jazz to it and a Jam that really goes places. Death Don't was really nice to cool things off, JC really getting funky on this one, having seen this song a few times I really dug this version, nice placement in the show it was just right. It was just one of those nights where the set just has a lot of meaning on a personal level. We got 1 sharpie and it was New Speedway. I really wanted to hear that one too, but sometimes it just doesn't happen. A quick NFA to close things off and you could tell the band and crowd were both hot and tired. They typical clap that goes on after NFA didn't last very long but thats ok i wasn't really in the mood for clapping until donor rap, lol.
A very appropriate Ripple encore was a perfect icing on the cake for a wonderful night of music. Overall a great show one of my favorites of the tour. Hope I didn't ramble to much, this is my first review. enjoy.