Drummers Jay Lane and Joe Russo both did their best to power Furthur. I felt the group was severely under-rehearsed, yet Russo – the guy with the least amount of experience playing these songs – had his parts down and tried to push his band mates to no avail. The one complaint I do have about Russo’s playing is that it didn’t seem as if he was paying attention to what Lane was doing. Russo performed as if he was the only drummer in the band which didn’t help with the cohesion factor.
Now that we’ve got the music out of the way, let me tell you about the scene outside the venue. There had to be thousands of ticketless miracle-seekers all of whom seemed to have some hard drug they were peddling. It was as shady a scene as I’ve witnessed at a concert in New York City and this is before the nitrous tanks came out. I loved the sense of community at Dead shows, there was none of that at the Hammerstein last night.
The venue itself couldn’t have been worse for this concert. Besides the six-block-long line to enter the venue, there were also few facilities to buy a drink or use the bathroom and the floor was “buns to franks” as far as the eye could see. I was up in the second balcony and the volume of the music was rather low. This led all my fellow concert attendees to chat the night away. There was no energy or vibe whatsoever as the music seemed to be the last thing on everyone’s mind. Considering what was going down on stage, I can’t really blame the crowd.
I’ve heard nothing but good things about the Furthur shows in Oakland and I have too much respect for the musicians involved to think that they won’t improve with a couple of tours under their belts. That being said, everyone at that venue deserved better for their hard earned money. Furthur continues their tour tomorrow night in Wallingford, CT.
New York, NY
Set 1: Jam > Feel Like A Stranger > Deal (BW&JK), Crazy Fingers > (JK) Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again, Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo > (JK/BW) Jam > Bird Song (BW&PL), Good Lovin’
Set 2: Jack Straw, The Wheel > Welcome To The Dance > Uncle Johns Band> Unbroken Chain, Satisfaction> Let It Grow> Weather Report> Sugar Magnolia > Sunshine Daydream
Encore: Johnny B Goode