Wow. Finally recoving from 3 glorious days in sunny Eugene.
Here comes the opinion piece...and it's kinda scary.
Furthur. Not another GD iteration. Awesome. I've been trapesing about with the Boys for 30 years (153 GD Shows, 50+ DSO, Others), and I will miss Jerry till I tip over. But for me, the last time they had this kind of energy was The Other Ones with Joan Osbourne. They are not afraid of change, nor are they afraid to rehearse.
Recent shows (The Dead). The Gorge, 2009. After not being able to understand Warren Haynes as a choice the prior year, Warren shows up to the Gorge, as the only member who doesn't look bitter...and the only member who seemed to have practiced...at all. Very off night. End of tour. Almost didn't go back in 2010. Amost no Heads about. Very wierd scene. Little dancing. Many Seattlites with picnic baskets. Nothing wrong with that...just wierd. Bob spends the whole night adjusting his rig.
2010 Marymoor, SEA. John K. joins, and a great rainy night is had by all. John maybe kept on a short-ish leash. Background singers over-mic'd, and Wheel sounds like it should be being played in a Mega-Church. Good vibe. Great crowd. Good time. Bob spends 1/3 of the night adjusting his rig.
2011 Eugene, OR - John K. gets full honors, and joins the Big Show. Whoa. The first two nights had just enough Jerry to keep my heart warm. John in full bloom...showing us he's much more than a Jerry knock -off. Big, bluesy, Clapton-esque tones (H&K Bluesmaster?). Tight leads take us to Space, Jazz, R&B, Rock & Roll, winding right back to our favorite GD versus. Crazy good. Very interesting musically.
Bob changes guitars twice, and messes with his rig less than two times/night, and only for moments. More jamming within numbers (new) vs. jamming to find the next number (old). Truthfully...I love both.
Congratulations John. You made many people dance & smile. You made Phil smile often & sincerely. Phil singing as good as I've ever heard. Bobby up in mix, playing great, singing & "Barking" awesomely...really putting it out. Great sharing of vocals. Chimenti...blisteringly Awesome. Everybody working with Russo. Russo exiliarating.
I'd love to hear opionions.