The Grateful Dead tribute band brings their Europe 72 recreation to Buddha Live, Fort Myers FL March 06 2022. By Joel Shover.
Southwest Florida jam-band fans had a reason to unite and celebrate on Sunday March 6 th 2022, as Waynard Scheller brought his Rainbow Full of Sound, commemorating the 50 th anniversary of the famed Grateful Dead’s Europe 72 Tour, to Buddha Live, in the City of Palms, Fort Myers, FL. This was the first of four Florida stops for the band and their third trip here to Southwest Florida.
The show was presented by Jenny B with All Smiles Entertainment, and she brought all the stops with vendors, and prizes alike. This was an all ages show and all ages came out in full force to dance and celebrate music. Upon arrival there was a snake like line of tie-dyes wrapped outside the front door, a sure sign of good things to come.
Brian Markley, a Fort Myers local favorite was heard as soon as you entered the patchouli filled room on his acoustic guitar covering Garcia and Grateful Dead classics alike, he even showed off his skills as a one-man band playing guitar and trumpet at one point to the amazement of the crowd as the shuffled in. The record heat in Southwest Florida had the fans questing for thirst and give it up for the two lone bartenders feeding this frenzy! Hats off to Tessa and Vicky for keeping everyone hydrated at The Buddha Live.
The lights were flashing and the bubbles were flowing. It’s showtime and boy did we get one hell of a show. Today’s performance would be retracing the April 11 th 1972 show from Newcastle City Hall, Newcastle England. The band was introduced and Waynard gave a “How Ya’ll Doin?” then pounced right into “The Greatest Story Ever Told” as fans were already heard screaming for “Truckin”, they were told to wait for it. Wait for it we would as these musicians were not only playing a setlist they were replaying it note for note and this took fine tuning.
As the band tuned up Waynard introduced the entire band as follows; from Key West, FL, Gary Hemlsy (Guitar, Vocals), from Long Island, NY, Kevin Griffin (Guitar, Vocals), from Woodstock, NY, Jason Ferguson (Bass), and special guest from Vale, Colorado, Jake Wolf (Drums), and of course on keyboards Waynard Scheller. Waynard’s resume includes sharing the stage with Bob Weir along with his Ratdog bandmates Kenny Brooks, and Mark Karan and from what we heard in just that first song we were all in for a treat tonight. The band was tuned into each other in way that in indescribable, I mean the ability to change up a note with simple nod or playing another note, whatever it may be these 5 guys have it and they have it good! They are doing their own sound in the middle of songs!
Pure talent and dedication. as evidence by the melodic mastery of Kevin Griffin on this version of “Black Throated Wind.:”
Check out Waynards vocals on “Big Boss Man” In this video you can see Kevin soloing the high notes back and forth with the virtuoso himself just look at that finger work! Another highlight was “Jack Straw” which started off quietly and quickly sped up rocking as the vocals were shared between Kevin, Gary, and Waynard, while Kevin continued to hit those signature Garcia notes we’ve come to know and love as the crowd danced on all the while our engineman Jake Wolf wasn’t missing a single beat.
The toe tapping booty shaking “Chinatown Shuffle” danced us into our first break of the evening as fans gathered on the fishbowl patio to catch some South Florida air.
Musicians like this know no rest and the boys were back at it with a ripping “China Cat Sunflower into I Know You Rider” as fans like myself were dancing in a trance.
This second set by far stole the whole show. Jams extending thirteen minutes don’t even begin Playin’ In The Band” to show the talent that is on this stage, and they show no signs of slowing down that is until Waynard introduced Kevin on the pedal steel guitar for a special “Looks Like Rain.”
The band continued playing through the set list to a crowd singalong with “Casey Jones” that took us to our
second break of the evening. Back to the fishbowl for a little regrouping.
Time was not on our side tonight as the boys decided to skip “Good Loving”, although there is a fan that technically sang a chorus of it on the audio, and “Ramble on Rose”. This led us to what everyone was screaming for hours ago,
“Truckin” as the crowd erupted into a frenzy. This wasn’t just any “Truckin’”, this was a jam filled “Tuckin’” that led us to the top of the mountains with Jake Wolf once again for a shortened “Drums” complimented by Waynard as he led the group into a trippy “Space”. If there a one bomb that we as Deadheads all know it’s the Phil Lesh Signature bass drop for “the Other One” and Rainbow Full of Sound NAILED IT!
The boys finished out the set with “Comes a Time” into a sock hopping “Sugar Magnolia” that had everyone, including
staff dancing along. It was time to leave this “Brokedown Palace” on my hands and my knees I will crawl, crawl, crawl to Go See Live Music!
Until the next show.. Joel.
3/8/22 Key West, FL
3/11/22 Boca Raton, FL
3/12/22 Islamorada, FL
3/18/22 Baltimore, MD
3/19/22 Charleston, SC
3/25/22 Woodstock, NY
4/8/22 Denver, CO
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