Furthur at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, 9/22/12

Categories: Concert Reviews

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All photos by Eric Gruneisen.
Full slide show: Furthur at Red Rocks


All signs pointed to go before the doors to the venue even opened. It was the first day of fall, a beautiful day, and all four of Red Rocks' main parking lots were filled up by 5:30 p.m. Deadheads were parked out on Highway 93 and trekking their way up to the party scene going on closer to the venue. Shakedown Street was packed in with pipe vendors, hippies burning sage, people selling beer behind the backs of the not-so-watchful cops. Dozens of people milled around with their fingers in the air or holding up wads of cash in hopes of finding an elusive extra ticket for the show.

See also:
- Slide show: Furthur at Red Rocks
- Review: Furthur at Red Rocks, 9/30/11, Night One
- Review: Furthur at Red Rocks, 10/01/11, Night Two
- Review: Furthur at Red Rocks, 9/24/10-9/26/10

Doors opened at least an hour and a half before the announced 7:30 start time, but within a few minutes the die-hard crowd darted in, tarping down their zones in the front general admission section that they earned waiting hours in line while everyone else stayed back and tailgated on the beautiful, cool Colorado night.

The band took the stage close to 8 p.m., with Grateful Dead guitarist, singer and songwriter Bob Weir plucking out the opening notes to the Beatles' "Here Comes the Sun" -- an interesting choice considering the sun had set. But in retrospect, it was the best way to announce the rising inferno of music that was to come from the stage over the next three hours.

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Full slide show: Furthur at Red Rocks

Weir's "Cassidy" came next, with a melody that cruises and curves like the Cadillac on the country roads that Weir sings about. Despite the tune's ballad-like nature, the band picked up the tempo right away and fell in right behind drummer Joe Russo's force-of-nature drumming. It might be an overused cliché about the man, but Russo's thunderous style sounds like it is coming from more than one person most of the time.
Any issues Furthur faced regarding speed and energy the last time they were at Red Rocks last October were completely gone, and the band seemed more relaxed, more at home on stage together.

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Full slide show: Furthur at Red Rocks

The place went nuts with lead guitarist John Kadlecik's speedy, bouncy opening licks for "Scarlet Begonias," which set off a noodle-dance party that spilled people out to pack the stairwells beneath Creation Rock some thirty rows back. Keyboardist Jeff Chimenti shined through the jam section of "Scarlet" and took off on the Hammond organ as the band transitioned into "Good Lovin'" (video below) instead of the (somewhat) usual "Fire on the Mountain." The band still has some tricks up its sleeves, and fans should know better than to expect the expected anymore.

Continue reading for more from the show.

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