Archive for Show Reviews

Furthur at Radio City Music Hall

In case you missed it, Furthur took New York City by storm this week, with two big mid-week shows at Radio City Music Hall on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. The boys kicked off night 1 with a fun and exciting 15 minute excursion that included a build up jam that led into the Other One drop and Other One jam (no vocals) followed by a surprise segue into a Playin’ In the Band. This opening bang set the tone for the run which featured fun, energetic, and focused playing coupled with eclectic and upbeat song choice. Check out setlists, pics, and downloads below.

Wednesday Night’s show carried a 60s and 70s vibe, with a strong first set featuring Truckin’, Dire Wolf, Mama Tried, Til The Morning Comes, and Brown Eyed Women (all songs written/performed first by 1972 at the latest). The second set looked forwards in time with a solid suite of classic mid-70s set 2 material including a Scarlet -> Fire, and a grand finale run through St. Stephen into the 60’s throwback Born Cross Eyed, into Eyes and then a big Morning Dew. Seems to me that both Bobby and Phil always bring the ‘Dew’ to NYC, and it’s much appreciated in this Deadhead’s book – always a real treat to hear.


Radio City Music Hall
New York, NY

Set 1:
Dire Wolf
Mama Tried
Brown Eyed Woman
Till the Morning Comes
Music Never Stopped ->
Touch of Grey

Set 2:
Uncle John’s Band ->
Scarlet Begonias ->
Fire On The Mountain
Bird Song
St. Stephen ->
Born Cross Eyed ->
Eyes of the World ->
Morning Dew ->
Playin’ Reprise

Brokedown Palace

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Night 1 carried much more of an 80s vibe, mixed in with some interesting cover song selection. The band covered seven songs throughout the night: Clapton’s ‘After Midnight’, Dylan’s ‘Masterpeice’, Traffic’s ‘Dear Mr. Fantasy’, Otis Redding’s ‘Hard To Handle’, Chuck Berry’s ‘Johnny B. Goode’, George Jones’ ‘The Race Is On’, and finally the Ratdog original – Two Djinn. A few too many covers for me but you have to appreciate Furthur’s effort to shake things up with the setlists, especially considering the often repetitive and stagnant shows from ‘The Dead’ in 09′.


Radio City Music Hall
New York, NY

Set 1:
Other One Jam ->
Playin’ In The Band ->
After Midnight
They Love Each Other
When I Paint My Masterpiece
The Race Is On
Dear Mr. Fantasy ->
Two Djinn
Samson & Delilah

Set 2
Viola Lee Blues
Shakedown Street
Hard To Handle
Mason’s Children
Days Between
Let It Grow
Help On The Way ->
Slipknot! ->
Franklin’s Tower

Johnny B. Goode

Stream Link
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Ratdog Tour Closer at the Beacon, 10/24/09

Ratdog blew the roof off the Beacon Theater last night – a real smoking show from cover to cover. Highlights include a first set Cassidy>Jack Straw>Rooster>DS Jam sequence that really took off and shined. The 1st set closing Liberty>Bertha had the place jumping – smiles all around.

Dark Star Jam - 10/24/09

Dark Star Jam - 10/24/09

The second set begins with a nicely chosen trio of tunes with Bobby on acoustic – Mexicali, FOTD, and fan-favorite Black Throated Wind that really hit a nice groove. The heart of the show has to be magnificent Other One>Stuff>Morning Dew>Dark Star Jam>Cassidy (Repirse), so glad the boys saved so much good stuff for night 3 at the Beacon. A raucous One More Saturday Night, and one-two punch Ripple, US Blues encore drove things home on a high note. All in all, quite an evening, way to go Bobby!

For setlists from the rest of the NE mini-tour, go here. For downloads of almost every night, go here. Enjoy!

Ratdog w/ the Persuassions - 10/24/09

Ratdog w/ the Persuasions: Ripple - 10/24/09

Ratdog, 10/24/09, The Beacon Theater, New York, NY
Set I: Jam > Casey Jones > Jack Straw > Cassidy > Little Red Rooster > Dark Star Jam > Lazy River Road, She Says > Liberty > Bertha
Set II: Mexicali Blues@ > Friend of the Devil@, Black-Throated Wind@, It Must Have Been the Roses*+, He’s Gone* > Jam > The Other One > Stuff > Morning Dew > Dark Star > Cassidy > One More Saturday Night
E: Ripple*+, U.S. Blues

@-Bobby on Acoustic; *-with The Persuasions (Vocals); +-a capella, The Persuasions only; Hippie Bill waved a Yankees flag on stage during “U.S. Blues”

Download Link – Torrent

Download Link – MP3s

Sweet vid of the Persuasions doin’ Roses:

Beaming With Bisco

The Disco Biscuits brought the house down this past Saturday night with a special 3-set show at Starland Ballroom, featuring a raging 3rd set from alter-ego cover band Tractorbeam. Having attended the show, let me say that it is clear the band is determined – to play more shows, longer, with more new material, more new arrangments, and, of course, more fan-favorites new and old. Such was the case on Saturday as the band broke out 2 new tracks from the forthcoming Planet Anthem (one of which, ‘Konkrete’, can be downloaded for free here) along side old-school fan favorites like ‘Stone’, ‘Devil’s Waltz’, and Tractorbeam’d ‘Mr. Don’. All in all, a very tight show with only a few slow moments, give it a whirl and rage with Bisco on their upcoming tour.

The Disco Biscuits
Starland Ballroom
Sayreville, NJ

Band Setlist - 9/12/09

Band Setlist - 9/12/09

Set 1: Story of the World> Helicopters*> 42> Story of the World, Rockafella, Stone> Devil’s Waltz

Set 2: Uber Glue, Konkrete, Bazaar Escape*> Save the Robots, New Song** > The Very Moon> 42

Set 3 (Tractorbeam): Confrontation> Digital Buddha*> The Great Abyss> Mr. Don*> Confrontation

Encore: Once the Fiddler Paid

* – Unfinished
** – New Magner song; first time played

Stream Link

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The Dead @ The Spectrum – The Last Stand



Set 1:
On More Saturday Night
Brown Eyed Women
Good Morning, Little Schoolgirl
He’s Gone>
Uncle John’s Band>
Mason’s Children

Set 2:
Good Lovin’
Cumberland Blues
Cryptical Envelopment>
The Other One>
Morning Dew
St. Stephen
Help On The Way
Franklin’s Tower

Samson And Delilah

Stream the show here

Download the show here

Some play-by-play and highlights from this magical evening:

The energy level in the Spectrum on Saturday night was poppin’ – not an empty seat in the house and not a seat in use when the lights went down. The band came out firing with One More Saturday Night giving their first nod to the symbolic closing of the Dead at the Spectrum tradition of 53+ sold out shows over the years. After a raucous, if not perfunctory sounding Saturday Night rendition, the Band kept things moving quickly with tightly executed versions of Brown Eyed Women and Good Morning Little School Gril. Weir started out Good Mornin’ solo and, after getting his sea legs, delivered a soulful and, at times, creepy take mixing in some original improvised lyrics for good measure.

Warren took over and changed things up on Althea – his vocals and guitar rang true and he definitely delivered an improved rendition from the 3/30/09 Roseland show. The first set closing sequence of He’s Gone>UJB>Mason’s Children really took off aside from a botched UJB ending sing along. The band did a great job channeling their frustration out of UJB into a smoking version of Mason’s straight out of 1968. Seemingly minutes after the set began – the band left the stage at 8:45 for setbreak – the crowd stunned with the whirlwind that had just engulfed the arena.

The band really played with the dynamics in Cumerbland swinging from Chimenti’s organ swells to Warren’s lighting speed blues riffing gymnastics to tasteful drum fills – the band doing what they do best – the music playing the band. Dipping into the ether for a  more typical set 2 offering – Phil and Boby led the band through a full on ‘That’s if for the Other One’ rendition alla Anthem of the Sun. This was a lot of fun if not for Bobby’s restrained and, at times, unpredictable vocal delievery on The Other One.

The band boarded the Drum/Space ship and, as they landed, the opening Dew progression emerged. What followed was a beautiful rendition – evoking the intense power of the deep and haunting post-apocalyptic anit-war song. Turning on a dime, the band jumped into St.Stephen:

Stephen was very well played if not, again, perfunctory in nature. The following Revolution was a nice treat and was really played true to spec:

All in all, Revolution was a lot of fun. Seemingly unwilling to stop, the band busted into the famous Blues for Allah medley of Help/Slip/Franklins to close out the set. This definitely had its ups and downs including a botched Franklin’s transition, but the Franklin’s sing along was worth it and a great way to close things out:

Phil emerged for his donor rap and acknowledged the un-matched energy that only the Spectrum can conjure up. The band closed things out with a ritualistic Samson and Delilah – chanting the ‘If I had my way, I would tear this old building down’ refrain – bidding farewell to years of history and a historic building always to be remembered in Deal lore’.

The band really broke out of the mold for this weekend’s spectrum run – leaving behind the restrained and safe playing of the last few weeks and taking things up and notch in terms of creativity and adventurousness (and tempo for that matter). The few bumps along the road were well worth it – let’s hope this train keeps building steam and Truckin’ down the road – one more time.

And if I had my way
I would tear this old building down…

The Disco Biscuits – 4/18/09 – Philadelphia, PA


The Disco Biscuits


The Electric Factory

Philadelphia, PA

Set I: 42, The Very Moon> Orch Theme> Svenghali

Set II: Mirrors, Shelby Rose> The City> Shelby Rose, Hot Air Balloon> The Great Abyss> Hot Air Balloon

Set III: Once The Fiddler Paid, Rivers, And The Ladies Were The Rest Of The Night> Gangster> And The Ladies Were The Rest Of The Night, The Tunnel, Triumph> 7-11

Encore: Rainbow Song

Stream/Download the show here

The Biscuits came home to Philly for the weekend and really came to play. After canceling the last four shows of their highly anticipated California run, they band decided to give back to the fans with 3 sets of music each night at the E-Fac this weekend. A re-cap of some of the highlights from night 2…


Set 1 was fun but definitely a bit restrained as the band and crowd were all aware that we were in for a long evening. 42 was a great way to open the show and always a welcome first set addition. The highlight of the set had to be the Svenghali closer which finally got things kicked into full gear.


The second set started out with the new track – ‘Mirrors’ – and Boom!, they dropped into ‘Shelby Rose’. This is where the show really took off in my opinion. The recent go to  sandwich of Shelby>The City>Shelby was undoubtedly a highlight of the whole night. The band had the audience take over on vocal duties on the ‘Oh, Oh, Oh!’ chant, saying that ‘the new album wouldn’t be complete without the fans taking part’. My guess is they may have recorded the sing along for later mixing down on the soon to be released album cut of ‘The City’.


The ‘Shelby’ sequence was immediately followed by the old-school fan favorite Hot Air Balloon made up into another tasty sandwich with an ‘Abyss’ in the middle. This segment was one of the most inspired of the evening and really got people dancing. The second set stretched long and the band just kept taking it higher and higher – really top notch playing all around, especially Barber.


The third set started off a bit slower but things picked back into high gear with the always welcome appearance of ‘Ladies’. While Ladies was great, the absolute highlight of the show for me was ‘The Tunnel’ off of Senor Boombox gettign a rare live performance. It was executed beautifully and was a great contrast to some of the new songs and go-to-songs like Shelby, City, 42, Ladies, etc. The set-closing Triumph>7-11 was straight rage and straight fire, absolute blast. After a quick and quirky Rainbow Song encore, the band took a bow and the crowd spilled back out into to the beautiful Philadelphia spring night, no doubt satisfied with the bust-out filled, 3 set, 5+ hour throw down like only the Disco Biscuits at the E Factory can deliver.

Stream/Download the show here

A Taste of Hampton

For those of you that weren’t fortunate enough to catch any of the Phish reunion shows at Hampton Coliseum on March 6th, 7th, and 8th, enjoy these HD/SBD clips of some highlights from the historic run. I’ve sampled some of the best vids out there from each day of the run.

Fluffhead -3/6/09 Set I Opener
The Hampton Fluffhead opener will go down in phans record books as one of, if not the most historic moment in the band’s 25 year career. While I could write an essay on this, I’ll just let you decide what you think and enjoy the song’s “FLUFFHEAD!” peak and ensuing jam:

David Bowie – 3/6/09 Set I Closer
The climax of the David Bowie jam is one of the most sought after musical segments in Phish’s repertoire. This fan favorite from the band’s first studio album – 1988’s Junta – David Bowie is funky number with extremely complex composed segments. The composed section leads into a dark and building jam all leading up to the Bowie ‘peak’, exhibit A:

YEM Vocal Jam – 3/6/09 Set II Closer
Having witnessed this vocal jam personally, all I can say is ‘Wow’. Kuroda’s lights and the band are so synced, it’s downright scary:

Ghost Jam Segment – 3/7/09 Set II
Many fans point to the Ghost jam as the most experimental jamming of the weekend and taste of what’s in store for Phish 3.0. This starts out dark and slow and builds into a fantastic jam up around the 5 minute mark, enjoy:

Tweezer Reprise – 3/8/09 Encore (last song of the run)
The band decided to save the Tweezer Reprise (Tweezer was played on night 1, set 2) to close out the run at the end of the encore on the 8th. This vid is shot from the middle of the pit and really gives you a feeling of the insane energy abound in the Coliseum this weekend. If this vid doesn’t make you want to quit your job and go on summer tour, check your pulse:

Check out more videos here

Buy the SBD from here

Download some nice sounding AUDs from our friends over PhishThoughts here

Orchard Lounge and The Indobox – 4/11/09 @ Sullivan Hall

Last night’s late night party at Sullivan Hall saw the Indobox and Orchard Lounge each lay img_326751_primary1down extended
sets to a happy, dancey, and no doubt twisted crowd at the Greenwich Village jam hot-spot – Sullivan Hall.

Indobox played an intense and energetic 2 hour set with face-melting jams from the quartet flowing until 2:30. While it’s hard to deny this band is a Bisco rip-off, they do it well and definitely have their own unique style to add to the mix as well. This was my first Indobox show and I’d have to say I’d definitely catch these guys again:

The Indobox – Setlist

Gz and Hustlas ->
Graffiti ->
The Right Time
Shanghai Baby
Ming Ming
Catch Her in the Red ->
Lighthouse (ending)

The headlining act – Orchard Lounge – emerged after a short break around 300 Am and delivered a jaw-dropping dance fest of music (complete with live on-stage painting) that raged past 4 in the morning. While I don’t have the setlist, the whole idea of a ‘song’ isn’t really that relevant when you’re talking about the interwoven electro-jam segments the band dabbles in. Let me just say the crowd was loving every minute, spirits were high, smiles all around, and feet were moving. What a great way to close out an amazing weekend of music here in the greatest city in the world!

Rage the Scene!

Rage the Scene!

Spend a Little Time on the Mountain

Let’s be honest – in life, not all friends are created equal. The same is true of Phil Lesh’s revolving door ‘Phil and Friends’ project. While any true head will point to the original Quintet (Lesh, Haynes, Herring, Molo, Baracco) as the ultimate lineup for this band, this head will go so far as to say the lineup featured at the Mountain Jam 07′ show is a close 2nd. This festival-closing performance saw John Scofeild and Warren Haynes on guitar, John Molo on drums, Steve Molitz on keys, and of course Mr. Lesh himself on bass.

The Band

The Band

This was Phil and Friends only summer festival appearance and it was clear they came out practiced, hungry, and with more than a few aces up their sleeve:


Playin' in the Band - Set I

Phil Lesh and Friends
Mountain Jam @ Hunter Mountain
Hunter, New York
June 3, 2007

Set I
Shakedown Street ->
Friend of the Devil
Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
New Speedway Boogie
Mason’s Children
Scarlet Begonias ->
Eyes of the World ->
Fire on the Mountain

Set II
Unbroken Chain
Dark Star ->
Mountains of the Moon ->
Dark Star ->
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
Turn on Your Lovelight

Not Fade Away

Playin' in the Band - Set II

Playin' in the Band - Set II

The first set was probably the longest Phil n’ Friends set ever clocking in at OVER 2 HOURS! I’m sure I wasn’t the only one worried they were going to do a 1 set show, but more likely they were playing an extended set in appreciation of the crowd’s undying love and enthusiasm while it had rained all day and continued to rain all through the show.

Some first set highlights include the Low Spark and Mason’s bustouts, the Scarlet/Eyes/Fire segment (look out for Scofield’s solo on Eyes), and the smoking New Speedway. The 2nd set was pure Phil magic and honestly one of the best Phil n’ Friends sets i’ve ever seen. The Lucy in the Sky was a real treat and both NFA and Lovelight feature earth-shattering riffing from Sco and Warren – these are MUST HEARS.


Download the show here
Stream the show here


Take a Bow!

Lotus at Bowery Ballroom – 4/10/09

Lotus put on a solid showing last night at Bowery Ballroom, I’d break it down about like this:

Music – 8.5, Lights – 9, Crowd – 4

Lotus (w/ BLVD opening)
The Bowery Ballroom
April 10th, 2009

Set I
Jump Off
Behind Midwest Store Fronts
Age of Inexperience

Set II
Flower Sermon
Slow Cookin>

Suitcases and Sandwiches

All in all a good time but not quite my cup of tea. The crowd left more than something to be desired – the scenesters were out in full force showing off their flat-brims, sun glasses inside, and all that comes with that shtick. I can’t tell you how many times someone just strolled up into my dancing space and stopped dead – completely unaware of what they were doing. Please, have some decency people!

The 1st set was more jazzy and restrained with some euphoric moments and some nicely executed jams. The 2nd set showed a little bit dirtier and, at times, more rocking side of the band and there were some definite Untz’d out moments. All in all, good times had by all.

Download/Stream the show here!

Look for a more thorough review of my preferred jam-tronica choice of the Disco Biscuits, next Saturday 4/18/09 at the one, the only, Electric Factory in the city of brotherly love!

Alpine 89

In the summer of 89′, the Dead delivered this monster show at the famous summer concert destination. Brought to you in video, streaming audio and for download:


The Dead at Alpine Valley, 89'

The Grateful Dead
Alpine Valley Music Theater
July 17, 1989

Set I
Let The Good Times Roll->
Feel Like A Stranger
Built To Last
Me & My Uncle->
Cumberland Blues
It’s All Over Now
Row Jimmy
When I Paint My Masterpiece
When Push Comes To Shove
The Music Never Stopped

Set II
China Cat Sunflower->
I Know You Rider
Playin’ In The Band->
Uncle John’s Band->
Standing On the Moon*
The Wheel->
Gimme Some Lovin’->
Goin’ Down The Road Feelin’ Bad->
Not Fade Away

We Bid You Good Night
Johnny B. Goode

The show’s opening segment of Let the Good Times Roll-> Feel Like a Stranger is phenomenal. The juxtaposition of the two songs to open the show is the perfect invocation; and the perfect example of the Dead at their best: able to turn on a dime from melting hearts to melting faces:

The Stones classic ‘It’s All Over Now’ is one of many gems delivered in the first set. Brent really adds some color and a new found energy to this oft-performed cover:

The set II opener ‘I Know You Rider’ (of course emerging out of China Cat) is just smoking. Both Bobby and Jerry go big on the ‘I wish I was a headlight’ line, great stuff:

If you’ve never heard the Dead’s version of ‘Gimme Some Lovin’, check this one out. Brent’s take on this is a lot of fun, you have to love both his singing and keyboard playing here. His energy keeps the band on their toes and definitely encourages Jerry to keep things moving:

The show closing Chuck Berry cover – Johnny B. Goode – really brings things home on a high note, especially following the typical goodnight lullaby ‘Bid You Goodnight’. The Dead really go all out in this, even after hours of playing, and show why they are the only ones that can do what they do. Brent’s solo is incendiary, or dare I say – flame:

Stream the show here

Download the show here

More Videos here


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