Pre-show: I had learned my lesson. I got to Radio City earlier this time, was on line by 7:15pm, and breezed in. In typical form, I texted my buddies and the reception in the main hall isn’t so great, so I received radio silence. Until I looked up on the balcony and saw them. I just love it when magic happens. I had 3rd mezzanine seats – the cheap seats – first row. Way up top, but with no obstructions at all. The band looked tiny, but not so bad (this was not MSG, they weren’t an inch tall). I could see noodling and finger plucking. All was good.
First Set: Bang! Truckin’. Wee, we are off. Great rendition, great song, who doesn’t love Truckin’? The aroma of Radio City got a bit skunky when we got to Dire Wolf, jigging right along. Mama… oh that Mama. Oh… That… Mama, she tried so hard. Althea rolled in and the place was out of control. The 3rd mezz was bouncing – literally bouncing you could feel it. I tried not to focus on it, (what happens if it breaks and falls???) If you dance hard enough, you won’t notice that the balcony is bouncing. Something to remember if you’re ever at Radio City for a Furthur show.
Brown Eyed – and that grenadine, holy moly smoking craziness falls into Til the Morning Comes ending with Touch of Grey. Touch of Grey isn’t my favorite song, so I sat through it. Sorry, my head kinda exploded during the Mama>Althea>Brown Eyed, so that last song was a good breather moment. And then Bobby said, “Well that’s it for this set, see ya next set.”
Author’s note: Bobby wore man-pris. Acoustics in Radio City – incredible.
Truly blew me away. Man to Woman ratio: 8:1. That’s a rare ratio in NYC, and I for one personally loved it. :)
Set break: the view from the 3rd mezzanine. 10 rows, killer times, killer stranger friends, best seats in the house, hands down. I literally couldn’t move. Sat there for a while just sort of dumbfounded. Legs were still sturdy, the Mezz stopped bouncing, and I watched the theater empty for the break. As these kind moments go at shows like these, met another buddy randomly as I walked through the crowd. He grabbed me, I hugged him, I think I may have said, “Amazing, right?” But that was all. We all looked at each other, permagrin stuck on my face, silent. Yeah, that was the kind of first set we just heard.
Second Set Highlights: Fire, Eyes, Birdsong, Morning Dew
Yeah, what do I say about that? Uncle John’s Band>Scarlet>Fire>Birdsong!!>Born Cross Eyed into Eyes!!>Dew, oh my lord what a Dew… holy frikkin schmoley. Ok, let me try. UJB, the first days are the hardest days… The whole place was singing along. Scarlet Begonias, again… bouncy and the upper mezz was on the move. But those two songs were easily eclipsed by Fire. Fire brought the house down, Fire on the Walls, the applause lights were turned on and the place turned red – with fire melting on the LED screen behind the boys, the lights were insane. I tried to capture the moment, but I’m not so sure this gives it justice. These lights started from the front of the theater and pulsated throughout the theater to the back. On the top balcony, I had an unobstructed view of the whole place, fire dripping on stage over the band, pulsating lights in the house. Waay heady. Waay crazy. Oh, and the temperature in the place jumped up about 5-10 degrees. It was hot. It was Flaming Hot. It was Fire.
Ok, so from that crazy Fire we go into Birdsong. What head doesn’t love Birdsong?? And John rocked it. I mean, he is incredibly talented, great voice, killer guitar plucking fingers. Now, I hear the JK haters out there. I get it, really, I do. But, this is my take on it. John’s sound resembles Garcia, but he is not Garcia. He is not supposed to be. Jerry’s gone. But, hot potato! the energy of Furthur is reminiscent of GD, and JK is reminiscent of JG. And Furthur is a great great ride.
St. Stephen>Eyes… uh…. it’s hard to write about this, I still haven’t processed it all. Floating, rocking hard, oh yeah – the light show sans the 3 floating bubbles, still was incredible graphics. I was still picking up the pieces of my head which exploded (and/or melted) during the Fire-show when they went into Eyes. Ahhhhhhhhhh, Eyes.
Then Morning Dew? Really? I mean, really??? Good frikkin lord. I think I was stupefied, bouncing with the mezz, leaning over the balcony to see closer… (not sure why me leaning over the balcony would make me think I could “see closer”, but whatever, bear with me). John really let loose on it, I literally have goosebumps thinking about it. The Dew folks… No Words. Someone, please post it up already. I need to hear that again. That, the Fire, the Eyes…. damn, insane.
Post-show: After the encore, the band got together and did their rendition of the Rockettes’ leg kicks, it is Radio City after all. Wonderful show, incredible set lists, Phil was P H A T, the band rocked out, props to John, Bobby, Jeff (oh – guys, Jeff plays that Baby Grand with incredible style and precision – blown away).
House lights went up – and Comfortably Numb played on the overhead speakers. Yes. Comfortably Numb we were.
I don’t think I was the only one that was speechless. I met some buddies outside after the show, and they said one word, “Outrageous.” I think I nodded in agreement. I don’t know. I couldn’t really form words right then and there. Stupendous? Incredible? I hummed the Dew all the way home on the subways. I sat on the couch at home and looked up the set list. I uploaded that crazy Fire to YouTube. I still have a permagrin. The ringing in my ears is considerably louder today. I am so grateful… so so grateful.
Set I: Truckin’, Dire Wolf, Mama Tried, Althea, Brown Eyed Women, Til The Morning Comes, The Music Never Stopped, Touch Of Grey
Set 2: Uncle John’s Band, Scarlet Begonias, Fire On The Mountain, Birdsong, St. Stephen, Born Cross Eyed, Eyes Of The World, Morning Dew, Playin’ In The Band (Reprise)
Encore: Donor Rap, Brokedown Palace