Thursday, July 18, 2013

Furthur in Boston 2013

So the next day we went to see Furthur again!  Their tour visited Boston for two days at the BOA Pavilion on the beautiful Boston waterfront and that's, naturally, where we were headed.

We parked in Sarah's building a little after 5:00 and hiked down there through the heat, the tourists, and the organized chaos of evening rush hour.  We stopped at The Daily Catch in the Federal Courthouse building for a great meal of Sicilian-style mussels marinara.

The crowds got pretty thick as we passed the Fish Pier and snaked our way into the Pavilion, though there was no Shakedown Street per se ... too crowded.  We ran into our neighbor from the show Tuesday night, he was just a few rows in front of us last night.  We also talked and talked with a bunch of guys behind us who were coincidentally all named Rob and from Westford.

The crowd was very late-arriving and there was a rush to pack the pavilion during the textbook opening rocker, Passenger.  The followed that with a spacey Crazy Fingers, I Need a Miracle (*lots* of people had been walking around with a finger in the air outside), a slow Wang Dang Doodle, picked up the pace just a bit with a great Mississippi Half-Step, kept up the mellow vibe with Let It Ride, and closed the first set with Sugaree.  Sugaree has been played so many times it's sometimes a bit formulaic, but this was a great one, definitely one of the stand-outs of the evening.

Break time again, and we picked up a couple more $13 drafts(!) and hung around out by the patio talking it up.  Again, the band beat everyone back and I had to dash back quickly for the second set opener: WRS Prelude.  They went on to play the rest of the suite and this appealed to me totally, they should not break up this song, it's one piece.  From there they did an excellent He's Gone, spaced out a bit, and then did a long, slow, spacey Speedway with John and Bobby trading verses, more jamming, and then a cool, mellow UJB.  Looking back at the set list I think how lucky I was to get some great songs from Wake Of the Flood and then some classics from Workingman's.  Great stuff, but then they did another song from Workingman's and it all went downhill.

Bobby has a very hard time singing Black Peter well.  This is one of those songs that bring forth associations in my mind of specific times and places; it's very personal to me as well as being a great song.  Jerry sang it with an apocalyptic, Americana, folksie soul and Bobby can come nowhere near that.  Guess you've got to hand it to him for trying, but I think the rest of the band needs to do an intervention here.  Oh well.

OK, enough Bobby-bashing.  They then got it going again with Not Fade Away and did the full Monty with this one, segueing into GDTRFB and then back into NFA.  Joe Russo was banging those things, the band was singing their hearts out, Phil was running up and down the fretboard and dropping bombs, JeffC was doing things to his keys that had never been done before, etc.  The Boston crowd got into the idea of clapping the NFA chorus as the band disappeared, but it was too hot to be really enthusiastic about this.

I should mention that Jeff's keyboard had been replaced by a grand piano!  Jeff played the B3 a bit but then seemed to look around and say, "What's that thing?  Oh my Dog, it's a fucking GRAND PIANO!!!"  He then spent most of the rest of the show on that and produced some excellent sounds with it.

After a donor rap we could barely hear (well ok, people shut up and listened politely after Phil got a few sentences in), they encored with Ripple ... another song from their most fertile period.

We hung out a bit after the show because we'd ordered CDs from Gnomes and Hobbits and knew they wouldn't be ready yet.  And as we walked out, we realized that Sunshine was walking right in front of us, she'd come out to mingle with the crowd at the patio, a very classy move.  We had a short conversation with her and she seemed to appreciate my opinions that she should get a lead with Furthur and that she and JeffP really put the band over the top.  Without them the vocals would definitely be a weak point of the band IMO.

Finally got out of there and made out way through a few blocks of dazed hippies wondering where their cars were, then climbed up through downtown Boston to Beacon Hill and found our car!

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