Further at Red Rocks, 9/20/13
FURTHUR at RED ROCKS | NIGHT TWO | 9/20/13
As Furthur took the stage to a sold out crowd last night at Red Rocks, they were upstaged by a massive orange Harvest Moon coming up over the horizon. The band began some preliminary warm-up jamming, as tons of cell phones snapped pics of that massive moon on the clearest day we had seen in a while here. That was the only time cell phones were even brought out, something that's always appreciated.
Weir started things off palm-muting his strings, creating a percussive sound that turned into "Hell in a Bucket," an opener that quickly got people dancing and showed that Weir's vocals were once again in top form. Whirling sounds came from John Kadlecik's guitar as Weir repeated the lyric "at least I'm enjoying the ride," aiming higher with each repetition.
"Ship of Fools" came next, and Kadlecik sang perfectly, his rendition more hopeful sounding than Jerry Garcia's inflections in the past. Weir's guitar sounded pretty sharp and a little too loud at times here, but the jam was solid as Kadlecik played a solo of long, yearning notes and Jeff Chimenti added some nice Hammond B3 organ work. The backup vocalists made the climax of the song sound like a church choir. All in all, it was a great version.
"Looks like Rain" was next with a great buildup between Chimenti on organ and Weir hitting power chords that once again brought a church-like feel to the show. Phil Lesh took over on vocals for "Pride of Cucamonga," and also took the lead slapping his bass in a dirty blues breakdown. Vocals went to Kadlecik next as he sang a rare first set "Wharf Rat" with as much conviction as the original.
Once again, the backing vocals swelled as a jam of palm-fretting and sustain built; a guitar melody from Weir transitioned into an energetic version of "Throwing Stones." This rare political song from the Grateful Dead catalog let Weir shine vocally, taking it down real low and causing the audience to cheer before having it curveball effortlessly into "Not Fade Away," the Buddy Holly classic. The jam was very bright sounding and had an excellent organ solo by Chimenti, and audience vocals were the icing on the cake.
After a fifty-minute set break, the second set kicked off with the band teasing "Truckin'," playing around a little more before going full steam into the song. Female backup vocalist Sunshine Becker was exemplary here, and the audience sing-a-long increased until it exploded at the line, "what a long strange trip it's been." A "New Minglewood Blues" tease was thrown in, as Joe Russo got a chance to take center-stage on drums with a big drop back into the song.