, attached to 2013-09-07

Review by Gratefulphish123

Gratefulphish123 Im gonna review the part of this show where Trey joins. The Workingman's Dead set was awesome and high energy but other than Uncle John's Band which had nice exploratory jams in the intro and after the lyrics sections this is standard high energy rockin Furthur.

Before Casey Jones (the last song on Workingman's Dead) Bobby welcomes Trey to the stage. Trey and Bobby most recently jammed together in 2012 but it's been 6 years since Trey joined Phil and Friends at Glens Falls (which is quite a show and if you haven't heard it you should; there's a nice Shine and Plasma from Trey's singbook, and some tasty segueways on classic dead numbers; Cumberland>Viola Lee>Cumberland> Viola Lee and Dark Star>Wharf Rat> Dark Star). The key difference between this and the 07 Phil and friends show is the X factor of John K, Furthurs "Jerry". In the 07 show Trey is very clearly the lead guitarist with Larry Campbell and Jackie Greene taking the backseat while Trey and Phil engage in some inspired back and forth. John K however just finished smoking the Workingman's Dead set and isn't ready to play second fiddle in his own band, not even to a living legend like Big Red.

Casey Jones is standard but fun, Trey is just settling in and providing rhythm guitar licks. During the solo section John K and Jeff Chimenti (keys) trade some very nice licks. The ending really speeds up (as it usually does in Furthur's rendition) but possibly even more than usual. Bertha is next and Trey takes lead vocals and kills it, making me wish he'd cover this with TAB. John K takes the first solo and provides some great Jerry-esque melodic playing before passing the torch to Chimenti who slays his boards (I love Jeff's playing with Ratdog and Furthur and wish he could've been the keyboardist for the real Grateful Dead after Brent passed, he would've fit in perfectly).

After the short two song warm up Trey is settled in and it's time to take furthur further; to the land of Gamehendge! An anonymous jam starts up very delicately but quickly takes form; at moments it sounds like the jam in Bird Song- very jazzy and laid back. Trey makes use of the whale to great effect, giving furthur breathing room while leaving his distinct stamp on the jam. Bobby really shines in this segment, him and Phil form a tight rhythm pocket while Trey, John K and Jeff go back and forth with leads. After a bit of setup the band drops perfectly into Truckin', the song part is pretty typical but Trey adds some very bluesy riffs here and there giving it a little extra mustard. The band nails the big drop into the jam right on the head. The jam meanders early on, Trey and John K trade bluesy riffs over the rest of the bands Truckin'ish vamp. Things heat up and Jeff, Trey and John K start to peak the jam like a three headed hydra, Joe Russo's drumming propels them to keep upping the energy with some intense fills and razor sharp technique.

Coming down from the peak Bobby starts to tease the Other One and before we know it the whole outfit has joined in.

John K and Chimenti use some cool sound effects on their instruments at the onset of this jam (I especially like the effect making the keys sound like a marimba). After a little laid back vamping by everyone we head full on into the song structure, John K and Trey have a very tight call and response section here. First lyrics happen around 4:30 in, Bobby has a senior moment and forgets a line but quickly recovers. Post lyrics Trey grabs the reigns and Jeff quickly follows, echoing some of Trey's licks back at him using a funky organ sound. Trey starts some uptempo riffing which Russo and Jeff immediately pick up on, the jam hits double speed with Trey and Jeff trading plinko style for a few moments. John K hops back on leads and the hydra is back, with Trey, Jeff and John trading rapid fire phrases. This section is very psychadelic, John and Jeff use very trippy sound effects as the hydra continues to flail. Around 10 minutes they've settled into a funky jam and Trey drops a FILTHY riff but quickly pulls back (maybe realizing Furthur isn't the place for gritty Zeppelin riffs; though I really wish he'd kept with it). The jam gets very abstract with the hydra unit using ascending scales and atonal jazz scales to create tension. Trey lets off a few well timed space echoes at the top of this weird jam before it falls into a space section about 11 minutes in.The space section is anchored by John K, who does a great job of keeping the jam alive in this plane. 12 minutes in Russo starts a new beat and everyone grabs hold, just when everyones comfortable Trey starts with some nice melodic playing and finds a good riff. John K immediately latches to trey's riff and makes a counterpoint, giving the jam some serious momentum. The two of them chase each other while Jeff and Russo form a tight pocket with Phil. Around 14:30 the band seems to run out of ideas and starts back to an Other One vamp. Trey starts wailing on this vamp and Russo matches the energy, carrying over nicely to the second lyrics section around 16 minutes in. Once the band is done comin, comin, comin around the song dissolves and drops into Viola Lee Blues. This is an aboslute must hear version of The Other One, Trey steers Furthur into territory more akin to Phish at moments, and Furthur steers Trey into some decidedly Dead territory.

If you know anything about trey's history with phil you know Viola Lee Blues was the first tune they ever dropped together at the 1999 Phil and Phriends shows. That version is a 30 minute behemoth, and the aforementioned cumberland>viola>cumberland>viola from 07 is no slouch either. Expectations are high on this one and following the first verse John and Jeff take over the jam, with Trey Phil and Bobby trading rhythms. 3 min in Russo starts a different feel on drums and the jam becomes a riff trading exercise for all involved. They vamp on the viola theme echoing licks back and forth; Bobby does a riff strangely reminiscent of monkey man by the rolling stones around 5 min in before dropping it and heading back to viola territory. Russo spices things with some sharp drops and fills before we hit second verse around 6 min. The jam following second verse Russo speeds up to double time and everyone picks up the vibe with some quick rhythmic playing. Trey starts using the whale to create a unique timing to the jam with Russo; they really start slamming one beat in particular. After backing away from this Trey starts in on some rapid fire playing, Chimenti responds in kind and soon the jam is dissonantly spinning out of control with Trey offering some whale. Soon Trey has a bluesy riff and Russo grabs it, sadly they abandon the idea a bit prematurely for more uptempo vamping. 11 min in Trey brings the bit back with his wah pedal on while John K solos over the top. 11:30 we're back at Viola, John K wraps his solo up and we reenter the song for the third verse. There's certainly some tight interplay and sections of inspired playing but alot of the time this jam ditches the good ideas that are brought up too quickly. This may be because the last song went so long and was so inspired but I feel this Viola Lee was a bit short of it's potential, especially considering past versions Trey has guested on.

Scarlet Begonias is well sung by John K, his voice doesn't sound like Jerry's but has the same folksy sound to it that fits Jerry's songs perfectly. John K takes the first solo and passes to Jeff, who passes to Trey. Trey absolutely slam dunks this solo, hitting each change perfectly, then passes back to John K who matches nicely before dropping back into the lyrics. When the jam starts everyone forms a tight pocket, John K takes over with Jeff following and Trey doing rhythm. Around 9 minutes Trey finds a nice riff and starts playing leads, at 9:30 he's got another very nice riff and uses it for a bit longer than his first riff. He continues taking the vibe of his riff and changing the notes involved to form harmonies with Jeff and John. 10:30 Jeff starts a rhythm pattern and Trey joins with a rhythm lick much more akin to Phish than to Furthur, Phil and Russo match immediately but the rest of the band doesn't pick it up and we segueway into Fire on the Mountain

John sings Fire very nicely, and takes the first solo. Trey gets second solo starting at 4:20 and provides some very nice melodic licks (some which sound like common meatstick licks; as if we needed trey to point out that Fire and Meatstick are essentially the same song). Trey's solo peaks furiously with the whole band forming a tight unit behind him driving the climax higher and higher. Sadly he lets go as the energy hits a peak and the rest of the band is left to try and continue the peak with noone leading the charge, which is kind of Furthur's thing and they hit a nice communal peak before letting the song drop back into the verse. One last chorus and some nice soloing by John K bring us back to the scarlet riff and the end of this collaboration.

If you haven't checked out this set I highly suggest you run; dont walk, to do so. The Workingman's Dead cover alone is worth your attention but Trey's guest appearance and especially Truckin>The Other One>Viola Lee elevate this to my favorite set of the Lockn festival. From the webcast the whole unit seemed to be really excited about this collaboration and everyone in Furthur was playing in top form to keep pace with Big Red. Trey challenged the boys improv wise while not stepping on anyones toes, this is a very challenging thing to do and he pulls it off with gusto. The improv is top notch in every number and all the players balance each other out nicely, there's never a spot where someone is annoyingly overshadowing anyone else's contribution.

So phish will cover a dead album for halloween? I'd say theres a better chance of Wilson learning how to have fun, Trey and the boys obviously really love and respect the Deads music but they're two very different bands and thats why hearing members of the two groups collaborate is so special; you hear the ideas of both worlds combined. If Phish covered a Dead album for halloween people would expect them to play songs from the album in regular rotation like they've done with every other album they've covered on halloween which I think would be the cheesiest shit ever (SCI covering Party Rock level of terrible). Phish is a great band with a storied epic legacy of their own; putting dead covers into their rotation imo would tarnish that legacy; in a way that adding covers by any other band on the face of the planet wouldn't. That would be like the Rolling Stones deciding in the mid 70's that they would like to be a Beatles cover band; despite all the great records they had put out. Im rambling (have been for a while) so I'll stop, the last thing I'll say is I hope everyone who caught this show at Lockn had the time of their lives and BRING ON FALL TOUR!!!!!
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