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Re: 3/30/11 Peterson Events Ctr. Pittsburgh Pa.#15594 2 years, 10 months agothe Jambands.com "Official Review"
by Derek Green
Furthur, Peterson Event Center, Pittsburgh PA – 3/30
A lot has been said about Furthur, which finds the Grateful Dead’s Bob Weir and Phil Lesh teaming with a talented group of musicians.
The group’s show at the Peterson Event Center in Pittsburgh was an evening to remember. This was my first time seeing Furthur, although I have seen Phil and Bob both perform before in various formations over the last decade including RatDog, Phil and Friends and The Dead.
I enjoyed the shows that I had seen in the past, but often times the music failed to reach the magic that I had hoped for. When the guys got together and toured as The Dead with Warren Haynes occupying what would have been Jerry’s old place, it just didn’t click for me. I love Warren and I think he is an amazing musician and songwriter, but his southern twang and unique guitar style added a different sound to the band that just couldn’t capture the magic I had hoped it would achieve.
Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann had become such an integral and important part of the group, that they were given a large amount of time during those shows to perform as a duo. As a drummer myself, I love a good drum segment but I just felt that those sequences often dominated those shows, and sometimes even took away from them. You could sense dissatisfaction among the fans during that time, and sometimes it was a bit too long and a bit too much.
With Furthur, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Drummer Joe Russo brings his own style to the band, without steering too far away from the sound that would be expected from the Grateful Dead’s drumming duo. Guitarist John Kadlicek has spent years trying to perfect Jerry’s sound during his tenure with the Dark Star Orchestra, and although no one can ever be Jerry, John’s sound comes very close to tapping into that original vibe. It’s a much needed improvement in my eyes, and it has to be a dream come true for John to be playing on stage with some of his largest musical influences. Jeff Chimenti on keyboards was also a great choice, and many times during the show I closed my eyes and heard him channel Pigpen and other great keyboardists of the Grateful Dead’s past.
Highlights of the show included a wonderful performance of “Til the Morning Comes” and “Mason’s Children” during the first set. The second set opened with an incredible trio of “Estimated Prophet” into “Eyes of the World” and then they went into a fabulous rendition of “I Know You Rider” that had the crowd singing possibly the loudest that they had all night. Furthur had been playing songs from the Beatles Abbey Road album throughout this tour, and on this particular evening we had the fortune of hearing a fantastic “Carry that Weight.”
Overall this was a wonderful show. The only terrible and unfortunate incident of the evening, was the news we heard while exiting that someone fell from a fourth story window during the show and passed away the next morning. Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family.