Old habits die hard for former Grateful Dead members Phil Lesh and Bob Weir as they announce a second leg to the fall tour of their band, Furthur. Beginning with a west coast run, Furthur has mapped out a 22-show tour expected to run from the weekend of September 16th in Oregon to the weekend of November 20 with a two night stint at Madison Square Garden in New York City. This tour follows the band’s critically acclaimed winter and summer tours, with several festival appearances in between. Lesh and Weir made their debut as Furthur just about a year ago in September 2009, after The Dead finished their reunion tour. In addition to the two veteran musicians, the current Furthur lineup features Jeff Chimenti, John Kadlecik, Joe Russo, Sunshine Becker and Jeff Pehrson. Phil Lesh and Bob Weir had previously been touring as a two man band in RatDog since 1995 and have since put the act on hiatus to perform as part of Furthur.
The tour is somewhat of a revisit of the past: appearing at venues once played by Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead back in the ‘70s, Phil and Friends in the ‘90s, Ratdog in the 2000s and some combination of members from each. Red Rocks in Colorado in particular is a venue that holds most dear to Dead Heads as the Grateful Dead began performing there in ’78, with each of the members’ project band visiting the amphitheater throughout the last decade.
The additional tour dates are no shock to loyal Lesh and Weir devotees, as the band members have spent more time on the road and on stage throughout the years than wherever they call home. As two of the four members that played consistently as the Grateful Dead from 1965 to 1995, Lesh and Weir played more than 2,300 shows, putting on many shows per year for thirty years straight. The set lists from these shows was notably varied, playing over 500 different songs live throughout their career. Furthur has so far followed in the footsteps of its father band, with densely improvisational jam sessions over three-hour long live shows. Furthur will be in New England at the DCU Center in Worcester on November 19 before wrapping up the fall tour at Madison Square Garden.