GDF Reviews of The Other Ones 2000
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I really like the "intellectual" feeling that brucie brings to this band,and the fact that alfonso,who is a great bass player, sounds nothing like phil
So the band sounds like the dead (bobby,billy & mickey) while at the same time does not (bruce's piano & control,mixed with alfonso's jazzy playing)
I saw the meadowlands show & thought that kimock was quite fine, but could someone get karan a head band, i can't stand that hair in his face all night. i hope these guys continue to play together, & develop new material, as all good bands should...
Glass Camels played Friday night in the live oak-roofed amphitheatre, and the bizarre bazaar stretched through the steamy woods Saturday afternoon. Tibetan hemp clamshell wallet=$5. Ry (our 6 year old) wondered at some of the more extreme piercings and tatoos as the populace streamed past our swing beneath the palm-fronded tiki gazebo. Two dehydrated voyagers fell out of a car near us and one wound up in the constable's sweep wagon, but the other one narrowly escaped a "trip downtown" with the Suwanee PO-leece, when his brassy good friends interrupted an arrest, and took their raving pal under the armpits, after promising the law they would speak to him so he could understand, and walked him into the woods. Several hours later Hornsby would sing about "the law come to getcha if you don't walk right." The gates opened @ 5:30 and a race of land settlers ensued, as the sooners ran, stumbled, crawled and lurched 1/4 mile across the large grassy field for (general admission ) a homestead. The area between the stage and soundboard was partly bordered by fences along the sides, which gave some nice protection against the usual wave of beer-spilling late-arriving crusaders trampling to the front. Ry is in shape and our blanket ended up in the sweet spot, twenty yards or so from the stage, just barely off center, just in front of the sound board. Tapers were asked to move OUTside the fence to the left, stage right, so tilt your head to the right when you listen to your audience tapes to align the soundfield. Yass.
JUST before the Melody Makers struck their first notes, a bolt of lightning and rumble of thunder came,and several fat drops of rain splattered from the clouds as the Zigster emerged. Heavy weather added an adrenalin boost to Ziggy's set. Highlights for us were Tomorrow People, Jammin', and a strong Trenchtown Rock. The bass kept impeccable time and moved acres of effortless air with a bottomy sub-bass sound, the drummer pounded the space-reverb snare drum of dub-death, the rhythm guitars were Les Pauls through Fender and Vox amps, and weaving in and out of the skanking was the lead guitar, a Steinberger mostly through a Roland Jazz Chorus amp. The I-three girls testified,shimmied and shook non-stop despite the humiture, and Ziggy sang like a bird. The crowd oohed and ahhed each time lightning would strike and thunder would roll. Several showers blew through, but the blackest thunderheads skimmed around us, as the typical summer drama- electric collisions of rising heat and veering clouds- played out in the Florida sunset.
The next band is called The Other Ones for a reason. Implicit in the name is the absence of Garcia, and the absence of his guitar filigree left the band, not rudderless exactly, but a bit tentative. Bruce Hornsby came across as the leader of the band, and I can think of no one (note the "I" part, please) who could play the part with such grace and intrepid big ears. Obviously reluctant to simply dictate the flow (as Garcia was trusted to do), Hornsby did try to steer the music with his piano and hand signals, and the band appeared to readily accept his cues, along with a few from Weir, whose slashing, stabbing rhythm style (two Modulus guitars and a rack) is better than ever, only more so. Yup. Alphonso is the silky American Express (?) of bass, everywhere you want him to be. Karan and Kimock put the fun in dysfunctional; their clashing stickers on their amps say it all: Kara's Matchless amp says "I'd rather be f#$k*&g" and Kimock's says "Shut up and dance." More on this contrast later.
As Bruce plonked out shave and a haircut, two bits, Weir dedicated the opening Not Fade Away to Dave Jennings, and Hey Bo Diddley and Mona sandwiched a short bass solo. Billy's eyes flickered open and shut in his good old quasi-seizures, and Mickey seemed to grin with satisfaction at the reassembly of the left and right halves of the large and loud Grateful drum brain. Ry's eyes widened at the opening notes of his favorite song, Dark Star, which Hornsby sprinkled, and after a short wander, Dear Mr Fantasy followed a hand cue by Weir. Karan played a rousing crescendo with his Gretsch through a watery organlike tremelo patch. Weir again cued the next song, Big RxR Blues, and Kimock weighed in with a short piercing lead part. Down the Road shone due to Kimock's slide, chilling, as Mickey stood up to sing through the old style mic and pantomimed through his talking/singing. Hornsby drew the band into a raveup coda that became Willie Nelson's On the Road Again. Then followed the slowest, lopsided-est Tennessee Jed, we loved it. Karan missed the first modulation cue during his solo, but after some confusion, Bruce recued the break and Karan played through the key change very nicely. Lost Sailor>Saint spotlit Bobby, drums felt like being home again, out of drums came my favorite part= Bruce and Kimock spaced a ballad together, exquisite slide guitar over lush space on the Baldwin grand piano, Suwanee River melody finally spelled out, then Bruce winged his way through Turkey in the Straw before a majestic That's Just The way it Is, from which Dark Star re-emerged, again tinged with the "way down upon the Suwanee river" piano melody, followed by a bass-cued Truckin'. Late in Truckin' as the band was building up to the final instrumental break, Kimock was simply sitting, as he had on and off through the night, way off to the right side, observing and fiddling with his stuff. As if to answer the question forming in many minds (is this guy in the band really, or is he gradually edging offstage altogether rather than compete for limited space with the other guitarists), Kimock stood up, turned up three knobs on his rack, walked over next to Karan, stepped on something that appeared to be on or near Karan's pedals, and blasted out another piercing obligato that took it over the top. I recalled a recent post urging him to abandon the Tantric school of Delayed Guitar Solo Gratification and get involved more, but the guy may know what he is doing. The Other One followed briefly, w/o lyrics, He's Gone was slow and bluesy with Alphonso clowning and barbershop bass singing by Karan during the ooo-ooo-oooohs, back into Dark Star for the second verse with another brief flurry of Tantric Kimock, into One More saturday night. The acoustic Ripple encore had Ry whistling all the way back to the car.
Mark Karan played an archtop Paul Reed Smith honeyburst for the second half of the show, and he puts his back into his playing, sweating, moving, overplaying occasionally, but never leaving his effort in doubt. Several people hoped he would get his hair out of his face. Weir's guitar work was more aggressive than it used to be, his voice was good, and he stuck largely to goosing the rhythm instead of trying to sustain lead parts. Kimock was the stealth member, detached, at the edge of the stage, switching between his Strat, Explorer, Modulus(?) and an open tuned Silvertone(?), picking a few spots for "attack" leads and soaring slide leads, but often sitting with hands in his lap, not playing much rhythm. The mix is overpopulated with three guitars, and his decision to lay out alot may have been smart, even if frustrating to those eager for his escape velocity outbursts. The feel was of an all-star team, not a regular season performance. Despite Jerry's long shadow, the music was adveturous and fun. over and out
Yr humble correspondent.
[added corrections: After review of the recording (Shure VP88>Zefiro>D7, nice work Jay), a few corrections of my review of the Suwannee show:
Bruce played Chariots of Fire as they took the stage, apparently by way of introducing Weir's dedication of the ensuing NFA to an American runner in the Olympics, Gabe Jennings, who Weir described as "one of us." (He advanced to the semis).Also, there was no Other One played, other than a fleeting tease out of Truckin'.]
Cuyahoga Falls--It's been four years since the Furthur Festival played Blossom Music Center. The traveling music event originated in 1996 in order to placate fans of the Grateful Dead when that band dissolved following the death of Jerry Garcia. During its absence, the tour gained a headliner in The Other Ones (TOO), which featured several ex-members of the Dead. At that time, the unit satisfied the hard-to-please Deadhead community. Since those series of dates in 1998, a feud broke out between the Dead's former members and, in essence, among its followers. Views became tainted by what fans' perception of what constitutes a true concert experience. Those folks were not in attendance at Blossom Thursday evening. That's too bad. They missed out. For the 10,000 who were there, they were treated to a different kind of musical animal; something that resembles the creative aesthetic of the Grateful Dead but stubbornly refuses to mimic it. TOO's return brought along two "new" members. Joining Dead alumni Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bruce Hornsby and TOO guitarists Steve Kimock and Mark Karan were ex-Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann and bassist Alphonso Johnson. Kreutzman stayed home two years ago, while Johnson played with Weir in a side project known as Bobby and the Midnites. The evening's 16-song set touched upon favorites within the Dead's world ("Sugaree," "Scarlet Begonias," "Fire on the Mountain," "Terrapin Station" and more), while throwing in a few twists in arrangements and song selection. Normally a set closer, "Sunshine Daydream" opened the proceedings. From the originals debuted in '98 came a slightly altered "Banyan Tree." Also included was another Hornsby tune, "Long Tall Cool One." Only the cover of the blues classic "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" lacked the sizzling sexual tension that Weir and company clearly could give it. Throughout the two-hour-and-twenty-minutes, TOO displayed respect for the Dead's catalogue yet intentionally molded it into new musical shapes. Their purpose isn't a nostalgia trip but a continuation of the legendary San Francisco band's musical aesthetic; to shed light on the songs and not lean on overextended improvisational jams. The purposely-misspelled music festival took its name from the bus that Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters drove across America during the dawn of the psychedelic era. The musical philosophy came from them as well; an expect the unexpected attitude ran throughout the show. It may be billed as Furthur Festival 2000 but to the Deadhead community who came to Blossom with an open mind, it really was the Second Coming of the Other Ones. Settling in the middle spot were Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers. For an hour the offspring of reggae legend Bob Marley performed another stellar set that mixed originals with favorites from their father's timeless catalogue (i.e. "Jammin'"). The members gracefully made their way among the genre's different styles with confidence and joy. Marley and company are easily a cut above the rest in the reggae world. And they continue to prove this. A brand new number, "Uncle Sam," ended the set. Its mix of personal politics and bouncy rhythms upholds reggae's traditions as a sounding board for the harsh realities of life. Ekoostik Hookah started the proceedings with a brief set that displayed the Columbus outfit's fluid musicianship and ability to bring together a variety of genres (rock, country, jazz, blues) in a completely natural manner.
We missed Ziggy and the last thing I remember before the lights went down was the massive number of mics in the taping area. We scurried on up to the front in time to see Micky on vocals break out into a 10 minute version of " The music never stopped" From that they chugged into a sweet " Shakedown St" with the entire crowd letting Bobby & the Boyz Know that the '" Cuse was a town w / a lot of Heart ". Two other key moments for me came by way of an acoustic " Friend of the Devil " and a goose-bump raising " Franklins Tower ' with over 4,000 Heads letting their voices fill the air. Before I knew it the house lights had come up leaving us all wanting just a little bit more.
But we all Headed back out in the pitch black rainy night as one happy family knowing we'd all been touched by a mystic moment and It felt ' GOOD " to be with 4,000 of Jerry's Other Ones.
If you get confused Listen to the Music Play "
As with the Phil Lesh & Friends show earlier this summer at Merriweather, I attended this event with an open mind and realistic expectations. Where Phil delivered, I sadly must say the Other Ones fell a bit flat. They are lacking a main ingredient: Assertive lead guitar playing. This show's set list included many favorites, including "Bird Song" which was revisited repeatedly. However, the show never woke up until "Wheel" and even then just barely. Karan and Kimock do not even approach the melodic finesse, tonal breadth or sheer intensity of Jerry's playing. Bruce is a joy and gave great vocal renderings to "Sugaree" and "He's Gone," but again no lead guitar "moments," which are so much a part of these songs. The band seemed possibly a bit tired. Bobby threw in the expected rockers at the end, which I normally could take or leave. On this night, I was actually grateful for them. I know it's a bit unfair to expect so much from Kimock and Karan, but as a guitar player myself, they need to let it fly more or the impact of the music is just completely watered down.
My wife and I camped at Black Moshanon State Park about a half hour north west of State College. It was a great weekend. There is a lake there with a series of bogs. We had a chance to observe beaver at an active beaver dam. When Sunday rolled around we packed up and headed for Bryce Jordan.
Ziggy was great. We were lucky and had 4th row seats (Thanks to GDTS!). My wife and I danced the whole set away in the middle aisle. Great music, great vibes. Ziggy is carrying on his fathers message. He looks and sounds so much like his dad it's uncanny.
TOO opened with Help on the way>Slipknot>Franklins Tower which was well played. I really got into watching the interaction between the band. I had never been so close. Bobby seemed to be the musical director signaling the others at different times. Highlight for me was Going down the road, It seemed that Bobby signaled Mickey to do a short drum break which turned into a great DrumSpace. I was somewhat disappointed when Bobby and the rest came back on stage, I think they came back a little prematurely. Great acoustic Victim or The Crime and Friend of the Devil. The intro to Uncle Johns Band was a little marred by some feedback but proceeded on it's own course.
A smoking Samson and Delilah in which Mark finally seemed to wake up and wail led into China > Rider with the appearance of none other than Hanson singing I know you Rider. The boys stuck around for the encore of The Weight. I was wondering why Bobby had a Hanson t shirt on.
General Impressions: It was a great fun evening, the band had moments of greatness and moments of awkwardness. Hanson was great, they sang well and had a great stage presence. After each song, they did the "We're not worthy" bow to the band. My wife and I both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves as it appeared did the rest of the crowd.
Not much of a scene outside but I was glad to see lots of vending inside the Fleet Center. There's a great idea.
Ziggy was a real treat. They played both old and new songs including: Small Axe...Black My Story...Look Who's Dancing...Africa Unite...Jamming. The whole Melody Makers band was awesome. I just wish more people came in time to see them.
The Other Ones were hot. I was caught way off guard when they opened with Dark Star. It was jammed long and beautifully before Bobby sang the first verse. The band didn't miss a beat as they went right into Terrapin with Bobby and Bruce taking turns on the lyrics. Other highlights were the acoustic Blackbird and Looks Like Rain. The latter was played by Bobby, Bruce on accordian, and the bassist. Bruce sang Wharf Rat soulfully and had the entire Fleet Center mesmerized. The final three songs were awesome. The band finished off Dark Star spacily with the second verse, played the rest of Terrapin (with much fervor), and rocked through Sugar Mags. The encore was a sweet, acoustic Ripple. I love how the Other Ones are mixing up the set list and are not afraid to get a little crazy.
The lot scene was relaxed yet robust, the house was full but you could walk up for a ticket.
The show began with a loose jam into Bird Song, which became the theme for the evening. They segued into the strongest song of the night, Jack Straw. "We used to play for silver, now we play for life" Indeed! This ensemble is at it's best when backing Bobby on his signature tunes, and at it's worst when he does Jerry. Perhaps those songs should be left to Bruce Hornsby, whose piano became audible as he led Sugaree. Momentum began to build during Cassidy, but was short circuited when Bobby switched to acoustic in mid jam. There was little interplay between the lead guitarists, it was one or the other. Steve Kimock has a graceful and fluid tone, but has assimilated the JG '84 stage presence - stand motionless, face away from the audience whenever possible. The nod has to go to Karan for enthusiasm.
It was a joy to hear the legendary GD drumz once again. Alphonso Johnson is a wonderful player with fine tone, he just doesn't have that radiant personality that shines through the music. Bobby has become the master seat of the pants bandleader, and his powerful voice is the band's most recognizable instrument. Bruce Hornsby added unique jazzy inflections to the vocals, and his keys should have been more prominent in the mix. His Black Muddy River encore was the sweetest moment of the night. The light show was conservative and unimaginative.
One thing the Grateful Dead never became was a traveling oldies show, but that is what the Other Ones are in danger of becoming if they don't introduce new tunes and fresh jams, as the Dead did throughout their existence. Still it's my favorite oldies show, and this performance was well played. Both the sound and the spirit of the GD were present, so let's hope it blossoms and grows. "It ain't the real thing, but it's close enough to pretend".
Missed Ziggy due to beltway traffic.
This band could be very very good and indeed this night they had moments that were very very good. Scarlet>Stir it up was great. (i cant do mickey's fire though. Rap is a genre that is not necessary at a show of this kind). Banyan was awsome. Drums were great. St. Steve really caught me off guard and was a treat.
I have a few criticisms: 1) there is something about a two set show that works better than one long set. It is like the pace of the show and what the ear can really appreciate. The first set gets you ready and really seems to build anticipation. The second set is, for lack of a better word, the orgasm. One large set is too much orgasm. Need the foreplay of a first set to really appreciate it to the max. 2) the band lacked leadership and assertiveness at guitar. Maybe i can't remove Jerry's influence and memory from the music. But, the band kept looking to Bruce and Bob to lead the jams. Bruce is great, but i beleive piano is the wrong instrument to lead the jams from. The guitarists must do it. Weir, while on guitar, is still not that great a player or musician or something that he can lead the jam. The two dudes on guitar didn't seem assertive enough to take the role (which i can understand given the legends they were playing with). All in all i had a good time at the show.
9/16/00 Fleet Center Review RICKD1235@aol.com
Being open minded is the key word....fi you go in with the Bucket-sugaree--Country western tunes- deal you are mistaken...these boys went places I have never been before and actually look forward to going back again....
One problem with the entire show....1 too many guitars and they seemed to be fighting for "who can be the loudest".....Mark Karen was the loudest to date and even though he rocked......was just a tad too loud for me.....
Bob and Bruce work off of each other extremely well.. Terrapin was perfect.......one last tune not to my likeing is the new ending to Valley Road.....very hip hoppish in my opinion....Bruce...Lose the ending.......
All in all 9.5 out of 10......hey no one's perfect in this society
When I had seen The Other Ones in Darien Lake last week I felt that maybe near the end of the if they did a slow Jerry tune it could ensure more of the possibility of Grateful Dead magic. Well Hornsby singing "Wharf Rat" was the iceing on the cake but I felt the whole night was magic.
Ziggy started out and did a hot set. It wasn't too loud as some had said earlier in the tour.
The Other Ones opened with Eiko with and energy that never faltered. The whole set was terrific. With fear of using the word too loosely, there was magic in the air. This is not a Grateful Dead cover band. This is a wonderful original band of here and now.
Victim or the Crime, Lost Sailor, Saint of Circumstance, Estimated Prophet, Looks Like Rain were as good or better than I ever saw with the Dead.
Bruce Hornsby did 3 of his originals which were just great and brought originality. Hornsby was incredible. Hart and Hunters "On the Road" was hot. The Rhythm Devils were incredible. Not Fade Away was incredible. Encor: Samson and Delilah incredible In fact the only Garcia tune that they did go to was "Wharf Rat" And hey, certainly a song that says something and that does not pander to the crowd. And Hornsby sang it with all the respect that its due.
One special treat was when Ziggy Marley came out and did "I shot the Sheriff" with The Other Ones which was just another high energy moment to this whole event.
Steve Kimock played fantastic. Weir was great. Hey I think I had a good time!
Personally I feel if this particular band stayed together, worked on the lead riffs, the jams(do more jamming between songs) they might go far. I felt it was worth the money to see and hope they can only get better.
I was at Blossom Music Center last evening and enjoyed it as much as you guys could possibly hope somebody would. Despite the fifty-odd shows I knocked around the east to see, I will refrain from any Grateful Dead references here. Having Alphonso Johnson walk into any band situation must be the equivilent of winning the lottery. I've seen you man, I've seen you with Weather Report, I heard that Stick solo you used to do with Santana. You knocked me out then and you knocked me out last night. No less said for Kimock and Karan. Jesus it must be fun to lay those solos over all that cool stuff goin on. What great musicians. I sat back and listened to Micky and Bill and my damn soul was doing backflips. Hey, truth be told, last night I just saw a great band doing what they do best and I enjoyed the hell out of it. Maybe more than you guys could know.
It puzzles me how a band like you guys can get together, tour for a month and go your separate ways. Hell I'd want to get together and play every Weds. night in Bob's garage over burgers and a couple of beers or something. Gentlemen I thank you sincerely.
A word of advice, go with an open mind, things are a bit different now, but go to enjoy the spirit of the music, have no preconceived expectations, go to dance.
Was it the best Terrapin I have ever heard?? No. Did the Sugaree touch my soul? Yes. Was it the same? No. Was it still great? Most certainly so. What are my credentials for comparison? I am a veteran of over 80 shows, you decide the rest.
I am only sorry I couldn't travel even Further than I did. Go with open ears my friends, enjoy the music.
The Other Ones were a Eiko sandwich. They opened and closed the set with it. Hornsby did a great version of "Rainbows Cadillac" and Mickey did "only the strange remain" Hornsby should do more songs. Bobby's only original song was the "Lost Sailor-Saint of Circumstance" which was really, really nice. In the middle of that was "Tennessee Jed" which at first didn't seem right or sound right but eventually they got it together. Mark Karan did an acoustic "Deal" which was nice but unnecessary. The drums were unbelievable but much too short. I missed that the last few years. "Terrapin" was very hot. I don't like to compare but it was far superior to Phil's version that I heard during his summer tour. Then the closer was "Eiko" which was fun and hot. Even Kimock was smiling and having a fun time. The encore was "Lovelight" and as usual hot.
I missed the slow Jerry song. Phil seems to be the only one these days to have the balls to do "Days Between", "China Doll" "Morning Dew" etc. I think Hornsby should give it a shot. I was thinking that Hornsby should try and do "So Many Roads"
Overall it was definately a great show. I'm psyched about seeing them a few more times and hope they continue to play together for many years. Maybe Phil will bury the hatchet, put their differences aside and join them next tour
I talked briefly to Mark Karan in the lawn ( how cool is that ,he is out there hanging in the lawn with everyone. I told him to have a good show and he had a great one. He plays so well and can really pull off some of the more Jerryish stuff . Alphonso earned my utmost after the night , He was a welcomed addition to the band. Both of the mentioned just look like they are having a great time every time I see them play.
The show was a good of one right out of the shoot J. Straw / Playin /Birdsong was a nice start. I love the way they jam into the opener, it is like the pace lap of the Indy 500: by the time the race starts they are rolling."Stir It Up" as mentioned wa hot and the best execution of talent was evident in the Eleven as well as White Wheeled Limo in my opinion. The post drum part of the show was probably the least fabulous with the exception of a very soulful Wharf Rat
The set list did not do the show justice everything was hot and my only regret is I can't be at the last show as I feel they are gelling well as a band.
Inside I was located on the floor, stage right, about 30 yards back. Plenty of room to move, stayed that way until the last two songs. Opening jam had some Cassidy in it which then bent it's way into Bucket. Solid version, nobody takes the lead though, Karan attempts a measure or two then falls back. Ramble On Rose, same situation, nobody steps forward. Kimock looks like he's being held up by a pole. Scarlet gets things moving, Kimock actually took a few steps, so now we know it's not a wax replica. Fire On the Mountain is a joke, no kidding. Goin' Down the Road was a very nice surprise, and had a good groove behind it. KC Moan, take it or leave it. Friend of the Devil basically went nowhere, didn't expect it to. The Way It Is, had a Caddy tease in front of it, was well played and jammed. Franklin's Tower, well all right, now we're getting somewhere. So far Karan has taken every lead, Kimock has went from standing to the stool. Franklin's got him off the stool. Drums, it was a nice trip down memory lane seeing Bill and Mick together. The jam that followed was Scarlet laced. China Cat, in a past review someone mentioned Bruce has only a Grand piano on stage. Not so, he has a synth to his right. He cranked on it for China, and a couple others as well. Karan made a game effort at the solo, still. Goin' Down the Road was segued smoothly, and the Rider that followed also segued nicely. Not Fade Away, Kimock finally has a pulse. He finally played something, and it ripped. He laid some nice Caution style fanning over the ending jam. Had a very strong solo in the middle also. The crowd goes for the chant, not enough people there though, most past there time of doing such a self-indulgent call and response. The band is past it too, except for Johnson. The Weight prepares the crowd for the door. Johnson, who you really have to listen for in the mix the entire night. He did a bass solo during Ramble On that did nothing for me. My feeling was one of what the hell, a Ramble On bass solo, the 2nd song of the night. Maybe it was an introduction of sorts.
All in all, the Other Ones do not touch the level of jamming/improving that Phil is going for. Phil and Friends do not touch the vocal abilities of the Other Ones. Phil's outside scene is very much same except for the N2O thing. There are firecracker chuckers on both fronts. Ziggy is worth going in for, he did an excellent version of poppa's Jammin' this night.
So..."believe it if you need it, leave it if you dare"
Music is Love-Todd Oaks
We got to our seats, Row 28, which sounds like it was a ways back, but the viewing was great.
Ziggy was a tremendously great surprise. I had not heard any of his music for years, and had not seen any set lists prior to the show. He opened with a wonderful Beautiful Day. The next song, however, Small Axe, was the highlight. The chords following each line of the chorus were shattering. Rest of his set was great. Played I Shot the Sheriff for I believe the first time on the tour. The crowd was a mass of bopping heads and writhing arms. I was very impressed.
TOO came on stage about 7:10 pm. Billy was the first one on stage. That was a rush. Weir came to the back of the stage, and then left to confer with a sound person. Came back on stage. After more of a checking of instruments sounds than a jam, they broke in The Music Never Stopped. Chills down my neck, A thrill, a great opener. I know a lot of people speculate on what the first song will be, but for some reason, I had not anticipated what our concert's opener would be. I think I was concentrating too hard on the fact that I was going to see them.
Segue to Easy Answers, a song I have not listened to a lot. Then, Tennesse Jed, just as the sun was setting, with Bruce sounding a lot like Garcia. That really got me. It's a song that has really grown on me over the years, and I revelled in it. Lost Sailor-> Saint of Circumstance. More songs I'm not as familiar with as I would like to be. I will be pulling out "Go to Heaven" to check these out further. White Wheeled Limo - Bruce singing, then Mickey doing Only the Strange. It was great, felt almost like comic relief with Mickey's phrasing, great backing vocals. ..... Accoustic numbers - El Paso was so soulful, Bobby sang it so well...Deal, with Mark singing. It was wonderful. He played great licks throughout both accoustic songs.
......Back to electric, and all of Weather Report Suite, it was so powerful.... I am,,, I am,,, I-aye am!!!! -> Drumz Mickey and Billy duelled, then Mickey went to beast behind the kits and Billy continued this powerful, powerful, churning writhing of arms and feet, ongoing and unrelenting. As Mickey was looking on, Bill's stick slipped out of his out of his right hand, flying high over and behind his head.Mickey, noticing something coming from infront of him, tracked it down, and ACTUALLY CAUGHT IT. I couldn't believe it. From the big grin on Mick's face, I'm not sure he could, either. A great, fascinating solo. Then, Wharf Rat!! I couldn't believe it. Bruce singing...The crowd screaming as he clearly enunciated "the line". -> Valley Road-> He's Gone. Another unbelievable moment. So much sentiment tied up in this song. The first performance since the Dead played it, I'm guessing. Then, shouts, screams, whistles for "Steal Your Face right offa your head",....and "Nothing to do but Smile, smile, smile." Then, a long accapella ending of the "oooh-ooh-ooh, nothing's gonna bring him back" with the audience singing and clapping with the drummers lightly keeping time. Wow!!! Finally, the last chorus, silence, ....then Bob cues the drummers, and we're into Sampson and Delilah, great percussion, intense playing and singing. I know we are near the end. Bob says "Thank you" and they're gone.
I know they will encore. Back again with more percussion with Good Lovin'. High high energy, great solos, so intense with the drums fills after each chorus. Last time through, a tight ending. Through the applause, Bobby adds "And that's what you need!", and they are gone for good with a wave from Mark as he leaves the stage. 9:47 pm Wow!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Gorge Amphitheater is one of the most spectacular venues in the Country. The site has plenty of parking in very close proximity to the theater, and sits above huge cliffs while it overlooks the Columbia River.
Now for the show. One look at the setlist may leave you thinking this was a laid back affair. Wrong! The bottom line is that this band is tight, they play with passion and they play better than any show I saw from '92-'95. The opening number, The Music Never Stopped, sizzled, with Steve playing some licks like it was the late seventies all over again. The band then switched into Easy Answers, which in the past made me cringe. Not this time! Gone was the background refrain which was replaced with simply great jamming. Next up, Tennessee Jed, another tune that used to be so predictable and now was transformed into a bona fide jam. The scene mellowed some for Lost Sailor but kicked back into high gear for Saint of Circumstance. I admittedly was unfamiliar with White-Wheeled Limousine and Only the Strange Remain but no gripes here. Bobby then played an inspired acoustic El Paso that was followed by Mark singing Deal, probably the low spot of the night.
Next the band played those first few notes that I had only heard on one of the Dicks Picks, Weather Report Suite. Again, how many ways can I say these guys were absolutely fantastic? No foul ups, no noodling, simply great music. The Drumz was played with inspiration and soon the band was off into Wharf Rat and a nice rendition of Valley Road. The audience really enjoyed themselves and were belting out the lyrics to He's Gone before the band kicked it into overdrive with Samson and Delilah. There wasn't a person sitting down or standing still! A well played Good Lovin ended the show and left me with a big smile on my face.
So for those cynics who refuse to enjoy these guys simply because they're not the Dead, I say, your loss. This band was better than anything I had heard in the 90's and for a chunk of the 80's. I just want to say thank you, for real, good time.
I have to say, right off the bat, I miss Jerry. Something awful, brothers and sisters. But he's gone, and the music must go on. This incarnation of the Other Ones certainly carries the torch forward, forging new ground and greening up the old ground. In fact, this band is tighter (for better or worse, as you see it) than the Dead were from '92 on. And I'd bet they'll be more consistent, hands down.
There were rough moments, but I expected a few bugs would have to be worked out before the end of the tour. Musical risk-taking can sometimes veer in wildly unforeseen directions, but the up-side is the magic that happened throughout the show at Shoreline. The mix was excellent (at least where I was, mind you), and my recordings are the best I've made so far. I just wish the overall sound was LOUDER.
One word: ALPHONSO. I was an extreme skeptic, and now I'm a believer. Sure, he had his own take on things, but this is NOT just a Dead cover band, so why should it be any other way? The groove during West LA was hot-n-heavy, he explored with our intrepid musical tripsters to some outer reaches during the freer jams (even giving them his own direction at times), and rumbled like thunder through China Cat.
The guitarists have now got their serious groove on, people. The indecision of the first tour is over, and they have more space with Dave Ellis absent. The time they've spent with Phil and Ratdog has really paid off. Like Jerry, if we let them, I think they'll take us places we never dreamed of!
The music doesn't play this band? Buy your ticket and check it for yourself, but I don't agree.
As a musician myself (I have a degree in music, saxophone performance), at times I've struggled with being a fan of the Dead. Other educated musicians/Deadheads can probably identify. Sure, when they were on, the Dead were the best "rock" band on the planet, and I was proud of my "fandom." After all, they were the only ones doing what they do. But when dragged down by Jerry's health/issues, etc, it was painful, and now in retrospect, sad. I found myself apologizing to my other musician friends for their inconsistency. Some of the screw-ups in the latter years were inexcusable for a band who played those tunes for 30 years, and could only be attributed to a front line member with a bad drug problem.
My point is, those issues are gone. I'm damn proud to be a fan of this band! They do not disappoint, and thank god they're more committed to the music than to the drugs (not putting the cart before the horse, as it were), or at least they're keeping it in a healthy perspective: their fun doesn't take away from the music. Any educated jazz musician would hear these guys and hear their exceptional musicianship, and their rapport.
And Bonnie, THANK YOU for a real good time. Can't wait to see Alpine! I'm a-waiting' for my Dark Star! Will Branford be there? Here's hopin'!
I really loved the Other Ones in 98. Then they seemed rehearsed (not the case this time). Without Phil it is a cover band and not a very good one. (the Zen Tricksters are way more exciting than this). This band will have trouble getting money out of my pocket again unless there are some major changes.
Phil belongs in the lineup. I know that it is mostly his call, but his imaginative playing was sorely missed. The worst Phil and Friends show I've seen was still way more exciting than the Other Ones at Shoreline. Phil, please get down off your high horse and kiss and make-up. This band needs you.
Keyboards: I love Bruce Hornsby but he only plays piano. Didn't the Dead fire Keith for only being a piano player? Get someone that plays keyboards so you don't have yet another percussion instrument.
Guitars: This can work with both Karan and Kimmock. (it didn't at Shoreline though). There needs to be some sonic separation between the two. Kimmock plays with his back to the crowd so it is hard to tell who's playing what. (using the video screens over the stage would have really helped, why don't they use these)?
Rehearse, rehearse rehearse! Practice makes perfect, no practice makes The Other Ones 2000. We work hard for our money, we expect you too also!
Pacing. One set was okay in 98, but it didn't work out this time. there was no second set save at this show. "China>Rider" to close the show?
Sound: The P.A. was not very loud and was quite muddy sounding. We had seats in the reserved section 200 so the sound shouldn't have been a problem, I thought!
Lights: Boring, the coolest part of the lighting I saw was the lighting of the bridge, cool but it is only equipment. the band was lit in the same red lights for most of the show, not very imaginative.
Setlist: "Scarlet>Fire" ( Mickey's detestable take on "Fire"), "Baba Jingo"," Banyon Tree", "Rainbows Cadillac", "China>Rider" were the same as last time I saw this band at Shoreline, just not nearly as well played. Saint Stephen was nice but not much in the way of excitement.
In closing this was a most disappointing show. Judging by the number of people in my section that were asleep!!!!!!! this opinion is shared by many others. I have seen over 500 GD shows in my life and not even on their weakest night have I ever experienced the antipathy shown by the crowd after this show. Maybe for some that have never seen the Dead (and there were many at this show) this was acceptable, for me I'll load up the bus and tour with someone else next year. Cheese is still real!
8/26/00 Call911McCreary@aol.com Chula Vista was pretty good overall. Surprise start-up with Dark Star, Big Railroad Blues and Hell in a Bucket, played only one or two new songs, featured Steve Winwood as a guest on Dear Mr. Fantasy, good acoustic numbers with Friend of the Devil and Ripple, Bruce was great (esp. on Sugaree and That's Just the Way It Is-?). Thought Bob sounded a little rusty in places, but he'd warm up the next night. Definitely a fun show.
Universal was thoroughly awesome. Teasing Other One all the way through the evening, good performances of Truckin' and Estimated Prophet, turning up the air conditioning during Looks Like Rain, picked up Bird Song at the end (rather than hitting the second verse of O.O.-great surprise), a great drum solo with Bobby's little girl dancing to the side of the stage, perfectly topped off with an encore of Touch of Grey. Would really like to find this one on tape.
As for the third show, Shoreline, I found it to be the least impressive of the three. There were definitely highlights... Jack Straw and West L.A. (w/ Bonnie Raitt), another great drum solo, a solid China Cat > Rider and Cassidy, St. Stephen > the Eleven, a great encore of Bruce on Black Muddy River. There were other things I enjoyed about it, but my memory's still a little hazy (need to get the set list). However, I did have my complaints... I love Mickey, but I think he should really be allowed only one song per show; whatever he sings ends up sounding like rap. Also, I didn't think much of the added lyrics on Fire on the Mountain. Also, too many new songs for my taste. Slipping in one here and there, and the crowd energy will carry on through it. Put in too many, and people start leaving their seats (which happened last night). Also, going to the (something or other) Tree immediately after the great job from Billy/Mickey was sort of a comedown for me. I've never seen so many people on their butts when the guitarists have come back on stage.
Looking forward to seeing the setlists for the rest of the festival, and hope to see Viola Lee Blues and When Push Comes to Shove somewhere in there. Also looking for the rest of the special guests. I expect there will be some good musicians in there. I plan on going to one or two more shows before they wind up, and hoping for a NYE party in S.F. somewhere.
8/24/00 review by Stoneelectric1@aol.com Bottom line for the Other Ones...if you liked (or loved) the 1998 Other Ones, I think you'll like this edition even better. Both shows have been highly entertaining although I thought the Universal show was better. With the addition of Billy K. to the sound and with less players, this band can turn a corner better than the '98 edition. And in terms of song selection and mixing things up, it's almost unsettling to hear a show open with Sunshine Daydream and have Bird Song bookends. Both shows had the band weaving in and out of Dark Star and the Other One all night. In fact last night's show was a Other One extravaganza all night...even though they never actually finished the song. The Other Ones aren't Phish, Widespread Panic, String Cheese, Devo, Phil, Herb Alpert, the Dead or anyone else...they have their own distinct musical identity and you people back East are in for a treat...
8/23/00 review by Gr8philRed@aol.com Dark Star kicked off the first show of Y2FurthUr. The crowd was a more than willing rider on the bus this night. From the front trail inward, it was a great experience.
The lot was packed with loads of very, very kynd people. One quote overheard, "How come when we go out to my work functions you don't talk to anyone . . . but here you talk to everyone?" Hmm. . .
One awkward thing I noticed was a lot vendor accepting credit cards. Ah, the quirks of a modern society. Ha!
There was plenty of good beer (and other imbibious items - ganja goo balls, brownies, et al), a very large number of cool folk, and a more than tolerable police force.
Mind you, this is "NO TAILGATING" land and the lot was very active.
Missed Ziggy - but I could kind of hear 'em.
After finally stumbling to my seat and nestling in, it was just a matter of minutes before TOO took the stage.
I remember mumbling that they might be a little off or not that tight.
Then like an implosion, the walls sort of collapsed and we all began to collide. Dark Star into Big Railroad Blues. The bones were wiggling and the mouths were giggling.
And come the third song when Bobby cries out, "I'm a little red rooster," my wife next to me whispers in my ear, "I thought you said they'd be off."
Yes, a pleasant, almost enchanting surprise was still peaking over the cresting moon as the Dark Star Jam teased back a little before BRUUUUCE broke into an almost soul cleansing rendition of Sugaree.
The only thing emitting from the crowd now were pure gleams of bliss. Sunshine broken tears and long self-induced glazy stares erupted throughout the floor.
Before too long, out came Stevey Windwood for a smokin' Dear Mr. Fantasy that sizzled into a shaky Strange Remain that broke into sporadic howls.
Just one note slipped out and the crowd was fired again . . . Hell in Bucket.
Stevey Windwood was awesome on Blackbird as was Bobby and the gang and the jam that followed was tight.
The jam seeped into a very nice FOTD. Can it be true. Is this a dream?
Bruce took control and led everyone through a very crisp Way it Is that just melted into an almost heavenly Franklin's Tower.
Ah, drums - thank you Billy. The dastardly duo were more than exceptional. Pushing the boundaries of phenominal. Almost reaching complete and utter euphorical status. Almost hell~!
The leather was rapped one last time and a nice little spacey exploration set out that just burst into The Wheel.
The crowd is nearly expired. Completely exhausted.
A tease of the Other One gets mild roarious replies. The Dark Star revisit gained even more thundrous roars. The Other One . . . Dark Star . . . no, it couldn't be . . Sugar Mags as well?
I'm completely wiped. They're back! Yes!! RIPPLE! Ahh, what a show. I fondly remember gazing at the stage and seeing a few friendly waves to the crowd. Folks, these weren't "goodbyes" - they were "Hellos," "Nice to see you again" gestures.
Wow - I, and many others surrounding me, cannot believe our ears. I managed to get some pictures but didn't capture any sounds. That's gotta be my next goal but first - I've gotta get some grub!
The lot was very nice and active again. Food was plentiful, slightly higher than a few years past but just as good. Chicken skewers, (very extra super kynd) veggie burritos, vegan sloppy joes - you name it. Grilled cheese too (always one of my favorites).
Overheard while leaving - "Have you ever been to a FurthUr show before?" -reply "Of course!"
Ah, the only thing I can ponder on is how nice it is to be wrong.
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