Furthur at Red Rocks 10.1.11
Words, Photos, & Video By Nicholas Stock (phatphlogblog.blogspot.com)
After an absolutely incredible night one on the Rocks, we got ready early and hit The Lot around 3:30 PM. I had a little video project that I knocked out quickly before relaxing in Upper South for a bit. It’s nice to have long Lot days because it gives you a chance to organize and find friends. We headed over to Danny’s car and met up with Corey and Jen. Saturday had a solid group and we were ready to boogie. The weather was foreboding with a huge storm front the swept over the venue, but other than a few drops, it only succeeded in cooling off the afternoon. Tripp was out slanging his posters and I have to say it’s one of my favorites of his from recent memory. We grabbed one and kept the party going before hitting the ramp just before 7:00 PM. We ended up just around the same spot as night one in row 47. Again, clear weather and a sold out crowd greeted us as we settled in. Furthur opened up with an appropriate “One More Saturday” night with Bobby sounding slightly rougher than the previous night. Here is the rest of the setlist from their Facebook feed:
SET I: One More Saturday Night, Sittin’ On Top Of The World, Mexicali Blues, Peaceful Valley, Stagger Lee, Next Time You See Me, Gimme Some Lovin’, Around and Around
Set II: Jam> Eclipse, Mountains of the Moon, St. Stephen> Dark Star> Eleven> Caution> Mountain Song> Playin’ In The Band> Dark Star> Morning Dew, Playin’ Reprise
ENCORE: Uncle John’s Band
You can download the audience recording from Archive (Thanks to Chuck Miller for the recording):
Furthur Live at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on October 1, 2011.
“Sittin’ On Top of The World” should be the anthem for Red Rocks, and it was a welcomed jam. “Mexicali Blues” saw Bobby waking up and getting into his groove. “Peaceful Valley” was beautiful when John belting out some powerful vocals. Musically the sound was solid, and although the wind was picking up midway up it was not affecting the PAs where we were. I’ve been on The Rocks on nights when the wind was absolutely wild, and above row 60, it can be detrimental to the listening experience. This was not the case for us but I was a little worried for the fans in the back of the bus. “Stagger Lee” is just classic Dead and one of my favorites from their traditional repertoire. Furthur went into a deep blues jam with “Next Time You See Me” before they closed the set with a “Gimme Some Lovin’” into “Around and Around”. It was a clean set that lasted a bit longer than night one’s first set. It felt right and I headed down with Danny to grab some shots. Our good friend was in the first row but he was nowhere to be found. Luckily for me, Roachjunction’s hat was clearly visible and I posted up with him to the right of the soundboard during setbreak . I was able to capture some video and some photos for the start of the second set. Thanks Roach.
Furthur began with a dark jam that morphed into Pink Floyd’s Eclipse. I was stoked. This was the second time I saw Furthur cover Floyd, the first being when they opened up the 1st Bank Center with a “Dark Star” into “Time” into “Dark Star”. This made my night. As they went into the “Mountains of the Moon”, I said goodbye to Roach and headed back up to my spot in Row 47. The crowd seemed to be totally immersed. The fans were much more connected with what Furthur was doing than it appeared during the first night of the run. The rest of the set would be a giant jam that took me on a mental journey of epic proportions. With a classic “St. Stephen > Dark Star > Eleven”, Furthur was not happy to end it there. It went much deeper with awesome “Dark Star” teases throughout. I kept waiting for them to go back into it, but I was treated to a cavalcade of classic Furthur before they did so.
They busted out “Mountain Song” which is a song revived from the some studio sessions with members for Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Grateful Dead, and Crosby Stills and Nash. Robert Hunter had written lyrics for it many years prior. It’s a great song and just fits into the overall feeling of Red Rocks. The jam continued with a huge “Playin’ in the Band” before they ripped back into “Dark Star”. It was the theme that wove the second set together, and when they went back into it, Phil’s bass shook Ship Rock. The “Morning Dew” was absolutely beautiful and I found myself totally absorbed by it. John killed it and once again reaffirmed my confidence in his ability to fill the role. They went back into a reprise of “Playin’ in the Band” to end the second set. They are still playing top notch musically, even if there are a few missed vocal cues and some shaky lyrics. It’s obvious that the age of Phil and Bobby are a present factor but with that age comes so much experience and prowess that they still continue to wow audiences. They encored with a beautiful “Uncle John’s Band” that was the perfect close to our two nights at The Edge to end our Colorado Summer. I was bummed to miss the third night of the run, but with $75 dollar tickets and work on Monday, it just wasn’t in the cards. Furthur continues to be the last bastion of authentic Grateful Dead goodness left touring today. Sure you have DSO, 7 Walkers, and a few other outlets, but in my humble opinion, they don’t have the ability to suck you in and totally wrap you up like Furthur.
After Furthur, we hopped in the car and drove out to catch Eufroquestra at Cervantes. These guys were the musical punctuation point on my amazing weekend. We arrived late and only caught about an hour of their set. They were playing a free show with Dubskin. The lights, which I found out, were the new house lights and were awesome. They were silhouetting the band and adding a ton of atmosphere to the music. Huge versions of the Talking Head’s Life During Wartime and December 11th were my highlights of our short experience at the show.
They had a powerful energy that permeated the crowed. Hands flailed as the audience danced the night away. It was the end of my summer and a perfect transition to the venue shows that will be my live music experience through the rest of the fall, winter and into the spring. There’s something special about seeing live music outdoors, but the lights and energy can be truly incredible at indoor music venues. Euforquestra nailed it and I look forward to the next time I can catch them for a full show experience.
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