Share it

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Last stop on tour..

On the way to Alpharetta I saw someone hit a possum, but I didn't have the song to play :(
I got to Alpharetta and used the directions my dad gave me to get to Outback Steakhouse to use up the last of my giftcard and get a good meal. I ordered a steak with snow crab and baked potato, and it was absolutely delicious. The bartender took good care of me, she poured my drinks strong after I asked her to, and I left her a nice tip before I headed to Wills Park to camp. I got there and there were horse trailers everywhere, so I guessed that there was some sort of equestrian event going on there. I set up my trailer in the same spot I had for Phish and went to sleep fairly quickly. The next morning I woke up and hung out in my camper til Chris and Keith hit me up or until Charlie from Phish came. I watched this cool new show called Wilfred which was quite original. A little after noon Chris and Keith hit me up and headed my way. We explored the park a bit before deciding to hang in the A/C of their hotel room. We sat around talking about what songs we wanted to hear them play, and Keith wanted Wharf Rat or Half-Step, Chris wants Ruben and Cherise every show I go to with him, but he hasn't gotten it yet, and I wanted Magnolia Mountain, more beatles, and I've been saying they'll end the tour with Terrapin Station for a long time. The song everyone wanted but was a long shot was Fool in the Rain. We hung out there for a while until I got a text from Charlie saying they had made it to Wills Park, so we headed there. By the time we got there they had left for food, so we headed to the lot. We got parked and walked around, and since I was low on money I was looking for ways to make money. I happened to find 5 hat pins on a piece of cardboard on the ground, and I walked around and sold 3 of them by the time the show was about to start. I headed up to the venue to try and get a miracle, and there was a group of 5 people standing in a chalk circle with signs that said "We need a big ass miracle". They were getting people to step in their circle for good luck, so I stepped in, and ended up making friends with them and staying there to try and get a ticket too. They had already gotten one miracle, and only needed 4 more for the rest of the group. Once the show started they realized that they might not all get a ticket, so since they all couldn't go in, they traded me the ticket for one of the hat pins, but I gave em both that I had left.
I hurried in to the show as "Not Fade Away" was playing and found my seat down in the Orchestra Pit. "New Speedway Boogie" was next and flowed smoothly into "I Need A Miracle". "Miracle" was special for me because I had gotten a miracle to get into the show. During this song I was looking around the crowd and saw Keith and Chris a little ways away, so I made my way over there and sat with them right as "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" came on, with Phil on vocals. It was ironic, because just a few hours before when talking about what they might play Keith said he didn't really want any more old obscure Dlyan tunes, but we all agreed that more Beatles would be great. Even though it wasn't what we wanted, this was prob the best "Tom Thumb" that I have heard them play. "Magnolia Mountain" by Ryan Adams is quite possibly my favorite cover I've ever heard Furthur play, and I had been hoping for one all tour, and finally got one tonight! It was amazing to hear this song again, and it was enough to bring tears to Keith's eyes. JK did a great job singing it. Next was a Jerry Band tune, "Mission In the Rain". Furthur performed this for the first time earlier this tour, at one of the shows I missed, and I was Grateful to be able to hear it. When they started playing the first notes of the next song Keith got excited and I looked over and then Chris realized what song it was and his face was priceless, because he was finally going to get to hear "Ruben and Cherise". JK sang this one too, and they really jammed out. They kept jamming right into "Deal" to end the set, with Jeff Chimenti really shining on keyboards.
The second set opened with a bang on "Samson and Delilah" which had Jeff and Joe really jamming and stealing the spotlight. I got another one of my wishes when the next song came on, "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" off Abbey Road by the Beatles, and JK did a great job wit the Beatles vocals as always. Another Jerry Band song came next, "Bird Song", and Phil sang this one and did a good job at it. "Bird Song" was super crazy and then continued straight into "Terrapin Station Suite". I was to the point of tears during this song, and it lasted over 20 minutes. Joe Russo grew another set of arms while he was playing the drums on this son, that's the only way he could have done it. And JK killed the vocals until Bobby came in and started singing. After that greatness came "Unbroken Chain" which Phil really did great on, both vocals and bass, and at one point the tempo really picked up and they played it super fast. That flowed into "Standing on the Moon" which I hadn't heard from them before and really enjoyed. Then came "China Cat Sunflower" into "I Know You Rider" which is known to heads as China Rider. The crowd was really great on "Rider" and at points you could hear the crowd singing over Bobby. They then went back into what they started with, going into verse 3 of "Not Fade Away", and when they were done the crowd kept clapping and chanting until Phil came up to give his Donor Rap before the encore.
The encore was "U.S. Blues", which had also been the encore of the first night of tour other than festivals at Bethel. They then kept going into another Beatles tune, "The End".
Overall this show was the best of the tour, and I told Chris and Keith that. We went back to the lot and walked around and got some food and I waited on Charlie to see if they needed a ride, but they had walked back to Wills Park, so we headed there and Chris shared one beer before they left for the hotel, and Charlie, Leotis and I were all that was left there. We stayed up talking until I fell asleep.

Brokedown, and not in a Palace

We woke up in the hotel and got everything ready to leave and followed Jess and Dlyan to a Bojangles to eat and then hit the road. We decided it would be better to split up so I didn't hold them back since my trailer won't do more than 70. We hit the road and made it almost to Winston-Salem when my car started slowing down and acting up. I drove along the shoulder to get off Interstate and see what was wrong. It felt like the transmission was acting up, as I had no power in the higher gears. We got the car pulled off and looked at it, and there was no quick fix, so I called roadside assistance and arranged a tow. Since Drew and Jason had to make it to the show to keep finding rides, I called Jess and had them turn around to come pick them up. The tow truck came like a half hour after Jess picked them up, and my trailer wasn't covered under the roadside assistance, so I found someone on the street I had pulled onto who let me keep my trailer there for $5 a day. After arranging that, we took the car to the Acura dealership, but by that point it was too late for them to look at it, so they took me to a hotel, and I stayed the night. The next morning I woke up and hung out in the hotel room until a little after noon when I talked to the dealership and found out that it was the catalytic converter, and not the transmission, but they wanted 1,600 to fix it, so I thought for a while and figured that I could just take the converter off and it should drive fine. The guys at the dealership agreed that that would work, but they couldn't legally let me drive off without a catalytic converter, so I had to take it off my self. After walking to the dealership to get my car, I drove it to AutoZone to try and take it off, but was having trouble getting it off. Someone in the parking lot ended up helping me, and instead of taking the whole cat off, he just took out the O2 sensor and that gave a big enough hole to allow my car to drive. I then set off for Alpharetta.

Hanging with Roanokins

We woke up in the morning and hit the road south to Roanoke, where my friend Jess lives. After a long drive we made it to Roanoke and met her and her friends at a coffee shop, and hung out there for a while before going to her friend Dylan's house to stay the night. We partied there for a while til we all finally went to sleep. The next morning we woke up and most everyone had already left, and Jess was getting ready for work. We said goodbye and hit the road for Raleigh. The show was originally supposed to be at Time Warner Pavilion where Phish played, but due to poor ticket sales the venue was changed to the Raleigh Amphitheater. We had a little trouble finding it, but once we did we were surprised to see how small it was. The way it was set up the parking lot was directly behind the show with a view of the stage and everything. The parking lot was like a giant lawn that you didn't have to pay for. I immideatly decided that I wasn't even going to look for a ticket, and just enjoy the show from the lot. All the shows I've seen so far I have been able to make it in, but I've always wanted to stay on lot for a show. This was a perfect chance to do that. I walked around lot and eventually met up with Dylan and hung out with him while he was waiting on Jess to arrive. We got spots where we could see the show and sat on the ice chest full of beer and waited for the show.
Furthur opened with "Alligator" and "Gloria", both of which were songs I hadn't heard them play before, and they did a great job with them. Listening to the show from lot was quite different, as I spent lots of time talking and making friends instead of just listening to the show. "Ramble on Rose" was followed by a Phil and Friends song written by Phil and Robert Hunter called "No More Do I". I hadn't ever heard that song before, and no one around me could place what song it was. Next was a Bobby song, "Hell In a Bucket" followed by the great "Row Jimmy". The last song of the short set was "A Hard Rain a-Gonna Fall" which is an old Bob Dlyan tune.
I spent the whole set break walking around making friends and drinking beer. The second set opened with "Good Lovin'" which got things off to a roll. Next was a Viola Lee sandwich, starting with the first verse of "Viola Lee Blues" and going into "Bertha" back into "Viola Lee" into "Next Time You See Me" and finally back into "Viola Lee". "Bertha" was the highlight of the sandwich, but all the "Viola Lee's" were great. Next was a "Crypitcal Envelopment" sandwich, with "The Other Ones" stuck in the middle. This is also known as "That's It for the Other One". "Morning Dew" was followed by a great "Mountains on the Moon" which Phil killed. "Let it Grow" and "Sugar Magnolia" were the last two songs of the set, and by this point I was pretty drunk from all the lot beer. "Johnny B Goode" by Chuck Berry was the encore, and I was running around dancing in the street all during the song. When the people started to come out I stood by the exit looking for familiar faces and passing out flyers for some guy.
I eventually found Drew and Jason and let Jason drive because he was sober, and I got in touch with Dlyan and Jess and we found the hotel they were staying at and we got a room too. We wandered around the hotel checking out different rooms before I finally went to sleep.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Canadaigua show.

I woke up in the park and got my stuff together and headed north through the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York. I stopped at Taughannock Falls State Park and drove up to the overlook. The falls were absolutely gorgeous, dropping 215 feet to the valley below, making them the tallest in the area. They carved out a huge gorge that was hundreds of feet below me, and I could see the people walking below me. After spending some time there, I continued onward. All along the Finger Lakes are winery', and I stopped by a few, but my favorite was Sheldrake Point Winery on Cayuga Lake. I purchased two bottles from there to give as gifts, and then continued on. I got to Canadaigua a little after noon, and since lot wasn't open I looked around town and found a brewery called The Naked Dove. They had several different kinds of beer, but my favorites were the IPA and a blackberry ale. I ended up buying a growler of the blackberry ale and then went to wait in line for lot to open. I ran into my friend Jenn there and we hung out til lot opened at almost 4. It had the worst lot of all the shows, people just didn't seem into the lot scene as much at this show. I spent most of my time hanging out around my car, and ended up making two new friends, Jason and Drew, who needed a ride to the next show. I cleaned out some space in my car, and they loaded their stuff up. By then it was time for the show to start, so I headed in.
They opened with "Golden Road" which is what they opened with on my birthday, and is one of my favs to start a show with. Next was "Beat It On Down the Line" and "Promised Land", which is one of my favorites because it is about moving to California, which is what I am fixing to do. Next was "Tons of Steel" which is the first time I have heard Furthur play it. "Dark Hollow" and "They Love Each Other". "Dark Hollow" was a highlight of the night, and so was the next song, a Clash cover, "Train in Vain". I knew it was a Clash song, but wasn't sure which one until after the show. "Big Railroad Blues" ended the set, and it was fitting because the set seemed to have a trains theme running through it. Most of the songs in the set mention trains in some way. After a typical long set break, the second set started off with a great "Truckin'", which just so happens to be my dad's favorite Dead song since college. That flowed into "Smokestack Lightening". Then was an AMAZING cover of the Beatles' "I Want You (She's So Heavy)". This will definitely prove to be a highlight of the tour, they killed it!!! After the awesomeness that is the Beatles, they played "New Potato Caboose", continuing with the trains theme. Then was the entire "Dark Star", and this time the crowd remained standing, instead of sitting like at Jones Beach. The next song was "Uncle John's Band", another classic. "Black Peter" was another highlight of the night, as was "Gimmie Some Lovin". They played another song from my birthday night, "Goin Down the Road Feeling Bad". They ended the set the same way they did at my first show, with "Bid You Goodnight". This time wasn't quite as emotional as the first show, but it still managed to bring a tear to my eyes. The encore was "Lazy River Road", which Jerry wrote but didn't have a chance to record before he died. It had many of the old heads tearing up.
I went back to the lot, and the cops had already made the vendors take down their stuff, which is the first time this has happened on tour. I waited around for Jason and Drew to make it to my car, and we drove south to find a hotel, since they wanted one. We got to Watkins Glen and stayed at the Seneca Lodge, which was beautiful, and very reasonably priced. We had our own little cabin, but no TV or the like. We went pretty much straight to bed once we got settled.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Vibes Sunday

Sunday morning we woke up and hung around camp for a while, and I spent part of the day selling stickers and necklaces. Vibes doesn't allow people to camp Sunday night, so we all packed up camp Sunday afternoon before heading into the stage area. I made it in right as Dr. John and the Lower 911 was coming on. He of course played numerous New Orleans songs, and was the funkiest band of the weekend. The Lower 911 featured a guitarist, a bassist, a trombone, and a drummer, along with Dr. John on Keys and vocals. The song "Save our Wetlands" was awesome, and had a great message behind it. After seeing him twice this summer, Dr. John has become one of my new favorites.
The Rhythm Devils were up next, and consisted of the Dead drummers, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart, along with Steve Kimock and Keller Williams on guitar, and Reed Mathis on bass. They opened up with "Not Fade Away" and during the song Mathis broke a string, but kept on playing while he was changing it. They flowed from that into "Franklin's Tower", which Kimock killed. This went into a song I don't know, but I'm pretty sure it's a Keller original, followed by another of his, "Gotta Get to Your House". The Devils really jammed on this next one, a cover of The Kinks' "Ape Man" and Keller's vocals were great. Next was a Rhythm Devils original, written with the great Robert Hunter, called "Next Dimension". It goes 'Love is the ocean and time is the tide...' I hadn't heard this song before, but it was incredible, and great to hear a new Hunter tune. They went back into the Dead after this, with "Scarlet Begonias" into "Fire on the Mountain" to end the set. They came back on for an encore of "Samson and Deliah", which is one of the two songs I was really hoping to hear the Devils play. It is some of the best drumming of any of the Dead songs, and it was obvious that neither Bill or Mickey have lost steam over the years.
After that great show came the John Butler Trio, which consists of John Butler on guitar, Nicky Bomba on drums, and Bryan Luthier on Bass. They opened with a song I didn't recognize, but the second song they played was the classic "Used to Get High". That went into an amazing "One Way Road" with John on slide guitar. Michael Keys came up as a guest on piano, and John told everyone that its his brother-in-law, and so is Nicky Bomba. He sat in for "Gonna be a Long Time", and it sounded awesome with the addition of keys. Luthier pulled out an upright bass and a didgeridoo for "Treat Yo Momma" and did a great job with em. After "Momma" the band left, and John pulled out his 12 string and played his trademark song, "Ocean". I swear that each time I hear that song it gets more and more beautiful. I still stand by my opinion that he is the best 12-string player touring. The band came back out for "Revolution" and "Don't Wanna See Your Face". There had been tons of little tennis ball sized foam balls thrown around the crowd, and at this point lots of them had made it on stage, and instead of getting mad, they began throwing em at each other and at the crowd. Lots of energy, and everyone jumping around. They also kept great stage banter, telling how Justin Bieber and Lady GaGa are their idols. John brought out his banjo and played a new instrumental called "Never Eat Acid on a Stage full of Balls" or something like that. The instrumental jam flowed nicely into "Better Than". Brother Michael came back up with a guest percussionist for "Zebra", and they were an awesome addition to the song. John then started scatting his voice and led the crowd in a chant/scat. The last song he dedicated to everyone's ass, hoping to get it moving like a disco. The song was "Close to You", and it definitely had everyone shaking their ass. There was so much dancing, a cloud of dust was rising over the crowd. There were extra drums for this song as well, and all 3 members played the drums for an amazing drum solo to end the set. For the encore just John came out, and played "Losing You" dedicated to all loved ones. The band came back on for "Funky Tonight" which featured another drum solo. The encore was super long, and after over 15 minutes I left to head to my car so I make it to Dave's before too late. I'll have to hear the rest of the set on a recording.
I left Vibes and headed to Dave's and made it there around 9:30 and started washing some clothes and then went to bed. The next morning I awoke and chilled around the house until around 11 when I hit the road for the next Furthur show in Canadaigua. Last night I made it to Ithica and found a park to sleep in where I could plug in my computer. I am gonna head up towards the show and stop by the finger lakes for a while on the way.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Jane Says its Vibes Saturday

After the long night of partying, I slept all day, and woke up at 5 in time to catch the end of Deep Banana Blackout. I had really been excited for them, but only ended up getting to hear one song, but that one song rocked. I'll catch them again somewhere else. After that moe. came on, and I stayed under Riki Jee's Tree of Love to listen from the back, and ended up falling back asleep. I slept through lots of Elvis Costello as well, but woke up in time to hear him cover the Dead's "Must have Been the Roses". He did a great job on "Roses", and the sound was impeccable for all the songs I heard.
By this point I was wide awake to make sure I didn't miss Jane's Addiction, and we made our way up near the front. There was a giant tarp blocking the stage from view, and all of the sudden it dropped right as they started playing. They started putting on a great show right away, with girls swinging from ropes around the stage, and blow up dolls as tall as the stage. Perry Ferrell did a great job as the front man, and Dave Navarro absolutely killed on guitar. Stephen Perkins was on Drums, and I think Chris Chaney is the Bassist. They did a cover of Pink Floyd's "In the Flesh", and also an instrumental "Sparks" by The Who. They teased Floyd again right before going into "Been Caught Stealing" and "Summertime Rolls". Those 3 songs were the highlight of the night for me. There was also an awesome drum solo near the end of the set. Throughout the night Perry Ferrall kept saying in not so subtle ways that he wanted someone to throw him a joint, saying things like "glowsticks are hard, joints are soft" and "i'd really like a smoke right now, but I don't have any". He finally got some when they came on for the encore, and thanked whoever threw it. The encore was an acoustic "Jane Says" and was phenomenal. Epic end to an epic set. I went into the show liking Jane's Addiction, but not really a fan, and just hoping for a good show overall, but I left the show a converted fan. They were incredible live, and I will be seeing them again if I get the chance. Perpetual Groove was playing late night, but we all walked back to camp to settle down for the night.

Vibes Furthur Friday

A heat wave hit Vibes Friday, and the temperatures went above 100 for a good part of the afternoon. Due to the heat we stayed in camp resting most of the day. I wanted to catch the Tedeschi Trucks Band, but it was too hot, and the set was being played on the radio, so we sat in camp and listened to them play. They were good, but I just wish he'd play an Allman Brothers song or two. I started heading down to the stage right when Levon Helm was scheduled to come on, and I only missed a few songs. Levon Helm was the Drummer for The Band, in case you didn't know. Levon's band was huge, with several singers and guitarists and a whole horn section. Shortly after I made my way to the front, Levon welcomed Joe Russo, Furthur's drummer, to the stage. He sat in on "Mississippi Queen" and several others before Levon called Bob Weir on stage. Bobby sang "Deep Ellum Blues", and then went into "Attics of My Life". For "Attics", Levon wasn't even on the stage, but it was the highlight of the show. The A Capella singing was incredible. The song right after "Mardi Gras Day" I don't know the name of, but the female singer sang it with such soul, and I can't wait to download the show to see what song it was. After a few more songs with Levon back on the drums, he introduced the band, which seemed more like a family than a band. His pregnant daughter was a vocalist, and the leader of the band was Larry Campbell, and Howard Johnson the jazz player was the saxophonist. The encore had the whole band back out, and had both Joe and Levon on the drums for "The Weight", which is arguably The Band's most popular song.
After what seemed like forever to wait, Furthur came on and opened with "Minglewood Blues". Then JK killed "Friend of the Devil" sounding incredibly like Jerry. They then played "Mama Tried", a Hank Williams song that DSO covered the night before. "Dire Wolf" was next, and jammed on this for a long time before playing "Sugaree", which had the whole crowd shakin'! Next was an impressive "Deal" followed by another cover DSO played the night before, Cash's "Big River". Hearing both country songs that DSO played the night before was really cool, and begs the question of if they maybe played them because DSO played them, since John used to be a part of their band. Either way it was cool. The last song of the set was a rarity, "Mason's Children". this was a song off Workingman's Dead that was rarely played.
The second set started off with a blast on "St. Stephen" and then into "The Eleven". Then they played a Furthur original, "Mountain Song", which is my second favorite original behind "Colors of the Rain". They did a great job with it, showing that they can still write fantastic songs after all these years. That was followed by another song DSO played, "I Know You Rider". "Golden Slumber" into "Carry that Weight" was one of the highlights of the night, with everyone harmonizing nicely. Then came "Let It Grow" which they played a few nights before at Jones Beach. Then came "Stella Blue" which again had JK channeling Jerry's spirit. The awesomeness continued on into "Sugar Magnolia", and I found a dance partner for this song who was really cute and really topless. The last song of the show was "Around and Around", continuing the trend of playing songs from the DSO set. The encore was an absolute tearjerker, "Ripple". Incredibly emotional way to end the set, but I wouldn't have it any other way! Highlights were Mamma, Sugar, slumber>weight, and ripple.
After the show I went and checked out Big Gigantic before I realized that they don't play their own music anymore, and just remix songs. Dom used to be incredible, and still is, but I want to hear his music, not other people's. So I went back to the camp and partied there for a while before heading to the silent disco with my friend Ryan. We danced there until the sun came up, and he went back, but I went down to the beach to make more friends. By the time I finally went back to the camp I had been skinny dipping in the ocean, walked a long ways down the beach, danced my ass off to a car alarm, and found lots of cool shells. When I finally stumbled back into camp I passed out instantly, and slept ALL day.