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Furthur, The Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY- 4/20

Photo by George Brown

The second set had longer blissed-out improvisations and began with “Hell in a Bucket.” There were some smiles and laughter when Weir added the little-known John Barlow verse “And while you saying your mantra, I was humping your very best friend, and comparing myself to Sinatra, ‘cause I did it my way in her end.” Next was the warmly received “Here Comes Sunshine” that swerved into “Let It Grow.” This was one of the highlights of the night and detoured into Garcia’s “Reuben and Cherise.“ Sung beautifully by Kadlecik, he endures the inevitable and unfair comparisons to Garcia, and is a great guitar player and vocalist in his own right. The audience chilled out during the spacey jams of “Dark Star,” but were back on their feet for “(Walk Me Out in the) Morning Dew.” Kadlecik’s emotional vocals were one of the peak moments of the concert. Each musician in Furthur generates a huge amount of music and makes it blend and all look so easy. No one plays over each other, so the song itself shines through and feels balanced. The show wound down with “Throwing Stones,” and the encore “Johnny B. Goode.”

Rhoney Stanley, of the San Francisco 60’s counter culture fame, attended two of the Furthur shows at The Cap and was selling her book Owlsley and Me: My LSD Family in the lobby. She had this to add: “Furthur was fabulous! They played mainly old songs from the early days and were jamming. The keyboardist seemed to transcend to another space when he played and his sound was awesome. As usual, Weir’s voice had overtones and undertones that felt spiritual. Referring to Garcia, when Furthur sang ‘he’s gone and he’s never coming back,’ I could feel the sadness and the awareness in the crowd. I was also surprised to see so many young women in the audience having such a good time.”

“After the gig, Bobby Weir played at a small club a few doors down from the Capitol. Jay Lane’s (Ratdog/Primus) band was playing there and Weir was so kind to stop by and support him. Bobby sang ‘Little Red Rooster.’ Can you imagine being in your living room and Bobby’s singing? This was it! Sunshine Becker also sang a great rendition of ‘China Cat.’ So much love and good will flowed among us. This was the old Grateful Dead scene, a community of free spirits bonded by music and dance.”

The one constant that remains throughout the decades is the enthusiasm for the improvisational songs of the Grateful Dead. The music lives on.

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