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Posts Tagged ‘Grateful Dead’

Bowlive IV Night 5 Recap w/ Marco Benevento, David Hidalgo & The Shady Horns : John Medeski, Bill Evans & The Shady Horns

Soulive’s Brooklyn Bowl residency, Bowlive IV, reached it’s fifth night last night.  In past years, this would signify the middle of the run and the end of the residency’s first week. However, Soulive has chosen to pack more talent into eight days this year and continue to impress upon us just how talented they truly are. As if we didn’t know already.

The equally impressive power trio and Bowlive alumi, The London Souls, opened with a fury that paralleled Bowlive IV’s previous night openers. Eric Krasno made a point to remind the audience that this is one of his “favorite bands!” That was a powerful statement from a powerful guitarist who sees and appreciates the talent in his peers and a clear invitation to Soulive fans to pay attention. The London Souls are a classic rock band consisting of shredding guitarist Tash O’Neal, drummer Chris St. Hilaire and bassist Stu Mahan.  Tash’s sound is reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix; the comparisons are just inevitable. However, as a group, they seamlessly flow from multiple styles while improvising styles all with undertones of pure Rock ‘n Roll! Their wickedly expansive sound, something every power trio hopes to accomplish, shone through vibrantly in their performance of originals “Old Country Road,” “Easier Said Than Done,” and the old-timey tune “Bobby James.” The audience rocked out to AC/DC’s “Long Way To The Top” and The Souls closed their set with a rousing cover of Frank Zappa’s “Apostrophe.” So much to say, so little time.

The London Souls Set List:
Lucille Cover
Under Control
All Tied Down
Old Country Road
Honey → Long Way To The Top (AC/DC)
Bobby James
Some Day
Easier Said Than Done
I Think I Like It
Apostrophe (Frank Zappa)

Many times, the relationship between Soulive and their guests is one that has been cultivated in New York City, in front of Soulive fans who get to witness local musical guest sit-ins during local shows.  Last night’s first guest, avant-garde pianist and organist Marco Benevento, a long-time NYC resident now living in Woodstock, is a Bowlive alum that fit this category. Benevento adds an element of improvisational psychedelia and locks right into the groove of every tune he touches with a specific experimental jazzy sound that defines his music. Soulive, with the help of the Shady Horns, churned out “El Ron” and teased Bob Marley’s “WAR” before a crushing “Reverb.” Saxophonist James Casey, Baritone saxophonist Ryan Zoidis and trumpeter Eric Bloom went into a hot, circular jam session, just the three of them, before Benevento joined the stage for another Soulive original “Upright.” Benevento made his presence known with an extended face-melting solo of his own. He remained on stage for the rest of the set, seamlessly layering his sound amongst the trio’s for “Swamp E” and The Beatles cover, “Revolution.”  As much as Benevento is known for his own amazing techniques and stand alone performances, he is also part of a wonderful Led Zeppelin tribute band, Bustle In Your Hedgerow, which New York jam band music fans fawn over. So, when Zeppelin’s “The Ocean” began, Benevento fans and beyond went ballistic and everyone’s musical taste buds were satisfied.

Set I:
El Ron
Reverb
Upright (w/ Marco)
Swamp E (w/ Marco)
Revolution (Beatles cover w/ Marco)
The Ocean (Led Zeppelin cover w/ Marco)

The second set came quick as the excitement of the next guest was something that could hardly be contained by the members of Soulive. Los Lobos guitarist David Hildalgo came out on stage and became the newest musician to join the Bowlive roster. Granted, he snuck into a few tunes the previous night but now was his time to shine.  For those of you who don’t know, Hildalgo is a world renowned guitarist who has played on albums of Buckwheat Zydeco, Elvis Costello, Paul Simon, Gov’t Mule, and even G. Love and Special Sauce. The list of collaborations goes on as does Hildalgo’s ability to play multiple instruments and styles. However, tonight, his vocals and guitar skills would be the highlight of the second set.  Soulive performed “Shaheed” alone before Hildalgo picked up his guitar and walked out to a screaming audience.  He veered completely off the setlist and performed a fantastic version of Traffic’s “Who Knows What Tomorrow Will Bring.” The energy on stage was magnetic and the foursome pushed the boundaries of memorable Bowlive collaborations to the limit with Hendrix’s “3rd Stone From the Sun,” and Los Lobo’s tunes, “Dream in Blue” and “Chains of Love.” The Shady Horns threw out killer solos amongst the jams and a highlight of the evening was watching Hildalgo and Krasno trade licks off each other for Jerry Garcia’s “West LA Fade Away.” The tie between Garcia comes from Hildalgo writing “Evangeline,” which the Jerry Garcia Band covered regularly.  Hildalgo and Jerry  played together on numerous occasions and had a huge respect for one another’s playing.  The musicianship on stage was outstanding and the set was pure fire. It’s impossible to replay into words sometimes and for those who were present, they know what I am talking about!

Finally, last evening’s encore could easily rank high in Bowlive History as one of the best. It wasn’t just an encore…It was a “Neil-Core”:  Soulive ended the night with a Neil Young medley for the ages, touching on three distinctly different parts of Neil Young’s career. There could not have had a better supporting cast of guitarists to bring the screeching Neil Young chords to life with David Hidalgo (Los Lobos) and Tash Neil (The London Souls) on stage alongside Eric Kranso.  The first song in the Neil medley was “Ohio,” a political song written by Neil Young about the 1970 Kent State shootings and the protest movement that it helped shape. “Ohio” was followed up by a spirited version of “Down by the River,” a tune Neil Young and Crazy Horse played on the album Everybody Knows This is Nowhere.  Alan Evans, who was lending his drum kit to The London Souls’ Chris St. Hilaire, shared the vocals on that tune with Tash O’Neal. Seeing Alan in the middle of the stage with a microphone in his hand was new and fun. He seemed to be having a blast.  Soulive went even deeper into the Neil Young catalog by playing “For What It’s Worth,”  another powerful protest song written by Neil’s band mate in the Buffalo Springfield, Stephen Stills. These three songs forced those remaining at the Brooklyn Bowl into a dancing frenzy of happiness.

Set II:
Shaheed
Who Knows What Tomorrow Will Bring (Traffic cover)
Dream of Love (Los Lobos Cover) >
3rd Stone From the Sun (Jimi Hendrix cover)
Chains of Love (Los Lobos cover)
Revolution (The Beatles cover)
West LA Fade Away (Grateful Dead cover)
Stone Free (Jimi Hendrix cover)
-Encore-
Ohio (CSNY)
Down By the River (Neil Young and Crazy Horse)
For What it’s Worth (Buffalo Springfield)

Sure, it was Wednesday night and the audience was weary from dancing their legs off the previous nights, but true music fans love hearing famous covers performed by their favorite bands. Soulive has been consistently banging out tight versions of their own originals but it’s the rousing covers of popular classic rock songs that brought the jam band crowd of the Brooklyn Bowl to their Nirvana last night. These collaborations also feed the members of Soulive. Marco Benevento and David Hildalgo expanded the consciousness of Soulive last night and the audience was just in awe.

Tonight’s guests will include organ wizard (and possibly a regular wizard as well) John Medeski and saxophonist Bill Evans along w/The Shady Horns. Because Brooklyn Bowl is hosting a fundraiser for The Brooklyn Nets this afternoon, so there isn’t an opener tonight.  Doors will open at 8p with Soulive on close to 9p.  On to the next one……

Written by Karen Dugan
Www.TinyRager.com

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” We Wish You Were Here” ~ Allen Woody Benefit ~

Allen Woody

Allen Woody

An absolutely historical night of music.  A bitter-sweet night of music.  A magical combination of guitar-shredding artists who came together for the memory of one man. Allen Woody!

Allen Woody!! For those of us who tend to seek out a bass line in a song, the name Allen Woody should register in your brain’s musical library.  Specifically, in the southern rock genre. He was the stand-out bassist for bands such as The Allman Brothers Band, Gov’t Mule, The Artimus Pyle Band and more.

Allen Woody

Allen Woody

His unexpected passing on August 26, 2000 encouraged his fellow musicians to hold the first benefit called One For Woody in September 2000.  Tonight, ten years later, Warren Haynes and an ARSENAL of guitar-wielding friends put together the second benefit for this greatly missed musician: Another One For Woody: “Wish You Were Here!”

This was a man whose musical presence touched the lives of numerous musicians, inspired a genre and who’s musical contribution deserves recognition.  Tonight, people paid over $140 a ticket to pay homage to this dearly missed bass player whose tragically early departure from music left a gaping whole in the sound of southern rock.  The proceeds from this 10th Anniversary event went to raising money for musical education in schools.  For every person we heard complaining about the price, we politely reminded them of this fact.  Having just had the privilege of attending T-Bone Burnett’s “Waiting For Superman” Benefit at The Beacon (click for my review) a few weeks earlier, it is safe to say that the quest for keeping music & art in the school system is not going to ever be ignored. We are all soldiers in that fight.

“It’s too loud? Too fuckin’ bad” -Allen Woody 4/4/96

Roseland Ballroom

Roseland Ballroom

Arriving at 6:45pm, I had quibbled with my man over arriving to the venue early. He didn’t want to stand around for hours and I wanted to make sure we had ample time to arrive early enough for good viewing locations.  Roseland Ballroom is one of those venues, like Terminal 5, that has a sardine-like feeling with horrible site lines due to low ceilings and poor design.  Doors were meant to open at 6pm but didn’t open until after 7pm.  When we arrived, the line to the venue was wrapped completely around the block. Of course, even being an hour early, we were still slightly late but the first of our friends. Our section of the line starting to bulge as more friends joined our space.

Dino Perucci (Dino Perrucci Photography) and Allison Murphy (Allison Murphy Photography), two of my favorite NY based photographers, were walking the front of the stage.  My smile swelled because I knew that I didn’t need my camera tonight.  Throughout this article, many of the pictures you will see are shots through their lens.  Thanks to both photographers for allowing this Tiny Raging blogger to stand there and take it all in, not having to worry about the pictures.  And thank you, not simply for this show, but for the hundreds you do every year. Thank you, from all the people who admire your talent and work, for doing what you do and bringing the music to our eyes.

The show was supposed to start at 7pm and the doors didn’t even open until after 7pm.  After a lovely chat with the lovely Allison Murphy while the unusually long sound check and stage set-up it seemed about that time.  Those of us in the front were debating which musicians would be standing/sitting/playing where.  As long as I could see a full-on shot of Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes and Luther Dickinson, I didn’t care where I was standing.

Warren Haynes Acoustic Set

Warren Haynes – Guitar
Edwin McCain – Guitar
Kevin Kinney – Guitar

Out walks Warren Haynes with two other musicians that I am unsure of.  It wasn’t until maybe an hour later that I found out that the men were Edwin McCain and Kevin Kinney. This was the acoustic set and it was beautiful.

As soon as Warren Haynes started his strumming into Kevin Kinney‘s Just Outside Of Heaven (A Good Country Mile), I got that religious swell that I sometimes reach when the beauty of the music overwhelms me.  This time, it was just as much the energy in the room as the music.  I looked behind me and saw the faces of all my friends just beaming with excitement and love.  Edwin McCain sang The Lucky One.  All three sang on a gorgeous rendition of I Shall Be Released.

Set: Just Outside Of Heaven (A Good Country Mile), The Lucky One, I Shall Be Released

North Mississippi Allstars Duo

Luther Dickinson – Guitar & Vocals
Cody Dickinson – Drums, & Electric Washboard

Special Guests:

Gordie Johnson (Big Sugar) – Guitar
Artimis Pyle (Lynyrd Skynyrd) – Drums
Danny Louis (Gov’t Mule) – Keys
Audley Freed (Cry of Love) – Guitar

Around 8:15pm, the Dickinson Brothers,  tonight calling themselves the North Mississippi Allstars Duo, took the stage.  The Dickinson family had a wonderful connection to Allen Woody over the years.  The late Jim Dickinson, the Duo’s father, was good friends with the members of the Allman Brothers Band back in the day and when the North Mississippi Allstars toured with Gov’t Mule, they have fond memories of Allen Woody sitting in with them.

Warren Haynes + Gordie Johnson (Photo by Allison Murphy)

Warren Haynes + Gordie Johnson (Photo by Allison Murphy)

The Brothers Dickinson brought the Memphis blues to our ears with Sitting On Top of the World, a 1930’s standard. The gospel tone came out with Shimmy She Wobble > Station Blues > Preachin’ Blues, all North Mississippi Allstars originals.  It was at this time that standing in front of the speakers began to take effect and I had to pop in the ear plugs.  It never fails and as usual, I ended up passing out the rest to friends and strangers around me who were clearly in need.

And then it was time for the guests.  Gordie Johnson, Big Sugar guitarist and recent Gov’t Mule producer, came out to join the Duo for Po Black Maddie. Initially, it looked as though Gordie was going to sing the song but it almost appeared as if he was unsure of the words.  Did anyone else catch this mumbling into the microphone?? Luther ended up singing the song.


Hook Herrera, Warren Haynes + Luther Dickinson (Allison Murphy)

Hook Herrera, Warren Haynes + Luther Dickinson (Allison Murphy)

Gordie Johnson remained for Straight to Hell. Cody Dickinson‘s smile never left his face the entire set.  It almost looked plastered on but we all know he was truly happy. How could anyone not be?  There was a stand-alone drum solo by Cody Dickinson while Luther and Gordie Johnson switch sides of the stage for the final song of the set.

The end of their set was FIRE!!  The Duo welcomed Artimis Pyle (Lynyrd Skynyrd) on drums, Danny Louis (Gov’t Mule) on keys and Audley Freed (Cry of Love & the Black Crowes) to the stage to perform Whiskey Rock A Rolla! There was now an arsenal of musicians on the stage to sing about whiskey and rock-n-roll! Four guitarists as Cody Dickinson moved from his drums to a guitar, tambourines, keyboards…What a mess of Southern rednecks.  Their vests, boots, long stringy hair, cowboy hats…all screaming of their bluesy country background.


Set: Sitting On Top of the World, Shimmy She Wobble > Station Blues > Preachin’ Blues, Glory Glory, Po Black Maddie, Straight To Hell, Whiskey Rockin Rolla

Gov’t Mule

Warren Haynes – Guitar & Vocals
Matt Abts – Drums
Danny Louis – Keyboards, Background Vocals and Other Goodies
Jorgen Carlsson – Bass

Special Guests:

Gordie Johnson (Big Sugar) – Guitar
Jim Loughlin (moe)- Drums
Vinnie Amico (moe) Drums
Chuck Garvey (moe) – Guitar
Hook Herrera – Harmonica
Luther Dickinson – Guitar & Vocals
Cody Dickinson – Drums, & Electric Washboard
Artemis Pyle (Lynyrd Skynyrd) Drums
Rich Robinson (Black Crowes) – Guitar
Robert Kearns (Cry of Love) – Bass
Audley Freed (Black Crowes) – Guitar
Savannah Woody – Vocals

The members of Gov’t Mule take the stage after a few minutes of stage setting. Warren‘s iconic raspy voice heads into Railroad Boy. The screen behind the band was projecting a black background with “GOT MULE?” plastered across in white. Warren ripped a solo and the set just launched into southern goodness at its best.

There was a spacey rip into Blind Man in the Dark, a personal favorite to sing around my apartment. Warren asked us how we were feeling and the place erupted with a happy reply.  Danny Louis jumped off the keys and onto guitar for Steppin’ Lightly.  At this point, there were old picture of Woody shooting or lingering across the screen behind the band. His face smiling at us, showing his appreciation for the music in front of him.

Sometimes there is nothing better then watching the hands of your favorite guitar player.  Personally, my favorite guitar player had not yet hit the stage but here in front of me was Warren.  He is simply amazing.  Watching Warren, I was in tune with his hands much more then usual.  I equate that to the fact that I have never been this close to his hands before. I was so happy to be in the front row. Banks of the Deep End sprang out of his hands and so it went…full on Warren!

And now it was time for some GUESTS!!!  Gordie Johnson once again joined the stage, this time followed by Jim Loughlin & Vinnie Amico, the drummers from Moe.  They raged I’m A Ram before jamming into Dear Prudence where Chuck Garvey, also of  Moe, joined with his guitar. I LOVE Moe.

Warren Haynes + Chuck Garvey (Photo by Allison Murphy)

Warren Haynes + Chuck Garvey (Photo by Allison Murphy)

Dear Prudence with the members of Moe.  AWESOME! THIS little addition to the stage made me very VERY happy.  Seeing Chuck on stage with Warren was interesting.  Their sounds are so different so vibing them together was great even though I silently wished it had been Al who was joining the stage.   Chuck lead while Warren sang. There were whimsy art paintings across the screen behind the stage.  Chuck gave a great solo and then tagged in Luther.

Warren Haynes + Hook Herrera (Photo by Allsion Murphy)

Warren Haynes + Hook Herrera (Photo by Allsion Murphy)

The 320 Blues saw Hook Herrera join the stage with his mighty harmonica.  Oh, the harmonica. I LOOOOOOOOOVE the layer of sound a harmonica add to a musical journey.  As well,  Luther and Cody Dickinson joined the stage followed by Artemis Pyle (Lynyrd Skynyrd).  GOD! It just kept getting better and better! So many musicians had been touched by Allen’s friendship, music and memory.  Cody busted out his washboard and I finally heard the North Mississippi Allstars sound that I associate so much to that washboard.  The place was on FIRE!! and the music was so loud and vibrant that the musicians drinks were shaking off the amps.   As far as energy was concerned, this was the pop-off song of the night, so far.

Audley Freed + Robert Kearns (Photo by Allison Murphy)

Audley Freed + Robert Kearns (Photo by Allison Murphy)

Warren then spoke of how Big Sugar used to open for Gov’t Mule and how he and Allen Woody would rage this Al Green song. He welcomed Rich Robinson (Black Crowes) to the stage for Stay With Me, Rick’s slide guitar sound melting everyone’s ears.  Danny Louis was back on his keyboard.  This song was so pretty.  Warren ripped a solo and then they all hugged. The next song saw Rich Robinson staying on stage and being joined by Robert Kearns (Cry of Love) replacing Jorgen Carlsson on bass and Artemis Pyle (Lynyrd Skynyrd) jumping on drums.  They flew into Sometimes Salvation, a Black Crowes cover, and the venue cheered.

Simple Man was next.  I love this song. It never gets old for me. Matt Abts left the stage this time leaving only Artemis Pyle to play the drums. Audley Freed was back out on guitar and so they went…


Warren Haynes + Savannah Woody (Photo by Allison Murphy)

Warren Haynes + Savannah Woody (Photo by Allison Murphy)

Wishing Well was next with the same people gracing the stage. And then we were given an emotional surprise. Savannah Woody, Allen Woody’s daughter, came out to the front of the stage to sing Soul Shine. And  she sang the line:  Now you gotta let your soul Shine / Just like my daddy used to say...the entire place erupted with the longest loudest cheer of the night and Warren’s tears took over the gleam in his eye.  It took some time for people to realize who Savannah Woody was but when she sang that line, I knew immediately that it must be SOME kind of close relative to Woody.

During the song, she was standing on stage, arms dangling while solos were being taken.  A stage hand brought out a tambourine in the cutest way but she still didn’t move that much.

Warren Haynes + Savannah Woody (Photo by Allison Murphy)

Warren Haynes + Savannah Woody (Photo by Allison Murphy)

When Allen died, a fund for Savannah’s education was established in his memory. She didn’t look any older then a high school student and it made me sad to know she lost her father so young. But the fact that she was up there, singing in her father’s memory, and not crying…we knew she was a strong. Certainly stronger then me as I teared up once I realized who she was and what she meant to the show.  It must feel wonderful to see that your father touched so many lives.  It must be wonderful to know that all those amazing guitar legends up on stage were actually men who look after their own and I am sure have taken her under their wing over the years.  It was a lovely and touching performance of an otherwise tedious song.

This show was supposed to end at 11:50pm, due to city/venue rules.  This set ended at 11:30pm and we KNEW that we were not going anywhere for sometime because now….it was time for The Allman Brothers Band, but not before almost a 40 minute set break.

Set List: Railroad Boy > Blind Man In The Dark, Steppin’ Lightly, Banks Of The Deep End, I’m A Ram (with Gordie Johnson, Jim Loughlin & Vinnie Amico), Dear Prudence (with Chuck Garvey, Jim Loughlin & Vinnie Amico), 32/20 Blues (with Hook Herrera, Luther Dickinson, Cody Dickinson & Artemis Pyle), Stay With Me (with Rich Robinson & Artemis Pyle), Sometimes Salvation (with Rich Robinson, Robert Kearns & Artemis Pyle, without Jorgen Carlsson), Simple Man (with Artemis Pyle, Audley Freed & Robert Kearns, without Matt Abts & Jorgen Carlsson),Wishing Well (with Artemis Pyle & Audley Freed), Soulshine (with Savannah Woody & Artemis Pyle)

The Allman Brothers Band

Gregg Allman – Keys
Butch Trucks – Drums
Jai Johanny “Jaimoe” Johanson – Percussion
Warren Haynes – Guitar
Marc Quiñones – Percussion
Oteil Burbridge – Bass
Derek Trucks – Guitar

Special Guests:

Hook Herrera – Harmonica
Rich Robinson (Black Crowes) – Guitar
Artemis Pyle (Lynyrd Skynyrd) Drums
Berry Oakley, Jr. (Bloodline, OKB) – Guitar
Audley Freed (Black Crowes) – Guitar
Chuck Garvey (moe) – Guitar
Danny Louis – Keyboards, Background Vocals
Vinnie Amico (moe) Drums
Jim Loughlin (moe)- Drums
Luther Dickinson – Guitar & Vocals
Cody Dickinson – Drums, & Electric Washboard
Matt Abts – Drums

The set break must have last over 40 minutes.  Sadly, my date for the evening felt the weight of the tiresome day during the obsessively long break and had to leave.  A set that was supposed to end at 11:40pm and didn’t even start until at least midnight.  This was insane but I only knew good things would come from those of us who had been standing on our feet for over five hours at this point.

Allman Brothers Band, Warren Haynes + Derek Trucks (Photo by Allison Murphy)

Allman Brothers Band, Warren Haynes + Derek Trucks (Photo by Allison Murphy)

When the music final started, my feet were aching, I was missing my date and fighting to hold my place up in the front row.  The masses pushed even closer as Derek entered the stage.  And for the first time since I was able to meet him on his tour bus during Mountain Jam (click to read), I was back into a super fan.  My legs buckled at first site, my smile exploded out the side of my face and I screamed like one of those chicks who faint when seeing the Beatles or Justin Beiber.  Derek-Mania was going through my entire body.  He is the one musician that makes me completely lose control.

Derek Trucks + Marc Quinones  (Photo by Allison Murphy)

Derek Trucks + Marc Quinones (Photo by Allison Murphy)

At this point, I am afraid I won’t be doing a great job of writing out exactly what went down.  Like I said, I get a little more then weak in the knees when I see Derek Trucks and stopping to takes notes or trying to recall everything when all I want to be doing is staring at his fingers, well…..I didn’t write much at all.

First, the overly handsome Oteil Burbridge joins the stage, followed by Warren Haynes and Gregg Allman who wander to their respective instruments.  It didn’t take more then 60 seconds for the rest of the members of The Allman Brothers Band, including Marc Quiñones on percussion, to lock into place and blast right into Don’t Want You No More, the first song on the first Allman Brothers album and an instrumental that was originally recorded by The Spencer Davis Group in 1967.  All I wrote in my notes is “Ok, I just need to dance now.”

Gregg Allman continued striking the keys and singing into This is Not My Cross to Bear, a song Greg wrote about an old girlfriend.  Both Derek and Warren were given ample time to release their talents through solos during this song so be sure to watch.  And as you watch Derek smile towards the camera right in the beginning of the following video, you can be sure he is smiling at me.  Oh yes!  To be sure **wink**

End of the Line was next.  Warren changed out his guitars for this one and ripped out an astounding solo.  Sometimes I just don’t understand how things can sound so different with every show.  Same style but soooo different in sounds.  At this point it is still only the members of The Allman Brothers Band gracing the stage and it proceeded that way for the following 5 songs.

Greg Allman + Danny Louis (Photo by Allison Murphy)

Greg Allman + Danny Louis (Photo by Allison Murphy)

So at this point, there is a lull in the sound throughout the audience and I catch myself SCREAMING like one of those Beatles Mania fans again: “DEREK I LOOOOOOOOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.”  No One Left To Run With was next, one of the few songs Dickey Betts wrote for the group but never sang.

Fun fact: This song was included on the 2002 compilation CD Mullets Rock!. For a while, The Allman Brothers were prime offenders of the haircut that was “Business in the front, party in the back.”

There was a gnarly guitar duel between Warren and Derek.  I mean it just never ends with these two.  Warren was  presenting us with such a phenomenal night of music and he was the ONLY musician to play in almost every song and at least in ever set.  He was the hardest working man in show buisness that night!  The drums in this song were killer.

Black Hearted Woman, also a song written by Gregg Allman about the same woman he wrote This is Not My Cross to Bear about, followed and continued right into Other One Jam, a Grateful Dead cover, until they begin inviting out the guests!!! Greg sang his heart out and the video shows it!


Hook Herrera came out and joined the boys for Who’s Been Talking. That man is an absolutely phenomenal harmonica player. I’ve said it a million times but I LOVE THAT INSTRUMENT. You can’t get a sound from any other instrument the way a sound is produced through a harmonica. It’s just soulful and the epitome of the blues to this southern gal.

Artimus Pyle + Audley Freed (Photo by Allison Murphy)

Artimus Pyle + Audley Freed (Photo by Allison Murphy)

Midnight Rider, a crowd favorite,followed.  Now, the original version of the song was with Duane Allman playing.  I believe  Gregg Allman re-made it a few years later (correct me if I am wrong).  If you listen to older recordings, you can hear and feel Duane and Dickeys’ opposing styles very well. So amazing.  Also, in 2005, this was used in the opening credits of Rob Zombie‘s horror flick The Devil’s Rejects.  Who doesn’t love that kind of product placement!?

Midnight Rider was followed by One Way Out. This song welcomed out Rich Robinson, Berry Oakley Jr. & Artemis Pyle to the stage.  I don’t know why but the videographers apparently must have run out of time or video because the Allman Brothers YouTube videos begin dying off around this point.

Warren Haynes + Berry Oakley Jr (Photo by Allison Murphy)

Warren Haynes + Berry Oakley Jr (Photo by Allison Murphy)

Statesboro Blues saw all guests leave the stage except for Berry Oakley Jr..  Berry Oakley Jr. is the son of Berry Oakley, a founding member and original bass player for The Allman Brothers Band who sadly passed away in 1972.  It was a tribute for many people this evening and I was hoping people recognized the significance.   Berry Oakley, Jr. left the stage and was replaced by Audley Freed & Danny Louis on guitar and keys respectively for The Band‘s The Weight.

Chuck Garvey, Jim Loughlin, Jimmy Vanderbogart & Vinnie Amico came out to join The Allmans during one of my all time favorite Grateful Dead songs, Franklin’s Tower. Got to be honest with you and admit I have NO CLUE who Jimmy Vanderbogart is and I can’t find any info online that can give me more insight – If you know, please comment.

Southbound followed with the addition of the Dickenson Brothers joining the crowd on stage along side Hook Herrera and Danny Louis.  This was one of my favorite songs of the set simply because it was The Allman Brothers with this North Mississippi Allstars Duo and a freaking harmonica.  SOUTHERN GREATNESS!!!

All guests exited the stage and a RAGING Whipping Post closed out the set.  Derek Trucks once again showing us he is the king of the slide guitar. Once again showing me that he is the king of kings in my world when it comes to the guitar.

Gordie Johnson (Photo by Allison Murphy)

Gordie Johnson (Photo by Allison Murphy)

As my girlfriend and I walked away, we realized it was almost 2am in the morning on a work night.  We discussed leaving before the encore and went to the restroom.  Coming back up from the basement bathrooms, we smiled at each other as we heard the   stage light up again.  We couldn’t leave.  Not this time.  Warren Haynes began strumming the chords to Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here. And without uttering a word, the entire venue began singing the lyrics.  Warren places his hand behind his ears and the venue sings louder.  Berry Oakley, Jr., Gordie Johnson, Danny Louis and Matt Abts joined the stage for the remainder of the song with images of Woody’s face flashing smiles across the screen behind them.  And I cried…for the third or fourth time that night.

Set List: Don’t Want You No More, Ain’t My Cross To Bear, End Of The Line, No One Left To Run With, Black Hearted Woman > Other One Jam, Who’s Been Talking, Midnight Rider, One Way Out, Statesboro Blues, The Weight, Franklin’s Tower, Southbound, Whipping Post

Encore: Wish You Were Here

What an amazing night of music!!  Simply amazing. The epitome of love and community within southern rock was found on that stage this night.  I truly wish I could offer you a free download but alas…..

Click here to DOWNLOAD/STREAM/LISTEN to the show!

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Palisades Parkway

Palisades Parkway

A nature and music filled weekend in upstate New York.  The weather was picture perfect as we left the city in our rental car by way of Palisades Parkway.  We stopped at a lovely scenic overlook to admire a view of Manhattan we rarely get to experience.

Mohonk Mountain

View from part of the Mohonk Mountain hike

As we drove down the New York State Thruway, the weather remained unmatchable, the trees glowing in their shades of orange and yellows. It was simply magnificent.  Coming from the Blue Ridge Mountains to live in NYC, the drive reminded how lovely the change of season is and how I longed for Virginia.  New York, however, served up such images of beauty over the weekend, I half considered, just for a moment, how nice it would be to have my parents move here to join my sister and I to live out our days in the tri-state area.

View from Mohonk Mountain hike

View from Mohonk Mountain hike

Leaving Manhattan in the early afternoon, Jay and I were dropped off at the mouth of the Mohunk Preserve.  The weekend started with a rocky rambling hike through the Preserve to the Mohunk Mountain House.  So majestically beautiful, I couldn’t possibly have left it out of the weekend’s descriptions.  Walking through the halls of this massive castle the Quakers built back in the 1800s, I immediately felt like I was in the Stephen King novel, The Shining.  And as I vocalize this thought to my companion he turns to tell me that Stephen King stayed here and this was where he got the inspiration for the movie.  Creepy.

Mohonk Mountain House

Mohonk Mountain House

Walking to the top of the Mohunk Mountain to the tower was magical. I felt as if I was in a different land.  How could I be in New York?  How could it have taken me 7 years to make my way to this beautiful area.  Simply majestic.

View of Mohonk Mountain House from top of Hike

View of Mohonk Mountain House from top of Hike

RAGING THE MOUNTAIN!

RAGING THE MOUNTAIN!

I ended Saturday with a few new bruises and so many smiles, surrounded by new friends and excited for what Sunday would bring.  As we awoke Sunday morning, I stepped out on to the back porch of the country house and took in the view and the fresh air.  What a great day for a Ramble. The sun was shining, the air had warmed and our friends had started to gather for round two.  But what is a Ramble you ask?  Once a month, Levon Helm, best known as the drummer for The Band, holds a The Midnight Ramble inside “The Barn” located on his Woodstock New York property.  That is pretty awesome. Today was a free Levon Helm’s Kids Ramble and it would be held at Gills Farm.

Gill's Farm Store Front

Gill's Farm Store Front

Pumpkin Cannon of Ulster County

Pumpkin Cannon of Ulster County

The Kids Ramble was slated to go from 2pm to 4pm.  We arrived around 1pm and the parking had already gotten tight.  As I exited the car, the first sounds I heard came from THE PUMPKIN LAUNCHER. A pretty insane part of the event.  The epic sound of this launcher was ridiculous.  I hadn’t seen the thing yet but I imagined this GIANT slingshot type thing going down.  Not the case.   First thing I saw, as we made our way to the property, peeking out just above the tree line, was the tip of a metal shaft and a chunk of pumpkin spewing out.  This thing was more crucial then I could even imagine.  The second thing I  see is a crowd of people checking out this MASSIVE, double-tanked 30+ foot welded, metal pumpkin launcher. Apparently, they have contests giving people a reason to build these excellent contraptions.

THE CANNON

THE CANNON

Having a 6 year old with us, this Ramble was designed for her and her peer group.  There was a giant pumpkin field on the right side of the property where families were picking pumpkins to take home. There was face painting and pumpkin carving stations.  You had an amazing tractor ride that took families through the pumpkin field, the corn field, a mud bog and back to the pumpkin field.  Then you had this enclosed hay tunnel the kids could climb through.  And although I never saw the end, it must have had one as the kids came bounding to the soundboard once the music started.

Hippies dancing in the pumpkin fields

Hippies dancing in the pumpkin fields

The entire event was was literally held in the parking lot and side field (a little more then an acre of space maybe??) in the store font of Gills Farm.  Taking a look around, there were easily 300 people crammed onto this property and SPILLING into the streets, into the pumpkin field.  It got to the point where the locals had parked along the nearby streets, blocking the shuttle buses picking people up from the designated parking lots.

Roasted Corn! Get Some!!

Roasted Corn! Get Some!!

On the side of the store was the kitchen where they sold roasted corn, corn chowder, chili, hot dogs, squash soup, ciders and more. I can speak for the roasted corn and corn chowder.  I had never had roasted corn before and I believe it made it into my top 100 all time favorite foods now.  A-MA-ZING!  Then you had the corn chowder which I had heard others raving about.  It was not overly salted or peppered so the simplicity of the corn really came through.  I loved it.

Our Farm Fueled Lunch!

Our Farm Fueled Lunch!

Yummy!

Yummy!

As we attempted to find a spot to sit and eat, we came across a few upside down plastic crates and sat.  Just as I was about to dig into my corn I was told I had to move.  There was no natural seating except for a few benches here that were all taken up.  As I walked away to head to our blanket behind the soundboard, the crowd started cheering.  Seems I had been sitting right next to Levon’s trailer and sadly, as my hands were filled with scrumptious farm treats, I was unable to get pictures.  I was also a little open-jawed as Donald Fagan followed close behind.  And as I made it to the soundboard, Levon made it to the stage.

View from behind Soundboard

View from behind Soundboard

The Levon Helm’s Band

Levon Helm – Drums, Guitar, Vocals
Larry Campbell – Guitar, Mandolin, Violin, Vocals
Amy Helm – Backup Vocals
Teresa Williams – Guitar and Vocals
Jim Weider – Guitar
Byron Isaacs – Upright Bass
Brian Mitchell – unknown
Jay Collins – Saxophone
Erik Lawrence – Saxophone
Howard Johnson
Justin Flick – Drums
Steven Bernstein – Trumpet
Clark Gayton – Trombone

Special Guests:

Donald Fagan – Keys
Daniel Lewis – Keys

Man, I want this!

Man, I want this!

They started the set with notable songs from The Band‘s catalog like Look Out Cleveland and Long Black VeilLarry Campbell, a self taught musician who has never had formal training on any of the instruments he plays, switched from guitar to mandolin to violin throughout the set.    Teresa Williams also on guitar, sang like a dove.  Long Black Veil was a favorite of the day thanks to her earthy vocals.

Rambling Musicians!

Rambling Musicians!

Next we had Donald Fagan give us a sultry, bluesy intro to a song I am unsure of.  He sang the lyrics and melted the last few notes.  I really wish I could recall the title. Ophelia had everyone cheering and singing along. A great song. There was a large horn section with two saxophones, a trumpet and trombone. Each one taking their turn for a solo throughout the song.  Almost sounding second line-esque the entire set.

Then we had the Grateful Dead covers  by way of Shakedown Street with Donald Fagan on lead vocals.  Deep Elem Blues had Larry Cambell on mandolin, hippies dancing in pumpkin patches and the horns got down and dirty as Levon played his electric mandolin while Justin Flick took his place at the drum kit.

With all these people he brings to a stage, Levon is never far from adding more and more.  Out walks Daniel Lewis (Gov’t Mule) to play keys along side Donald Fagan for Tennessee Jed. I saw a guy on the french horn at this point but I was unsure of who he was.  The horn players evaded me as I couldn’t get close enough to make out faces.

Larry and Teresa

Larry and Teresa - Levon on Mandolin

Donald Fagan and Daniel Lewis blasted out on the keys for a superb cover of Steely Dan’s Black Friday. Teresa Williams BELTED out Hot Tuna‘s Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning. This song was originally a spiritual song sung by Blind Willie Johnson, a favorite of mine. The way her voice melted into the song almost had me in tears.  Yup.  It’s been a while sing I cried at s show as a result of being touched by the music.  She almost had me but not quite.  Perhaps yall should check out her band, Ollabelle.

They closed the show out with The Band‘s famous song, The Weight. Everyone was singing.  The kids were dancing. Steven Bernstein gave us a wonderful solo on the trumpet.  The sun was shining.  We all ended the set in a blissful singalong.

Levon says Goodbye!

Levon says Goodbye!

SET LIST: Look Out Cleveland, Long Black Veil, ———, Ophelia, Shakedown Street, ————, Deep Elem Blues, Tennessee Jed, Black Friday, Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning, King’s Harvest, The Weight

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Arrested Development @ B.B. Kings

Arrested Development @ B.B. Kings

Arrested Development @ B.B. Kings (07.27.10)

Speech – Lead vocals
JJ Boogie – Guitar
Montsho Eshe – Vocals and dance
1 Love – Vocals and DJ
Rasadon (aka Don Norris)– Drums
Tasha Larae – Lead Vocals
‘Za – Bassist

Arrested Development Promo shot

Arrested Development Promo shot

There are shows you attend because you want to see remarkable musicians manipulate their instruments and bring innovation and something new to the musical tables. Then there are shows one goes to see to be slammed against the wall with nostalgia. You already know every note, every lyrics and you just want to hear everything familiar.  Tonight, I would be seeing Arrested Development perform at B.B. King’s Blues Club & Grill in Times Square.  Tonight…it was  all about nostalgic progressive hippie-rap.

Buy Storm! Out Now!

Buy Storm! Out Now!

Touring mainly over seas since  getting back together in 2000, Arrested Development hasn’t been in our neck of the words for some time.  However, it didn’t take them long to make their second rounds on the American musical community.  With the release of their new album, Strong, and holding top-10 positions on International music charts, they are proving that a positive message, no matter when delivered, is relevant at any age!

Speech of Arrested Development @ B.B. Kings

Speech of Arrested Development @ B.B. Kings

Their albums speak of political issues, ethical dilemmas, they celebrate feminism and masculinity and project mounting peace and love in an overwhelming society fueled by negativity.  My Arrested Development albums were literally some of the first Cds (other then my Grateful Dead Cds) to be played out.  Arrested Development was also my first introduction to hip-hop.  I was immediately listening to beats that I normally would not have been hearing had I only listened to my Grateful Dead or Allman Brothers Band cds.  This was all around 1993 when I was 13 years old so….I heard them, listened to them, and started researching their influences.  I remember being very shocked at the contrast in gansta rap bein’ spit by Dr. Dre vs. the positive lecturing by Speech in the Arrested Development tracks.

One Love of Arrested Development @ B.B. Kings

One Love of Arrested Development @ B.B. Kings

We walked in during We Rad, We Doin’ It. A harmonic, danceable song with the messages of Peace and Love, with sections of One Love inserting his DJ rapping intelligence in the middle.  With a tambourine and a hard rock guitar throughout, Speech gave us the message: “I Get Up / I Keep Going / I Get Over It.” One song in and the stage was already bouncing and the dance floor was already bumpin’.

Montsho Eshe of Arrested Development @ B.B. Kings

Montsho Eshe of Arressted Development @ B.B. Kings

And right into what might be my new favorite Arrested Development tune.  The World is Changing. SO HAPPY, motivationally charged in the music, I couldn’t help but just dance all over the front row with the audience.  The members on stage were just as energized.  I was lucky enough to be in standing in front of Montsho Eshe. Upon her introduction, Speech mentioned that she had been with the group since she was 13 years old.  AND HOLY CRAP!  That woman has some dancing raging energy.  With someone dancing in front of you like that, and the bass pumping like that, do you blame me for not taking notes or good videos? See…..

Rasadon of AD @ B.B. Kings

Rasadon of AD @ B.B. Kings

One of the things I noticed immediately was that the front row was filled with drunk young faces.  With my research showing that the average audience age for Arrested Development being in the 21-25, it is clear that they have been rediscovered by the younger generation as I was in my teenage years when they were influencing my life back in the 90’s.  That stat was CLEARLY reflected in the drunk (possibly 21??) sloppies who were falling into themselves, other audience members, the stage and trying with all their might to touch their idols hands and feet.  Luckily, I had an unlucky buffer by way of a 6’2 African American woman who was clearly trying to remain calm and enjoy her show while remaining upright from being drunkenly danced into.  I felt bad for her but happy that they were not bumping into me.

Arrested Development @ B.B. Kings

Arrested Development @ B.B. Kings

JJ Boogie of AD @ B.B. Kings

JJ Boogie of AD @ B.B. Kings

The vibrantly dressed group proceeded to play all the wonderful nostalgic tunes I came to see:  Tennessee, Mr Wendal,  People Everyday. The audience continued to shout out the names of these songs until they were played.  From their new album, Strong, they performed We Rad, We Doin’ It, LA LA LA, The World is Changing, Bloody and Haters.

LA LA LA is a more sexy, soulful, loungy songs in the repertoire that incorporates some really great voice manipulations, Afrocentric beats and Speech spittin’ his lyrics.  Bloody gave us a more deep, heavy, reggea-ish vibe fueled by issues of genocide and the deconstruction of souls.   It sounded like a song to march into battle with…Militaristic for a reason, with it’s politically charged lyrics.  I suppose I hit the nail on the head as I have just found the video and see it playing out my description…check out the video…what a message:

The strongly spiritually charged Tennessee, Mr. Wendal and Everyday People just BROUGHT DOWN THE HOUSE.  I was thrown back into high school dances and the entire night was exactly what I wanted and expected.  They presented us with a ton of their new material but also balanced their set list with all the songs that brought us to the stage that night in the first place. If you ever enjoyed their music, check them out.

Arrested Development Tour Dates

Proposed Set list from stage list: Rock Intro, We Rad We Doin’ It, Motivational, LA La La, World is Changing, Fishin’ For Religion, Dawn Of Dreads, Bloody, Easy My Mind, Africa’s Inside Me, Tennessee, Wet Your Voice, Haters, Inner City, Mr. Wendal, Freestyle, I Got the Feelin’, Honeymoon Day, Raining Rev, Redemption, Miracles, I’m Bad, Mama’s, People Everday.

Actual Set list: Rock Intro, We Rad We Doin’ It, The World Is Changing, Fishin’ For Religion, Dawn of Dreads, Bloody, Ease Mind, Africa’s Inside Me, Tennessee,  Wet Your Voice, Haters, Mr. Wendal, Freestyle Drummer rage, Inner City,  Redemption, Mama’s, Everyday People.

Arrested Development YouTube Channel

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www.gatheringofthevibes.comGathering of the Vibes Music Festival: Friday (07.30.10)

Day I Review: Gathering of the Vibes VX @ Bridgeport, CT (07.29.10)

The Cosmic Casbah...

The Cosmic Casbah...

Jesus, my spoiled ass forgot what a hot tent feels like in the morning when the sun finally seeks you out.  MY GOODNESS!!  But considering the stormy conditions we had to endure at last year’s Vibes, the sun was completely welcoming.

VIP Perk #1: You have sectioned camping in the section of the park that has the most tree canopy coverage.  The general camping is located in mainly open fields and parking lots.

The Casbah...

The Casbah...

Quote of the morning: *With a mischievous look** “Are you trying to tempting me with a good time??”

We woke up to a gorgeous day.  We spent the morning relaxing, waking up slowly with our friends at the Cosmic Casbah.  We were greeted with friends of ours who were only just now passing out, a table full of breakfast foods like bacon and eggs, muffins and fruit, and music.  I crashed onto the mats with my plate of food, listening to the music, letting it breath life into me to start my day.

We knew that for breakfast we were being dished some New Orleans ROCK by way of  The Radiators so we hit the field pretty early, only missing Billy Simons Band on the Green Vibes stage. You know, it’s almost impossible to catch all the music at a festival if you are solo but with a running crew it takes that much more time to settle.

VIP TENT! (Night shot!)

VIP TENT! (Night shot!)

Eat me!VIP Perk #2: During this time, we utilized the free food in the VIP tent where they had wonderful selection of snacks and beverages to sustain us ALL DAY.  At $6-$10 for a single meal or $4 for a water in general vending, these 24-hour snacks of fruit, pretzels, chips and salsa, candies, sodas, water, juices, milk, coffees and teas were BEYOND welcoming, sustaining and economical.  It’s possible to spend $60 on water before even considering food at a festival.  And that is just the 24-hour spread. From 11am-3pm you are offered a buffet of hot meats, salads, pastas, and desserts to chose from.  And generally, if you are starving and want another half of a turkey wrap, you could easily ask for one.  We made our rounds of good mornings and set up shop by the Karma Wash. It was time to focus on the music.

Gathering of the Vibes 2010

Gathering of the Vibes 2010

The Radiators

Dave Malone – guitar, vocals
Ed Volker – keyboards, vocals
Camile Baudoin – guitar
Reggie Scanlan – bass
Frank Bua Jr. – drums

I danced into the field listening to The Radiators.  Their bluesy-rocky vibe catching my feet and ears completely off guard.  Being a huge fan of New Orleans Funk, I knew anything coming from NOLA would be better then good.  I was excited to hear some NOLA ROCK from the band considered the #1 Rock band on the NOLA scene!!!  They didn’t disappoint.

They came out blasting with rock -n-roll.  For all you Phish heads out there, Phish opened for this band back in the 90’s.  So did Widespread Panic.  Where as both of those bands have now reached high commercial success, The Radiators have always been a deeply respective, yet decisively underground group on the scene.

Ragers!

Ragers!

An unavoidable NOLA signature, their funk layer was evident in the music immediately, coming from Ed Volker on keys.  There was also that grungy swamp rock layer by way of Camile Baudoin on guitar.  It was rough and rugged.  The keys sounded almost out of tune but on purpose reminiscent of Professor Longhair in sound, not style.  They were a tight group, the guitar players really made some hot sounds with their axes, with twang here, rock there, and smooth swamp grunge in the middle.  It was fun music to dance too, sway too, but really it was something to slither too.

Setlist: I Like It Like That, Lets Radiate, Hard Rock Kid >, Lost Highway, Sitting on Top of the World, Crazy Mona, River Run, Soul on Fire, The Death Of The Blues, Junco Partner, You Ain’t Going Nowhere, Rosie

Download: The Radiators @ Gathering of the Vibes (07.30.10)

Gathering of the Vibes 2010

Gathering of the Vibes 2010

 

Kung Fu

Dave Livolsi – Bass
Kris Jensen – Sax
Todd Stoops – Keyboards
Tim Palmieri – Guitar
Adrian Tramontano – Drums

Kung Fu @ GOTV 2010

Kung Fu @ GOTV 2010

 

Kung Fu @ GOTV 2010

Kung Fu's Todd Stoops @ GOTV 2010

 

We needed to charge our phones so headed over towards the Green Vibe stage and that is where I heard the  funky, odd sounding keys reminiscent of Alan Evans.  But maybe a bit too much guitar.  It was not as solid as it could be.  It sounded choppy at times.  Definitely took some getting used too. So, since they confused me, yet, intrigued me…of course, I had to check them out.

Kung Fu's Kris Jensen @ GOTV 2010

Kung Fu's Kris Jensen @ GOTV 2010

When I approached the stage, I recognized Kris Jensen right away from Dickey Betts.  His horn brought a delicious element to an otherwise decent band.  I wasn’t a big fan of Todd Stoops singing, or any of the singing really, but he knew his way around that keyboard.   Tim Palmieri looked familiar as well and I realized later he has played with numerous artists I knew.  He was great.  Ultimately, the band itself was comprised of some talented musicians who tore up their solos but sometimes they fell off the page when they were playing as a group.  The following video will show you what I mean…not bad their at the end, huh?

Gathering of the Vibes 2010

Gathering of the Vibes 2010

Jackie Greene

Jackie Greene – Guitar
Nathan Dale – Sax
Jeremy Plog – Keyboards
John Hofer – Guitar

Jackie Greene @ GOTV 2010

Jackie Greene @ GOTV 2010

Jackie Greene @ GOTV 2010

Jackie Greene @ GOTV 2010

I was soooo ready to get down to Jackie Greene‘s set that when I heard him start during the Kung Fu set, I took off running.  Jackie Greene is a wonderful artist who has an old soul sound and a yung sexy body 😉  Young and talented, open and warm, HOT!!!  A rocker, a funker, a jammer, a rager on top of being a keys player, songwriter and a guitarist., electric, acoustic, loungy, rock, whatever…he does it all.

I made it front row for Jackie Greene where I ran into a few of my favorite Jam Cruisers.  He came out rocking right off the bat.  The second song was a new rock tune, Medicine. And I love a good harmonica. He slowed it down with a beautiful Shaken. Jut an upbeat rock vibe from Jackie all the way through.  Perfect set for that perfect sunny afternoon.

Another Tiny Rager!

Another Tiny Rager!

He blew me away.  Tight, on point, smooth and simple.  Jackie Greene isn’t someone who needs lights and fluff.  He is just talent.  He had the whole field dancing and I noticed that the ladies were ogling over him as much as I was.  I try not to but sometimes, just DAYUM! Animal was just sexy and finally I was enjoying a singer for the first time that day.  And finally, inviting drummer John Molo (Phil & Friends) to the stage,  showing love to Jerry, he raged the hell out of his encore covering Scarlet Begonias, one of my favorite Jerry songs that houses one of my favorite Grateful Dead lyrics:

Once in a while you get shown the light/In the strangest of places if you look at it right.

Setlist: I’m So Gone, Medicine, Farewell, So Long, Goodbye, A Moment of Temporary Color, Gone Wanderin’, Shakey Ground, Animal, Spooky Tina, Shaken, Tell Me Mama, Tell Me Right, Hollywood ->, Tomorrow Never Knows >, Taxman ->, Tomorrow Never Knows, Scarlet Begonias *, Like A Ball And Chain

Download: Jackie Greene Live at Gathering of the Vibes; Seaside Park on 2010-07-30 (July 30, 2010)

MacPodz

Nick Ayers – Percussion, Flute and Vox
Brennan Andes – Bass and Vox
Jesse Clayton – Keys
Griffin Bastian – Drums
Ross Huff – Trumpet, Flugelhorn and Vox

The Macpodz @ GOTV 2010

The Macpodz @ GOTV 2010

Surrounded by creativity!

Surrounded by creativity!

Another cell phone charger exchange. We wanted to make sure that we could always get in touch with Issac so Jay and I would alternate charging our phones making sure one of us had a functioning one at all times.  Where I generally might have left my phone to die in my tent since I was actually camping and not in a house, this couldn’t be the case this festival.  I, of course, ended up using it much more by having it on my person.  Alas, I am addicted to technology 🙂 Because of this, I also was able to check out the side stage performances and here we were with The Macpodz.

Just like Kung Fu, I was drawn towards the stage because of what I heard coming from the keyboardist, Jesse Clayton. Sounded GOOD! Their image immediately stood out to me, not that it matters but it was like a warped frat house up there. I enjoyed the trumpet as well.  Other then that, meh! Nothing would hae sounded good to me at time, knowing who was coming on the Main stage next.

Steve Kimock Crazy Engine

Steve Kimock – Guitars
John Morgan Kimock – Drums
Bernie Worrell – Keys
Bobby Vega – bass

Steve Kimonk Crazy Engine @ GOTV 2010

Steve Kimonk Crazy Engine @ GOTV 2010

One of my favorite sets of the day.  When is Steve Kimock not good?  When does he never just sound so perfect and beautiful and full of rage at the same time making you dance to PRETTY music.  And here we had the debut of a NEW CRAZY ENGINE!

Such a signature sound with Kimock, that guitar. So light, airy, happy, funky and jammy.  He always has such lovely melodies throughout his music. His songs engage different emotions with every measure.  I love him.  The addition of keyboard legend, Bernie Worrell was a treat for all of us.  He threw in Row Row Row Your Boat, The Star- Spangled Banner and all kinds of silly licks from nostalgic tunes throughout his solos.

Steve Kimock and son, John Morgan @ GOTV 2010

Steve Kimock and son, John Morgan @ GOTV 2010

Wavy Gravy - blowing bubbles during Kimock set

Wavy Gravy - blowing bubbles during Kimock set

Bobby Vega bassed us out on Funky B4 Five, a lovely melodic jam where a fun response comes from the crowd at the end of the chorus.  Everything is Everything brought out a rapping Chris Burger (Alphabet Soup, Band of Brotherz) who began with the band introductions. Bernie funked out the keys and it was just a funk fest in the field.  Closing with Parliament Funkadelic‘s Red Hot Mama, the guitar just sounded so hot and Bernie Worrell was in his element.  John Kimock never stood out to me during this set but I do know he is a wonderful fresh drummer who I hope hits our scene with a tornado like force one of these days.

Setlist: A New Africa, Five B4 Funk, Crazy Engine, Everything is Everything, Red Hot Mama

Download: Steve Kimock Crazy Engine Live at Gathering of the Vibes on 2010-07-30 (July 30, 2010)

We again made our way to the Silver Lining booth where we were charging our phones with our friend, Thud.  Once again, a decent sounding song caught my ear.  Quinn Sullivan was playing but I didn’t have time to stop and pay attention.  I had a 15 year old to check in with and feed and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings were up next on stage.

Sahron Jones and the Dap Kings - Promo shot

Sahron Jones and the Dap Kings - Promo shot

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings

Sharon Jones – Vocals

THE DAP-KINGS are:
Homer Steinweiss – Drums
Binky Griptite – Guitar
Boogaloo Valez – Congas
Dave Guy – Trumpet
Tommy TNT Brenneck – Guitar
Bosco Mann – Bass
Neal Sugarman – Tenor
Ian Jendrickson – Smith – Baritone

There are certain bands where words never do it justice, and sometimes, they don’t even do themselves justice, because they are just THAT good.  Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings have consistently performed, blowing the ears and minds of millions of people with every performance. This performance was no exception.   Just stop the program.  Just end it all right here.  No one can touch this woman.  She is FIRE.

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings @ GOTV 2010

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings @ GOTV 2010

Sharon Jones (Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

Sharon Jones (Photo by Jeffrey Dupuis)

Sharon Jones didn’t join the stage immediately.  First, the stage just filled with DAPPER looking men and their instruments.   The first song consisted of the horns blasting, the funk machine igniting and it was POPPIN’.   After the first few songs, Sharon Jones joined the stage and well…I just really don’t know how to describe her.  She is like a bolt of lightning.  Her pores OOZE soul.  Her dance moves are spirited and it was as if the music inside her was controlling her like a puppet with strings.  Her eyes closing and opening as the passion in the music gained momentum.  She kicked her shoes off at one point and just brought down the house with every single word and note.  Just watch this woman perform.

Check out this video of The Vibes performance:

Check out the video for the title track from the 2007 album “100 Days, 100 Nights.” in it’s entirety.


Robert Randolph & The Family Band @ GOTV 2010

Robert Randolph & The Family Band @ GOTV 2010

Robert Randolph and the Family Band

Robert Randolph – Pedal Steel, Guitar
Danyel Morgan – Bass
Marcus Randolph – drums
Adam Smirnoff – Guitar
Lenesha Randolph – Backup Vocals
Brett Haas – Keyboardist

Robert Randolph & The Family Band @ GOTV 2010

Robert Randolph & The Family Band @ GOTV 2010

THANK GOD!!!!  I was not sure what to expect from this set.  I had seen Robert Randolph a few weeks earlier in New York City and had witnessed one of the worst Randolph performances I had ever seen.  I almost cried because my heart hurt from thinking such bad thoughts of the show.  It wasn’t because he didn’t play his songs well but because his new songs are just not of the caliber of AWESOMENESS that they were in his early years.

My Tribe had to be up front for this performance and so we were, dead center.  As I approached the front row, it looked as if Robert had found his roots again.  Where a tie had been worn at the previous show, Robert was now wearing a liberating bandanna with a long tail.  Where the white guy behind the mic were doing most of the singing at the previous show, Robert was now throwing us the licks and doin’ the spittin’ on the mic.  Where as Robert was on his guitar most of the time at the previous show, today, he gave an amazing chance to a few lucky guys in the audience and stuck mainly to his pedal steel where his fingers knew no boundaries. His energy was contagious…

Robert Randolph & The Family Band @ GOTV 2010

Robert Randolph & The Family Band @ GOTV 2010

He brought the stage to fire with an old song right out of the hatch: Ted’s Jam, one of my top three favorite Randolph’s tunes. With this song, it just escalated into one of my favorite, hottest Robert Randolph performances.  I could write pages about it but I will write about my favorite memory of the set.

Towards the end of the set, Robert Randolph said he needed some help from and audience member to rage a song.  The first guy got on stage and immediately proved he had no chops. This happened with 2 other men before Frederick Aidan Pagnani from Freddy and the Yeti’s jumped on stage to Robert’s delight.  Once he started playing, this 19 year old (we found that out talking to him in the VIP then) held his own against Robert Randolph and The Family Band.  Check it out:

Setlist: Ted’s Jam, Back to Wall, Travel Shoes, Them Bones, Untitled, I’m Not Listening, Papa Was a Rolling Stone, Deliver Me, If I Had My Way, E, It Don’t Matter

Download: Robert Randolph [and the Family Band] Live at Gathering of the Vibes on 2010-07-30 (July 30, 2010)

Furthur @ GOTV 07.30.10

Furthur @ GOTV 07.30.10 (Photo by Jeff Dupuis)

Furthur

Phil Lesh – Bass
Bob Weir – Guitar
Jeff Chimenti – Keyboards
John Kadlecik – Guitar
Joe Russo – Drums
Jeff Pearson – Vocals
Sunshine Becker – Vocals

The headliner for the evening was Furthur.  Just like the Randolph set, here was another group that I was hoping was going do a better then job then I had seen them last.  If you might recall, there was giant whirlwind chatter about the Furthur show, specifically Bob Weir’s performance, at Nokia Theatre in Times Square last Wednesday. What a difference.

“Seal your face right off your head

Between Dark Star Orchestra and Furthur, it was arguable who had performed a better set.  Both nights were magical recreations of some tightly played nostalgic tunes.  Where as Dark Star seemed to be more of stand out performance by Jeff Mattson, Furthur’s performance felt like more of a cohesive group effort and Bobby was on point.  The set list contained a plethora of sing along tunes and provided platforms for intense jams during the 4 hours slot.

There was a gorgeous glow worm that was walked through the 15,000 person audience which  I was able to catch on film!

Now, here is the song in it’s entirety with the appearance of the glow worm 🙂

Furthur @ GOTV 2010

Furthur @ GOTV 2010 (Photo by Jeff Dupuis)

Set I: The Golden Road, Jack Straw, Ramble On Rose, Dupree’s Diamond Blues, Friend of The Devil, Estimated Prophet> , Eyes of The World>, Not Fade Away,

Set II: Playing In The Band, Althea, Wharf Rat>, He’s Gone>, Scarlet Begonias>, The Wheel, Standing On The Moon, Help On The Way>, Slipknot!>, Franklin’s Tower, crowd/donor rap/tuning,

Encore: Terrapin Station Suite

Download: Furthur Live at Gathering of the Vibes; Seaside Park on 2010-07-30 (July 30, 2010)

——————–

Move on to: Day III Review: Gathering of the Vibes VX @ Bridgeport, CT (07.31.10)

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Furthur @ Nokia Theatre Times Square (07.28.10)

I   Miss Jerry!!

I Miss Jerry!!

I remember fighting and arguing and causing major melt downs in my house when my parents refused to let me go see The Grateful Dead shows when Jerry Garcia was alive.  I never understood my obsessive draw to The Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia, nor did I understand why my parents refused to let me see them Live.  I specifically recall my father asking me one day, “Why do you like all these musicians who died of some kind of overdose?”  I just stared at him blankly as framed pictures of Janis and Jerry and Bonham stared back at me from my bedroom walls.

I don’t have to describe the feelings we all get when we listen to Jerry…his music, his lyrics, his sound.  The shine we feel when we see his smiling picture.  Such a tragic loss who had a giant impact on human nature and music.  A worldly symbol of peace and love. Strike me down with lightening and hellfire but personally, Jerry has been my religion since I was 12 years old and discovered American Beauty. To this day Ripple and Attics of My Life are in my top five favorite GD tunes.  Music = God.

I Love you Jerry!

I Love you Jerry!

I remember exactly where I was when I found out he had passed away.  I was 15, climbing Seneca Rocks in West Virginia and remember being devastated.  This was the only guitar player I had ever wanted to see Live.  Even now, I don’t itch for a musician the way I itched to see him before he died.    He’s always held that place in my heart as my favorite guitar player and Derek Trucks follows right behind. To this day,  I equate the fact that I am fully addicted to Live music and seeing my favorite musicians religiously because one day these talented guys will be gone.  Some girls have Daddy issues, I have Jerry issues.

Nokia Times Square sign :)

Nokia Times Square sign 🙂

So anyway, Futhur to me is not The Grateful Dead.  Once Jerry died, I lost interest in really seeing The Dead.  It’s not the same.  It never will be.  Fake Jerry is the most dedicated Jerry clone ever but still…he ain’t no Jerry. And so, I only saw my first Futhur show at Coney Island a few weeks ago and here I was at Nokia Theatre in Times Square to see them for the second time.  It wasn’t a bad show but it wasn’t great either.

The chaotic scene before the show!

The chaotic scene before the show!

As we approached the blocks surrounding the theater, the sidewalks became thick with Deadheads and other hippe folk…and all hunting for tickets.  Oddly, I never saw anyone selling a single ticket.  Just lots of fingers up in the air.  I didn’t have a ticket till earlier that day.  Might I suggest ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS checking Craigslist for your ticket.  They are almost always offered at face value or under face.  Certainly not in this case, as people were willing to pay HUNDREDS for tonight’s tickets.  I was miracled again so that was nice.

The scene out front of Nokia was rather gross.  Wooks were everywhere, many with their dogs.  To me this just seemed ridiculous.  Dreaded wookies and their pit-bulls.  WTF? This was Times Square and it was just awkward and menacing.  I know they are nice dogs, but in masses smashed into Times Square, you never know if one of them is going to snap or feel uncomfortable.  I was feeling uncomfortable under the cramped, stinky, wooked-out circumstances and I wanted to bite people….shoot.

Eagerly waiting to be played...

Eagerly waiting to be played...

For the first set,  I had spectacular views of Bobby and Phil.  So yummy.  I had maneuvered my way up to the railing on the raised platform directly to the right of the stage.  Perfect view.  The only negative being that I couldn’t see anyone to Bobby’s right.  I couldn’t see Fake Jerry, the backup singers, and I could barely see Joe.  I’d deal with this later, I just wanted to dance right now.  I got terribly excited right before the show.  I again questioned myself as to why I had waited this long to come hear my favorite music and songs played live.  I should have been more loyal to Jerry’s legacy with the passion I had for his music.  Alas….

Let's get this party started...

Let's get this party started...

Futhur consists of:

Phil Lesh – Bass
Bob Weir – Rhythm Guitar
Joe Russo – Drums
Jeff Chimenti – Keys, Organ
John Kadlecik – Guitar

They started the first set with Shakedown Street and Bown Eyed Woman. It sounded good overall but still kind of like they were warming up.  I didn’t think anything of it. I was setteling into my show groove as well.  John Kadlecik immediately brought it out on the guitar. Bobby was alert and throwing signals all over the stage. Singing was on point and the audience joined in on every word.  Bob started forgetting the lyrics during Brown Eyed Woman.

Phil and Bobby @ Nokia

Phil and Bobby @ Nokia

So, we are three songs in and I am dancing with my eyes closed to the beginning of El Paso.  It’s clear something is going on on stage, as Bobby disappeared from my ears all together.  As I look on stage, his strumming had softly slowed, his swaying slowly stopped and it was as if he was passing out while standing up for just a few seconds.  Pure black out stance.  And IMMEDIATELY he would come back to us and get back into the song.  It was weird and I was standing in a position to take in every single moment.  I turned to my friends screaming, “Do you see this?”  But they had been talking.

Phil and Bobby @ Nokia Theater

Phil and Bobby @ Nokia Theater

Attempting to start El Paso again, it happens again.  Bobby zones completely out.  Fazing back in, Phil is looking at Bobby with a very confused look.  That look in particular made me nervous and I turned around, shouting at my friends again, “DO YOU SEE THIS?” Still talking, they hadn’t.  Later, it registered with them why I was in such a weird freak out mood with a worried look on my face.  In the moment, they were so confused.  A few minutes in & Bobby approaches the mic saying “I am going to try this again.”  And he did try it again.  They got through the song but without any lyrics. It didn’t suck, it wasn’t particularly great and almost completely instrumental.  That is the thing about live music, you never know what your going to get 🙂

Crazy Hippies :)

Crazy Hippies 🙂

Apparently, there was a ton of fighting was occurring outside.  As I went to the ladies room  there were numerous security guards discussing the occurrences that were taking place outside.  I just heard them say there were tons of fights and kept walking.   The scene inside was just as hectic but in a more fun way.  There were colorful characters walking the hall ways and dancing in the isles.  The over ragers had found spots along the walls to gather themselves.  Security was everywhere.  It was much more intense then I am used to for other shows.

Furthur @ Nokia Theater

Furthur @ Nokia Theater

By the time we were given Bertha, Bobby was back on his toes.  How strange that he fazed out for such a short time.  If he was dosed, as it was rumored, it would have lasted much longer then just those few minutes, right? The Ambian theory is good too but he would have passed completely out, right? Even though he didn’t appear drunk, that will be the theory I am sticking with.  They ended the set with a HYPED UP Good Lovin’, bringing the heat and gaining a huge cheer from the audience at the end. Phil was clearly upset as he walked off stage.  All I could think about was what was about to take place behind the scenes during set break!  Oh, to be a fly on the wall back there.

Furthur @ Nokia Theater

Furthur @ Nokia Theater

Seeing Joe Russo up there behind the drums was unreal.  How wonderful for him.  How wonderful for us. I am a big Joe Russo fan.  He is a New Yorker and one half of the Benevento-Russo Duo.  He is obscure and off the handle when he plays and plays around here often.  He is an innovator with energy and I thoroughly enjoyed his sound behind Bobby and Phil.

(Check out a Free rare performance of A BIG YES and a small no (A Joe Russo Project) @ Lakeside Lounge on August 19th.)

Furthur @ Nokia Theater

Furthur @ Nokia Theater

Because of my lacking view from my pretty great location, I chose to move for the second set.  Some friends of ours had gotten some great seats in the middle behind the soundboard so for the second set, that is where I spent most of my time, taking off to the stairs from time to time to catch closer shoots of the stage.

View from the stairs - mid floor

View from the stairs - mid floor

The second set started off much better with Music Never Stopped.  Bobby had apparently gotten over what was bothering him and he was extremely coherent.  Phil was in good spirits and they got the dance party started immediately.  Overall the second set was very good.  Some great jams.

Furthur @ Nokia Theater

Furthur @ Nokia Theater

They covered Ryan Adam’s “Bartering Lines” half way through the set.  Phil really let us have it with his bass on this one.  Great song.  The back up singers were soulful and when I finally recognized them in my head, I wondered why they didn’t pick up the slack on El Paso?  Hmmmm?  LOL……

Closing the second set with I Know You Rider, everyone sang along and danced.  The lyrics: Gonna miss me when I’m gone resonated with me as I stared at the stage and missed Jerry.  As I type this, I feel it must look and sound rather strange. There is such a deep emotional and nostalgic pull to that man, that even though I have never met him, never seen him live, it’s as if I have known him forever through his music.  So, I miss this ghost of a man who left his soul on earth through his music.

Furthur @ Nokia Theater

Furthur @ Nokia Theater

I was actually pretty nervous that they might not come out for an encore considering what had transpired with Bobby earlier in the show.  But, I was worried for nothing.  They played Phil’s Donor Rap and capped off the night with Uncle John’s Band. Always a crowd pleaser.

Furthur @ Nokia Theatre

Furthur @ Nokia Theatre

At the end of the show, Phil went up to Bobby and gave him a huge hug.  The audience went crazy for a good long while.  How wonderful. Love in Jerry’s spirit.  There must have been some kind of explanation that had been realized behind the scene during set break.

As the venue empties....

As the venue empties....

They pulled off a good show. I remember being happy and confused at the same time as I left the venue, overhearing all the buzz about what had occurred in the first set.  We hung outside for some time and meet up with tour buddies who spent the concert looking for tickets.  Everyone wanted to know what we saw.  The dogs and wooks were still behaving and I saw no evidence of fights.  Again, I thought that I had worried for nothing.  It was a splendid night but I still knew it was nothing without Jerry.  I look forward to meeting him in the afterlife. We are going to RAGE HEAVEN and HELL into the ground!!!

Furthur
Wed. July 28, 2010
Nokia Theatre Times Square
New York, NY

Set 1: Shakedown Street >, Brown Eyed Women, El Paso (2x 1st verse, instrumental)>, Dire Wolf, Row Jimmy, I Need a Miracle >, Bertha >, Good Lovin’

Set II: Music Never Stopped, Colors of the Rain>, Cassidy, Cold Rain and Snow, Bartering Lines, Space, Born Cross-eyed, Stella Blue, I Know You Rider

Encore: Donor Rap & Uncle John’s Band

Download: Furthur @ The Nokia Theatre Times Square (07.28.10)

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Trey Anastasio ~ Hartford, CT

Trey Anastasio ~ Hartford, CT

PHISH 2010 TOUR

Trey Anastasio ~ Guitar

Jon Fishman ~ Drums

Mike Gordon ~ Bass

Page McConnell ~ Organ

What can I possibly say?  And how do I say it? Many times, music is a feeling to us.; something that can’t be expressed in words.  I try on so many levels, but still feel as though many times I fail in my own wanting to express these massive musical adventures.  And THIS was MASSIVE on day one.  But by day four…This was EPIC.

Phish @ Hartford, CT

Phish @ Hartford, CT

Phish is a band that has been worshiped and written about by the cult masses for years.  A band whose name many times doesn’t ring a bell to your average passer-by yet has a cult following in the tens of thousands.  A band who has outsold the likes of Madonna, Elton John and Jay-Z in ticket sales numerous years over.  A band whose entire studio album collection I own, to include hundreds of live shows spanning almost two decades.  However, until this past weekend, I HAD NEVER SEEN THEM LIVE!  Being as dedicated to live music and wonderful musicians as I am; being that this is considered THE “IT” GROUP to follow in the Jamband community…having never been, well, this fact was considered to be straight up blasphemy amongst my fellow music tribe.

Phish @ Hartford, CT

Phish @ Hartford, CT

I will flat out tell you that I boycotted Phish for many years.  I have always been and will always be a Deadhead first and foremost.  Where as Phish‘s touring phenomenon is my generations equivalent to the Grateful Dead tours, Trey Anastasio IS NOT Jerry Garcia and thus, nothing would fill the void.  Also, and more importantly, I boycotted Phish for the reason that everyone DID consider them the “IT” group.  Because I saw how people fell under the SPELL of Phish, swearing they were the end all/be all of the Jamband world.  And so I didn’t go to their shows.  Instead, I choose to apply my time and money to the hundreds of other bands being left in Phish‘s dust.

Comcast Theater @ Hartford, CT (06/22/10)

Righteous! Much Love Jay!

Righteous! Much Love Jay!

So, I have this buddy, we shall call him Jay.  He is a total Phish head, by way of the Grateful Dead.  He spends thousands of dollars on Phish tickets every year for his friends and for himself.  Enough for every venue, every show, for whoever might need them, and always great seats.  He does this with the greatest intentions of sharing his tickets, stubbing his crew down and working it so that all his friends can be together for the show, grooving together as he bops all over the venue.   He offered to treat me to my first Phish show, swearing to me that I would continue on to as many shows as I could after the taste I got in Hartford.  This was his world, a world that I was ready to allow myself  to enter and already found slightly intoxicating just by the movement that occurs when it’s PHISH TOUR time and those ticket lotteries occur.  And it was about to be introduced to me in a pretty sick way.

They each have thier own tour bus. No Biggie.

They each have their own tour bus. No Biggie.

We climbed into the car around 2:30pm Friday afternoon and arrived at the Comcast Theater in Hartford, CT around 5:30pm.  This is where the beauty of my Phish experience truly begins.  As we are driving through the toll booths, Jen asks the gentlemen if he is going to the show.  “Phish?” he says. Jay leans over and tells him to jump in the car with us and that we had a ticket it for him if he just jumped in.  I could read the pain on his face.  And with that, Jen asks how much.  Without missing a beat, the kid goes, “No charge.” “Excuse me?/What/Huh?,” we all say.  “You’re good,” he says and we pull away in mid thank yous.  We were MIRACLED at the toll booth.  And it just got better and better.

The car fit nicely!

The car fit nicely!

Stompin grounds for the evening

Stompin grounds for the evening

With Jay’s All Access laminate, we were able to drive through the masses, past VIP parking and parked it right backstage next to the tour buses.  I knew immediately that with this laminate, things were going to get a little rowdy.   We chatted up the guard and walked right into the venue through its side you see above.  None of us ever being asked to produce our tickets.  It was lovely.  I snapped pictures and we wandered around the venue checking out the layout, running into other friends along the way.  We checked out our seats (Section 200, Row U, Seat 241).  I was so excited.  I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to rage front row like I normally did but I knew I would be able to see Trey.  See his smiling face and his bouncing, vibing, cute, happy self all over the stage and that made me so happy.  After combing around the lawn and seeing how far the stage looked from there, I was so very grateful for Jay.  We ran into our teenage posse who had been taking pictures on the stage and then we then took off for the lot parties.

The RAGE Stage! Comcast Theater, Hardtford, CT

The RAGE Stage! Comcast Theater, Hardtford, CT

Checkin out the lawn...

Checkin out the lawn...cant see stage! Yuck!

As we stumbled upon the parking lots, the scene appeared no different then a musical festival mixed with a Jimmy Buffet concert, full of tailgaters and hippies as far as the eyes could see.  Once there, we decided to hit The Shakedown, a rogue section of the Jamband scene that pops up in places surrounding shows/music festivals where folks vend their wares.  Definitely a wook-filled vibe in spots but just like all things in life, it was easy to look past the grimy and the dirty to see the beauty in the environment I was walking through.  We met some friends at the end of the Shakedown and made plans to meet up inside.

Trey Anastasio @ Hartford, CT

Trey Anastasio @ Hartford, CT

Page McConnell @ Hartford, CT

Page McConnell @ Hartford, CT

The show was slated to start at 8:00pm and so we walked back to find our seats and get the party started.  At this point, I still hadn’t used my ticket.  Jay takes me by the hand and we walk right into the venue, no questions asked.  My ticket was never taken out of my pocket.  For this venue, we held down five seats in Section 200, a few rows back from the front, towards middle left aisle.  I was in the isle as PHISH walked on stage.  A security guard leans over to a guy near me and says, “Teach her the rules right now.” Apparently, I had to stay within a certain line so as to be out in the isle…fire hazards and what not.  Duh! And that rule was so broken so fast but not by me because  within SECONDS of the music starting, Jay once again grabbed my hand and led me to the front row, left side…PAGE side.  There it was, I was up front for FEE!  And there I stood/danced/smiled all night.

Phish @ Hartford, CT

Phish @ Hartford, CT

Trey and Mike @ Hartford, CT

Trey and Mike @ Hartford, CT

A perfect view of the band.  To be standing in the front row at my very first Phish concert was a little overwhelming.  I was not expecting anything so great.  I figured I would be out in the lawn like most other big shows I attend or in the seats stuck behind some big dudes.  I had been assured of our wonderful seating prior to the show but being 5 foot nothing, I am always weary as no one truly knows how little I can see.  But I knew going into this trip that things would be above average.  It’s just the way things work out.  And I was blissfully happy because the energy in that place was hitting me like a freight train.  If you think I was happy, magnify it by 1 million and stick that energy into all the people around me who KNEW what they were in store for.  The people who built up what was around me and what I was feeling and becoming apart of.  Everyone was SOOOOOO happy.  Fee was great.  A cute song about a weasel named Fee who gets his nipple cut off.  Sure, why not!

Thanks Chris!

Thanks Chris!

Chris Kuroda's lights ~ EXCELLENT!

Chris Kurodas lights ~ EXCELLENT!

I was pleasantly surprised to hear how lovely Page was right in front of my face.  Happy to hear the piano a little louder then the other instruments.  This song had such great piano amongst the chaos of the story.  First song in and I was silently questioning why I had boycotted them for so long.  The energy in the pavilion was sick.  Everyone was singing, jumping up and down, blowing up balloons and raging in the isles.  Sure, this happens at tons of shows where the fans are ridiculously fanatic but this was different.  This was extremely more intense.

Thank you Chris Kuroda!

Thank you Chris Kuroda!

They jammed out during Rift but I wanted more during that song to be honest.  A guy a few rows back screamed, “This is my first Phish SHOOOW!!”  Of course, I scream back, “ME TOOOO!!”  There was a big commotion of hugs and high fives between our groups and I fell in love with our community all over again.  He smiled and ended up finding me later during intermission for more hugs. Now, you tell me what other show is like that…on this MASS a scale.

Trey and Mike @ Hartford, CT

Trey and Mike @ Hartford, CT

With it’s gorgeous melodic intro, Summer of 69 got the venue swaying with its lyrics reminding us that it’s SUMMER and IT’S TOUR TIME!!!
“Glad to find anytime alone / and it’s summer once again / The days are full / but they’re not our own / Remember our life back then.”
And with Mike Gordon‘s bass reentering after the chorus, they ALMOST got me crying.  Such a pretty song and SUCH a loving vibe blasting through the venue at that moment.  It truly is an experience that so many people just will never attempt nor understand.
Backstage @ Phish, Hartford, CT

Backstage @ Phish, Hartford, CT

In case you didn't know...

In case you didnt know...

During Cavern (the last song of the first set), it was time to rage the bathroom.  Jay grabbed my hand and led me backstage.  The walls were covered with large pictures of bands that have left their mark on the venue and in the music world.  Phun Fact #123:  A few days prior, they erected the below photo of Phish, so aptly located next to what was Trey’s dressing room for the evening.  Speaking with Trey the previous night, he had been VERY excited and happy about this honor.

Phish on All Star Wall Backstage @ Comcast Theater, Hartford, CT

Phish on All Star Wall Backstage @ Comcast Theater, Hartford, CT

Unlimited waters was a FABULOUS plus!

Unlimited waters was a FABULOUS plus!

While walking backstage, I was shocked at how quiet it was.  The band’s dressing rooms were lined up in a row, littered with hippie blankets and children’s toys.  Smelling of incense and just shockingly quiet.  All these toys but no kids.  I knew they had to have an entourage of children and wives and whatnot.  That threw me off. Wonder where their rage room was?

Mike's Sound Room

Mikes Sound Room

I walked past a little room with a TV screen and what appeared to be a sound board.  I would find out later on in the tour in Camden just what this room was meant for.  You will have to read that article because I got to hang out with Mike, the sound guy, for a few minutes and it was pretty rad.

Heading back to our seats, we met up with a few more friends.  The second set was by far the best set.  I was amazed at how well I just flowed into the concert, knowing more of their music then I thought I would as I had listened to them so much in high school.  I was thrown back 10 years, when CDs were all the rage.  I was actually introduced to Phish when a friend made me a mixed tape and put Bouncing Round the Room and Billy Breaths on it.

Like an alien space ship from SPAAAAAAAAAAAACE!!!

Like an alien space ship from SPAAAAAAAAAAAACE!!!

Our teenage posse had joined us, rocking their laminates with the biggest grins and raging with us instead of at their usual soundboard spot.  Issac, wide-eyed and holding a tee-shirt, tells us how he ran into Fishman backstage and how Fishman proceeded to proclaim that he “doesn’t LIKE tee-shirts” and gave it to Issac.  It was a dope pencil drawing of Jerry’s head, hair blowing across his face due to an unforseen wind.  It really was a cool shirt.  The following day, Issac was rockin’ that shirt.  Damn right, Issac!

Unreal.  Beautiful lights by Chris Kuroda!

Unreal. Beautiful lights by Chris Kuroda!

Trey = Light & Love

Trey = Light & Love

When the music started, our front row spot had doubled.  How was this possible? Didn’t people own these seats?  Were they raging the lawn with their friends? But throughout tour, this is how it went.  No matter how many people we brought to our spot, there was always enough room.  You always get what you need.  Later, I would be told that normally…generally…things like that never happen.  Many times, the guards are pushy, constantly asking for your tickets, shuffling people along.  But we were lovely music mamas in boas, not drinking, clearly having a GREAT time, staying out of the isle and behaving.  I mean, I felt like I was at the Brooklyn Bowl at times. Not like I had 14,000 people behind me raging.  I was surrounded by all my best ones, missing those who were not able to be there, and thinking about those who were still spread all over the venue.

Amazing Sauce!

Amazing Sauce!

Reba brought the spacey, obscure jam that I so adore from Phish.  Like rouge jazz insertions throughout parts of the song, while other parts are fast and solidly melodic. Yet, other sections were rocky and all sections were raging.

Kuroda is Obviously my fav member of Phish! Yes!

Kuroda is Obviously my fav member of Phish! Yes!

And Mike Gordon‘s bass really hit home with me during Cavern.  I have been hooked on listening to him ever since.  I LOVE Mike Gordon!  I LOVE his sound.  Whoever does sound for him during this tour is making him sound perfect.  He has stood out to me during the entire run.  And during Tweezer, ugh, that bass line.  Thwacking me across my dome.  Phun Fact #72: It is best to always make sure you surrounding security guard is well taken care of.  See if they need water, anything really, as it’s best to be on their good side.  Diplomacy and politics run in all facets of life including front row at giant venues.  By doing so, we were able to take some great pictures with Trey behind us as well as go to the middle for some great shots!

Trey Anastasio @ Hartford, CT

Trey Anastasio @ Hartford, CT

Theme From the Bottom might have been one of my favorite songs of the night for nostalgic reasons.  Everyone singing with the band was fun to watch.  Glow sticks had made their way from the wars on the lawn behind us up to the front and all sizes of balls had made their way to the stage area.  Harry Hood brought another 15 minute jam session.   I loved Trey’s guitar in Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan.  So, so funky.  “Got a blank space where my mind should be,” sang Trey, one of my friend’s favorite lines.  The lyrics for Phish songs are great and that was definitely a great line 🙂  And as the guitar just rock-n-wailed, Fishman thumped the drums and the cymbals in perfect time. They are so tight, that even on a horrible night, they can’t be truly bad.

Trey rages! @ Hartford, CT

Trey rages! @ Hartford, CT

The best part of this show came at the end, during the encore.  Phish played a groovy Tweezer Reprise.  Aside from what was about to happen at the end of this song, Trey’s energy is so ridiculously evident in the video below.  He was having SO MUCH FUN on that stage that I was loosing my mind.  Sure, I loved the music, but as much Live music as I watch, I rarely see the guitar artist I adore bug out and just rage physically.  That is what I LOVE to see…when the artist is as much into their music as we are.  When their music takes them over, lifting them our of their chairs, off their feet, into the air or sprawling on the floor.  Skerik is a prime example of the crazy I like to see in my artists from time to time.  I was flipping OUT and it was as much Trey’s energy as the music or the atmosphere.  And then right as they finished Tweezer Reprise, Trey jumps back to the microphone and excitedly shouts”,

“You know what! We’re having such a great time.  We’ve only got a couple minutes before they kick us off this stage. And we played Tweezer in Hersey Park but we never did Tweezer Reprise. So, we’re going to play it again. THIS IS FOR HERSEY PARK!!!”

Front row ragers!

Front row ragers!

And RIGHT BACK into another Tweezer Reprise…clearly this was not planned as Mike took a moment to look around and then fall back into round two….and then the place erupted.  And by God, if Trey’s energy and the energy in that supernova that was the Comcast Center hadn’t reached it’s boiling point…right at that moment, the eruption shook me to the CORE!  I mean, just pure ultimate joy was radiating out of these people floating around me screaming their excitement.  Intense is the only word I can think of.  Trey was bouncing all over the speakers, the venue was lit on fire. This video will show you everything you need to know! It sounds amazing and looks even better…Definitely hit PLAY!

Set List I: Intro, Fee>, Rift, Wolfman’s Brother, Summer Of ’89, Foam, Possum, Moma Dance>, Julius, Reba, Cavern

Set List II: Intro, Halley’s Comet>, Light>, Billy Breathes, Tweezer>, Theme From The Bottom>, Harry Hood>, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan

Encore : Sleeping Monkey>, Tweezer Reprise, Tweezer Reprise x2

Download: Phish 2010-06-18 Comcast Theater, Hartford, CT

So much equipment...

So much equipment...

Ragers leavin out the back....

Ragers leavin out the back....

When the music was over, it was over for good but like a festival, I LOVED knowing that I would be able to do this all over again tomorrow night.  Yet, like a concert, I was also happy that the possibility of sleeping in and not having to run to make early music was a nice positive that I immediately picked up on as plus for touring with a band.  For a while, we just sat in our chairs chatting over the double Reprise we were just thrown.  That was so ridiculous.  The power of the people in the pavilion and rolling up the lawn…I could taste it.  There were glow sticks everywhere, in piles.

We were staying with a gorgeous family I had met only weeks earlier at Mountain Jam.  They lived in Hartford and supplied about eight/ten of us with beds for the night in their lovely villa.

Das Villa! Thank you Levys!

Das Villa! Thank you Levys!

Waking up to the sun filled rooms and the breezy walkways, I was SO excited to think that we would be piling back into a car, and taking off for another state! Another night of Phish and another night of the biggest party you can go to that isn’t on a boat.  I can see why my parents kept me from touring with The Dead and Phish back in high school.  It was a raging party and they knew once I got a taste….I’d never come back!

Thank you Levys! xoxo

Thank you Levys! xoxo

Continue on tour with me: PHISH @ SPAC ~ Saratoga Springs, NY ~ (06.19.10)

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