Here is a question. I notice that when they get spacey in a playin, there is a tendancy of noodling without any form. Anyone have an answer why Furthur has not figured out how to space it out as organized chaos like the Dead could? Just an observation. no biggie.
Um two words... Jerry Garcia. They say any man can be replaced, but no matter who takes that spot, not matter how talented or visionary, he/she will never be able to match Garcia's impact in a jam.
We can go and enjoy Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata played by a talented and visionary pianist, and find it a transcendent experience, but I'm willing to bet when Herr Beethoven played it was as indescribable as a Garcia solo.
My two cents.
I am not even looking for jerry to come back and jam!!!! hahahaha. My 2 cents is JC will take over the lead instead of John and Phil. JC is extremely talented, but the band was and always should be a guitar driven band not a keyboard driven band. One of the biggest complaints Jerry had about Keith was this fact. Towards the end KG did not try to compliment the sound, he became a lead keyboardist which drove Jerry crazy. And JC has the tendancy to do this. I will compare this to DSO. Mattson and barraco definatley know their roles. mattson drives the jam and barraco is the cabboose. This is how it shold be with JK and JC. yet is happens the other way around. Brent did this interplay perfectly.
Keith wasnt being a lead, he was copying Jerry, and thats what pissed him off. He quit filling and just basically mocked what Jerry did.
I think Jeff and John can both play a part, I have seen Jeff push them , well, Furthur, and then Russo steps it up, then Phil grabs it, setting John up for a killer solo. And then he doesnt always deliver. Thats his deal, not the formula. There is room for both keys and guitar, and if those keys werent driving up the tempos at times, I am not sure I would keep seeing them.
At first I thought it was a 'dont step on bobby/phil' kinda place where John was at, and it seems he is putting more in as time goes by. But where I can flow and jam with Phil, Bob, and Jeff, John is more hit an miss then say Stu Allen, or well lets face it, Jerry. Sometimes it seems like a volume thing, sometimes, it feels unconfident. Sometimes it just isnt interesting. Sometimes his tone is really nice though with an almost pedal guitar sound, and he does have suprises.
As long as I am writing this long, might as well mention that the last Furthur show I saw was the new years run. And at the time I said that would be the last time. The show was shorter than years past, and while good, it didnt really deliver a new years blowout. Then they do sweet water live, and it was good. And then I have been following along during this run, and next thing I know I have tickets for the fall and I am thinking about New Years yet again. Just cant stay away.
i was expressing the same thing you said about keith and jerry. Just in different terminology. I think we may agree more than you think. My point being is JK has to lead the jams...