Sometimes I lead the music; Sometimes I follow the music.

Furthur at Madison Square Garden, 11-21-2010

Furthur at Madison Square Garden, 11-21-2010

Set 1: Truckin’ > Cumberland Blues, Any Road, Viola Lee Blues, Cassidy > Eyes of The World, So Many Roads, Going Down The Road Feeling Bad

Set 2: Born Cross-Eyed > Wheel > Weather Report Suite > Time > Let It Grow > Unbroken Chain, Morning Dew > Playing In The Band

Encore: Brokedown Palace

STREAMING AUDIO

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This show was highly anticipated after a slightly disappointing show the previous night and Furthur really brought the heat for the Sunday crowd.  Everyone had a feeling that this night was going to be special, but no one knew exactly how it would take place.  Rumors of a Bob Dylan sit-in were circulating as if it was a sure thing, but those rumors were quickly forgotten about when John Kadlecik played the first note of Truckin’.  We all knew that the rest of the show would follow with the same intensity as the show opener.

It was a pleasure to hear Cumberland Blues in a city that got so many of the classic early versions of this song in the 1960’s and early 1970’s.  When Any Road came on, I initially thought it was a Furthur original song that I never heard before but someone then informed me that it was a George Harrison cover.  Either way, it sounded pretty damn good and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing it played by Furthur on a Sunday night at Madison Square Garden.  The next batch of goodness was when Cassidy was played.  Bob Weir accidentally teased Cassidy earlier in the show, but laughed at himself and moved on.  We weren’t sure if he just messed up or if that was an element of foreshadowing, but we eventually found out it was a little bit of both – call it “accidental foreshadowing”.  I had to use the bathroom toward the end of Cassidy (not because I was bored, because I HAD TO GO!) so I was glad to speed up my return-walk when I heard the first bass note of Eyes of the World being played.  We all have favorite songs that we hope to hear at the shows we attend, and many times those hopes are indirectly answered by the band, many times they are not answered.  Tonight was one of those nights where it felt like the entire crowd had the same hopes.  It also felt like the band wanted to play these songs just as much as the audience wanted to hear them, so you can imagine how spiritual the environment became in an arena that is often referred to as “The Mecca”. 

As if the First Set wasn’t amazing enough, the entire Second Set felt like a giant encore stacked with one classic song after another.  There are certain parts of this show that were so amazing, I can’t even find words that would do it justice.  The intro to The Wheel was one of those moments when the sights, sounds, and feelings completely took over and it was hard to believe that what was happening was real.  Just when everyone thought there would be a lul in the show, they took an unexpected turn into Weather Report Suite and Let It Grow, with none other than Pink Floyd’s Time in between.  The moment when the clock sound effects started at the intro of Time, everyone stopped and looked at each other with expressions that might as well have said “Wow, this is simply too good to be true”.  I was one of those people and I still can’t believe that they played this song for the first time on this night.  John Kadlecik really sounded sweet in the Let It Grow solos, we were all proud of how he came through [almost] like Jerry would have in that moment.  Most people at this point were thinking “How could it get any better?”.  The band answered by playing what most people thought was Furthur’s best version of Morning Dew, followed by the Second Set closer Playin’ In The Band.  Last but not least, this highly spiritual show ended with the sweet melodies of Brokedown Palace.  People were naturally high when they left the arena and nobody could deny that this was one of Furthur’s better shows.

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