Coming off of a HUGE night at Citi Field is no easy task. The buses headed south 2 hours and passed through an area that spent tens of millions of dollars on an amphitheater and an aquarium that nobody living there can afford to visit. Such is life… I’ll preface this by saying that I’m speaking metaphorically and did not eat any mushrooms. That being said, the whole thing was like a big mushroom trip. You eat em then wait… 45 minutes later you wonder why your hands are so green… 30 minutes later you’re a little worried about things you have no business worrying about… An hour later you realize you’ve been staring at a caterpillar for about an hour… 2 hours of laughter and joyous realizations follow… The next phase you see a butterfly and are blown away that your trip started by staring at caterpillar and has now come full circle… You realize that you might have been the chrysalis that allowed all of that to take place… After connecting every single event in your life to the experience of a caterpillar, a chrysalis, and a butterfly, you sit blissfully knowing that you just cracked the code of every question in the universe. Things seem to slow down considerably as thoughts take more time than usual to complete themselves. Unfortunately, the key you hold is made of butter. You wake up and realize you should have recorded all the answers while you had them at your disposal. The butter has melted and they’re all gone…

I don’t have too much time for this one but the show started out with some green hands. If you were there for your kid’s first show, I understand it was the best show of all time. If it’s the only show you’re seeing this tour, I understand it was the best one so far to you. I personally thought the first set was ok but nothing I would spend that much time writing about. By the time the Little Red Rooster came around I was worried about things I had no business worrying about. I started catching some glimpses of enlightened thought when I realized that Mayer ain’t so big, He’s just tall and that’s just about all. Cumberland had me looking for the caterpillar and Casey Jones kinda woke me up out of the trance a little.

Intermission was spent staring at the caterpillar… For an hour… Without moving…

I was ready for the laughter and joyous celebration to begin when the band took the stage for the second set and it definitely did! Aiko Iko was a hurricane of activity and some spots were so good I had to laugh due to the expansion of internal joy being caused by the external stimulus. Jams were as happy and contagious as they could be and I was grateful my hands weren’t green anymore. Deal has become a second set tune apparently and it always gives the band a chance to go into full beast mode. I was starting to feel pieces of the chrysalis shake loose. That’s when it happened for the first time… The vocal thing at the end… Does Mayer think he’s Frankie Valli?(pronounced Valley) Is this The Four Seasons? I dismissed it as something that only happened in my imagination and had no place in reality…

That’s when the butterfly emerged!!! Stuff like Help-> Slip-> Franklin’s remind me why I blow off life for weeks at a time to chase this thing. The jams in Slipknot moved like a butterfly in flight, twisting and turning in ways that aren’t predictable and command the attention of the listener to follow the path or drown in the sea of dancing humanity. I was grateful when the licks that closed Slipknot led into Franklin’s instead of some other shit. That allowed me to properly break completely free from the chrysalis and emerge as the butterfly I was born to be. Putting some other tune there may have kept me a slave in the chrysalis for much longer.  The bliss that’s experienced during Franklin’s is as good as it gets!

During drums and space, I connected every event in my life to a caterpillar-> chrysalis-> butterfly experience. I realized Help-> Slip-> Franklin’s was really Caterpillar-> Chrysalis-> Butterfly all along… Far out… There was absolutely nothing in my life that couldn’t be equated to that line of reasoning. The sounds I heard during drums and space changed exactly according to my thoughts. It was a series of musical questions that inevitably received their musical answers. I couldn’t believe how my mind was perfectly synched to the soundtrack…

That’s when all the thoughts slowed down considerably. When the Wheel started, I got hungry and decided for some reason I needed pancakes. I made them from scratch, 16 to be exact. I ate each one of them, washed the dishes and returned before the first verse even ended. How you gonna sing a song that says “The Wheel is turning and it can’t slow down” when it’s been slowed down so much that the fucker is barely turning at all? Weir began to do his Wheel gestures for the hearing impaired and that always makes everybody happy for some odd reason.  Then it showed up again… Mayer like Frankie fuckin Valli with The Four Seasons. I know I wrote about the strength of the voices we have right now and how there could be some really powerful harmonies but I’m not sure I had this in mind… Mama Mia… I guess it doesn’t matter as long as we’re all having fun! Stella seemed like the right way to travel from there since it lyrically resembles the key that’s made of butter. I got it! I got it! “There’s nothing you can hold… For very long…” And it’s gone…

Sugar Mags still makes the ladies go crazy and Weir was as lovable as a wagon full of kittens throughout. It was a strong finish to a great time that was had by all. As we head West, Brokedown signaled the left turn on the journey that’s going home, going home. Only 3 more left until this tour is in the books.

Surprisingly, Camden was totally sold out. There were hundreds of people left in the lot, including folks that had the ability to pay for their tickets. This kinda concerned me a little. While I’m incredibly happy for the success of my favorite musicians and I love this band as much as any and all of you, some warning flags seemed to come up. For one, I’m not sure why they didn’t just play 2 shows at Citi Field like they did at every other major market on the tour, as well as what they did last year. Maybe scheduling problems or something but I don’t know. We’ve always had some of the most amazing people in the world in our community but unfortunately, when the light is on as bright as it is, it attracts just as many mosquitoes. I don’t get bothered by people that troll social media, I think it’s kinda funny at times. I do get bothered by people that troll the actual events. Aren’t we in our 40s to 70s for the most part? Who the fuck still huffs nitrous in parking lots? If you’re supporting folks like that who come to profit off of you and could care less about the community, you might be part of the problem. You’re a grown up, go into Wawa and buy all the whipped cream you want. I don’t have any problems with people partying however they see fit but I couldn’t help but remember getting off of the Bus in 93 when it seemed like shit was starting to spin out of control. I hope and pray that the future of Dead & Company is one that is secure and without any of the bullshit that caused the rapid decline of the scene in 94 and 95. While it’s impossible to control the behavior of others, I hope this scene remains a place to go to be released of the burdens we all face without becoming a burden on the towns and venues where we congregate and ultimately the band. For the most part, everybody is having the time of their lives and I sure hope it stays that way.

In brighter news, my daughter stayed up for the entire webcast. For the first time this Summer on couch tour, I had company from beginning to end! She’s really on board and while nothing can replace being there, having her share it with me again continued to fill my cup! The next live show for me is in Chicago but the train stops in Ohio on the way! Have a blast y’all! Love You!


EDIT: I can’t believe this just happened but while I was writing this my kids were playing outside.  When I finished, I went out there and while I was writing my son drew this caterpillaron the driveway!!! WOW!!! HOLY CONNECTION!!!


Dead To The Core,
Dean Sottile (pronounced So Tilly)

@gd50th on Twitter

Grateful Dean on Facebook

Grateful_Dean on

2 thoughts on “Frankie Valli And The Four Seasons Cookin In Camden

  1. BruceGrossman

    Dean you are a shining star and a true blessing for our family. Thanks for being you and doing what you do.

    Peace, love and respect


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