Friday, September 06, 2013

Fall with Phil

IT WAS A DAY TO REMEMBER, FROM THE SMOOTH GLIDE OFF THE HILL, WE HEADED FOR BESERKLEY. ONLY TO ARRIVE TOO EARLY TO CHECK INTO OUR MOTEL (WHICH FILLED WITH PHANZ) KILLING AN HOUR AT A SEAFOOD JOINT (SPANGLERS) AT THE FOOT OF UNIVERSITY AVENUE, GETTING RIPPED OFF TO THE TUNE OF $50 FOR 2 APPETIZERS 2 BOWLS OF CHOWDER A CUP OF JAVA AND A BLOODY MARY. WE BUZZED BACK TO THE MOTEL AND LITERALLY THREW OUR BAGS IN THE ROOM AND CAUGHT A CAB UP TO THE GREEK IN A CRAZY TAXI RIDE. WE GOT OUR SEATS IN THE DISABLED SECTION (EYE LEVEL WITH THE STAGE).


I WASNT REALLY SURE I WAS GOING TO MAKE THIS ONE AFTER ALL MY PREPARATION AS I HAD BEEN IN THE HOSPITAL 5 DAYS BEFORE WITH A BLOOD CLOT IN MY LEG, THHANKS TO SOME GOOD DOCTORING FROM BOTH MY DOC AND MY WIFE (WHO TOOK A LITTLE TOO MUCH JOY WITH THE INJECTIONS) I MADE IT!
tHEY OPENED THE SHOW WITH jACKIE GREEN (A LOCAL PLACERVILLE NATIVE) SINGNG GOOD MORNING LITTLE SCHOOL GIRL, AND FROM THERE, WELL LETS JUST SAY WITH THE HELP OF A LITTLE MOLLIE THINGS GOT A LITTLE SWIRLY, BUT I DID GET PICTURES VIDEO AND A SETLIST:



Phil Lesh and Friends 09/23/07 The Greek Theater Berkeley, CA Set 1 Good Morning Little Schoolgirl Good Lovin' > Why Don't We Do It In The Road > Deal The Weight Gone Wandering * Cumberland Blues * Supercede You * Set 2 Jam> Playing in the Band > Mexican Girl Candyman Fire on the Mountain (Pee Jam) St Stephens A Hard Rain Is Gonna Fall The Wheel > Eyes of the World Sugar Magnolia Doner Rap Encore: Going Down The Road Feeling Bad # * with Barry Sless on Pedal Steel # with Mark Karan on Guitar



IT WAS SO GOOD TO SEE SOME OLD FAMLIAR FACES AND PHRIENDS ALONG WITH THE NEWBIES (WITH LOTS OF KIDS AND BABIES THERE TOO. MY BIGGEST BITCH WAS THE STENCH OF TOBACCO THROUGHOUT THE SHOW. i MEAN IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN A DO WHATEVER ATSMOPHERE, BUT PEOPLE SEEMED TO HAVE NO REGARD FOR OTHERS ON THAT ISSUE. AND IT ENDED JUST LIKE IT BEGAN WITH A CRAZY PAKISTANI CAB RIDE BACK TO THE TRAVELODGE AND LATER THE NEXT MORNING BACK UP THE HILL TO MY MOUNTAIN HOME.
OTHER COMMENTS FROM PHILZONE WERE:
Good show. Kinda strange there was an hour-long break between sets. Setlist with Greene leans towards blues and Dylan stuff. Great Playing and St Stephen and fun to hear Phil bring Why Don't We Do It In The Road back. Sless played pedal steel on a smoking Cumberland and a Greene tune. Mark Karan came out and played on GDTRFB encore.
Highlight of the show was Hard Rain's Gonna Fall. And Jackie's version of Sugar Magnolia was hot, eat your heart out Bobby ;) Mark Karan, coming out for the encore only, looking bald and beautiful took the instrumentals where they needed to go. This band is great, but NEEDS someone like Mark Karan to join them on tour, someone who can tear into the Guitar - It was evident when he took the stage for Going down the road, that the band was missing IT. Jackie is great as a rhythm guitarist, that leaves Campbell on lead, He's good - but I'd prefer to see him pick up some of those instruments he brought along and never played...of course, that would mean that there would be a lead guitarist void, which there kinda was all night anyway. harsh? maybe... doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the show, or the experience, it was top notch, I think we're all a bit spoiled from hearing a more intense lead than what we got tonight
A couple of notes before I turn off for the night. The vantage point from near the sound board with the open stage and my binoculars gave me a good perspective of the comings and goings... The show was a family night at The Greek. So many kids, it felt great. My 15yo son was totally into his first Dead-family experience. I love the west coast. Barry was around all night, and it was obvious that he was scheduled, as his pedal steel was barely covered with a blanket. He was out by the soundboard later and looked totally relaxed. I wish he were on for the whole tour. Mark Karan was side stage for the whole 2nd set, sitting with his guitar, strumming to all of the songs. It was great to see him smiling and joyfully singing to Eyes, and even greater to see him rip up GDTRFB. Class act from Phil to make the space for him. JC was all over the place, looking fine in his red shirt and black hat. He was organizing the photographers all night and even arranged for a video camera toward the end of the show. He seemed to be on top of the world and dancing for Sugar Magnolia, as was everyone else in the theater.
Phil and folks put on a top-notch show tonight. It's the second night out, and there were some rough spots (Jackie caught the band off guard once or twice and vice-versa), but wow. WOW! First set was long. Jackie Greene plays hard, and this was a rock show. Sless was a perfect touch to the Jackie Songs, which I thought were very solid- Gone Wanderin' is a new favorite. Fire on the Mountain? Ah yes, and as they played it the lawn up top was lit by the setting sun and the fire was there, indeed. Hard Rain was a second set highlight. It's great to have a fresh rocker that everybody in the crowd already knows the words to. Eyes was well done but pretty standard arrangement. And the Sugar Mags? I see Jackie's been dipping into the Bobby songbook, and with great results. The house was shaking. Mark Karan coming out at the end was touching- I hope he's doing well. All in all, the band was full, though I think Molitz was a little low in the stew, and Larry Campbell, though great, didn't really step out. This group has much potential, and it's good to see Phil out again. Strange, his stage/monitor mikes got tripped up a few times and had Phil giving musical directions audible on the PA... gotta fix those little things. In the end, nobody got hurt... Thanks everybody for such a beautiful day among friends!
Bring on Mark Karan or Barry Sless or SOME other aggressive confident crowd-pleasing guitarist, since this music is BUILT for lead guitar breaks, and neither Jackie nor Larry are consistently rewarding crowd-pleasing emotionally paying-off guitarists. They both have their great strengths as guitarists, but Mark Karan INSTANTLY showed what had been missing all night long: confident, aggressive, melodically rewarding LEAD guitar! Of course, on a lot of songs it doesn't matter so much, but on the Dead songs like St Stephen or Eyes Of The World in particular, no-one was stepping up and playing RIPPING leads as and when required. Sigh. That's why I liked Schoolgirl > Good Lovin' > Do It In The Road > Deal openining brace: the band seemed quite new, quite unlike the many Phil and Friends bands I've known and loved; tight, skanky, focussed, rock and roll. It was kind of cool. But then as the show progressed, it became more like the complex, polyrhythmic Weird that Phil just can't resist, and I love so much... so it was mostly ALL GOOD, but dang, someone's gonna have to get confident on guitar in that strange brew Phil loves to mix. Unless Molitz is going to start filing some of those breaks, which would be cool if we could hear him, which we usually couldn't today... And I was going to save a serious review till later! So this is just a start. Hey, it was a GREAT show (in places), HARD RAIN alone worth the price of admission. Really! Later, I gotta set back and patch my bones...


video

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