Furthur picks people up and carries them away, appropriate enough for a band named after a bus. Their four-hour show Friday night — on the 15th anniversary of Jerry Garcia’s last show — was transcendent. After an afternoon of heat followed by an evening of rain, it made for a perfect night, the second of this four-day fest.
It was mostly mayhem outside the theater. My brother and I were trying to meet up with our compatriot, and it was taking longer than it should. There were tons of people hunting for tickets – looking for a miracle, as they say. I’ve never seen so many heads looking for tickets. For good reason.
The marquee read Happy Birthday Phil. It was Friday, March 12, and a big birthday party for Phil Lesh was about to get under way at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. Phil Lesh was turning 70. 70! And believe it or not, he and his bandmates played over six hours of music that night.
A couple of weeks ago, a buddy of mine emailed me: “This is it. This is the one.” The subject line was “Furthur.” He had just seen them play. Like me, he’s a little obsessed with this stuff. He goes to see the post Grateful Dead bands when he can, like I do, and goes to see the new kids on the block, too – Umphrey’s McGee, moe., etc. Since that email I’ve read similar comments in forums where like minded people congregate. On Tuesday, March 2, 2010, I got to see Furthur for the first of a two night run at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago – a theater steeped in Grateful Dead history. It was everything that I’d hoped it would be. Just a tremendous show. If you get the opportunity, go see a Furthur show this year. You won’t be disappointed.