After night fell the very crafty raccoons came out devouring all the excess of a Chicago-ions "wilderness camping trip" they literally were trying to unzip my tent. Found an organic store in town that was a house the owner was so excited to see me and quickly came around and gave me a big hug asking where the heck I wanderd in from. I was looking for a melon and he gave me a necterine. His whole family worked there it was remarkable. Before leaving he ran up to his living area and came back with some sage and gave me a hug and wished me safe travels. As I was walking out he told me to wait and got some fresh cookies he was making and gave them to me as well. www.foothillsorganics.net/Foothills_Organics/Welcome.html -if you are ever passing through stop in and say hello you will be glad you did. That warm feeling didn’t leave me for hours after meeting his KIND family.
CHI Show Day, got into town found a nice spot to park my car, and took the bus over to meet up with Furthur Flower and Cosmic Arkie and gvanman before the show. Had a nice time having a couple of beer in the A/C with them before we had to go out in the abnormally warm sun. With a little patients fun waiting to park we found the north lot ramp where we were able to park for free with tickets in hand. We found a trolly service to get us close to the venue and still had time to take a couple laps around a full shake set up. Went down to the Lake MI water front to blow smoke before the show. Found Deadontherivet walking around, his new pins are even nicer looking in person, buy them. Had a few compliments for some east coasters at All Good saying how cool it was to see some “above average” pins. FFF meet/pics/greet at 6:00,nice rays of light coming through in that shot. Then we all wandered into the venue for the first set. Venue was nice had good layout, but has blacktop for the floor FFF assembled center in front of SBD.HCS to open was very harmonic and was a nice slow start to a set that would catch speed quickly. Half Step, then a 13 min Cumberland That place was getting hot as the sun went down the blacktop started to release its thermal and the Cumberland placement didn't help. That version is sweet check it out. I needed air and more water. So I stepped out of the lions mouth for a few. Found a nice sprinkler and cooled off during most of Cassidy. Started to go back to SBD, but got mixed in with the "late kids" so I found easy space and settled in for the Doing that rag, Sailor>Saint to close the set.. In my time walking about to cool down, I was lucky enough to have a guy say hey and that he recognized me, it was splatterface, really cool ! Told him where the rest of the crew was and prompted him to stop by during set break. He did and is was cool to meet him and have so many of the FFF in one area, fun to look side to side while jamming and be surrounded by your KIND people. First set music highlights for me was John’s new Guitar tone (hearing for the first time) and holy smoking keys Jeff. Those keys are an essential ingredient to what “I” hear in Furthur.
Set break=FFF group shot and a chance to chill before second set. Second Set starts with a Stranger, going to be a long, long, crazy, crazy night, passenger, then truckin’…..now I am not a huge fan of this song and seem to get it frequently so admitting the opening chords made me wish they weren’t playing that. Them whamo second set has lift off, this version has to be the Furthur best of this song? Viola was great with perfect energy and tempo and then they played All Along the Watch Tower solid B on that one. Then shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh enough chatty debate over who originanally sung that Watchtower, oh man it’s the awaited Morning Dew. Now this one is one I do really like, John did the most amazing job on the solos and the singing, I felt emotional but for a different reason this time, this time was like a wow John K is soaring with his wings spread to full length and he was really ripping that Dew up. Throwing Stones with the backdrop of CHI was cool-“We are on are own”. Encore Attics was very well played and I left more fulfilled then I usually do and I know it was the tightness of the band and that tone that John was ripping. Right after the show Gvanman and I sprinted out of the city and got a jump on the road to MI. Pulled into the Rochester Hills Venue at the same time as the Arrow, parked quickly found Sunshine Sue and put the EZ Up (with was very useful on a sunny day) it front of her car. Venue staff was very laid back and friendly, full blown shake before show.FFF came and went casually, but having the EZ Up made it cool to go take a lap and know here your people were. The sun was not as abusive as it was in CHI and this place had a roof shell so I was excited for a very energetic show from both the band and myself. It felt like you were in the middle of a nice park, which helped the chill vibe flow through out the crowd. Iko opener…perfect! Can’t wait to hear what they play tonight on the tour closer would we get the lazy…? Pushed those thoughts out of my head and settled in for an open no expectations tour closer. Lucy then the Maggie’s Farm, I was so happy to hear that as it was the first song that I heard which lit my fuse which is why I am here today. Lazy River Road and Push/Shove we spot on I think. Then we get the Mission in the Rain, a couple people mentioned to me before the show that they were worried that Bob might do that song. Well he did and nailed it, nice job Bobby I was confident and you delivered, thank you for helping the point be made. Box of rain is always a strong Furthur song. Then back to the races with the set closing Deal. Nothing but smiles and high fives in my area. Set break FFF assembled on the back of the hill for a very chill set break, folks to the side asked me where we were from as they could tell we where together in a large group (which came up like that a few times) and it was cool to tell them we are from all over and then start running down the geography. Guys girl needed to blaze because they flew and were dry, turns out they are from my area and we had a good local laugh. Second Set opener: Weight……so stoked!!!!!!Followed by a China>Rider, I love those two together and was hoping it went to epic levels….well Bob missed the Rider punch lines. We all got Weir’ed -he will make up for this later in the set. UJB was solid, Days between was heartfelt, and then out of left friggin field John gives a hand que and booooooommmmmmmm that shook the entire grounds-Shakedown Street, this version was really smoking I raged out in the isles…Sunshine (singer) was getting down and low as hell back there, I mean she was really feeling it and was looking exceptionally pretty that night man I love her. I digress. Touch usually don’t like this song much, but they really rocked it and I actually felt chills which is rare for me to get on a song that doesn’t have strong meaning to me. Donor Wrap then Tour Closer Encore, small discussion with Dointhatrag (whom I hung with during the entire show) they had played every song they sound check besides for one “Black Muddy River” good thing I don’t gamble because I would have bet my bottom dollar that was what we where about to get. Instead I hear the cords for US Blues (which I am becoming a fan of again) perfect summer tour closer, but wait they end up playing Brokedown Palace, this is what I meant for Bob making it up later in the set this go was very emotional. Hear seemed to even wipe a tear. Thank You Bobby ! Thank You for a perfect tour closing Encore(s) See you guys in the Fall. Left glowing with joy for the tight polished version of FURTHUR I just saw. Post Show FFF meet was great, some going to Vibes some going home everyone shared a hug a goodbye and was really nice to finally meet those that I haden’t before. Notable Scarlet_Fire, thank you so much for coming out to MI it was great to see you, I saw your friend from Toronto at All Good so she made it, wished I could have spoke to her more.
So now it was ALL GOOD, can’t wait to get there and get set up. Well after a very long line to get in we made it and were parked very close to the gates, so we lucked out. Also camped next to some really nice girls from CO that were laid back and a no worries neighbors>GRATEFUL<.
First day is understandably a cluster especially with an all volunteer crew, so getting in the gates was very slow going, thought I missed more of Bobs set then I did. Very Jazzy takes, Bob seemed to take a subordinate role and was actually sitting during parts for the the beginning on the set, Bruce carried the energy until Bob got rolling, it seemed like the horns were at the same levels as Bob guitar as I couldn’t hear him playing until Franklins. JACKSTRAW was the highlight of his set for me, friggin love that one. Phil Set was highly anticipated as I didn’t know the line up until I got there and saw it published Phil, Joe, Jackie, Larry, Teresa, and Phil’s sons, I haven’t been to TC yet so was really stoked to see them playing, I felt they did a good job, but I heard other not feel they were ready for the “big stage” and as I am as fluff as it’s gets I tend to take others takes on shows very literally. Either way it was a great set filled with many highlights, Phil was trying to hurt me with that set list, Big River,St Paul reference, yeah I am that guy whooooooo! Peggy-O, best friend named Willie died a few years back so hear Teresa sing those lines was breathtaking. Long Back Veil Wooooooowwwww! Teresa is an angel and I love her ! The Viola/Folsom blue sandy wasa a lot cooler then it looks on paper into a Bertha-perfect…..test me….test me! Sugaree-when Jackie is on stage why would you not let him sing that? Only true complaint of that set. The GDTRFB>Bid you goodnight were very harmonic and great with all the white lights on the crowd, chills. Then Shpongle took over and the younger generation went nuts, he is very talented at what he does. It was a full blown party at the fest during and after that. Hung by the Arrow with Strider and Jake and Alex until the sun started to rise, went back to camp and sleep for a couple hours and then woke. Gvanman made some eggs and bacon for us all and it was perfect. Decided that today was a needed chill day and stuck around camp until just before YMSB, the rocks in front of the stage were fresh and sharp so I decided to let my feet begin to mend and sat on the hill for most of YMSB and just soaked it all in *cough,cough* they are very good and I was inspired to take a closer listen to their music. Flaming Lips rocked the place from front to back they really pack a punch that got the place feeling very electric. Not my cup of tea, but their energy was undeniable. The kids were going bonkers gvanman and I had tenitivly planned on leaving Saturday morning due to prior commitments, I am really glad we stayed. DSO came on in the hot sun of the afternoon on Sat and I was dancing my ass off and trying to get my area moving, I did and people were giving me that look, like if that kid is getting down, why am I just standing here. Looking around I saw Alex during China>Rider, perfect we shared a laugh from more then 15 ft away....too cool. ABB was a strong highlight for me from the fest, as I had never heard Greg play live I was treated to both DT & WH shredding it for the entire set. Went back to camp finished loading up and said our goodbyes. After leaving the FFF and being dropped off with “blood family” in Columbus things quickly unravelled for me, debit card was over drawn, didn’t have money for Bus ticket back to CHI(Thank You to the KIND FFF folks that helped me out, no thanks to my blood family), got back to CHI to find my vehicle window broken out and my dash ripped apart after walking 3+ hours to get to it will all my gear in toe. Had a long drive to over analyze and decided it all happened to show me the light in a strange place, now I can look at it right. Won’t let those things over shadow the wonderful experiences I shared over that week .Hanging with the FFF each day made it amazing. Special shout out to gvanman, he was my road partner for this and was so glad to get to know him better and look forward to seeing you again at RR Sunshine Sue for all of your support, both emotionally and monetarily, truly remarkable how KIND you are. Jake for assaulting that horse cop, I will never forget that buddy. Em & Cosmic arkie for letting me chill in your room-A/C and clean up before CHI. Deadontherivet for giving me a new pin. Strider for the always insightful convo and good laughs it is always good to see you man, Roadtripper (alex) for having the Arrow there and all the positivity that flows through that vessel and the people it brings together, you will never grow old brother. John doingthatrag-dude you are real cool people and had a great time chilling, can’t wait to JK shop talk again, you are one of the few people that I have found that share the same passion for JK as I do. Scarlet_Fire for coming to MI and representing the east coast FFF and Justin, the honorary member of the FFF that has never registered. Hastoloverush, I was the one who found your keys in MI hope you found cosmicarkie. Little Bear for having the primo set up after the MI show, shakedown was getting shut down and I could get my merch I was waiting to get until after the show. Both dointhatrag and I both at the same time said let just go find little bear.Tim, thank you so much for finding a home for my NY tickets, andd is always good to see you brother. Wished I could have helped more at ALL Good, but had no viable options. Thanks to American Spirit for the dollar smokes tent, even though I never found you the FFF secured packs and found me, thanks guys! The two KIND girls from CO that camped next to us hope you girls made it home safe and felt torn about leaving you.
All in all it was a fantastic week of music, driving and bonding with some truly special and spirited people each and everyone of you make these show experiences come full circle with all of the positive vibes and different perspectives that we all bring.
So Cheers and here is to you FFF may this Flag Spirit last long into the Furthur Future and I cherish all of the times had thus far. Thank You !
Said you treat other people right,
Other people probably treat you cool.