Aging like a fine wine

Furthur 2011. Phil and Bobby. Hell yes. With Jeff Chimenti (a little Keith, a little Brent, a lot of awesome keys), John Kadlecik (who was absolutely channeling Jerry), Joe Russo, Sunshine Becker and Jeff Pehrson.

It started in the party in the parking lot and the Bazaar of the Bizarre, with a nice spiced hot cider spiked with rum and just got better from there. My seat, which looking at the map appeared to be nosebleed and obstructed view, turned out to be excellent — even with the stage with a terrific (and unblocked) view across it.

This was one of the best damn Dead shows I’ve ever seen, period. Even if it’s technically a Furthur show.

Many, *many* moons ago, I wrote a story (unfinished and now completely lost) that involved a Grateful Dead concert going on about 150 years from now, on the theory that as time goes on, so does the band, bringing in new members as needed. The personnel aren’t as important as the experience. And while I would never minimize the talents of any member of the Dead, past or present, I’m starting to think this is actually a possibility. Kadlicek and Chimenti have decades ahead of them; eventually they could be the elder statesment–as Weir and Lesh are now–when it’s time to bring the new generation up to speed.

Speaking of: I was amazed by how many people there were young. As in, too young to have possibly seen a pre-’95 show, unless they were lugged to one by a Deadhead mom and/or dad. This is the other reason my old vision of an eternal Grateful Dead could happen: the fandom is also self-replacing. We are not only everywhere, we are everywhen.

Anyway, the setlist, which included several surprises:

I
Deal
BIODTL
Easy Wind
Black-Throated Wind
Ramble On Rose
High Time
Cumberland Blues
The Mighty Quinn

II
Lost Sailor ->
Saint of Circumstance
You Never Give Me Your Money
He’s Gone ->
Scarlet Begonias ->
Fire on the Mountain
Eyes of the World
Black Peter
The Wheel
Casey Jones

::Touch of Grey

o/` Nothin’ left to do but smile, smile, smile… o/`

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