Photos and review: Furthur at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Day 2 - Reverb

Live review: Furthur @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Day 2

There’s something incredibly exciting about going to Red Rocks with a bunch of wide-eyed first-timers. So it went on Saturday night, a cargo fan full of Philadelphians pulling into the South lot with one Colorado native, turning their heads “Exorcist”-style at the natural surroundings. It was a nice treat for a veteran of the scene, akin to the cliché of seeing something fresh through someone else’s eyes.

If there’s any adjective for the anchors of Furthur, “fresh” ain’t it. Guitairist Bob Weir and bassist Phil Lesh have been touring since the stone age. Furthur is the latest incarnation of the two’s effort to keep the spirit and songs (and cash flow) of the Grateful Dead alive. It’s a successful venture on almost every level.

Admittedly, there’s something off about listening to a dude who sounds and plays like Jerry Garcia (Weir and Lesh famously recruited former Dark Star Orchestra member John Kadlecik to play Jerry’s parts), but from the top of a sold-out Red Rocks, only a curmudgeon would claim to be the wiser. The group kicked off the show fittingly with “One More Saturday Night,” which was more energetic than cute. Furthur proceeded to bust out some fairly rare covers (“Stagger Lee” and “Gimme Some Lovin’”) which surely pleased much of the grey-haired faithful in attendance.

The second set revolved around a song which has treated Weir and Lesh well since the 1960s: “Dark Star.” Sandwiching it with other proven tunes like “Playing in the Band,” the crew jammed hard. If they didn’t harness the raw bedevilment of the song’s early years, it suited the laid-back proceedings just fine. Everybody was happy as can be that Red Rocks had a solid house band for the night.

Click here for a full review and photo gallery of Day 1.

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Colin St. John is a Denver-based writer and merrymaker. Follow him on Twitter and check out his blog.

  • Stella Blue

    “Solid house band”???  Surely you jest!  That’s how you describe the band that played that incredible psychedelic masterpiece that was the second set of this concert?  Unbelievable! 

    • Dancing Bear

      It’s hard for some folks to grasp the concept of psychedelica since no one on the planet does it any more except these cats…it’s a by-gone era but damn these guys do it well…Haight-Ashbury is a state of mind not a place in San Francisco…long live the dead

  • Candacehorgan

    Stagger Lee isn’t an original either. It’s an old traditional song that they reinterpreted. Regardless of whether they copyrighted their version, the lyrics are old as dirt, and the song is too. As a side note, Lady with a Fan is in the same category.