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Friday, December 24, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
The Grateful Dead are anything but dead. The latest incarnation, in the form of Furthur, kicked off their fall tour at the Northrop Auditorium Monday, November 8. Opening with a tribute to Minnesota covering Bob Dylan’s “Maggie’s Farm,” Furthur rolled on through a first set including songs old and new-ish!! Anchored by founding members Bob Weir and Phil Lesh, Furthur proved to be more than a greatest hits reunion tour. The addition last year of guitarist and vocalist John Kadlicek added new depth and opened up opportunities to expand the song possibilities previously left out of performances after the death of Jerry Garcia.
Kadlicek spent twelve years touring in one of the elite Grateful Dead tribute bands, Dark Star Orchestra, in which they don’t just play the songs. They recreate full concert experiences, including period correct instrumentation and training their voices to sound like the artists in the Dead. Kadlicek was “The Jerry.”
So, to hear his voice with Furthur is about as close as possible to the real thing. The paradox on stage has to span the full range of emotions for everyone. To Kadlicek, he’s playing with his idols and may have never thought it possible. To Weir and Lesh, if they close their eyes they could damn near think Jerry is on stage singing with them. It’s so close it’s uncanny.
The second set was highlighted by perfect segues into unusual suspects, proof that the music is still progressing and changing even after playing some of these songs for more than forty years. “Help On The Way/ Slipknot>Comes A Time> Franklins Tower,” was the beefy middle section and the crowd was really into a darker jam that came when the band was exploring between two songs. The encore, “Like A Rolling Stone,” just felt right as we are the homestate of Bob Dylan. Thanks Further for make the evening just a bit more special.
It’s a beautiful thing to see musicians their age not just coming back for a reunion tour because they are strapped for cash. Furthur arguably sounded better than The Grateful Dead did any time after 1985. Having never stopped touring, they continue to create experiences and make memories for many different generations of people. With the new found energy they may just keep going for another ten or more years. Playing music is a way of life and they know no other.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Emmitt Nershi Band put on a high energy and intimate show September 30 at The Cabooze. The experience of many years of touring with Leftover Salmon and String Cheese Incident could be felt in a tight connection with each other on stage and with the audience. Almost as pleasing as the music was the ease and style with which it was delivered as the musicians skills could be fully appreciated with the stripped down classic sound. From SCI songs “Black Cloud” and “Texas,” to bluegrass traditionals and band originals, the musicianship, picking and harmonies blended beautifully all night.
Local band, The Gypsy Lumberjacks, got the night started with their own distinct blend of styles. Things that came to mind were Flamenco, bluegrass, improvisational rock, gypsy jazz and good old-fashioned beer swillin’ music. An original set featured an interesting rhythm section consisting of two hand drummers, one on congas/bongos and the other on cajon, also known as “The Box.”
All in all a fun night and a good chance to get up close and personal with artists many have seen on much bigger stages around the country and world.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
John Prine captivated the audience at the Orpheum Theater Saturday night. From the opening notes of the playful “Spanish Pipedream,” to the soulful and somber “Hello In There,” Prine performed with grace and intensity throughout a two hour set. The encore included a special guest appearance by opener Pieta Brown for an eagerly anticipated “In Spite of Ourselves” duet. It made perfect sense for her to join Prine onstage as the original duet was sung with Iris Dement, who is married to Brown’s father, Greg Brown.
Highlighting Pieta’s set was a story she told about being booked to play a gig with J.J. Cale. She said she walked in and saw Cale leaning on a wall talking to Tom Petty and was so overcome with awe and emotion she had to go to her tiny dressing room and write a song about it.
Prine’s set was all highlights: “Souvenirs,” “Angel From Montgomery,” “Sam Stone,” Hello In There,” “Space Monkey,” and all of the other songs were eaten up by the appreciative crowd. His warm voice was a bit raspy but it just seemed aged like a good wine, more seductive, more character. It only adds to the credibility he has as he tells his stories that make you feel the ups and downs of life.