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The Furthur Festival 

featuring the Other Ones, Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers, and Ekoostik Hookah; Thursday, September 7, at Blossom

With the emergence of the Other Ones as Furthur Festival headliners in 1998, fans received the closest thing possible to the experience of a Grateful Dead show. Under the guidance of ex-Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh, and part-timer Bruce Hornsby, the Other Ones didn't just plunder the Dead's catalog. Rather, they twisted and turned it into new shapes. It wasn't a nostalgia trip, but a continuation of the legendary San Francisco act's original musical aesthetic. The "rules" that applied to the Dead's last string of concerts back in 1995 were thrown out, leaving the placement and arrangement of numbers no longer set in stone. For example, a technical problem at the Polaris date that year led to an impromptu acoustic set of "Blackbird" and "Black Muddy River." Both the Furthur Festival and the Other Ones were shelved last year when Lesh and his bandmates feuded over musical and business directions. Lesh now tours with his own band -- taking his place is Alphonso Johnson, who joins TOO guitarists Mark Karan and Steve Kimock and ex-Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann, who stayed at home two years ago. Early reports of TOO's West Coast performances maintain an unpredictable scenario in which "Dark Star" and "The Other One" jams continually weave in and out of other songs, while a onetime show-closer, "Sunshine Daydream," emerges as the opener. Solo tunes as well as those written by the band were included in the lengthy sets. Also on the bill are Ziggy Marley & the Melody Makers, who tend to put more emphasis on the party aspect of their "conscious party" when they play live.

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