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    Supermen at the Greek

    The Greek is a classic, elegant venue. It sits alongside historic mansions and manicured lawns in a Hollywood Hills neighborhood reckoning back to the golden age of cinema. Since it had just rained, Hollywood had that "just cleaned" fresh scent of wet Eucalyptus and Conifer trees. If you know LA at all, this is one of those subtle signs that fall is coming. I was surprised by how many faces looked familiar from Las Vegas, or was it Red Rocks? This is exactly what I was hoping would happen. That the big world of FURTHUR/Grateful Dead fans would seem a bit smaller. I met many new people, who were also following the tour. I was touched by the many encouraging and lovely tweets and emails I was receiving. I was anxious to match faces with twitter-handles. This proved to be more challenging than I expected. I love creating small communities within bigger ones. Somehow, even with all the enthusiasm and interest, it became harder to tear "us" all away from our seats, friends, food, conversations, etc... to go to a meet-up. If you were one of the generous and kind emailers or tweeters who uses an icon as your profile image and I never did get to put a face with your name; thanks for all the virtual warmth. I'm sure we'll meet up at a future show.

    This show had a different vibe than the others earlier in the week because of the vast visual differences in the audience. I would consider many of the fans we saw at The Greek to be a Clark Kent-type of Deadhead. If you strip away the Paramount Pictures jackets, Dodgers hats, suits, ties and 'studio-wear,' underneath you might find a Steali t-shirt ready to emerge at the sound of the first chords of The Wheel or Uncle John's Band.

    While the rain threatened, it never dampened the fans or the show. The first night was cold, and the music was exceptional. The crowd went seriously nuts from Magnolia Mountain into Jack Straw into New Speedway Boogie. My husband declared Jack Straw to be one of the finest he'd heard, in thirty years. In fact, four days later, he still couldn't stop talking about it. It's kind of like me going on and on about the band closing with Brokedown Palace at Red Rocks. As I mentioned previously, when a favorite song makes it to the set list, it's hard to feel like you're going home empty-handed. The music was really thunderous and passionate. The band was so coordinated, tight and having so much fun.

    Now that I had seen them perform in three different venues in as many days, I was trying to determine how the band members were effected by where they were playing. I was wondering if there would be any signs that outdoor is better than indoor? Or if earlier in the day and being able to see and connect with the audience is better than playing to a dark house? Red Rocks is just stunning! Especially the view from the stage. Although I've heard there are band members who are prone to altitude sickness. The Joint in Las Vegas, with its great acoustics, was the only indoor venue I attended and much more pleasant than the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield or Bill Graham Civic in San Francisco. It was amazing how my focus narrowed when there were fewer environmental distractions and I could really take in every chord, word and nuance of each song.

    The stand out songs for me were, Bertha, and Cumberland Blues into Brown-Eyed Women. Plus, as previously mentioned, that version of He's Gone will stay with me forever! On the second night, Ripple, I Know You Rider and Attics of My Life were just superb. SUPERB!

    On the first night they ran up against the clock and the Hollywood Hills curfew. For the encore, after Phil's "donor rap," when he said, "thanks for warming us up," the band flew on stage, and played Johnny B. Goode in about 180 seconds. Afterward, Bob said, "we're out of time!"

    The second night opened with Sugar Magnolia into Cassidy. The crowd went wild. When they played Here Comes the Sun and then Peaceful Valley, we were wondering if this might be a tribute night for Steve Jobs. Sure enough, Phil announced it officially before the set-break.

    The Griffith Observatory, up the hill from the The Greek Theatre, used to be well-known for the Laserium light and music show that originated there and ran for 33 years, closing in 2006. I was delighted when I heard FURTHUR begin playing Time by Pink Floyd. How appropriate, not only for a Steve Jobs tribute show, but also considering the venue. I love it when there's a creative confluence at that level. As you can image, a Los Angelino crowd who knows the history of Pink Floyd music set to a laser light show, erupted with cheers and sang every word along with Phil, who was grinning from ear-to-ear! These are live music moments you cannot buy on a CD!

    On the second night, we were sitting next to Spencer and Kevin, from San Diego. Spencer told us a great story about driving to Miami Beach from New York, during Spring break of 1968. As they drove south on I-95 near Orlando, they saw a gathering in a field off the road. They pulled over and discovered a hippie hang-out and party, and the Grateful Dead playing music to hundreds of people. He's been a fan ever since.

    When the clouds parted, Jupiter was shining brightly above the stage. A perfect Los Angeles evening. During the previous (CO and LV) four shows, I kept sending messages back to California saying how exceptional the music was, over and over again! After the conclusion of the second show in Los Angeles, my husband was spellbound. He knew as well as I did, this had been FURTHUR and the long-cherished music of the Grateful Dead, at its finest!!

    A Los Angeles Times review of the October 5th show.

    Thanks to Blisstanger and Gratefulweb for the videos!

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