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Furthur Beacon Theatre Spring 2012

I was lucky enough to be able to make it to three of the eight Bob Weir and Phil Lesh's Furthur shows at NYC's Beacon Theater this April. Furthur is a potent package of what the doctor ordered for me - and that's the closest thing to actually seeing a Grateful Dead concert as you can get right now in the spring of 2012! Furthur has just gotten better and better and are a well polished machine in a real groove now. You gotta love Bobby and Phil for keeping the Grateful Dead experience alive and well, forever reinventing themselves within their special brand of ...hippie music.

John Kadlecik, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir - Photo: Me

The best way for me to describe Furthur is that they are the most organic sounding post-Jerry Garcia Dead band to date. They have a very natural Grateful Dead sound with Dead members Weir and Lesh and the Garcia sound alike John Kadlecik on Guitar and Vocals. This band is a dream come true for Deadheads everywhere. For some a reason to hit the road again like old times, and for others, like me, to do some local shows and catch up with old friends, and make new ones.

Beacon Theatre Furthur April, 2012 - Photo: Me

These Beacon Theater shows were absolutely great and rivaled the famed Allman Brothers Band Beacon Theater runs over the past 15 years. Eight nights is definitely an epic run. Sweet for Deadheads from New York and all over the place to set up camp in the city and enjoy as many nights as you can. For me it was three nights commuting from Long Island. Wish I could have done all eight shows but three nights is a nice treat! Thanks Bobby and Phil! Gotta go back to work now. Can't wait for Summer Tour!

John Kadlecik Furthur - Photo: Me

"This ain't the real thing
but it's close enough to pretend"

Download the Furthur Shows Here


Furthur Adventures In NYC

Deadheads from all over flocked to NYC to see Phil Lesh, Bob Weir and Furthur on two stops here on their 2011 Spring Tour. They played five nights at the Best Buy Theater (formerly the Nokia) and returned two weeks layer for three weekend nights at Radio City Music Hall. I was able to catch one Best Buy show, Sunday, March 13th, and two Radio City shows, Saturday and Sunday, March 26th and 27th. Throw in an Allman Brothers Band show at the Beacon Theater on Monday, March 14th and Dave was a busy little beaver as they say! I still wish I could have gone to more of each, but I can only do what I can do; oh well, youth is wasted on the young!

Furthur RCMH 3/26/11 Photo: Me

So I haven't posted for a while and figured these Furthur shows were a good reason to post. I just transferred my photos from my memory stick to my laptop and when I looked at them, lo and behold, some of the shots came out okay. So I'll share some with you guys. These Furthur shows have been fabulous! I was lucky enough to see two great special guest nights; the Warren Haynes night at Best Buy Theater and the Elvis Costello and Larry Campbell night at Radio City. Cool stuff indeed! I've been listening to the soundboards of the whole spring tour and this band is really coming along! It all sounds great!

Furthur Sunday 3/27/11 Photo: Me

These shows marked the death of longtime Grateful Dead sound man, money man, psychedelic supply man, brother and friend Stanley Bear Owsley, who died in a car crash in Austria, where he has lived for a number of years. The shows I saw seemed to be particularly played with good old Bear in mind. Obviously the Best Buy show I saw was the day he had died, and Phil did say something about Owsley before the show; "I did something in honor of Bear tonight which I haven't done in a long time! I ate a steak. Red meat, for you Bear!" Phil also said that Bear was as much a part of the band as anyone on stage that night (meaning he and Weir). They went on to play a great show with Warren Haynes sitting in the whole second set. Opening the set with Warren singing the Allman's Blue Sky they played a really hot set for Owsley, encoring with a beautiful Attics Of My Life in acapella. Really sweet ending of a hot show. I headed on to see Warren play a great Allman Brothers Band show at the Beacon Theater the next night.

Furthur with Elvis Costello and Larry Campbell 3/27/11 Photo: Me

The two Radio City Music Hall shows I saw were great. They each had their own charm with Sunday night being another unusual first time special guest to the Grateful Dead family. Elvis Costello certainly is familiar with the Grateful Dead repertoire, being a self proclaimed Deadhead from long ago and appearing on the Deadicated album back in the Nineties. I must admit that when I heard the buzz before the show, that he was heard in the soundcheck earlier, I was skeptical as to what he might sound like with Furthur. Well, it sounded good with Elvis singing and playing acoustic guitar on a number of tunes, most notably for me was Tennessee Jed, on which he switched off on the vocals with long time Phil and Friends friend Larry Campbell. This show also featured both Costello's and Campbell's wives Diana Krall and Teresa Williams respectively. The show the night before this (Saturday night) seemed to also be dedicated to Stanley Bear Owsley and was really a great show. It featured allot of stuff from the early Grateful Dead years of which Owsley was such a big part of. They used lots of photos in the backdrop of the infamous Wall Of Sound and even flashed up pics of both Jerry Garcia and Bear. Most importantly they played a very inspired mix of potent music that night. Showing us all that you gotta try to see a little Furthur...

Furthur RCMH 3/27/11 Photo: Me

Here's the setlist from the Saturday Night Radio City Music Hall Show on 3/26/11:
Set 1
Golden Road (to Unlimited Devotion) > Viola Lee Blues > Alligator > New Minglewood Blues, Sittin' On Top Of The World, *Alice D. Millionaire > Cream Puff War > Turn On Your Lovelight

Set 2
Playing in the Band > Born Cross Eyed > Dark Star > Eclipse (Pink Floyd) > Jam > Mountains of the Moon > Space > Dark Star > Terrapin Station Suite > Stella Blue, Help on the Way > Slipknot! > Franklin's Tower E: One More Saturday Night

*Very Early Non-Released Grateful Dead Song For Owsley

I may be goin' to hell in a bucket but at least I'm enjoyin' the ride!
John Barlow

Download the Furthur Shows Here

See the other Furthur setlists Here


Stonybrook University Grateful Dead Marathon For Phil Lesh's 70th Birthday

My nephew Jake is gonna be a special guest on Stonybrook University's Radio station, WUSB, on their Grateful Dead Marathon, in honor of Phil Lesh's 70th Birthday, late tonight (3AM tomorrow -Mon- morning). You can tune in online at: Check it out! It's great that a kid who's a Freshman in college can be so hip and so knowledgeable on such a topic and it's a testament to the fact that guys like Phil Lesh and Bob Weir are keepin' the music and vibe goin' on at such a ripe bold age. Thanks boys for keepin' on keepin' it on! Happy Birthday Phil! And good luck Jakie!


Furthur On Up The Road At Radio City Music Hall

The Furthur bus, driven by the Grateful Dead's Phil Lesh and Bob Weir, pulled in to Times Square's Radio City Music Hall for a two night party in the middle of their mammoth Winter Tour. These were highly anticipated shows for me and I thoroughly enjoyed them. Furthur consists of Weir and Lesh joined by Ratdog alumni Jeff Chimenti on keyboards and Jay Lane on Drums, Joe Russo (Trey Anastasio Band, Russo Benavento) also on drums, Jerry Garcia sound alike John Kadlecik (Dark Star Orchestra) playing Garcia's part on guitar and vocals, and backup singers Sunshine Garcia Becker and Zoe Ellis.

Let me start out by saying that, as usual, I've been downloading and listening to this whole tour, as well as catching those two shows at the Hammerstein Ballroom back in December, and this band is indisputably the closest sounding band to the Grateful Dead since Jerry's untimely exit from this world in 1995. Kadlecik definitely brings that big Garcia sound to Furthur and alongside the authentic Grateful Dead members of Weir and Lesh and the other great musicians who are more than familiar with the repertoire you've got an incredibly potent dose on your tongue of the Grateful Dead. Kadlecik isn't the second coming of Garcia but he does play with a Jerry kind of sensitivity and his voice sounds uncannily like Garcia's. And by the looks of things, Furthur is built to last, with more shows recently announced for this summer at festivals (Nateva Music and Arts Festival, All Good Festival) and on their own at amphitheaters and minor league baseball parks like what Bob Dylan did last summer. After this winter tour and the summer tour under their belt Furthur will continue to develop, which is something that never happened with 2009's The Dead with Warren Haynes and the GD's core four; they only played that one spring tour and couldn't get anything back together because Haynes is too busy with the Allman Brothers Band and Govt Mule, differences with Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann wanting to go back to stay in Hawaii. Bobby and Phil seem to get along really well now, at least musically. They're clearly the leaders of this band and Furthur just really sounds great. It's a reflection of them and the seasoned professionals they are, and hopefully this lasts a while so Deadheads new and old can enjoy the great American experience that is The Grateful Dead.

The two Furthur shows February 23rd and 24th, 2010 at Radio City Music Hall were both great shows. In the next couple of posts I'll review each show. If you were at these Furthur shows or downloaded them and want to share your opinion please leave a comment. I'm really enjoying listening to this tour and am looking forward to the two shows coming up this June at Coney Island.

Download the Furthur Shows Here


Furthur Rehearsals and Furthurmore

Recently the Furthur rehearsals from January 2010 surfaced on I downloaded four of them and since have been checking out the Furthur Winter Tour shows from as well. Grate stuff! Phil Lesh, Bob Weir and the guys opened up their rehearsals for the public at The 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley, CA, in no other than Bob Weir's neighborhood. The Throckmorton Theatre has a long history in Mill Valley dating back to 1915 when it was known as The Hub Theatre and showed Charlie Chaplin movies and live vaudeville. I couldn't find how many it seats on their website but am assuming it's quite small. This must have been very cool to see these rehearsals which really were more like shows when you listen to them. Each was about two hours long and are a compact "show". They worked up songs that they hadn't previously done like Comes A Time, Ryan Adam's Magnolia Mountain, Ratdog's Two Djin and Dylan's Silvio penned with Robert Hunter as well as Hurricane. The energy is great on these rehearsals and I recommend downloading them here.

142 Throckmorton Theatre

I've downloaded the whole Furthur tour so far up to Hampton, Va 2/12/10. I've only had a chance to listen to the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium Asheville NC 2/09/10 show. I was able to abscond with a soundboard of this show and that's why I skipped right to it. I don't have a hell of allot of time to listen to my music these days and basically listen in my car to and from work every day (maybe an hour) and sometimes at home when my Wii playing, homework doing, violin playing 9 year old girl and my wife are not around; which isn't often. So it takes me a long time to delve through a whole tour like that. Like last years Dead Spring Tour which I downloaded the whole tour. It took me till like mid-July to listen to all that music! It's allot of stuff to go through. Anyway, the one show I have listened to sounds so good. This band really eerily sounds so much like - dare I say it - The Grateful Dead. There I said it. John Kadlecik's playing in this band has become more confident and he's exploring places with his band mates which are fresh yet reminiscent of times past. His voice is so perfect for Jerry Garcia's songs it's uncanny. And Furthur is really starting to gel. Like anything Phil Lesh and Bob Weir do; Furthur is a quality product with great players and is developing into something very special indeed. Deadheads should be happy we have this band to go see. Let's enjoy it while it lasts. Thank You Phil and Bobby for a real good time!

I can't wait for my two Furthur shows at New York's Radio City Music Hall. Check back here for my reviews of them. In the mean time I hope to see ya there! You got to try and see a little Furthur.

Download the Furthur Shows Here


Wolfgang's Vault Features Blues Legend Muddy Waters Videos

As previously featured on Darkstarjamblog, Wolfgang's Concert Vault is a great sites to check out cool music, videos, and Rock n' Roll memorabilia. This past weekend they featured one of my favorite Blues performers and personalities Muddy Waters. I tried to share these free videos of both performances and interviews with the Blues icon Muddy Waters but for some reason Wolfgang's Vault's "embed link" wouldn't work with my Blogger Account. So, for your entertainment, I embedded this video from Youtube of Muddy in this staged video of You Can't Lose What You Ain't Never Had filmed over in England and I'll include a link to the aforementioned Wolfgang's Vault Video. Don't miss watching these if you love Muddy Waters or you just love the Blues. They're a must see for any Blues fan!

Legendary concert performances available for download at Wolfgang's Vault

Wolfgang's Vault now offering full concert downloads!