Friends from California, Hawaii, Colorado and Washington descended on Eugene last week to see two Furthur shows at Cuthbert Amphitheatre. Our local friends also joined the party.
Furthur is the band Bob Weir and Phil Lesh of Grateful Dead play in today. By the way, the Dead’s drummers Bill Kreutzman and Mickey Hart are not in this band. The drum kit is manned by Joe Russo of Benevento Russo Duo. In my opinion, Russo’s work and the contributions from keyboardist Jeff Chimenti are two good reasons to like this band.
Guitar player and vocalist John Kadlecik from Dark Star Orchestra has a lead role in Furthur. My friend Greg Meredith from San Francisco says he plays “shit hot” guitar. He may indeed, but I found it odd to have a cover band guy in this slot. Personally, I don’t want an imitation or even a recreation, I want a creative interpretation of Jerry’s body of work. Then there’s always the question of vocals. Vocals is a big part of how soulful songs get properly conveyed. Kadlecik seemed to struggle on vocals, but Phil’s singing voice sounded better than ever.
Although it was hard to do at times, I tried not to think too much about what Furthur is, or is not. They played lots of great songs that I’m always eager to hear. Shakedown, Scarlet, St. Stephen, China Cat, Dark Star, Doin’ That Rag, Golden Road To Unlimited Devotion, and more. Plus, Cuthbert is a beautiful setting for a concert and people were freely flying their freak flags. It’s hard to complain when it’s all good ‘-)
Both Eugene shows are for sale on LiveDownloads.com. I preferred the Thursday night show, but Friday had its moments too. Both shows proved to be an incredible way to remember and celebrate the life and work of author and Merry Prankster Ken Kesey, who would have had been 75 last Friday.
MP3 Offering: Doin’ That Rag by Furthur, performed live in Eugene on 9/16/10