Hartford was simply amazing! I got there late, and I missed the Disco Biscuits and most of Ratdog, but I was really there for Phil's band anyway. I got to catch Warren's interview with The Litch live at the WHCN booth, so that was a great start to my night. When Phil went on stage I was sober, and was kind of detached through the first set, so I went around performing some magic for anybody who wanted to watch. The music was great, though I don't really remember much of it. During the break I considered "indulging" to help the experience, but decided to wait. I'm glad I did. They opened the second set with a truly beautiful jam, though at first I wasn't into it; I was hoping for something more upbeat. But it just kept getting more beautiful, and lifted me away. When they launched into Mr. Fantasy I started to cry. Warren can wrench my heartstrings with his voice and I openly sobbed as the song went on. Tears were streaming down my face and I was dancing with sheer joy! St. Stephen changed the tempo, and I told my friend I could leave after that Mr. Fantasy and be happy for a long time. He, of course, wisely recommended otherwise, and I stayed. St. Stephen evolved into a simply astounding jam, and carried the feelings I was experiencing with it. I was just dancing and dancing and never stopped. I didn't think it could get better, and they launched into Help/Slipknot and I started to laugh! I couldn't believe they were capable of what they were doing and was completely blown away. Franklin's Tower had me flying in circles- literally. Utter jubilation is the only way to describe it. I was out of breath and my heart was soaring! I have never experienced anything like that before in my life.
Phil came out to thank us all there for "the best show so far" of the current tour before asking us to become organ donors.
The Built to Last was very sobering, it's a beautiful song, but I was hoping for something different/upbeat.
The whole way home I was vibrating with energy and I stopped by my favorite hang out on the way and found a friend there, snatched her up in a power-hug and told her what I had experienced. I didn't realize it until she told me that I was shaking. And I was still crying.
I have read about people finding God or passing out from the power of music, but never understood how it could happen until last night.
Thank you so very much Phil, Warren, Jimmy, Rob and Jon for the most amazing experience of my life! This will stay with me for a very long time. I only hope that others experienced the same jubilation that I did, and that they took home the love and contentment that I did.
I was overwhelmed by how tight both Bobby and Phils bands sound. Two highlights on my night in CT:
1.) Bobby and Phil together!
2.) King Solomon's Marbles!
3.) Okay... BOBBY and PHIL TOGETHER!
WOW! Lots to read about Hartford...
Here's my two cents, about this Great F’in show.
Let's get some of the standard stuff out o' the way first: The weather was outstanding, Shakedown was BIG, The place was only about half full, Beer & Cigs were $7.00 F'in dollars. There were 44 micstands in the Tapers section & who knows how many down in front (It seems to be allowed in all the East Coast venues) There was also a Rock-Climbing wall at the show, weird……
This was THE BIG zone gathering on tour, I think we had 15 zoners and the PZ staff all present at this show. The break between RD & P&F was big. First a few folks showed up who knew that I’d be there for sure i.e. Cryp, Bosphan, Jill and as we were chatting away, like one at a time the rest of them started to show up in a strange Field of Dreamish sort of way till there were 10 of us standing around. This was the pic of the day. (Which I’ll post when I get back) A little later the PZ staff shows up and I’m meeting them for the first time. It was like meeting old friends in a way. I tried to gather all the people who were in the first pic again but was only partially successful.
So from my spot in the catbirds seat (front row dead center tapers) this is how I saw this show:
Set 1: Jamming into a Cosmic Charlie to start off the show might give one the indication that tonight might be really good, or not. Well this was a goodie and after a short jam Mr.Weir strolls out and we are now in the Crusader mode. Truckin’ was good, a little less juice than normal, but the addition of cheesy vocals made me think back to the day and for that alone it was worth it. BTW it was also a really good rendition, so from there they take off jamming and finally come back around into a Cassidy which I think is my second fav of all the tunes they did together. I was dancin’ away and lovin’ every minute of it, but once it was over I was glad to settle into my already scheduled program in progress.
Next up the simply STUNNING Beautifully Broken. This song is so well written, played and sung that on the very first time I heard it I had a tear in my eyes, I just can not explain with my crappy writing how excruciatingly beautiful this song really is, Pray for it at your next show, you’ll love it!!!! Then if that wasn’t enough now I am hearing the King Solomon’s and am freaking out, but no stops yet they jam the KS all the way thru the dirt and the tranny into an excellent Doin’ that Rag. Holy Crab Cakes this is a show!!!!
I wonder if in the pre show meeting if Phil came to the boy’s with that impish smile and said” You know guy’s I think tonight we should go out and fry the noodles of all in attendance”. For this is exactly what happened, and I have been hearing about it ever since all along the tour.
Set 2: To open the set a standard jam which led to a fine Dear Mr. Fantasy which was a really hot version the place was going nuts for it. But after a short breather Phil turned into a Cajun cook and started to drop spicy stuff into the stew pot, with a spicy St. Stephen for the meat of the show. How the hell did this song disappear? I know what is written, but for god’s sake, when you hear P&F do it it seems like it should have been a crime to leave it dormant for soo long. In the middle of the Stephen Phil & Co. throw in a dash of Eyes of the World to get some serious Booty shakin’ going on. Next up is the other huge spicy gumbo of Help, Slip, THE 11, Slip!,Franklins I can’t pick this apart for the review because it was simply awesome as a complete unit. With each part of this that rolled around the crowd became more and more excited & yet at the same time full of disbelife. When they finally got to the Franklin’s, Hartford was like a mental Hiroshima. The MANY first timers to a Phil show that were in attendance MUST have been absolutely crappin’ their pants.
For the Encore we got a nice Built to Last, no what I would have chosen but nice just the same. In fact upon reflection it was a good choice, no need to waste a hottie encore on a show like this. It was a tune that would mellow the crowd out that was needed, and it was delivered up in fine style in Hartford.
Of all the shows I’ve seen so far I’d have to say that Alpine was the hottest show. This show was nearly as hot and with the addition of meeting all the VERY COOL zoners, Hartford might actually come in under the radar as my favorite show when all is said and done. Make Sure to get a copy of this show when it comes up!!!!!!!!!!
I am just now beginning to be able to write about Hartford... Does that say anything for the show? In my humble opinion, HELL YES.
WOW, where does one start... the venue, SHAKEDOWN, the family???
ACT I: Scene I
Enter far end parking lot, a red honda civic with the maine liscense plate OTHER1S. Out of the car pops two Touchheads and two brand new newbies to the dead head world. Newbies are Suzie-Que and Carly, T-Bone and Katie-May prepare the show bags and all is well. Walking lots yields many fond memories and quite a few "holy ship, howyabeens" A quick visit to shakedown results in a window shopping fantasy for the newbies. They look a little confused and disbelieving but make a purchase or two and realize that they are helping to support the way... T-bone becomes authoritative and sez we should try to make in for DIsco Biscits, lets figure them out. Human train chugs through the ether and into the picky clearing of the gates customs. IS THAT CAMERA DIGITAL? Uhh NO... OK go ahead.. Hmmm...
ACT I, Scene II
We get in for the just the tail end of the biscits, sorry I missed them... we find "our spot" in the middle of 600 about 80 feet behind the tapers. Pretty good sized crowd of tapers. We pitch blanket and lay back in the sun, Suzie-Que pulls a kind seshpa out of nowhere and everyone is ablaze except the navigating T-Bone, WHARF RAT (unofficial). Guy next to us raps about the biscits, kind face... the newbies are sketchin about all the people and are worried about gettin busted, gotta laugh. Blow bubbles and break vice number one with a nicotine high. Sorry about the smoke in your eyes... Wait a minute...bobby comes on and here we go...
ACT II Scene I
Bobby takes the stage and the heads give a full round of applause. While waiting T-Bone and Katie-May made a wish list for Bobby, both agree on shakedown (although I silently want phil to take shakedown), Eternity, Looks like Rain, 2 Djinin, and desolation row. We are fully psyched for bob as he really did steal last night's show and we try to get the newbies into it, they are less obliging. Bobby is toying around with a couple tunes before settling into Odessa. Floating gently, this is a good version with solid vocals, no flubs bub yet it does not bring me to my feet as of yet. I do get on my feet to solidly applaud the effort however. With the opening strains of Eternity are crystal clear to my receiving ears. Wow! I am taken back with this effort yet Wasserman is a tad out front for me. I tell this to my Katie-May and a head in front of me turns with a thumbs up sign of recognition. Of course I have to eat crow about five minutes later as he melts my poor sober head with a blistering bass solo. Was he using a bow, why yes, yes he was. The head turns back to me and shrugs as the solo ebbs.
Looks like rain is next even though it is far from looking like rain, Bob belts this out in Saint Stephen like fashion. Nice outro solo with solid leads. Not fat-man style leads but decent Mark Karan leads. As the thunder recedes, Bobby stops to tweak some knobs and dials, steps to the front and strums the opening chords to Minglewood Blues, despite it being a decent version, the female trio of our quintet sit back down in protest due to the manly nature of the song. Women, ya gotta love'em. This song is definately one that needs that fat man's solos over it, I could not imagine what Samson and Deliah would sound like with out the big guy. Back to the women, they get back up from their abbreviated protest (actually, Katie-May got up because the groove was infectious), for Mission in the Rain. Now I have not been following along with Rat-Dog's set-lists but oh man. Out of left field, this one hits me like a sack of bricks. Never heard it live with the JGB, had two of the three that the dead performed and played it a bunch of times with my brother, but here is Bob Weir, I mean BOB WEIR, playing it with gusto. Holy Shift. Bob blows me away. Thanks BOB.
West LA, hmmm. not much happening kinda missing something, average at best. The double ending is a bit to gimmicky for my taste. But then Bob gets everyone up and screws on their rockin shoes cause you know he knows just what to do as this is just one more saturday night. Then the highest light of his show thus far... SCARLET BEGONIAS!!! WOW. Good good stuff. Lots of happy happy heads all about. Good solos, nice tender moments on the outro jam and the crowd got so into it with the Sky was Yellow... part. YYYYYYYIIIIIIIIIIPPPPPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
I am dancin so furiously, people are asking can I get some of what you're on. Damn, all I can do is Smile....
Aiko Aiko! ok but started way slow and never really got to full steam... shame because the crowd was really wanting this one to shine, after the show quite a few believed it to be the highlight of Bob's show...Hmmmmm goes to show, you don't ever know.... During this song, some teenaged girl and her girlfriend start looking for paper and the younger looking of the two takes off her shirt and adorns it with the standard saying. Some guys get into the nakedness and then try to welsh on giving the reward for the show over to the girl until the vocal majority express their distaste for his fake out. Sure enough he hands over the paper and another for her friend. Ahhh, ain't it cute... I feel like barfing but you gotta do what you gotta do.
ACT II continued
After Iko, quick twins of solos yield to the two dijin, this song is ten years too late. Would have fit perfectly in Bob's late first set slot or Second song second set slot or even coming out of space. It's light years ahead of the less than stellar Easy Answers. Man, what would have been... My feet are achin and I need a break but Bob will have none of it, Everybody up for this one CHINA CAT. It's missing something but no one seems to care....Actually it not missing a thing and this goes from being respectable to being darn right ballsy. Two trips to the bridge to rider and they hold back and then another attempt to cross the bridge and ANOTHER and then finally DADA Da DA da dee DA... WHAM! Rider is solid and full sounding. people are bouncin off the walls, trains are going by, FAR OUT MAN, FAR OUT... Not even going to compare this to any dead rider.... BOB nails his Well the sun going to shine... and in a tip o' the hat to jerry he holds back on the wish I was headlight... BEAUTIFUL... slammin ending and Bob says goodnight.... THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.................
I am thinking in the aftermath that Phil has got his work cut out for him... I mean he is going to have to pull off a huge show... not anything like last night at the tweeter where you can make up for the set with one or two songs... THE A LIST IS COMING OUT FOR HARTFORD TONIGHT BUDDY.
I am left to hold down the fort while others head to buy soda, use latrines, and do other things.
Chat with the guys behind me, watch the sunset and get woken up by an Amtrack train blowing it's horn throught the night... CASEY JONES showing up in neon across my tired brain.
>>>I wonder if in the pre show meeting if Phil came to the boy’s with that impish smile and said”
You know guy’s I think tonight we should go out and fry the noodles of all in attendance
I (& some others) thought it was redemption for the major egg P&F laid in Hartford exactly one year earlier to the day........
Well the tour is over and after some reflection, I'd have to say that now that it's all over this was my favorite show. The show was sooo damn hot, but the Zone gathering really threw it over the top for me. I think musically Alpine was better but the music is but one aspect of a show.
Each show I attended I would compare it to Hartford, and each show came up way short. The zoners are simply an excellent collection of people & it truely made the show and tour for me to have attended and met so many of you guys at this show.
Oh and by the by, I met a crap load of DNC'ers as well,(no where near as nice to me as you all) & I do belive that if we had a softball game Zoners vs. DNC'ers.We kick their asses!!!!!
Team Phil vs Team DNC
Sign my ass up! I don't even like softball, but I'm down with this one!
>>> I do belive that if we had a softball game Zoners vs. DNC'ers.We kick their asses!!!!!
My playing days are over, but as a bench jockey, I'm up there with Leo the Lip.....
BTW- Tapecat, e-mail grovel on the way....
>Make Sure to get a copy of this show when it comes up!!!!!!!!!!
it's up!! if someone would like a copy of this show send me an email. I can do a few b&p's of this great show.It's my hope that folks can then offer it up to the masses on the philzone!! The copy I have was made in the sweet spot with schoeps mic's- very nice sounding- actually excellent sounding!!
hartford offer is now closed.enjoy!
Leo the Lip...Earl Weaver...Billy Martin...
ALL rolled into one!!!
They'd probably show up in cutoffs and pink Izods as their team uni's.
I'd make sure if I was pitching to be throwing inside and high.
We'd probably drink em under the table too and still win.
Three weeks later I'm still smiling about this show. Marvelous. Wonderful. What a blast.
I was sitting next to a taper three rows behind Candace, his name was Dave, I think, he had Nakamichi (P-4?) shotgun mics. Anyone know him? If so, please write me individually, thanks.
Okay, I haven't re-heard Hershey, but Hartford arrived last night, thank you postal lady who is extra kind to me, and yes, TC, you may indeed be right...one of my best shows "scenewise", and musically, you cannot argue. And the Kings Salomon's Marbles...extraordinary. Actually, whole show is pretty yummy. Have a nice weekend all.
hartford was really out of control, small crowd out on the lawn, the ksm>stronger than dirt jam was the best thing ive seen since '95, after an almost endless cosmic, the jam b/ truckin + cassidy was really nice, chilling, the real chills came w/ bobby bouncin around the stage trying to get the cassidy jam happening, at the end of the cassidy jam i got real reflective and all i came away w/ was 'after all's said n done, they need to practice the ending of cassidy', i felt like older-school deadheads have been quiet w/ nothin to do...my first p+f show was 4/18/01 in atlanta, had a good time but nothin like the 6 i saw this summer...peace...scott email@example.com