FURTHUR – Gathering of the Vibes, Bridgeport, CT — 2010-07-30
Gathering of the Vibes, Bridgeport, CT — 2010-07-30
Set 1: 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 2: 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
E: Terrapin Station Suite
On a crisp summer evening, more specifically known as Day Two of Gathering of the Vibes, Furthur marched in to Bridgeport on a mission to give fans a diverse taste of the Grateful Dead songbook. The energy was still high from the previous night as New Riders of the Purple Sage and Dark Star Orchestra got the festival started with some powerful sets that even Jerry Garcia himself would approve of. In previous years, Bob Weir played this festival with RatDog and Phil Lesh played with Phil & Friends, but this would be their first time sharing the stage as the headlining band. That alone kept me excited for the months and weeks leading up to this exact moment; the moment in which Furthur would appear on stage and my imagination would be pushed aside by the hunger of my senses.
The drums from the intro of Golden Road are still ringing in my memory as if it was still happening in the present, and I’m honestly not even a big fan of this song. Needless to say, the night could not have started any better with the high-energy Golden Road leading the way for Jack Straw, Ramble On Rose, Dupree’s Diamond Blues, and Friend of The Devil. By the time Estimated Prophet came, the crowd had surrendered to the musical power of these musicians; and that is when they hit us with my personal favorite – Eyes of the World. While I’ll be the first to tell you that a Furthur Eyes of the World is nowhere near as good as something like a 1974 Grateful Dead Eyes of the World, I will say that it still feels great to be there when this song is being played by two of the original memebers of the band that gave us such great versions of this classic song. The famous drum beat of Not Fade Away took us into setbreak and everyone immediately wanted more.
When the band returned for Set Two, they jumped right into a smokin’ hot, 17 minute-version of Playin’ In The Band which included the jam-within-a-jam, known as “The Main Ten”. The next song, Althea, was my personal favorite of the entire night because of how much feeling it had. Lead guitarist and vocalist, John Kadlecik filled Jerry’s spot very well in this particular song and the sweet melodies filled the air in such a heavenly way. The slow tempo continued with Wharf Rat, which was a nice gesture considering that most people in the crowd were not even close to being sober or “recovering” like the story of the lyrics. The next part of the show was really a memorable block of great songs: He’s Gone > Scarlet Begonias > The Wheel. I’m even amazed when I look at this setlist years later to see that they played these three songs in order on this special night where the stage is nearly 100 feet away from Long Island Sound. Once Standing On The Moon was played, the show got freaky and trippy (in a good way) and the remaining songs from Set Two all included the complex musical nuances that only skilled musicians, like Furthur, can execute properly. The encore was Terrapin Station Suite, which in my opinion always sounds sweet. This night, it was extra special because it was requested by the person who runs the entire Gathering of the Vibes Festival – Ken Hays.
Overall, this was an excellent show and I’m a firm believer that Furthur broked into the hearts of the loyal Grateful Dead fans who may have been previously skeptical of Phil and Bob’s newest project.