Forum Subject #5: Reviews, Reviews, Reviews
We would like your comments and recollections on live experiences past, and on tapes present for shows which have not yet been covered in DeadBase. We already have extensive coverage for every show from the years 1988-1994; also please check for older conflicts, either via DeadBase IX, or e-mail us. We are most interested in the color that coveys your live Dead experiences to those not so fortunate as to be there then, and in realistic reviews on tapes not yet in global circulation. Selected responses may be published in a future issue of DeadBase. (Posted 6/1/96)
If you would like to contribute your own review, click here.
05/26/95 Memorial Stadium, Seattle - Johnny Hubbard (email@example.com) - Monday June 25, 19101 @ 10:46:43
Well, for the last two years, the excitement for a Dead show has fizzled for me a bit.. It had all but come almost predictable, the music that is & the set lists were not particularly adventuresome.. I had even told a friend I would only go to JGB Band shows until the Dead took a break & refreshed themselves.... I had been going to shows since the mid- 80's... Well, when the Dead announced the Spring "95 NW tour.....I WAS IN!! Not acually go to a show in my home turf? Yea right.. I won't review the the first two Seattle shows (5/24-25), only to say they had a FEW moments of insiration. It was now Friday, May 26th. It was a Rex Benefit Foundation show. The boys gotta go off for the kids right?...RIGHT?!!
BOOM!!!! I WAS ANSWERED & WAS I IN FOR A VINTAGE DEAD GET DOWN , FREAK-OUT!!!!
Set 1: Help On The Way started up & you could instantly tell by the tone & intensity (band & crowd) this was gonna be "A" show. Help>Slip>Franklin's CRACKLED with creativity. I have no idea how long it was. All I know is when it ended it realized i was deep into it. Kinda like when you space out in a day dream, then snap out & wonder were you are & how long have you been out..
It was the first time since probably the '90 or '91 tour, where I REALLY went INTO the music as it happened. The rest of set 1 was fun.. Same theing, Loose Lucy & Don't Ease Me In, were all FUN, FUN, FUN!!!!
Set 2: Whoa nelly. If this set wasn't the BEST of the year please tell me what was so i can tell you you're WRONG. AB-SO-LUTE-LY phenominal!!!! I'm not even gonna try to explain it by typing it on this silly keyboard. Get a copy of this set if you're a fan... The longest, crispest, freakiest Scarlet>Fire>Playin>Uncle John's I ever got to witness firsthand. Fire was enormous with some INTENSE Jerry vocals near the end. Jerry was really lettin' it all hang out. Everything worked on this day. Even Easy Answers was HUGE.. Stella Blue was lilting & awe insiring. Jerry really let his pain out, giving the song FULL EMOTION. It was tough to segue into Good Lovin' after being near a balling breakdown. But it was nice to bring everyone down & then lift them back up before leaving the stage. Liberty is such a great encore tune.. PERFECT.
Well it's 1995, and I have really seen a MONSTER SHOW. Who would have known......
11-17-78a Rambler Room, Loyola University Chicago - Patrick Cook (firstname.lastname@example.org) - Thursday April 26, 19101 @ 00:00:43
I know that DeadBase would prefer to keep essays limited to shows you've attended, but I really feel the need to rave about this show.
From time to time during the course of my pursuit of wonderful bits of the Grateful Dead, I find myself wondering, why do I carry on this seemingly endless quest for the juice of this band? Sometimes I feel as though I've heard it all, or at least like I've heard so much that I can guess at what the shows between probably might sound like. Not that I ever get bored with the music, just that I wonder how much there is left to discover. But doubt goes hand in hand with faith, and right at the exact moment of such contemplation a piece of music comes my way that destroys any inkling of completely familiarity that I might find myself succumbing to. Most recently, such a situation was resolved by this afternoon show.
If you've heard this set before, you'll know what I'm talking about. When I think of 1978, I think of pure rock n' roll presence. They were about thunder and lightning, a great band on the road, living up to the title of rock n' roll heavies. It was the Dead doing what they'd done so well since the Break, meaning rocking the walls off at every place they played. But deep down the Dead were still Mother Mcree's, a folk band turned electric, doing it for the pleasure of giving their friends a good time. So one Friday afternoon they broke out their acoustics to give some friends in Chicago a little bit of acoustic Dead. And it's worth mentioning they did it for charity to boot.
Break out the DeadBase and check the setlist. The set was exactly three months before the Godchauxs departed, and was played in Billy's absence. Even though you might not recognize every song on the list (a few are only-time-played tunes), the show has a completely fresh feel, from the first strum right down to the final drum beat. It sounds like a bunch of guys relaxing and enjoying themselves, breaking out a couple of tunes they heard a while ago or remembered suddenly from back in the day. But it's also got some tunes they would play with regularity later on down the line, either in the near or distant future, either with the Dead or with side projects. Largely, it's a preview of the Warfield and Radio City runs one year later. It's a stripped down and lean Dead -- a softer Dead, if you will. The Billy-less Boys sound relaxed and loose, plugging away like an intense little jug band, talking comically to each other between numbers, and calling out the next tunes gleefully. It's the Dead saying with an impish chuckle, "Hey everybody, look, we know where we came from. Electric jams are great, but so is this..."
This show is a reminder of what the Dead stood for. They were a bunch of good guys who dug the fact that people liked listening to their music. As long as we continue to search out the gems from inside the Vault, we will find new inspiration from within their music, and the cycle of the Dead will continue on. This show reminded me that I hadn't heard it all, that old songs can easily sound new, and that the band I thought I had all figured out could do something completely unexpected just like that.
Believe you me, this one is well worth the search.
05-08-77 Barton Hall, Cornell - Tom Brown (email@example.com) - Tuesday February 20, 19101 @ 22:57:00
Guess I'm one of the few thousand people who can actually say "I was there". I was a senior that spring at a state college in Cortland, about 20 miles away and had been to many Barton Hall shows from 1973 - '77, including Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Jefferson Starship, The Band, Santana, and two really killer Folk Festivals. We'd seen the Dead in Syracuse the previous fall (it's Discs 3 & 4 of Dick's #20) and now with just a few weeks to graduation, The Dead were going to be our final college conert. Fortune was smiling. I'm going to keep this short though, just a few impressions. Sunday May 8th was a picture perfect Mother's Day, the weather was gorgeous - until the afternoon, when a storm front moved in with a miserable cold rain. The crowd waiting outside Barton Hall was not too happy about it, but we had fun hooting at the scalpers, because the miserable weather drove away anyone who didn't already have a ticket. As scalper prices dropped as low as $3 (the official student I.D. price was $6.50), we just gave 'em hell. Finally the doors opened and we got in where it was warmmm and dry. Mmmm. First set was great, of course it was great, this was The Dead right ? What else were they gonna be, very good ?? You need to understand we had no idea just how good it was gonna get. Scarlet was terrific, Fire was not only incredible, it was brand new, we'd never heard it. Ditto for Prophet, with Jerry's funky "Frankenstein movie" groove. But then they opened up with St. Stephen and the place went nuts. After Not Fade Away and the Stephen finale, we thought we'd seen it all and would've been happy to have called it a night. But no. We never even had a moment to turn and hug somebody or say "wow", begore Morning Dew started. That Dew just kept climbing and exploding and reaching higher and higher. I can still vividly picture Jerry bent over double, his hair just starting to go "salt & pepper", fanning his guitar like his life depended on it, it's a memory of a lifetime. Every time we thought the song had peaked, it just kept going higher. I t was like a Saturn V rocket, that keeps igniting another stage and another stage, going higher and higher, all the way, until it all just melted and ran together. The raucous Saturday Night that ended the show was actually calming. We had to drive thru a snowstorm to get home that night.
1970 Kleinhan's Music Hall - Don (firstname.lastname@example.org) - Monday February 19, 19101 @ 11:08:59
The Grateful Dead, the Yellow Brick Road, and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
Kleinhan’s Music Hall, Buffalo, NY
circa Winter 1969-1970
We were in school at the State University College at Fredonia (SUC Fredonia) and went up to Buffalo, an hour away, for this concert. Kleinhan’s was a classical music hall in Allentown, the beat section of Buffalo where we were also staying. The premise was the Grateful Dead, a band called the Yellow Brick Road, and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Lukas Foss.
Before the concert, we were walking around inside the hall, my friends Neil, Richy, Marc, and my girlfriend at the time, Terry. One thing led to another and Neil began talking to a young woman with wide liquid eyes who said, in response to his question, “Acid? You want acid? Someone gave these to me and told me to give them out.” She gave Neil one and me one. They were pink tabs, so fresh the dust was flaking off. Neil ate his and I split mine with Terry.
The Yellow Brick Road started and they were terrible. A teenie-bopper band with no soul or interesting music. We waited through their set, things becoming more and more interesting. The acid, which I am convinced was Grateful Dead LSD, was the cleanest and purest I can ever remember. Clarity, liquid pictures, and a sense of understanding.
After a pause, the Philharmonic came on. Silence, then a single gong. Down the aisles came tuxedo’d men, each carrying a small gong, hitting them in unison. Scary and funereal, it seemed to me like the old order which was death. We waited through the piece, trying very much to like it or at least escape from it, but then it was over.
Then the came out. They had to play an abbreviated set and I remember only Not Fade Away, The Other One and Lovelights (and I am only positive about Lovelights). But from the first chord, the room changed completely. Loud, bright electric guitars, two drummers, and soaring, happy music. The new order. Accompanying the show were “Laser Lights” four oscilloscope roses, red, green, blue, and yellow, that swelled and changed with the music. I remember noticing that they were trying to tie the different colors to the different instruments, but that the music kept escaping them.
When the music started, Terry and I leaped to our feet. No one in front of us did and when I looked around, only Neil was dancing. So we sat down again, dancing in our seats. After a couple of songs, we couldn’t stand it and got up. This time we were not alone and soon there was a sea of heads and patrons, the former in liquid glory and the latter in evening dress, all dancing and clapping. Maybe this was Not Fade Away, which always meant more profound love than boyfriend-girlfriend stuff when the Dead did it. It was a night where I felt my consciousness lifted above the audience. The Dead were the conduit, but that they and the audience were being pulled by the music which came from elsewhere. (Port Chester, 1971, was another such evening where we would hear it, they would play it, and we would hear something new which they would then play.) Lovelight ended with a bang and we all looked around, amazed at what had just happened. In those days, there was a sharp line between them and us, but tonight it had been erased. The lights came on for Intermission, and the room had the loud buzz of a good party.
We wandered down front during the break. Bobby, Phil, and Jerry were playing, but more touching strings than playing songs. Like Garcia was playing the pulse of the room. Bobby’s eyes went in different directions and when we invited him back to our friends’ house in Allentown (they wouldn’t mind, right?), he said he had to go back to the hotel. He popped a string, Garcia popped it back and then the three of them fell into the New Speedway Boogie riff. For a long time, I believed they invented it right then, but probably not. As always, the few times we got near to them, awe kept us tongue-tied. We simply stayed in their presence until intermission ended.
In the second half, the orchestra was split in two sections, the Yellow Brick Road was in the front left and the Dead were in the front right. Lukas Foss, the Philharmonic Director, led them on some orchestral space music, pointing to different sections of the musicians to have the music rise and fall. Very experimental and not beatific, but after a while, it was over and the Dead did another set. I remember clearly a Philharmonic drummer sitting in with Billy, while Mickey played various percussion instruments around the stage. A second wave of good feeling that ended when the second Dead set did. They sent word that they were too tired for an encore and everybody got up to go. The Yellow Brick Road offered to play another set, but no one wanted them to and we kept walking.
11-01-90 Wembley Arena, London, UK - Paul Flewers (email@example.com) - Sunday January 28, 19101 @ 14:07:05
My third Dead gig, the first being the magical third night at Alexandra Palace, London, in September 1974 with the Wall of Sound, the second being a good one at the Rainbow, again London, in late 1981.
Heavy traffic on the North Circular Road, but I still arrive in time. Buy two 'skull and flash' stickers for my motor. Get mistaken several times for a ticket tout because of my rather un-Deadhead like appearance (very short hair and Dr Marten boots).
Inside the Arena, upstairs on the right-hand side, I have to sit at 45 degrees to see the band. First set kicks off with a powerful 'Hell in a Bucket'. The sound quality is awful, very muffled, Wembley Arena is notorious at mangling the best sound systems (it's an old ice-skating rink), it's not the band's fault. A bit of a wait whilst Bruce straps on his accordian for 'Friend of the Devil'. Then 'Walking Blues' and 'Cold Rain and Snow'. Up tempo again with 'Mama Tried' into -- what's this? -- it's 'Maggie's Farm', each singing member takes a verse, big cheers when Phil does his. Then 'Cassidy', as usual cutting off just when it's getting going (why didn't they let this one just go, a born flyer always having its wings clipped). A bit of a wait, then with Jerry's guitar heavily fuzzed, Bruce sang (so I've been told) 'A Night on the Town', a song I'd not heard before and thus didn't recognise. About an hour, the first set.
During the break, Phil's two little sons were scampering around the stage.
Set two, sound quality still awful. 'Victim or the Crime' clomped along nicely, and the familiar sprightly riff of 'Touch of Grey' wriggled out from an increasingly atonal jam. Jerry's voice isn't too good, and he shakes his head sadly in one verse. 'Playing in the Band' comes next, the jam out of it quietens down, and -- yes, it is! -- Phil starts the 'Dark Star' riff. Great cheers erupt, not least from me. Taken at a perky pace, it takes off into jaunty jam, the drummers are left alone to do their bit, with Micky having a good go on his Beam before the others return. Jerry and Bruce do a lovely duet before the whole band does the back half of 'Dark Star'. Then comes some very unexpected 'Space', really dense, scary sounds from all seven of them. Out of this comes the back end of 'Playing...', run through twice before the vocal reprise. Jerry starts the opening chords of 'Wharf Rat', then 'Standing on the Moon', then back into 'Wharf Rat' again. (That's the only song the band did each time I saw them.) Then a solid duo of 'Throwing Stones' and 'Not Fade Away', which of course did, with the audience chanting the words and stomping the riff. Best part of two hours, I reckon.
'US Blues' for the encore, with Jerry messing up a verse. He waves a little sheepishly as he walks off stage at the end. Even as we cheer and turn to leave, the roadies are taking the equipment down.
I didn't know then that this would be their last gig in Europe. The pictures of Jerry in the British press during this tour show him looking the best for years. Despite the worst efforts of Wembley Arena to muffle the sound, it was a great evening, well worth it.
8/6/74 Roosevelt Stadium - John Potenza (firstname.lastname@example.org) - Wednesday December 13, 19100 @ 14:18:32
I was 13 on 8/6/74 when the bus came by and I got on. This show was to take place on 8/2, but was postponed due to the heavy August rains of the New Jersey swamplands. I was given the ticket by my older sister for my birthday. On the 2nd we got there early and spent the whole day hanging out on the field having a great time. At one point Phil came out, plugged in his bass and played for about ½ hour. Wow, fun. Then the skies began to darken as did the mood. Soon the clouds burst and the field became a mud pit instantly. Eventually Bob Weir came out and said, “the speakers are cardboard and it’ll sound like shit if they are soaked so we’ll try again on Friday (or whatever day). Immediately a riot ensued and we were right in the middle of it. The crew being pelted from the crowd as they covered the speakers. Clearly the drugs and the heat of the day were in full effect by now and it was a strange riot, kind of half hearted and clumsy. At one point I looked down to see a naked bloody person slither over my feet through the mud and broken glass and disappear. We made it out of there just as beer bottles began to fly, fences ripped down, and basically all hell breaking loose. Fast forward to the next weekend…Cruising to the show again in the 68 VW squareback, I’m sitting in the back when all of a sudden pow! I felt something hit the bottom of the car hard. Oh, it’s just a piston rod, darn another blown engine. Quick, abandon the vehicle on I-287, make a few calls, get a ride back home from a friend, pick up another vehicle (65 Rambler) at home and off to Jersey City once again. We walked up to the stadium just as Bertha began and entered the bleachers just before they went into Mexicali Blues. The crowd was nothing like latter day deadheads back then, very little tie-dye, and all of it homemade. Lots of leather, fringe, and halter tops. An older crowd also it seemed, but they were there for the music, in a bigger way than later days. No vending or miracle seekers. The 1st memory of the live GD I have is the wall of sound in the setting sun with a clean shaven Garcia doin the Mexican horn section thing with a grin I could see all the way across the stadium. We settled in for one hell of a show. The first set was long and had many highlights, a Bob and Donna duet of BIODTL, Jack Straw, Don’t Ease Me In. An intense stand alone Eyes of the World in the middle of the first set, after which Bob Weir curses out some guy hanging on the fence in front of the stage. Then Promised Land and Deal, capped off by a 45 minute Playin-scarlet-Playin to end set 1. Then Seastones, personally I love this stuff and it fit perfectly wafting across the hazy swamps of beautiful Jersey City. The 2nd set was amazing, Uncle John’s Band, Loose Lucy, Black Peter, Truckin’->Other One->Spanish Jam…some way out stuff. During Truckin, somebody hit Bob Weirs guitar neck with a glow stick. There was an old, like 80 years old woman in the stands right near us, she had a shopping bag next to her and she just stood there and watched the whole show. The show concluded with massive fireworks set off all around the top of the stadium. Due to the weather, or perhaps it was planned, all the smoke, gunpowder and sulfur from the fireworks descended into the stadium and pretty much gassed everyone as a good night. After the show we headed out, into a huge traffic jam. I purchased a snow cone from a mobile ice cream truck in the traffic jam. After about a ½ hour of unsuccessfully biting it I chucked it out the window, where in the August heat on the pavement, it still refused to melt and only yielded when it was crushed by a passing car. Though I was a dead fan before this from hearing some live tapes and all the albums, this show literally blew my mind open. What a great way to change your life.
10/18/72 Houston, TX - Glenn Crouch (email@example.com) - Tuesday September 12, 19100 @ 00:17:31
I have not seen a deadbase for years, but the last one I saw (about 90) did not list a Playing In The Band for this great show. The Allmans were supposed to play, but due to misfortune, could not be there. Playin' was great, with the long jam and lights going down, that I knew (somewhat) how was going to go down when the lights went down the next week in Dallas.
7-08-90 Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pa. - Dan Kurtz (firstname.lastname@example.org) - Saturday August 19, 19100 @ 17:05:47
The release of "View from the Vault" has inspired me to write about the
Pittsburgh show. This show is NOT being reviewed because it was a magical
show, but rather because it was an ordinary one. Admittedly, my enjoyment
– or the lack thereof – may have had something to do with my company. I
had to suffer the entire ride, Not only did my friend's car not have a
tape deck, but the mountains of Pennsylvania all but drowned out anything other than
country music or religious broadcasts (yikes!). Making matters worse, was the
fact that during the entire drive, my friend's annoying girlfriend
insisted on sitting in the front, leaving me in a cramped backseat of a
hatchback. That was bad enough, but she kept leaning over and kissing
him the entire ride. I'm not talking about a peck here or a kiss there,
I'm talking about full-blown public display of affection while driving'
70 miles an hour on the interstate.
Finally, the hell drive ended and we got to Pittsburgh. Immediately after
checking into the Hyatt (which has a lovely view of Three Rivers Stadium)
I was kicked out of the hotel room so those two could have sex. Fortunately,
I met some people and we ended up going to a nearby bar. Hours later, I returned
to the room and crashed. I was pretty frazzled and I needed to release
all that tension. This was difficult as some of you older Heads rememeber
that 1990 was the summer of the "Great Famine" if you catch my drift.
Luckily, I ran into someone I knew from college outside our hotel. She and her
friend at least acted as a buffer between my friend and his loser girlffriend.
Eventually, we made our way inside as CSN was playing "Love the
one your with." We reached our seats on the floor and realized that
the sun was at our backs. The rest of the CSN set was pretty good and all
and all, things seemed to be improving. The Dead's opening set didn't spark
me and I was hot, tired, and jonesin'.
The second set started off with a nice Samson and then the "new" combo of
"Eyes>Estimated." This was a novelty that existed only in 1990 (I believe).
"Wang Dang Doodle" out of space was a surprise and "Black Peter" built
up to a crescendo, but the air went out of the proverbial balloon for
the Throwing>Lovelight combo. I personally have never been a fan of
any combo involving Throwing Stones and this was no exception. I started to
walk out for the "Knockin" encore. Fortunately, during the ride home, I got to sit
up front. We arrived in Jersey just as the sun was coming up.
After I watched the video, I was impressed. I started to think that
maybe the show wasn't that bad - it was just the company I kept. Three
Rivers may not have been one of the top ten shows of 1990 but in retrospect
it was allright. It was one of my last shows with Brent, and watching the
video made me realize how much I missed him.
06-26-74 Providence - Scott Probeck (Sprobeck@cats.ucsc.edu) - Monday June 5, 19100 @ 17:16:04
After the Oakland tape, I put on this gem from Providence. The tape starts with a jam, how cool is that? From here the band plays a stellar version of China Cat, and then moves into annother jam called the Mud Love Buddy Jam. Never heard this before, but I dug it a lot. The high point on the album for me was I Know You Rider, with Phil sharing lead vocals. At first, I was like why does this sound so weird, who is that? And then I was like, "It's Phil!" Very cool, I wish he sang lead with the band more. From here, they play the Beer Barrel Polka, annother song I'd never heard before, and then on to Sugar Magnolia--Scarlet Bagonias from Boston (6-28-74). The Scarlet Bagonias was outstanding. When I first heard this song, I thought it was the perfect song. I experienced this feeling again last night. The Truckin which follows is out of this world. It has a lot of energy, and hard core jamming, which characterized the early versions of the song. The remaining songs include a Other One Jam, a Spanish Jam, Wharf Rat, and Sugar Magnolia to close out the show. Unfortunetely the Sugar Magnolia is cut prematurely, but the version from Boston kind of makes up for it. This is the only glitch on the tape however, and that's not bad. Allthough I've never been to a Grateful Dead concert in person, when I listen to these tapes I picture myself there. I see Bobby screeming away, and Phil thumping the bass, Jerry smiling has he delivers some of the most beautiful sounds I've ever heard a person play.
06-05-00 Oakland, 12-26-79 - Scott Probeck (email@example.com) - Monday June 5, 19100 @ 17:02:17
This tape really blew me away. It begins with Uncle John's band, conintues into a great version of Estimated Prophet, and then into an expansive jam. The first side ends with He's Gone, and a hint of The Other One, which starts side two. From The Other One, one of my favorites, the bands segues into drums, annother jam, and then Not Fade Away. What really got my attention was Brokedown Palace. All of a sudden, the walls which were generally moving and spinning arround up to this point, began to form distinct visuals. I saw spirals, and waves of color, all thanks to an amazing version of Brokedown Palace. The pure psycedelic, which is what I allways try to find in the Dead's music was more visable than ever. After this, the high was maintained, as the band began to play Around and Around. Everything was moving around and around. I could definetely relate. From here, the Dead move into a roaring version of Jonny Be Good, a song which they had hinted at playing before after A. And A. in other tapes I'd heard, but never fully went into. This time they did, I loved every mintute of it. The Shakedown Street that followed, and brought the tape to a close, took me to annother level. I thought I was tripping hard after Brokedown Palace, but as I was listening to Shakedown Street I went futhther than I thought possible. Right when the starting playing the opening notes, a huge grin crossed my face, and hasn't left since then. Anyone who hasn't heard this tape yet has to get it. Have a good trip.
05-01-77 Palladium, New York City - Jed Gelber (firstname.lastname@example.org) - Sunday June 4, 19100 @ 21:24:12
The Palladium(f/k/a The Academy of Music)is gone. New York University is building a huge multi-story dormitory on the site. I saw one show at this venue, my first Dead show, on May 1st 1977. I was 17 and a couple of weeks away from graduating from my Upper West Side high school. I had been listening to their records for about a year, and a friend of mine got to see one of the Beacon theater shows in June of 1976. Although I didn't see that show, it was my first exposure to the Grateful Dead scene -I got off the subway and was flabbergasted by all the people hanging out around the theater.
For the Palladium show I bought a scalped ticket for $35 several weeks before the show. That was about four times the face value. I sat in a great orchestra seat that no one ever showed up for. From the very first note of music I instantly understood what all the hoopla was about. The Dead were such a powerful musical force.
Seeing the Dead in a theater was a different experience than seeing them in a big arena. The acoustics were great. The setting was more intimate. The architecture and interior design of a grand old theater lent a more serious tone to the proceedings. I felt there was less of a party atmosphere and more of a "we're here for the music" atmosphere. That suited me fine as I never was into the Dead scene all that much, in the same way that I am a Star Trek fan but have never been to a convention.
10/09/1989 Hampton - Stella Blue (ButterflySky@Altavista.com) - Friday January 14, 19100 @ 08:41:53
All the years combined they melt into a dream,all but that one night which remains clear and pure in my memory. If you were fortunate enough to be there you already know, and if you were not maybe I can't translate in words the depth of the experience. The energy was so strong,you could feel it in the air like an electric current all around you. What stays with me the most was that during space after the Dark Star before Death Don't I felt as though I were in a trance. I walked through the hallway, no one was speaking-words could not transcend what we were experiencing that night. I remember being overwhelmed by Love for everyone there. My brothers and sisters I remember looking out across the sea of beautiful swaying souls and thinking I love you all, every one,and I always will. I think what happened there that night was as close to heaven as we on Earth can get. I beleive it changed me in some way, gave me something untangible yet undeniable. It remains the pinacle of my Grateful Dead experiences and one of the most awe-filled moments of my life. I still do love all of you,every one.And I always will.
06-?-89 giants - keith eilertsen (email@example.com) - Saturday November 6, 1999 @ 18:20:26
Hey its me again!I picked this show because i really dont remember too much about any other shows.To me they were all good,but I was so wasted on one thing or another that i dont remember song lists.How ever giants 89 I will never forget.This was my fist show I went into.You see I used to go just for the drugs and then go home.I was into heavy metal and never realy heard the deads music.Then one day a good friend jim got tickets and said come on your going in!I said what the hell.Oh my friends little did I know what would happen the next 7 years!We arrived early and I got a sheet.I took 3 like a dummy and all day long all I kept saying was "I should not have took the 3rd one.I should not have took the 3rd one.To say I was gone was an understatement.I laughed so hard the stuff from my mouth dropped out and formed a white ring around my mouth.Being the good friends that they were no one told me!So i walked around ALL day like that!When I looked in a mirror i was so embaresed!Well we all went in toghter and that was the night EVERYONE jummped down to the floor.We all did to and then as soon as I landed I could not find anyone I knew.I felt so out of place being all alone and tripping like there was no tomorrow!I got close to the front still looking for my friends but no luck.The boys came out and what do you think they opened with?Feel like a stranger of course!I remember thinking listening to the song no doubt I do feel like a stranger!Then franklins tower,walking blues,jack a roe,master piece.Then it started to pour i mean pour and pour.Giants asked everyone to leave and I got mad and started yelling some bad things at the giants people.I still feel bad about that by the way.Well the boys came out after ten min. and bobby said some choice words that i felt like were for me!They were!I have a real loud voice and others starting saying stuff at giant when i did too.I guess i started some trouble!Nothing new!Well the boys jummped into a ripping tennessee jed and that song followed me to just about every show after that.So many hot girls,wow so many but i was so gone i couldnt talk to any of them.Damn.I remember thinking during jack a roe that hey I am sailor jack!Shes got everyone but me Damn!Well after the show we heading home and jim said lets go to the dc shows jed!I said sure and asked one of my friends to drive home.He wanted another hit,but I said no.Now i didnt know where to hide one humdred hits so i slipped them under the front driver side mat.The whole way home wes kept saying come on keith give me one more,but he was driving so i said no.Little did he know he was sitting right on top of them!He He!Of course we got pulled over that night.The cop asked why wes was driving and i got out and said i was to drunk to drive my car.Now i have family on the force,and allways seem to get out of trouble whatever it is.Speedind running red lights whatever.I dont know i got a kind of face cops like?I dont know,but i started b.s ing with the cop and in about tem min we were laughing like old friends.He let us go and told wes to slow down.All i kept thinking about was the sheet,and all the other stuff everybody had in the car.If he would have looked he could have made his quote for the year!When i got home i took a couple more and put in a tape and started buggin out again.When the sun came up i was looking at the trees and saw jerry and bobby setting up at a show.I saw people getting ready for the show.We went down to dc and got in early.I remember looking around and seeing someone on the stage looking at us and then the eagles song new kid in town started to play.Too weird!!The show rocked and of course back to back nights tennessee jed!!I remember thinking can these guys read my mind?Do then know I am here?Well i think they could because everytime i would say to some one that they will play a song they would!!Right after i said it!!Too werid!!I remember one show jerry was singing standing on the moon.The verse"a lovely view of heaven,but id rather be with you.I started thinking ya this is a great view of heaven,but id rather be with you jerry,so i called out to jerry and said that and everyone started screaming!!Then jerry looked up and gave me a nod!So many shows ive been to stuff like that happens to everyone.I feel bad for anyone who missed the bus.I used to think 50 shows that i saw were nothing,but after reading about alot of people who missed the bus now i feel very lucky.When jerry died i was mad at him for messing up his body on drugs.Well now i miss him and the shows REAL bad!!REAL bad!!I went through alot of crap and now just feel real sad and lonely.I need more shows with jerry!Please keep sending in your stuff about the shows so i can remember how it was.Nobody will ever come close to the dead and jerry!!NO ONE!!!!!Dont you cry anymore,sleep in the stars,dont you cry ,dry your eyes on the wind.Fare you well my honey fare you well my only true one,we love YOU more then words can tell.Yes indeed it is a lovely view of heaven,but i would rather be with YOU!!R.I.P jerry
3-28-93 Knickerbocker Arena, Albany, NY - Peter Lavezzoli (firstname.lastname@example.org) - Saturday September 18, 1999 @ 14:05:47
The 1993 Spring Tour was a time of celebration and renewal, similar to Spring 1987. Jerry was back in better health, and his resurgence inspired the rest of the band to heights not seen since Fall 1991. This Albany show is the most exciting. The night before this show, 3-27, has a more attractive setlist, but the playing is less inspired. 3-28 is Jerry's night, with soulful performances of so many Jerry classics, that it almost has the feel of a JGB show. From the first notes of Half Step it is clear that Jerry is on fire, 100% committed to playing the best show that he can. Everything he touches turns to gold, and this challenges the others to match his enthusiasm. The first set explodes early on with a heart-wrenching So Many Roads that finds Jerry crying out at the top of his range with startling power. Bobby follows with an equally emotional Masterpiece, and the set continues to shine with the definitive 90s version of High Time, where Jerry the crooner is again in full effect, not missing a beat. The set concludes with an exceptional pairing of Eternity>Deal, both songs perfect examples of ensemble improvisation and extroverted vocals. Deal is especially long and hot, again similar to a JGB performance.
Jerry picks it right back up for the next set with Scarlet>Fire, not the longest version of this jam, but certainly one of the tightest and most energetic. The way Jerry effortlessly moves from one tone to the next, scaling dizzying heights with the band during Fire, the listener is too thrilled to notice the time. Samson maintains the high energy level, before Jerry the balladeer gives us a definitive 90s Ship of Fools that is pure heart and soul. Phil is inspired to contribute with the newly improved 1993 arrangement of Wave to the Wind. Here it is an exciting treat, with Phil's vocals clear and assured, and Jerry's instrumental breaks reminiscent of Eyes of the World. This is one of the best versions ever done, and Phil is noticeably excited afterwards, judging from the shattering bass bombs he drops during Truckin. This is yet another definitive version for the 90s, where everyone shines. As Jerry reaches the high peak of the crescendo, Phil comes down with a series of bombs that shakes the building, with more bombs to follow later in the post-Truckin jam as they begin to wind their way into Drums. After a lengthy and melodic Drums and Space, Way to Go Home could have put a damper on the show. But not this night. Vince sings with conviction, Jerry compliments with the perfect lead for each moment, and the harmonies are flawless. Its these impeccable harmonies that set the tone for what may be the greatest version of Attics. This Attics is perfect, with every note in place. The music provides the gentle backdrop for the vocals, which are stunning in their beauty and perfection. Not for a moment does anyone sing off key. This leads into a rousing Lovelight that finds Bobby doing the James Brown, instructing the band to hit it one time, two times, three times, etc. Heaven's Door is the icing on the cake, majestic and sublime, with gorgeous harmonies and shimmering leads from Jerry. This show is a must-have underrated classic.
8-24-68 Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles, CA - Peter Lavezzoli (email@example.com) - Thursday September 16, 1999 @ 03:17:38
This classic show was a perfect choice for Two From the Vault. Not only is the sound quality outstanding, but the show itself is a perfect representation of what the Dead were capable of in late 1968 prior to the arrival of Tom Constanten. This show was performed about a month after Anthem of the Sun was released. Most of the Anthem material was culled from the February tour, and it is stunning to hear how these pieces evolved and matured during the six month interval between those shows and this Shrine concert. While the Spring 68 shows have an unmatched visceral power all their own, the August shows have a much tighter and more polished ensemble sound, with a greater emphasis on nuance and dynamics. There is more subtlety, and more fully developed improvisation. Pigpen opens with a Schoolgirl that immediately sets the tone. We can hear right away how the band is listening and responding as one unit. Pigpen's harp and vocal improvisations blend effortlessly with Garcia and the rhythm section. This is not the sound of a garage band. The real indication is Dark Star. Still barely a five or ten minute piece during the Spring shows, here it begins to develop into the vehicle for extended jamming that it would increasingly become, as the Dead take their time exploring the possibilities of the piece. The sensitivity and depth of this Dark Star is demonstrative of the growth that was taking place at this time. Stephen>Eleven>Death Don't ends the set with power and finesse. At this point the Dead were using different lyrics during the William Tell bridge between Stephen and Eleven. Like Dark Star, this Eleven is an early example of where this piece was headed the following year, with well developed jams and a tight ensemble approach. Death Don't is also a sign of evolution, with Garcia finding new ways to approach the blues.
Set two is sheer perfection. The Cryptical suite is textbook 60s Grateful Dead: psychedelic, dynamic, powerful yet subtle. Phil and the drummers are going places no rhythm section has gone before, while Garcia soars overhead. These days it is easy to forget that at this stage of their career, the Dead were onto something that had never been previously attempted in music. Not even bands like Quicksilver or the Airplane were approaching this level of ensemble improvisation, despite the considerable talents of guitarists like Cipollina and Kaukonen. The Other One perfectly illustrates this unique musical synergy that the Dead were creating. After the Cryptical Reprise has been fully explored, what comes next is the highlight of the show. This must be the definitive New Potato Caboose. Petersen's exquisite lyrics are given their proper treatment with flawless vocal harmonies. The melodic structure of the song is handled with stunning delicacy and feeling. Phil begins the jam with a powerful bass solo that leads into the lively thirteen-beat "rondo" that was part of the standard arrangement at this time. Here it is executed flawlessly. As the rondo is resolved, Garcia begins his segment of the jam, moving through many different levels of intensity before building to the trademark power chords at the end of the piece. Everyone has taken their time, making this not only the longest known New Potato, but also the most polished. Pigpen returns to close the set with Lovelight, which has also noticeably evolved: not only as a powerful showcase for his extroverted raps, but also as an example of how he could control the ebb and flow of the band behind him. After this powerful set closer, the Dead return for an encore of Morning Dew, which almost makes its way through the climactic closing jam, only to be abruptly cut short when the Los Angeles Police Department decide to pull the plug before the song is finished!
10-1-94 Boston Garden, Boston, MA - Peter Lavezzoli (firstname.lastname@example.org) - Tuesday September 14, 1999 @ 21:40:00
Having seen every show in 1995, and most of the Fall 1994 Tour, this show stands out as the undisputed heavyweight champion. If I had to pick one show to represent Jerry in the best light during the final 12 months of his life, 10-1-94 is the clear choice. Not only because of the extraordinary power of his performance, but also because of the songlist. We virtually have the ideal "Farewell" show for Garcia, with Help>Slip>Franklin's, heartwrenching ballads like So Many Roads and Stella Blue, along with classic performances of Scarlet>Fire and Terrapin. Of equal importance is that the entire band is equally as inspired, each player giving their best. Both sets are developed and very well played, almost an impossibility for this final period in their career. The opening Help>Slip>Franklin's immediately finds Jerry in a special place, extroverted and focused. Slipknot goes into some colorful and substantial jams, but things really fly with Franklin's. Garcia conjures up as many vocal and instrumental flourishes as he can muster, and the band has no choice but to follow suit. This sets a powerful trend for the rest of the night. Walkin Blues is prime Bob Weir blues. Althea is another standout, with Jerry having the attitude to really pull this off handsomely with his vocals and leads. Weir harkens back to the old spirit with a robust Uncle>River on his acoustic, with Jerry again in fine form. Phil gets inspired to join the party with a bright and witty Tom Thumb where he says, "My best friend, my drummer, won't even tell me what it is I DROPPED." Jerry goes deep with a version of So Many Roads that reaches some of the highest emotional peaks this song has known in its brief existence. His closing vocal climax will likely bring tears to one's eyes as he reaches for the highest peaks. Simply stunning. What always struck me as interesting was how Garcia could evoke such powerful vocals from such a frail body during this final period. Truly the sound of a fighting spirit. Promised Land closes the set in fine style, with a rocking finale.
This Scarlet>Fire may not be as celebrated as the subsequent MSG version from 10-14, but it is equally as exciting, particularly in context of this whole show. The lengthy transition jam goes far out to explore many different colors and themes before Phil brings in the Fire. The entire band is engaged here, but Jerry is at the forefront. Fire is all Jerry, with some of his most extroverted vocal flourishes during the song's final choruses ever. This man is simply performing at the peak of his ability tonight, there is no sign of anything being held back. Way to Go Home could have been a disaster at this point, but it is quite well played and exciting. Vince's vocals are up front and committed, as is the band behind him with their harmonies. Even Saint of Circumstance works well here, given a powerful treatment during the "Rainfall" jam. Then we get to the next highlight of this show. This is the last truly great version of Terrapin in GD history. Not only does Jerry sing and play this version with absolutely no mistakes, but he gives that extra effort that pushes it way over the top. Every lyric has emotional emphasis, the quiet middle jam is fully explored, and the closing jam builds to dazzling heights before it expands out into a freeform "Jam" that slowly works its way into Drums. The "Jam" segment is very well developed and certainly should be labelled as such in the setlist. Drums and Space are both colorful and exciting in ways that carry over the power of the Terrapin>Jam. The remainder of the show is one grand finale. As seems hauntingly appropriate for what seems to be the last truly great GD performance, The Last Time rocks hard, working its way down into one of the finest versions of Stella Blue ever done! This has to be the most heart-wrenching version from the 90s (although 5-26-95 is another great one). What makes this one unique is that apart from an oustanding vocal performance from Jerry during the main body of the song, at the climax of the closing jam he comes back in shouting "Stella BLUE, BLUE, BLUE!" Again the listener may find themselves on the verge of tears at this extraordinary outburst, truly soul-shaking. Saturday Night closes the set in fine rocking form, with everyone giving their all. Garcia comes back for a Liberty encore that sums up the power of this night: when he misses the lyrics for the final verse, he waits until the next go around and sings the verse again the RIGHT way, with extra emphasis, as if to say: "THAT'S how it's done." Yes, Jerry, that most certainly is how it's done.
11-17-72 Century II Convention Hall, Wichita, KS - Peter Lavezzoli (email@example.com) - Tuesday September 14, 1999 @ 20:38:06
It is very surprising that nobody has yet reviewed any of the November 1972 shows for Dead Base, as this was as impressive a period as August or September. Beginning with Kansas City, particularly 11-13, and moving from Oklahoma City into Kansas, culminating with the legendary five show run in Texas, November is one of the peaks of 1972 Dead. Playing in the Band reached a zenith during these shows, as evidenced from three consecutive landmark versions from 11-18, 11-19, and 11-22. Dark Star and Other One also reached new heights of improvisation. Despite the many highlights of the Texas run, the most impressive whole show from this period is 11-17 Wichita, one of those rare cases where every song is played to its full potential. The entire band is energized, but Garcia especially is on fire. Even first set pieces shine: Me & My Uncle, Tennessee Jed, BT Wind, are all played with incredible gusto. Bird Song is another masterpiece, with Garcia's guitar getting just the right sweetness of tone that still manages to cut through. The jams in Bird Song soar with enthusiasm. Jack Straw in Wichita gets a big cheer as one would expect. Then we move through more scorching versions of Don't Ease, BIODTL, pretty much the entire setlist. China Cat>Rider is well developed in the transition jam, as compared with others from late 1972. Around and Around is one of the most energetic versions ever played, very unusual for a first set as opposed to a closer! Casey Jones caps the set in style.
Garcia continues the trend by opening the second set with a fiery Cumberland Blues that gets the band and audience limbered up at the outset. Keith is sizzling on piano, and Kreutzmann and Lesh are running like a well-oiled machine. The vocal harmonies are strong and clear. The special chemistry of the band on this night continues to show. El Paso is given a proper treatment, and then we have one of the finest versions of He's Gone. This version is stand-alone, with Donna Jean joining the band for some extended gospel harmonies at the end before Garcia moves into a robust instrumental jam that only comes to a stop after it has been fully explored. This seems to work well, because rather than segueing into it, the band starts Truckin with a fresh burst of energy. The real prize of this fine show is the jam of Truckin>Other One>Brokedown. Truckin is given the enthusiastic treatment it deserves, before the jam slowly evolves into something much more jazz-flavored and otherworldly. Rather than the trademark bass intro to Other One, the Dead slowly arrive there by weaving their way through many different instrumental vistas that vary in mood and intensity. Really, this can only be labelled as "Jam," because the music becomes so formless that there is no other way to define it. Without the formal introduction, suddenly we find that they have creeped into the Other One without our noticing it. The verse is sung, and then it's back to a more freeform mode of playing, again quite different from standard Other One jamming in a way that can only be identified as "Jam." Keith gets an extended section of jazz-inspired piano improvisation, sounding very much like McCoy Tyner. Garcia creates a brain-fry meltdown sequence that builds for a good while before actually reaching the point of no return. Eventually we find ourselves back in Other One for the second verse, after which the band immediately drops down into a gorgeous Brokedown Palace, a surprising yet outstanding choice that should have been done more often. This Brokedown is played and sung flawlessly. After this, it's nothing but rock and roll, with a blistering Sugar Magnolia that is another highlight of this show. Then we get a stand-alone Uncle John that brings the energy to another peak before the band leaves the stage. As they return and encore with Johnny B. Goode, Garcia and Weir are both going full tilt with many screams and howls during the final choruses. Upon hitting the final chord, Weir lets out a final screech and that's all folks. No pussyfooting here.
6-25-85 Blossom Music Centre, Cuyahoga Falls, OH - Peter Lavezzoli (firstname.lastname@example.org) - Tuesday September 14, 1999 @ 19:05:26
Most Dead Heads have divided opinions about 1985. Some love the extended jams that took place during the year, along with some adventurous setlists and a general good-time atmosphere. But others find Jerry's voice to be unbearably strident during this time, sloppy mistakes are often made, and at times the band sounds as though they're playing on amphetamines. But this show has the best of both worlds, something everyone can enjoy, even those who are normally critical of mid-80s Dead. Not only are the jams very thoroughly explored, but Jerry's vocals are surprisingly on target, as is his playing. There are few if any mistakes made at this show lyrically or musically, the band's energy is enormous, and the jams get way out there. A perfect 1985 show in every way. The first set is as solid and enjoyable as we can expect. One of the few well-played versions of Day Tripper opens this show, and it is bright and confident, setting the tone for the rest of the performance. Jerry sings and plays flawlessly on West LA, hitting every note and lyric that he reaches for. He sounds supremely confident, and his playing proves it. CC Rider continues this positive trend, as does a perfect Dire Wolf. BIODTL sounds as raucous and assured as the version from their debut album. Row Jimmy is one of the sweeter versions, very slow and soulful as Jerry weaves delicate lines in and out of the music, while also doing vocal justice to the lyrics--one of the highlights of this strong show. Uncle>River is completely animated, and Jerry's fast picking doens't miss a beat. Railroad Blues keeps the set rocking hard, with yet another extroverted vocal and lead from Jerry. The closing pair of Jack Straw>Might As Well is a perfectly appropriate end to this well played and entertaining set.
The second set opens with what may be the tightest Gimme Some Lovin I've ever heard. Phil and Brent's vocals are locked on target, with the band hammering the groove down behind them. This is fun music! Jerry immediately begins China Cat, and again his vocals and guitar are brimming with life. Every note sparkles and shines, as the lengthy transition into Rider becomes a showcase for Jerry's furious lead guitar. The music is bright and upbeat, but not rushed--the groove is just right, as it is during this whole show. This is a great tape to bring outdoors, for a hike or a day at the beach. Rider immediately segues into one of the longest and most developed Playin jams from the 80s. This version of Playin stretches for about sixteen minutes before Drums, and Jerry leads the way with broad strokes of effortless improvisation, bright as the summer sky. Drums was often a colorful highlight in 1985, and this is no exception. Billy and Mickey work through a variety of percussion sounds before furiously attacking the Beast, much to the crowd's delight. Space gently explores melodic terrain before moving into The Wheel. Again, this version is unusual for 1985 because of the strong vocals, and the smooth execution. This segues back into Playin, with a nicely developed jam before the Reprise, afte which comes the classic segue into China Doll. Jerry is once again relaxed and assured, as he sings and plays to his best potential. This very nicely moves into a Sugar Mag that suddenly finds the band back in hard rock mode, with Bobby working the crowd with his stage moves and vocal excursions, and Jerry slicing through the closing jam with searing leads. Touch of Grey is the perfect encore for this spirited and triumphant show, easily the best whole show I've heard from 1985.
10-26-89 Arena, Miami, FL - Peter Lavezzoli (email@example.com) - Tuesday September 14, 1999 @ 18:26:37
The last show from the infamous 1989 Fall Tour is a show that helped give this tour such notoriety. Of the three Dark Stars played on this tour, Miami had the longest and most fully developed, as well as the most fearsome. This entire show is an excursion into darkness, and is not for the faint-hearted. The entire first set builds on its power in startling ways. Foolish Heart is deceptively upbeat as an opener, but the plaintive nature of the song belies its tempo. Then comes the downward spiral into the lower recesses of the human psyche. This version of Rooster is the most violent and aggressive ever done, with Brent practically spitting out his vulgar henhouse verse, and Phil responding by dropping powerful bombs. Both drummers are angrily assaulting their kits, and this is no ordinary blues number! Jerry responds with Stagger Lee, and the violence has now worked its way into the lyrics. Group interaction during all of these pieces is razor sharp and intense. Uncle>River is also deceptively upbeat, while perpetuating themes of death and loss. BE Women is another wolf in sheep's clothing, as we begin to feel the pain in Jerry's voice as he tells the tale of addiction. Both band and audience erupt for the line, "Drink down a bottle and you're ready to KILL!" Geez, some party. The theme of addiction and death further intensifies with a first-set Victim that reeks of desperation and despair. Healy creates a swirling mass of quadrophonic white noise that paves the way for the sonic carnage of the Dark Star in the next set. As if nothing was happening, the Dead snap back into jolly mode for Don't Ease, and they're off the stage. Not exactly an easy landing. This was one of the blackest first sets of their career.
Not to give anyone any false hopes, the band comes back from a long break and starts the second set with a brooding Estimated Prophet, the first time this song had opened the set since its earliest performances of May 1977. Needless to say, the choice to open the set with it carried much more weight now than it did in 1977 when it was still in its infant stages. Here it was a conscious decision, and an unsettling one. Bobby evokes Manson with his Messianic rants and raves, and the closing jam slowly descends into darkness. The rhythmic structure eventually dissolves, and we are suspended in a few moments of atonal Space. It's clear that we're not getting Eyes of the World. What we do get is the most furious Blow Away ever done. This version does not extend into the compassionate rap that Brent would sometimes do with this song. Instead, he just curses and howls into the mike with a terrifying venom, as the band hammers behind him. This show has been so confrontational up to this point, one has to wonder what could possibly be on the band's mind tonight, as if they were addressing a specific person. After a spacy tuning introduction that feels like the calm before a storm, Jerry responds with Dark Star. The large banner that had been hanging from the balcony reading, "5603 days since the last Florida Dark Star," gets released and drifts to the floor as the crowd goes into a frenzy at the sound of the opening notes.
Ironically, the last Florida Dark Star was also from the second night of a two-night stand in Miami, back in 1974. That version started cold and then drifted into complete weirdness. This version would follow suit, although in a much more unnerving manner. The Hampton and Brendan Byrne Dark Stars seemed as though the Dead were still getting reacquainted with this song's powerful implications. But those were both before the devastating San Francisco earthquake. This is a different beast altogether. For this third attempt of the tour, the terrifying power of Dark Star returns with a vengeance. This is the longest post-1989 version that was done as a single piece with both verses, not broken up into parts. The group interplay drips with psychedelia, very loose and bottomless. Jerry stays rooted in A Major, while the rest of the band is all over the map with little sense of structure. The rhythm section swells and recedes minute by minute. The interaction is so taut and responsive, you can slice the tension with a knife. Black holes of open space interrupt familiar patterns at an instant. Jerry's voice is frail and tentative for both verses. After the second verse fades, the holocaust begins. Phil snatches the bottom out from under our feet as he spirals down into the lowest reaches of his bass, and the band follows him with notes that smear and ooze downwards, as if the entire universe is sinking. The drums have abandoned rhythm, and begin exploring electronic sound. Brent begins extracting sickly outer space noises from his synthesizer, interspersed with jarring attacks of white noise that Healy swirls throughout the arena in ways that Victim only hinted at earlier. The sonic landscape in this post-verse jam is brutal and black, the sound of spiritual terror, an outer space ghetto filled with evil spirits ready to channel through the music into our open psyches. Jerry and Bobby's MIDI sounds are shrieking in pain as the disorienting swirls of white noise accelerate and intensify. Suddenly we are thrown into an energy vortex that spins out of control, the sound of impermanence. It takes tremendous courage for band and audience to tap into these energies without flinching. Some people begin running out of the building from the sheer force of the sound. Most are unable to move, transfixed. When the band finally relents, we feel as though we've just witnessed genocide. As the swirling hurricane of white noise subsides, a very calm and tribal Drums ensues. Suddenly we feel as though we're slowly paddling down a jungle river, and Drums has an atmosphere similar to the Apocalypse Now Rhythm Devils sessions. Talking drum, timbale, cowbell, all create a primitive yet gentle landscape to contrast with the electronic carnage of before. Mickey never leaves the stage, and remains on Beam throughout Space, providing a gentle low drone in D. This gives Space a melodic foundation, and we continue to feel as though we're canoeing through a peaceful jungle. Combining this tranquil atmosphere with the earlier massacre, we may speculate that the Vietnam War could be the prevailing theme, a speculation enhanced by the similarity of this Drums and Space with the Apocalypse Now soundtrack released ten years ago.
The remainder of the show explores themes of death from a more compassionate standpoint, in contrast to everything leading up to Drums. The Wheel ever so gently materializes out of Space, and finds the band in much brighter spirits. Jerry's leads sound very ethereal. Then comes a very sudden segue into one of the most furious Watchtowers ever done. Jerry has rarely ripped such fast and furious leads on this song as he does here, and Phil's strong bottom end is a solid foundation for Weir's pleas. This version succeeds in capturing the essence of the Hendrix version from the late 60s, but in a style unique to the Dead. Very appropriate for this show! Another brief transition into Stella follows, and Jerry's voice is cracked and fragile, but the emotion of the song comes through very poignantly--particularly in the closing instrumental jam which starts off pensive and then soars heavenwards. NFA comes right on Stella's heels, and this version is very tribal and colorful, with swirling Hammond organ and heavy sustain from Jerry as he uses his pan-flute sound during the jam. The drummers also regain their earlier thunder before the band slowly lets the crowd take over the NFA chant. With the post-Space segment of this show focusing on rebirth and survival, the band comes back ready to finally bid us all Goodnight. Thus ends the legendary 1989 Fall Tour, and the final East Coast show of the 80s, a show that changed many people.
9-11-82 Auditorium, West Palm Beach, FL - Peter Lavezzoli (firstname.lastname@example.org) - Tuesday September 14, 1999 @ 16:25:35
This obscure show is my favorite from 1982, and deserves wider circulation and praise. It is one of those rare cases where the energy starts very high in the beginning, and does not let up until the end. The entire band is fired up on Mickey's birthday in Palm Beach. The Mingelwood opener catches fire from the first note, with Phil dropping bombs out of the gate. The drummers punctuate in an unusually colorful way that is reminiscent of the 9-2-80 opener. Jerry is hitting peaks from the first note, Brent is throwing himself into the Hammond, and Bobby's vocals fill the room with power and assurance. Few show openers have been this raucous! Jerry tightens the focus with TLEO, and the interaction between bandmembers is razor sharp. Phil's bass was very loud throughout this entire show, shaking the auditorium. Jerry's vocals and leads on TLEO give a strong indication as to how supremely confident yet relaxed he is on this night. These first two songs establish both the raw power and sensitivity that would carry through the entire show. The remainder of the first set is letter-perfect. Uncle>River is fast and furious, with assured vocals from Bobby and lightning fast leads from both Jerry and Brent. Dupree's, having just been resurrected weeks before, again finds Jerry in peak form, with the wit and narrative of the lyrics coming through. One finds it hard to believe that Dupree's had been out of rotation for so long, with the strength of this version. CC Rider is another showcase for Bobby's energy, but again the entire band shines. The final four songs of the set blaze with energy and excitement. Loser is one of the heaviest versions I've heard, rivaling 3-24-90. LL Rain is uptempo yet heartfelt, with Jerry's leads note-perfect and Bobby's pleas cutting through. Tennessee Jed is as robust and exciting as we can expect. Jerry seems focused on themes of love and money throughout this first set, as evidenced by TLEO, Dupree's, Loser, and Jed. After all, WEST Palm Beach is an impoverished ghetto compared to the shamefully affluent PALM Beach, and this dichotomy is not lost on the Dead. "Rich man step on my poor head," rings especially true for the locals. Jerry's closing solo reaches a peak of high notes that has rarely been heard in this song. This immortal first set closes with a version of Let it Grow that must be one of the finest stand-alone versions. Truly conveying the Spanish flavor of this melody, one must hear the sheer perfection and fury of Jerry's guitar work as he effortlessly leads the band through the changes. Not a note out of place.
One can imagine that a first set this powerful would have everyone very much looking forward to the second set. This is the only show that has a pre-Drums lineup of Scarlet>Fire>Sailor>Saint>Terrapin, and every part of this segment transcends all expectations. Scarlet is raucous and bouncy from the start, and Jerry is intent on making this one of the definitive versions. His leads during Scarlet, and especially in the trasition into Fire, are bursting with melodic invention and subtlety. The transition jam carries us off to a tropical rainforest. Birthday boy Mickey Hart blends with Jerry to create a vibrant and colorful tapestry of sound as the band slowly inches their way towards Fire. Brent's tasteful Hammond organ is another key element here. All possibilties have been throroughly explored before proceeding to Fire. Jerry again leads the way with incredibly assured vocals and leads. Phil drops more bombs at the right energy peaks, and Mickey is in full effect. At just over thirty minutes, this is one of the definitve versions of Scarlet>Fire. Bobby comes right in with Lost Sailor, and immediately the band goes deeper into the essence of the music. Jerry's backing is incredibly sympathetic as Bobby brings the lyrical imagery to life. You can hear a pin drop during the quiet parts of Sailor, before the band thunders its way into an explosive and muscular Saint. Jerry does not lose one note, and Bobby rouses the band and audience for the singalong climax. This is intelligent yet physical music. Immediately on the heels of Saint comes Terrapin. Brent's piano is a key factor here, along with Jerry's vocal subtlety. This Terrapin is all about the storytelling, and Jerry's plaintive leads never obstruct the lyrics. As Terrapin gains power for the final jam, Brent and the drummers are the driving force.
Mickey is the obvious focus of this Drums, but ironically he concentrates on the drumkit, with Billy working on the Beast. There is also an unusual amount of cymbal work highlighted in this Drums, as well as tambourine and gong, a very nice change of pace overall. Space is brief but very interesting because it involves the crowd. The band begins to interact with loud whistling from the audience by making whistling sounds on the instruments, yet still leaving space for the crowd whistles to remain audible--almost like a John Cage piece. As the drummers return, the entrance into Truckin almost sounds like Other One. The band hits the opening notes in unison, and off they go. The remainder of this show is one long finale. Bobby changes his Sweet Jane lyric from "cocaine" to "ever since she went and got her sex change..." The final crescendo is perfect. There is a brief transition into a sugary sweet Stella Blue. Jerry's vocals still have that sweetness that would be gone within a matter of months, and this is one of the stronger 80s versions. Bobby closes this set with the rocking two-fer of Around into an explosive Saturday Night. By the time the band leaves the stage, everyone has danced themselves into a frenzy. The Baby Blue encore harkens back to an earlier time. Jerry takes a dfferent vocal approach here, angry at points, mournful at others. This is a very dynamic and emotional version, one of the best I've heard in terms of Jerry's vocal and guitar. Overall, we have here one of the most consistently exciting whole shows of the Dead's career, certainly for the 80s, and it is worth tracking down a copy under any circumstances.
12-3-92 McNichols Coliseum, Denver, CO - Eric S. Crane (ChpscashdN@aol.com) - Thursday September 9, 1999 @ 02:20:58
We drove from Atlanta to catch this round of come-back shows. The first night was off, Arizona was great, but his night was magic. Set one had the greatest version of "Rooster" ever. I am not a fan of this song, but he jam was sweet. "Queen Jane" is another song that had some new life in it as well, and was actually pretty good, again a song I am not so fond of.
The second set is a complete keeper. For a 92 show, the "Corrinna>Terrapin>Playin Jam" is pure hedonism. This is a heavy jam. "Drumz" was cast in four colors that night: royal blue, cape red, insignia yellow, and kryptonite green. A dirge like quality came out of the speakers, as if they were playing a "Superman's Dead" theme during "drums and space!"
"Other One" out of space was very skinny, without Phil's intro, yet still blew us out of our seats, very concise, driven and scary jams. "Dew" was the real thing. Find a copy of this, listen to it a couple of times to really get the full idea as to how big this thing was, they just kept going and going, higher and higher. Not bad, boys.
"Gloria" sent us outside to the falling snow in a cold sweat...
08-04-74 Civic Convention Center Philadelphia, PA (Sun) - John Chojnowski (boxofrain@erols) - Wednesday September 8, 1999 @ 19:31:06
This time I bought tickets and got there early with a friend.
The stage was so that I could lean my elbows and get comfortable. We were set up stage left. Oh oh, Jerry was set up stage right. We had to scramble through the crowd and got set up perfectly. There's nothing quite like scurring through a crowd with Bertha serenading from this incredible wall of speakers sitting behind the boys and girl.
I got my first taste of true Deadheadnism when I had no clue what song they were playing; Space, when someone told me they never left Playin.
I could not get into Phil & Ned, remember this was only my second show.
A young lady disrobed about three feet away and attempted to get on stage to Jerry. She was persuaded to do otherwise.
Now my dilemna, it was truely great that Bobby played that One Step Back Game because my kidneys were about to expode having been jammed up against the stage. This is my only dis satifaction over the years of seeing the boys. You can count on having your personal space invaded. Sometimes, youi just need your space. That ain't going to happen at a show.
I could no longer hold out and preceded to make my a way to the rest room. I did not make it and passed out. Some kind folk carried me to a hallway and provided me with cool water.
Once I rejuvenated I could not push my way back to the stage through these nice, kind, folk. I did the best I could and elevated myself on top of some kind of furniture and listened to the boys and girl belt out Casey Jones. That song should have opened the show because Jerry was screaming and had the entire gathering stationed at that next level.
06-09-73 Robert F. Kennedy Stadium Washington D.C. (Sat.) - John Chojnowski (boxofrain@erols) - Wednesday September 8, 1999 @ 19:02:01
My friends Bear, Dennis and I were in town scouting beaver and had no idea what was going on in RFK.
My buddies were drinking heavily on the hills over looking the Potomoc while I found some interesting folk there covering the shows for the Philly Daily News. We shared some wine and other things as we bunked in for the night.
The first of three astonishing experiences took place Saturday morning. My new friends told me to "listen" to D.C. waking up. From the hills at RFK the many noises began softly and escalated to a loud roar. Truely incredible!
My comparades and I eventually got up and figured we would go inside to see why so many had gathered. We did not have tickets but found very little resistence in getting in, there were unattended gate openings.
We assembled high in the mezzanine and hung out. Doug Sahm opened but his music was like listening to Sleepy Hollow, a WXPN show.
My traveling companions were so laid back but I became anxious. My memory that day opens a Johari Window that I shall never forget.
I shall still bet anything the Dead played Wake Up Little Suzie but I can not find any such written notation.
Then the second of my astonishing experiences happened: I was walking about the Stadium when I noticed the entire crowd in physical rhythm to Tennessee Jed. Truely amazing!
My third indoctrination was that it was incredibly hot and humid that day and there were signs posted all over not to swim in the polluted Potomoc but there were individuals on the field (I had wandered up to the stage) that were wiping down the sweaty bodies with sponges of cool water. That really blew my mind.
Other memories include a young lady handing a bunch of roses to Jerry who was in pigtails. The music did me in and I have been hooked ever since.
4-22-69 The Ark, Boston MA - Peter Lavezzoli (email@example.com)
The three shows at the Ark in Boston are widely regarded as among the finest from 1969. While all three have worthwhile moments, it is the middle night (4-22) which stands out as the strongest and most consistently exciting of the run. Many of the shorter songs in the first set are played as well as one would expect from this era. Top of the World could often be sloppy, but here it opens the show with precision and energy. This is followed by a very exciting and emotional Morning Dew, played at a brisker tempo than what would become customary in later years. Jerry's vocals and guitar are very expressive. BIODTL and Schoolgirl continue to raise the energy level, Pigpen particularly sounding inspired on the latter. Doin That Rag is another song, like Top of the World, that could often sound sloppy and unrehearsed in concert. But once again, this show is an exception, and Rag is about as tight and emotional as I've heard it. Having cleared that hurdle, it was now time to jam. Cryptical>Other One (which sufferes from a brutal cut in the master tape)>Cryptical>Death Don't is a crowning achievement. The Cryptical suite is bursting with visceral psychedelic power. Death Don't is especially frightening in its intensity, Garcia singing with a desperation that I've heard in few other versions. And this only the end of set one.
Set two is seamless and flawless in every way. Dupree's is perfectly segued into Mountains of the Moon, which is one of the most gorgeous live versions of this song. Mountains, rather than coming to a stop, beautifully moves into Dark Star with the same kind of delicate transition that is heard on the first faded-in moments of Live Dead from 2-27-69. 4-22-69's Dark Star is the longest documented version from 1969, almost clocking in at thirty minutes, even with yet another cut in the master tape before the second verse. Without the cut, who knows how long it actually ran? But length is not the only thing that makes this Star special, it is a very well developed version with lots of emphasis on group improvisation. The spaces stay thematically rooted in Dark Star rather than wandering off into a different type of "jam." 4-22 also has one of the finest complete medleys of Star>Stephen>Eleven>Lovelite, where all four pieces are well developed and the transitions between songs are well negotiated. Stephen and Eleven both soar heavenwards, and the transition into Lovelight is perfect. Lovelight itself also has that extra something, with a full-fledged Caution jam sandwiched in between, and lots of extra rapping from Pig. After this, it's no surprise that the Dead chose not to do an encore.
4-27-69 Labor Temple, Minneapolis MN - Peter Lavezzoli (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This relatively short show is one of the all-time greatest, a worthy follow-up to 4-22-69. This was the first show with an opening and closing Lovelight sandwich, and it is executed perfectly. Pigpen immediately takes control, and the opening Lovelight is one of the finest for extended rapping and jamming, very tight and energetic. The band is playing extremely well as one unit, very unlike the comparatively sloppy performance from the night before (4-26 Chicago). After a full treatment, the opening Lovelight makes a perfectly smooth transition into the first-ever cowboy medley! Me & My Uncle reappears here after being absent from the Dead's songlist since early 1967, and it segues beautifully into Top of the World, which is as tight as the 4-22 version.
The Star>Stephen>Eleven>Lovelight medley ranks with 4-22 as the finest, with all four songs well developed with lots of jamming, and more importantly, the transitions between the pieces are very smooth and enjoyable. Dark Star goes into some spaces here that are similar to the 2-27 Live Dead version. After a full treatment, it winds down delicately to the second verse, which then perfectly moves into Stephen. Stephen>Eleven are both very well played, and the Eleven is especially jammed out and energetic before effortlessly moving into the Lovelight reprise. Pigpen immediately jumps back into the game as if he had never left, and the closing Lovelight is just as developed and exciting as the opening half, with Pig and the band riding the finish to an explosive finale. This is much tighter and better played than the 6-14 Monterey Lovelight sandwich. That show has another fine Eleven, but the rest of it does not measure up to the brilliance of 4-27.
09/19/70 Fillmore East - Jim Hecht (email@example.com)
Recollections of 9/19/70 in Particular and 1970 in General
I attended about 50 shows; the first was 1/2/70 (one of the 3 greatest I ever saw) and the last was in 1981. About 20 of those shows were in 1970. I personally feel, for a number of reasons, that 1970 may have been the peak year of the Dead experience.At least on the east coast, they finally became a stand alone act and from May onwards it was just the Dead (and friends). Even though they lost TC (he left at the end of January, 1970) they still had Mickey and most importantly had a healthy and vibrant Pigpen. As long as they had Pig they had someone who the rest of the band could jam behind without having to sing, and as a bonus, they could properly perform the most joyful song in the Dead experience, Lovelight.
Everything seemed to come together in the September 1970 four day run at the Fillmore East. I had seen them twice while travelling in the summer. Once in Winnipeg, Canada as part of the Trans-Canada Festival. A second time was at the Euphoria Ballroom in San Rafael, CA where Janis Joplin had joined Pigpen onstage during Lovelight. When I returned from summer vacation I found that my fraternity brothers at Columbia had obtained tickets to all 4 shows at the Fillmore East and I would get to go to 3 of them. The first was Thursday, 9/17/90.The other day I listened to the audience cassette tape we made. The band talks like they were returning home (what a shambles this place has become over the summer) they spend many minutes adjusting the monitors and launch into a brand new tune, an acoustic version of Trucking. The song was so new that it received little attraction, although the next night, Friday, the audience is rhythmatically applauding as if part of the crowd had already learned the song. The acoustic sets on all four nights were American Beauty inspired gems with Thursday and Sat ending with End of the Road/Swing Low Sweet Chariot. The songs were new and beautiful, the playing was inspired, and the acoustic sets set the stage each night for the rest of the gig. I don't have a tape of the electric set on Thursday but I do remember thinking that it was really good and I couldnt wait for Saturday. Everyone had a feeling that either Friday (9/18) or Sat (9/19) would be THE night. I was secretly hoping that the Friday show which I wouldn't get to see was their off night. Talking to my friends on Saturday it was apparent that while it was really good it was not the ultimate peak. After the acoustic set on Sat, which I only have a few songs from on tape, the New Riders came on and were perfect. I do have a tape of most of their set and they simply took the audience to the next level from which the Dead were due to depart from. What is noticeable is that Garcia on pedal steel couldn't be held back, a foreshadowing of what was to come. The electric set that night was the best one I was ever at and fortunately my friend was able to record most of the NRPS and the electric set it in its entirety (minus a side change during Lovelight and a few missing bars in Sugar Magnolia and in a drums portion). Some people do not like audience tapes because they are muddy, distant etc. The recording equipment was primative but we were college students after all and certainly couldnt afford small high quality decks. It had to be small and conceilable otherwise Bill Graham's guards would confiscate the tape and sometimes the equipment! The tape was made from about row 15 on the right side of the orchestra and for me it has the audience ambience that soundboards always lack. Furthermore, the audience was fairly well behaved and knew when to stomp and when to be quiet. Back to the concert though. The set started off with Morning Dew which just kept building. The Morning Dew just reminded me of the swirling never resting sea. Garcia was unrestrained and it was clear at this point that the band was "on". Dew ended and I was actually a little disappointed. Not in the playing or how I felt but in the recollection that the best Dead shows were the ones where they didn't stop but just went from one song into another.If they didnt segue, then often after a few filler songs you were back to normal. But this show was different. This was the only time I can think of that each song moved you to a higher level, or at least kept you at the same level, as the previous song. Me and My Uncle kept you up there. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl brought Pigpen out and clearly it was a great night for him. The level notched up. Cold Rain and Snow kept up the momentum. At this point the whole audience was energized. Next came Easy Wind and I doubt they would ever play or had played that song with such an energy level. Sugar Magnolia was probably the perfect choice at that point.It tapped the audiences desire for a rollicking song so that it could sit (or stand at some point) through what was to come next. The Dead played Dark Star-St.Stephin-NFA-Lovelight only a few times on the East Coast; all in the May to Nov period. They only played this sequence a few times at other locations. Prior to 1970 the Eleven was played while at the end of, and after, 1970 NFA often had GTTRFB added which produced a different effect. Suffice it to say that, for me, they never were better (maybe equal in a few cases) on any of those individual songs than they were here. Jamie Johansen has reviewed the SBD of this sequence for Deadbase Forum and I heartily agree. After the concert my friends and I were drained. We agreed that this was THE concert and just hoped that the tape came out. We wandered around the streets of NYC finding ourselves in front of the Deads hotel. We waited around a little and finally took the train back to Columbia. To point out the quality of the weekend I also attended the next night Sunday 9/20. It was definitely not up to the standards of the night before. Yet the Deadbase reviewer seems quite impressed by the available soundboard tape. I would say that 9/19 along with the Boston University Concert on 11/21/70 were the only two where the last line of Samuel Becketts novel Watt is applicable."No symbols where none intended."
9-19-70 Fillmore East - jamie johansen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I've always been a huge fan of music from 1970 and when I got this technically flawless tape I was blown away that this show was not held in such high regard as others form this formidable year. While the set list may not directly catch your eye, I guarentee that the playing will blow your mind away!! My tape begins with the Dark Star I believe is the best ever played (yeah yeah 2-13 and 8-27-72 are excellent). As was common place for this year, the band introduces the theme, and melts into psychedelic bliss. From here, they fall in and out of consiousness with the music almost coming to a stop in several places. Out of these ashes rise a jam that is part Feelin Groovy jam, part heaven. Garcia is merely acting as an instrument by which the music can pour out. Jerry is at his lyrical best, with jams that just put a smile on your face. This Dark Star melts into a rowdy St Stephen that simply puts most other versions to shame. After this comes what I believe is the finest Not Fade Away of all time. As Stephen tapers into oblivion, the drummers begin thier tribal beat. As the band crashes into the song, Phil produces some sound effects with his bass that lets you know that the band means business. You have to listen to the tape to believe the jams that occur within this one song, including a full fledged China Cat jam that is just the pinnacle of this great show. This exhausting version is then followed up by an equally compelling Lovelight with full Pigpen rap. As the band comes to a crashing halt, Jerry yells FUCK!! into the mics, proclaiming he has given his all. What folows is something I have never heard on any other tape. The PA music begins, with the tape still rolling, while the demanding New York crowd clamors for more. Suddenly the crowd erupts as it is apparent that somenone has come back on stage. Unfortunateky for the crowd, it is only Phil and Pig out to tell them that Jerry has seroius cramps and that Bobby has trashed his voice. After the crowd vocalizes their displeasure, a well lubricated Pigpen adds his two cents worth by telling everyone to go home and get some pussy! A truly classic show that needs a full soundboard to accompany what's already out there.
01-01-73 keystone korners in Berkeley - Kaniksu (email@example.com)
I received a tapeof "; merely ol' jer playin with friends at a place called keystone korners in Berkeley, circa 1973. nice stuff, and a much different sound from most of his music". Do you have any information about this jam?
02-21,22-73 Assembly Hall - Univ. of Illinois - Alan Beckman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This was the first of two shows at U of I Assembly Hall. I was a sophomore at the time, my friends and I had somehow gotten advance notice of the shows, and we decided that we would be first in line for tickets. At that time, U of I had two lines for events at the assembly hall: one for small-quantity ticket purchases and the other for block purchases of larger quantities (usually for frats/sororities that wanted to get 50 seats together, for example). We were lucky enough to get the first spot in BOTH lines. They way it worked, the first person or group had to have someone there at all times to keep their place in line and to keep a list of everyone else that was in line. So my friends and I all got our turns to pull night-duty at the Assembly Hall in January, 1973. Those nights were a truly exceptional memory for me - as the word spread about the shows and folks came by to see if a line was started, we got to meet virtually every Deadhead in town and the surrounding area. We'd be out there in the freezing cold (it can get very cold in the winter in Cham-Bana) and people would bring by hot chocolate, tea, blankets and sleeping bags, etc (LOTS and LOTS of etc, as I recall). We'd party all night with whoever came by, and we'd hold a roll call every day at 6:00 PM. "Be there, or your name's off the list", that's how it worked. This went on every day for about a month until the day came for tickets to go on sale. I don't recall how big the venue was for the shows - the Dead insisted that they close off about 2/3 of the Assembly Hall so only the area in front of the stage was open for seating - but our immediate group occupied the first 10 rows or so both nights, and friends of friends had much of the rest of the floor. We decided that the first night would have to be a special event, and what could be more fitting for a special event than top hats and tails for everyone? We went to the local Stallone's Formal Wear on Green Street and told the guy that we wanted to rent something on the order of 20 outfits - the whole nine yards: top hat, tails, spats, canes, capes with red silk lining, etc. They had to search every Stallones in northern Illinois, but they eventually came up with them. I don't know if we turned a few heads as we all came in at once the first night, but I know for a fact that WE had a blast. At one point, my friend Chuck threw his hat up on stage for Jerry, who was right in front of us (stage right), but he wouldn't put it on. Bobby and Phil came over to look at it lying there on the stage, and they stood around it laughing a little, Bobby said something funny and pushed it back over to Chuck with his foot. Later that night, after the show was over and we were among the last to leave the auditorium, a janitor came over and said "I just wanted to let you know you boys looked really SHARP tonight!" We were pumped, that feeling you get after a Dead show and you've been on your feet all night, you're hoarse from screaming your head off all night, the music's still ringing in your ears, and you just want that feeling to go on forever. The second night, I had front row center (right on the aisle) and we still had the first 10 rows or so filled. I heard tapes of that show and I swear I can hear us yelling out between songs. I've only been to about a dozen Dead shows, but these particular shows were among the best times I had at one. I think I may have preferred seeing them at the Fox Theater in St. Louis when Jerry played pedal steel for the New Riders, because of the exquisite venue and Pigpen was still with them, but nothing will replace those memories of seeing them in Champaign!
10/19/73 Oklahoma City Fairgrounds Arena, Oklahoma City, Ok. - Joe T. Fountain (email@example.com)
All I have of this show is what David Gans played on the Grateful Dead Hour back in June 1993 (Show #245). He played Dark Star>Morning Dew, and then, after a commercial, Sugar Magnolia. It is my favorite tape now and makes me wonder about the whole show. Listening to the Dark Star, it's amazing in its "improvised structure." Now I know that sounds like a oxymoron, but that is what comes to mind for me. This Dark Star of course is improvised, but seems almost to have a structured form, resembling a jazz symphony. At some points during the performance, Billy sounds like he is leading the band. A drummer, if he wants to, can really screw up a band by changing the tempo either in a subtle or radical way. For a keen example of that, check out Pete Best's drumming on the June 6th, 1962 version of Love Me Do, contained on the Beatles' Anthology 1. No wonder George Martin insisted that someone else sit in on drums after that, eventually prompting Best's dismissal and Ringo becoming the luckiest man in show business.
But in Billy's case, his superb work on Dark Star is breathtaking. He was In The Zone. Jerry and Phil also shine as well. The band is extremely tight as they glide into one of the best Morning Dews ever. The emotion in Jerry's playing and singing is evident throughout as the song builds to a close. Not one note is wasted.
The Sugar Magnolia that followed saw Bob clearly energized by what came before. It's one of the best versions ever. A great end to one of the best GD Hours. Time to enshrine this show on a Dick's Picks!!
6/26/74 Providence,Rhode Island - Martin Donohoe (Mdonohoe@harris.com)
The second set of this show stands out in my head as one truly blistering set. The band breaks ou with one energetic US Blues followed by Me and My uncle but the true highlight is the China Cat> I know You Rider. Jerry noodles along for several minutes as the rest of the bands contributes lightly to this floating jam before the song even develops. They then break into the China Cat theme and continue to explore it for a while before lyrics are even considered. The transition into I know You Rider is one of the best in My opinion. They jam with an energy that is unparalled. There is a little theme they hit upon that they really only did in '73 and '74 that you can tell Jerry is getting off on. This tape is a Must Have! I have yet to find a decent soundboard copy in circulation. My copy is an audience recording and more than conveys the audiences enthusiasm with this jam. Any decent soundboards please contact me.
Summer 1976 Meadowlands Sports Areana: Willie Nelson,New Riders of the Purple Sage, and The Grateful Dead! - Rick Werner (firstname.lastname@example.org)
20 years ago this summer, the Grateful Dead played the Meadowlands Arena, my first Dead experience !! Wasted was the word..The party in the parking lot was awesome: wine pot food, a true festival. And all at the age of 13..I was truly blessed with older brothers. Robert was indeed a true deadhead,my oldest brother and probably partying right now with Jerry.. Setlistt included, Eyyes of the World, Darkstar, Sugar Magnolias, US Blues, Franklins Tower, Going down the Road Feeling Bad,Johnny B. Good, Playing In the Band, plus 6 hours later of the best show on earth......God this summer is dragging without the Dead!! So Let their be songs to fill the air! Their is a road, no simple highway !! Ripple In Still Water!!!
5-22-77 Sportatorium, Pembroke Pines FL - Peter Lavezzoli (email@example.com)
This show was released as Dick's Picks Volume 3 just months after Garcia's death in 1995. Jerry could not have asked for a finer memorial. This classic May 1977 performance shows Jerry in the best possible light, musically and especially vocally. His voice has never sounded sweeter, and his song selection is all that one could hope for. This is the only Dead show (once the material became divided equally between Jerry and Bobby) where Garcia performs FOUR songs in a row. And what songs they are: Eyes>Wharf Rat>Terrapin>Morning Dew! This is one of Garcia's defining moments, resulting in one of the finest post-retirement GD shows.
The first set opens with triumphant versions of Music Never Stopped and Sugaree, both songs stretched beyond their normal boundaries for the time, and played with an unusual amount of inspiration and precision. Sugaree gives an early indication of where Garcia is headed this night, as he elevates this rendition to dizzying peaks that surpass even the previous version from 5-19. His voice is soulful and expressive, his playing covers the full dynamic range from delicate to explosive. The remainder of the first set benefits from this strong beginning. Every song is played and sung with clarity and energy. Peggy-O is another mid-set highlight, Garcia's solo being especially poignant. El Paso, Minglewood, and FOTD are all graceful and tight. Lazy Lightning>Supplication is another highlight where the band gets to stretch out into some jazz-flavored jamming similar to Playing in the Band. The complex rhythms of the song are negotiated with perfection. Ramble On Rose is another showcase for Garcia's wit and soulfulness. The set ends with one of the definitive "disco" versions of Dancin. Even the dissonant chord changes at the end of the jam are executed effortlessly.
Set two opens with what may be the greatest Help>Slip>Franklin's. In a word, it is perfect. Help on the Way is flawless voocally and instrumentally, and the Slipknot jam hangs together so well, it sounds as if it was composed on paper. Every note from the different players blends together so well, truly a case of musical telepathy. Skeptics need only compare the flow of this version with others from the time, like 5-9-77. This is clearly superior. Franklin's is as joyful here as the Slipknot was dark and brooding. The contrast is brought out very nicely. If you listen carefully towards the end, you will hear Keith playing the piano riff that would be heard years later on Foolish Heart! This H>S>F has stayed with me over the years more than any other version. The set continues with flawless renditions of Samson, BE Women, Good Lovin, and what may be the definitive Sunrise. I've never heard Donna or the band perform this piece better. Then comes the jam that seals this show's unique fate forever. Estimated>Eyes is everything we look for in this pairing: well developed jams from Estimated, with a smooth and barely noticeable transition into an equally well-developed Eyes. Garcia brings the jam out of Eyes down to almost nothing, and the band drops out and leaves him playing alone. For a couple of minutes, we are treated to a lone Garcia ruminating through some achingly beautiful space themes that almost sound like Dark Star at points. Eventually when he has arrived at the appropriate threshold, he brings in Wharf Rat with the band coming in right behind him. Jerry invests himself fully in this Wharf Rat, and the listener gets the feeling that a story is being told. As Wharf Rat drifts outward, we can hear Garcia softly bringing in the riff that comes midway through Terrapin. Within seconds the band picks up on the riff, and what we are given is the one and only performance of Terrapin without Lady With a Fan, coming in with "Inspiration" instead! This brief cameo of Terrapin builds to an explosive peak before a perfect segue into Morning Dew that must be heard to be believed. Phil and Jerry hit the transition together at exactly the right moment. This Morning Dew, fueled by the power and uniqueness of what came before it, is the finest Dew of all time. Once again, one need only compare this version back to back with the revered Cornell version, and one will realize what a shrewd choice Dick Latvala made when this show was picked for release. This Dew reaches down to those fragile silences, and builds to those shattering explosions, like no other version. One indication of this is the intense "fanning" Garcia often does at the end of this song. Here he goes through FOUR full rounds of "fanning" before he is ready to finish. The listener is stunned at this point. We have just heard the best of Jerry Garcia. Sugar Magnolia is the wonderful icing on the cake for an encore. This show is certainly among the top five of all time.
05-09-79 Binghamton - MAS (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I thought it would be a good idea to add a couple of tidbits to the excellent review that appears in Deadbase. I attended many concerts, from 76 on, but this wins out for sheer intensity. The energy level that was built during the Truckin jam was probably the most intense I'd ever seen. The new addition of Brent in the band had the boys very pumped. Its already covered in the previous review how hot it was -- people were passing out and being carried over the barricade at the front of the stage. A couple of other things to add: its now hard to conceive of how incredible it was to hear China-Rider open the 2nd set, after it had been left out of the repetoire in the late 70s and people never thought they'd hear it again. This was a BIG moment. Also, I don't know if it was captured on tape, but at one point Phil came to the mic and, referring to the flannel shirt he was wearing, said "this is a Pigpen Shirt!" Also, I thought it was cool to see Jerry with his hair tied in pigtails like in photos from 73! Alot of these things made it seem like they were now more like they were in the "old" days!
11-30-80 Fox Theater, Atlanta, GA - Doug Foust (email@example.com)
I was furtunate, in my lifetime, to have had the good fortune of reaching 344 "GD" shows (351 if you include "JGB" shows) and survived to tell my story. I would say that many of these shows (at least 30-40) qualify for top ten status. The 84' Greek Dark Star and the 83' Compton Terrace Help on the way are up there, but by far my favorite show has to easily be the Fox Theater show in November 80'. I have always been amazed that this show has never been written up as one of the greats that I have seen before. I suppose that I only have myself to blame for that! This show was my 4th and my 1st as a freshman in college. This venue holds 3500-4500 people. A wonderfully small place which probably explains the fact that it has somehow been missed by many who want to know about the best of the best. I was in school in Wilmington,NC at the time but I was home in Charlotte,NC for the Thanksgiving hollidays so we drove the 3 1/5 Hrs and got to Atlanta with plenty of time to spare. This was quite an event because you would have thought it was Holloween the way everyone was extra dressed in exotic clothing. The hotel accross the street was the place to be before the show. The Fox is a very ornate venue with a foyer of Egyptian and Middle Eastern Decor. Every song was exactly the one I wanted to here at the time. The sound is the best of any other venue, though the Greeks are a close second. Bottom line, the best Scarlet Begonias that I've ever personally seen. The very long spacey Playin', the drums and space - space that was so delicate and sweat into the beautiful "Wheel" and slowest most gentle China doll. The entire second set was out of this world. The encore was the 15-20 min. Uncle John's Band with jerry just sooo blistering I'm still recovering from the experience. I would only say that I have attempted to impart to you the fact that every aspect of this show was amazing. I suggest that you get out a dead base and look at the set list and know that every song on that list was played as good as you will ever see it. The only other comment I will make is that paper at this show was the absolute best and everyone in the place accept a few unfortunate souls were brought to that special place most folks never get to, some lucky few experiece once in a lifetime, but that deadheads through the power of Jerry and the boys were whisked off to many times.
3-9-81 Madison Square Garden, New York City - Peter Lavezzoli (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This show is one of the strongest from the 80s, and my favorite from the benchmark year of 1981. 3-9-81 has an edge and intensity that is worlds away from the relatively lackluster acoustic/electric shows from Radio City just five months earlier. The band opens with a burning Stranger, with Garcia's guitar so loud and angry in the mix that the listener will be stopped in their tracks by the sheer force of it. Jerry continues to be dominant and powerful with Althea>CC Rider. Bobby's vocals on the latter simply growl with emotion. Ramble On is another searing performance from Jerry. His solo here is so biting and prominent, loud and forceful, that one begins to wonder what is on his mind this evening! His vocals are equally powerful, and this is one of the greatest versions of Ramble On. El Paso, Deep Elem, and BIODTL all continue this trend: the band on fire, Garcia leading the way with an angry and powerful edge. His intensity cools down for Bird Song, but only somewhat: this is one of the heavier versions, with lots of impressive jamming and explosive peaks. The set closing Minglewood features Brent sing a pitch-bend on his synthesizer to sound like Eddie Van Halen on lead! Strange...
There is no denying the power of this China>Rider. The jam between songs is stetched out to epic proportions before Jerry is ready to relent, and Rider itself continues to reach explosive peaks. Samson comes right on Rider's heels, and this is another scorcher. This band is completely on fire, nothing about this show is run-of-the-mill. Even Ship of Fools is given a poignant and powerful treatment by Jerry. Estimated is sinister and brooding, well developed in the jam as it reluctantly surrendurs to Uncle John's Band, which is a beautiful contrast of emotion. UJB takes its time winding its way into Drums, but not before we hear a brief China Doll tease. After an exciting Drums and Space, we get one of the most powerful post-retirement versions of Other One. This is one of the high points of the show. Phil drops four rolling bombs during the course of the song, and Jerry's leads are simply burning with psychedelic fury. This is raw power. Another perfect contrast of feeling, Other One winds down perfectly into one of the most heart-wrenching versions of Stella Blue ever. This is pure Jerry at his soulful best. As the closing jam builds to a peak, there is a brief tease of the Wheel before Bobby launches the band into Good Lovin, which tears the roof off Madison Square Garden. Even US Blues is unusually powerful. This show deserves much wider circulation and praise. After the low energy ups and downs of the Radio City run, this is more like it. One of the best whole shows of the 80s.
1981 The Alladin Theater, Las Vegas, NV - Valerie Stevenson (email@example.com)
Hitchhiked from smelLA, took hours just to get outside of LA, then got a ride from a trucker all the way. Arrived at the Aladdin Hotel & Theater the day before the show with $2 in my pocket, sat down at Table No. 23 and wagered my $2 on a hand of black jack. Didn't leave the table for 36 hours, they had to pry me away to go into the show (a mere 50' from the table, if that). Had pockets full of chips, I realized while I was in the show. The theater was gorgeous and sound equally wonderful. When the show ended they funneled the crowd into the casino as they do for all shows in Vegas....for some reason.......BOOOOOOMMMMMMM!!!!!!.......you had a casino filled with hundreds of TR*PP*NG (buy a vowel) Dead Heads who starting playing whatever. No one seemed to care about winning or losing, everyone was having fun. The bit bosses had a very hard time handling this. I returned to Table No. 23 with a group of my compadres and wound up spending four wonderful days in Vegas. I hitchhiked back to LA with just a few dollars in my pocket and many incredible memories forever etched in my brain, as though it were just yesterday. A wedding, the wallpaper, my first tank at a show and the wallpaper, another world.......And so it goes.......
The following and final year at the Aladdin they funneled the crowd onto the street.
08-21-81 Jerry Garcia Band, Fairfax, VA - Springblown (firstname.lastname@example.org)
All I can say about this excellent sounding low-gen audience tape is 'get it.' Not only is the clarity fine -- the audience never gets in the way of the music, yet adds to the enthusiasm level -- but the performance is first rate. Personally, I've always thought the '81/'82 incarnation of the JGB was the best ever: Garcia of course, plus Melvin Seals on organ, Jimmy Warren on electric piano/clavinet, Daoud Shaw (former Van Morrison musician) on drums, his then wife, former Mother of Invention, Essra Mohawk on backing vocals (in my opinion, the best vocalist Jerry ever employed... and an amazing singer/songwriter in her own right, and Liz Stires, also on backing vocals. Now, how about this for you? The one and only Phil Lesh sat in for John Kahn on bass this evening! I don't have the tape right here in front of me, so I won't mention the song list -- I forget it actually! -- but let me just say that every song has that something extra that makes for an amazing performance. Perhaps it was Phil pushing Jerry a little furthur. Perhaps it was the combo of Seals and Warren on organ and electric piano that provided some extra oomph. Or, perhaps it was just the product of extremely tight ensemble playing with *GREAT* vocals; accented by some superb harmonizing by Liz and Essra (especially Essra). Perfect example: Essra's scatting improvisations during the guitar solos within "I'll take a Melody." Fantastic!!!
10-31-83 marin auditorium - tim provost (email@example.com)
If any deadheads out there were blessed enough to see the Dead in their own backyard you'll agree that it was a cool thing. I remember seeing Kruetzmann drive into the parking lot as if this show was a stopover on the way home. Due to a connection of my older brother's, we had seats in the seventh row center. Of course, being that it was Halloween just added to the excitement. Two songs I'll never forget. My first and only St. Stephen and Revolution in the 146 Dead shows that I was fortunate enough to attend. I miss the Dead but the music never stops in my head.
7/6/84 Alpine Valley in East Troy Wisconsin - Ronnie Rosenberg (Ronnie@virtual.com)
Dear fellow Dead-Heads,
On July 6th, 1984 I saw "one" of the most memorable shows ever! The first set went as follows: Aiko-Aiko,Jack Straw, Big Railroad Blues,Red Rooster,Candyman, Me & My Uncle, Mexicalli Blues,Bird Song, Let it Grow! The second set went as follows: China-Cat,I Know You Rider, Ship of Fools, Women are Smarter, Drums,Space,Dear Mr. Fantasy,Other One,Black Peter,Do It In The Road, (Around & Around Tease/Mistake) Sugar Magnolia///Encore:Touch of Grey Let me tell evryone how well played this show was.1984 was a time when camping was not only allowed but encouraged. Alpine was the perfect place to camp. It was like DEAD-SUMMER-CAMP! Alpine was the closest I've ever come to experiencing woodstock first hand. Wide spread open fields surrounded by corn and forests was the setting. The weather was beautifull and we were juiced ready to go.If you don't have this tape you must get it. One of the best Aiko's opened the show; if you listen to the tape you'll here Brent, Bobby, and Jerry screamimg at the top of their lungs "HEY-NOW"---"HEY-NOW" at the end of the song. The rest of the set flowed beautifully. To close the 1st set with Bird Song followed by Let It Grow was amazing. Seriously these two songs take up at least half the tape on the second side. The second set was just as amazing! A killer China-Rider to open with Jerry belting the headlight verse. Ship of fools was pretty and women are smarter was fun, but the best part of the set came after space. Out of space they flowed into a raging Dear Mr. Fantasy sung by Jerry and Brent. This transitioned into the Other One which was all over the map with Phil busting bombs that made the head spin. A terrific and inspired black peter wound down the other one. After Peter came a big surprise. Phil steps up to the mike and belts out"Why Don't we do it in the Road" WOW! The band is really having fun with this one; "no-one will be watching us..." As they milk every drop out of the beatles cover Jerry does the intro for Around & Around, but then stops and walks off stage for a sec, comes back and they proceed to do one of those very enthusiastic and energetic Sugar Mags with an explosive ending. Touch was the encore which at that time was relatively new. What a show! Everyone must also know that the next night(7-7-84) was equally spectacular. The highlight was the entire second set------Samson & Delilah,Cold Rain & Snow, a wicked Playin(listen to Phil on this one), China-Doll, Drums, Space, Terrapin, Throwing Stones,Not Fade Away, Lovelight(this was the lovelight comback since Europe 81' I believe),
6/15/85 Greek Theater in Berkely Cal. - Ronnie Rosenberg (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dear fellow DeadHeads,
On June 14-16th the grateful dead were celebrating their 30th anniversary, and since I hadn't seen a California show I decided to celebrate with the dead at the Greek Theater in Berkely California. What a venue the Greek Theater was. It was small, intimate, and offered total general admission seating. We ended up sitting about 8th row for the show on the 15th and the 16th. After opening the 2nd set the night before with Morning Dew, busting out 1st set irregulars like dancing in the streets and Keep on Growing, and bringing back Stagger Lee I knew the show for the 15th would be spectacular. The 2nd set for the 15th was simply awesome----one the best played sets I've seen. It was one of the shows where it wasn't how the set list looked, but how it was played that mattered. The 2nd set for 6/15/99 went as follows: China Cat, I know you Rider, Lost Sailor, Saint of Circumstance, Terrapin Station,Jam, Drums,Space,Wheel,Gimme some Lovin,Throwing Stones,Not Fade Away Double Encore---------->She's An Artist,---------->U.S. Blues If you don't have this 2nd set it's a must due to the energy of this show. All songs are well played crackling with energy!The China-Rider moves beautifully with a nice extended jam in the middle that builds to a climax. Then they played a flawless and inspiring Lost Sailor/ Saint of Circumstance that had all the markings of perfection. After Saint, Jerry started Terrapin which nicely capped off the beginning of the 2nd set. At the end of Terrapin the band continued with an eerie and flowing jam untill Drums took over. Listen to the end of space where Jerry plays as sweet as can be moving towards the Wheel followed by Phil and Brent rocking the house with Gimme Some Lovin,and then--->Throwing Stones,and Not Fade Away. After that set the band came out and followed with U.S. Blues and left the stage. I remember the audience giving the band the band huge ovations for"more,more..." I also remeber thinking"could they do a second encore?" and sure enough a few minutes later they came out and did 'She's An Artist' for the second encore. What A show! However don't forget to get a copy of the following night's second set. 6/16/85, the second set is truely amazing-----(The first set is great too) Set 2 went as follows--->Scarlet,Fire,Samson and Delilah,the full Other One with Cryptical,Drums,Space,Goin down the road,Miracle,Wharf Rat,Lovelight Encore-------->Brokedown Palace
11-1-85 Coliseum: Richmond, VA - Patrick Tiedemann (email@example.com)
The headlines in the local papers the morning after this two night stand made it clear that the city of Richmond had not been so up in arms over an invasion since Lee retreated and Grant marched in the Yankee army. But there was a reason the city had exploded over the past two nights. The Dead played a pair of smokers that caused a jubilant elation among those in attendence that spilled over into the streets and hotels. The wildest, funnest hotel scenes I ever saw in all my years on the road occured on these nights in Richmond, and the shows were the cause. 11-1-85 was the crown jewel in a milestone year for the band. After a LONG tune-up Bob, Brent and the Jer Man rocked out a DANCIN' that set the trend for the rest of the weekend, with Jerry doing alot of the fast licks that you often had to wait till the second set for. The COLD RAIN to follow was just the right groove to keep up the dancing. The rest of the first set had a decidedly southern/down home theme with ROOSTER (Bob on slide guitar), STAGGER LEE, ME & MY UNCLE>BIG RIVER, BROWN EYED, JACK STRAW, and a be-boppin' DON'T EASE to end a high quality first set. The second set made this Friday one of the great nights in the history of the Dead. You may not think so from looking at the list, but listen to a good tape, or talk to someone who was there, and this was up there at the top. One major highlight was the UNIQUENESS of the set list up until that point, the number of new songs or oldies that were making a return that corresponded in this one show. Also the QUALITY of the music was superb- crisp guitar and keyboards, booming base, a strong backbeat fro Bill and Micky- making the combo of sweet, flawless Jerry balads, (completed by his ability to still hold the high sung notes in '85) and rockin' rollin' party jams classic versions of each and every number. The appearence of HIGH TIME, COMES A TIME (back in the lists after 5 years), and SHE BELONGS to ME (making a comeback that year after 1500 shows) in one set was an unheard of treat. Jerry was just in that rare mood to pull out all the treats in his bag, and he delivers them with genuine feeling. He was an artist with a gift to give that night. Bob broke up a haunting LOST SAILOR/SAINT for the first time around the DR/SP. Another double whammi occurred with Phil belting out GIMME SOME LOVIN' (only a year old) and the show-stoppin', crowd-(and Bobby)-screamin' GLORIA encore, (only the 4th time it was played, and the last for quite some time). DAY JOB ended a two song encore and a two hour second set. The faces of the crowd as the Coliseum cleared were similar to the faces of the crowd on 10-9-89, flushed, excited, and satisfied. No matter how far we had come and what we had expected, that crowd was convinced they had received a gift and been a part of a rare event: the DEAD on a peak night!
07-10-87 JFK Stadium, Phila., PA - Brandon Lagana (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This show was truly one that kept me guessing. It was part of the Dead & Dylan summer tour-- most shows inlcuded 2 Dead sets and one with Dylan. This day/night in Philly had a very strange, but beautiful combination of first and second sets. From the Aiko opener to LLRain (during which I found myself under the make shift wooden sprinkler system in the Phil Zone), things seemed pretty normal. Then came Terrapin> Drumz>.... Without a break and like a taper mixing up the sets on a tape the Dead managed to combine a first and second set into only one set!
The last half of the Dead's set was amazing live! It included Black Peter and Around 'n' Round. It was great seeing Dylan, especially with the Dead and seeing Jerry on Steel Peddal guitar was a treat. It was difficult for Dylan to break the sound barrier above the Dead, but they truly rocked with a delicasy and mutual respect that made for a warm evening of smiles!
03-26-88 Coliseum, Hampton VA - andrew (email@example.com)
"...the East Coast in March. What will the weather be like?" Well, I drove from NYC to Hampton, VA in a Toyota, accross the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, through driving rain. It turns out that the $9 toll was worth the trip. On saturday morning, the sky held on to the clouds. It seemed as if it would be a wet one. Much to our surprise, the sun poked through the grey blanket above and the parking lot became alive. We started to enter the coliseum @ 6:30pm within a herd of fellow heads. The herd grew restless. Pushing and shoving, Virginia, mounted police, yocals, XXX, and the fear of "the search." Hampton's floor has no seats. The second level has seats (but no assignments.) "Got to get in to get my space." That was: UP FRONT, AS CLOSE TO THE MOUTH AS POSSIBLE! For others: a seat 45degrees off stage. You see, a seat had high value come intermission. I could've cared less about intermission. We started about 15feet back, right on Jerry.
Typical Bucket>Sugaree theme, but solid. The Ultrasound was powerful close-up. 18"s off to our right make all the difference. At this point we noticed we were hearing Mickey's ride in person, rather than through the system. It's a wonder if Jerry died deaf. Never heard him through the system. You could say he was a bit loud on stage. Bobby starts with this Stir it Up thing. Things seemed to get weird as I looked back at all of the dancing. "What kind of show is this going to become?" Minglewood. Then Fennario. Always a pleaser. Good Mexicali>Big River. Row Jimmy was another winner. This was slowly becoming Jerry's night. Then bobby slammed in with his new Dylan: Memphis BLues. Might As Well firmly concluded the first set. Very satisfying. We stood through the intermission. Dozens in front of us left for seats or eats. We moved up 10 feet or so. By the start of Chinacat, I was leaning on the black wall in front of the stage, a Jerry look-a--like to my right. China cat>Rider was powerful, emotional. Everything seemed perfect. What next? Playin>Uncle John's with stupendous harmonies. drums space: Freakyness. Brent and PHil pound out a Gimme Some Lovin'. Here is Jerry Times now. Wheel, Watchtower into "the" most heart felt Black Peter. Sweat dripping off his head. He was indeed rockin'. (Got a great view of his shoes!) An appropriate Sat. NIght to end the show. Heaven's Door always leaves me with a feeling that I want more. So I returned SUN for another front row session of super-classic grateful dead.
7/14/90 Foxboro Stadium,Foxboro,MA - Roger (WALSRE87@BUFFALOSTATE.EDU)
Question,what do you do when you have been on tour for a week and you go home because the boys are coming to town in 72 hours? Thats easy, you drive 500 miles east to see them in Foxboro. We arrived at 5:30am and the lot did not open until 8. It was a hot sunny day with no clouds or humidity. Drinking at 9am might seem a little much but sometimes the situation calls for drastic measures. Time took on new meaning. From "It's only 12?" to "It's already 4?".The first set was solid but unspectacular. The second set was why I went to shows.After a amazing and quite danceable Take a step, they played the most summertime sounding Eyes I ever heard. Each segment of it had a laid back feel of a 75 degree day. Estimated had a similar feel as Bobby exhibited a firey restraint.The post-space I will take you home> Miracle>GDTRFB>Throwing stones>Lovelight is a testament as to how good Jerry and Brent worked together as players. The double encore of Last time>Bid you goodnight says it all.Although I have seen better overall shows I feel that the summer of 1990 was the last sustained creative peak of the band.Brent was sorely underrated and Jerry sounds very unobstucted.The next show in Buffalo was better overall,but Foxboro setII stands as a monster. Those who were in attendence I'm sure will agree.
7/16/90 Rich Stadium Orchard Park,N.Y. - Roger (firstname.lastname@example.org)
To start,it is only appropriate to mention the ride home from the previous show in Foxboro.The ride home consisted of running out of gas,being enveloped in a fog storm with little to no visibility and helpful Deadheads who got us gas.Of course, all this was told to me by my friends because I fell asleep pulling out of the lot in Mass. and got up in Batavia,N.Y. 30 miles East of Buffalo.The hometown show is always special and this was no exception.The weather continued to be outstanding and I was thrilled to see no overreaction by the county cops on patrol. After agreeing to go in for CSN with my then girlfriend whose decision to get smashed made her all the more a pain in the ass, we found some good seats across from the stage and I got happy with my new found friends seated around us.A very good first set with a wild Let IT Grow. 10 song set as opposed to the 6 song first set in Mass. For the second straight show the second set tore the place up. Starting with a together Sugar Mag that melted perfectly into Scarlet. At one point, the band was actually playing both songs at once!Wow, now that's the way to start a set. Women are Smarter came next with a heavy island feel to it and it gave way to a very soulfully sung Ship of Fools.After a second of silence to band launched into Truckin much to the delight of all the hometown heads.The jam after was a jaw dropper, spiriling Jerry licks and earthy Phil bass lines. Laughing Drums came next and unfortunately I missed it because my then girlfriend wolk up and wanted to go back to the car. I walked her back to the lot, locked her in the car, and grabbed a few beers and headed back in since the gates were open.Space slowed into a Brent ladend Wheel. Wheel fell inoto a rowdy Gimmie Some Lovin with everyone ripping. Wharf Rat started as it's slow self but Jerry lit a fire underneath it and they rolled into a rockin Around and Around.Again, the level of playing was so crisp and clear that it sounded like a orchastra in the form of a garage band. Brokedown was the fitting encore as much post-show fun awaited.Aaah, the Summer of 1990 will always be such a classic tour with great playing and lots of fun times. I really miss them.
7/18/90 Deer Creek, Noblesville, IN. - Patrick Russell (Rumi68@aol.com)
Now that all is said and done, I can honestly tag this first night at Deer Creek in 1990 as my favorite overall live Dead experience. I had seen my first show on the previous New Years run, as well as catching several Spring Tour shows, so the whole thing was still fresh and magical for me. This particular show took place right before my senior year at Butler University in Indianapolis, so it had the added charm of being just up the road a piece from my house. My roommates were into the Dead as well, so between us we had at least a dozen or two people crashing on the floor. Well, anyhow, we caravanned out to Deer Creek and hit the lot. I was taking a young lady who meant the world to me to her first show and had a good feeling about what we might see. The whole bunch of us had been talking about hearing a Help>Slip>Franklin's and I was personally expecting a China>Rider due to the fact that my car had been stuck behind a rather slow-moving Ryder van on the way to the venue. (That was one of my favorite things about going to shows... learning to riff off of all the goofy omens & portents that tended to pop up!) So anyway, once inside my lady friend and I set up our blanket and I just sat there watching her dig the whole thing. The lads came out just as the sun was starting to dip low over the stage. And sure enough, they exploded into a big ol' green, pink and blue Help>Slip! They cruised through Slipknot flawlessly, then took a big breath and bounced on into Franklin's Tower. Lea Ann was really having a blast... totally glowing. A snakey Minglewood followed, after which Lea Ann told me, "That was TOTALLY different from the one you put on my tape! MUCH better!" to which I replied, "Hell, it's probably really different from the one they did last WEEK!" We then heard a beautiful Peggy-O (one of the first songs I heard in my life, since my Mom used to play it on her guitar when I was a baby...) followed by ol' houn' dog Brent rolling out what would be his last Easy to Love You. I always liked that one. Next up was a Masterpiece that floated out over the late afternoon haze like dandelion fuzz. By the time Jerry started finger picking a Brown-Eyed Women, they had somehow succeeded in taking the deep-space fusion energy they generated with Slipknot and turned it into a big ol' party of a hay-ride! Well, right about then, they slid into the one song that Lea Ann was really hoping to hear... Cassidy! And they took that hay-wagon right back out around the belt of Orion! And then it was right back to the barn again with a burnin' hot Deal to close the set. We just collapsed on the blanket and spent the set-break talking about what we'd heard and seen and how it related to her ideas on other dimensions and the spirit world and all that good stuff. We also noticed a shiny-shoed type fella in a crispy new tie- dye who had spent the entire first set facing away from the stage with his arms crossed scanning the crowd like a radar dish. Lea Ann nudged me and said "Watch this!" and sidled up to the guy. "Excuse me, officer," she asked sweetly,"do you know what time it is?" Well, his face got beet-red, he glared at both of us, and walked away muttering to himself. We laughed and high-fived each other just as the lights went down for set two. China>Rider it was!! And in classic new-head style, right as they started singing the first verse of Rider, Lea Ann said in amazement,"I didn't even hear them switch from one song to the next! How did they DO that?" Musically, this China>Rider was excellent, with Brent and Jerry really playing off each other well. Listening to the tape, I still can't believe that Brent was gone a week later. Looks Like Rain was beautiful, with Jerry sending a twinkling little star shooting through the intro right before Bobby "woke today." Too bad they didn't use this version on Without A Net. Out of the rumbling thunder at the end of the song came the first loping chords of Terrapin Station. It soared up into the warm July stars on eagle's wings, and the coda danced a figure eight around us for what seemed like forever before dropping into a jam that had shades of I Know You Rider mixed with a taste of The Other One. Yet another of those classic 1990 pre-drums jams where they played on definite themes rather than just noodling. After a few minutes of drums, there was a big equipment fart out of which came some absolutely demented laughter which Healy swung around and around the theatre over a wash of icicle-like bells and keys. The boys came out and continued the space in similar Galactic Core fashion, and all I could think was,"They've GOT to bring this into The Other One!! Nothing else will do this justice!" Well, during one quiet moment Brent started trying to nudge the rest of the band into I Will Take You Home, and my mind started screaming,"No!NO!! Not THAT! I love the song, but NOT NOW!! Cut it out!" Fortunately, none of the rest of the lads seemed to be buying it, and the Other One began to coalesce out of the chaos. I started to lose my shit ever so slightly at this point, and Lea Ann asked what was up. "They're gonna do The Other One!" I answered. "WHAT other one?" she asked. Right then, Phil turned way up and rolled into a thermonuclear BOMB!! "THAT Other One!" I yelled. "Ohh..." This was the most intense Other One I ever had the fortune to hear. Phil was pretty much using the intro roll as his bass line for the whole song, the rest of the band was spiralling around one another, and at one point they got onto a James Bond Theme riff for a few seconds.Lea Ann and I both swore we saw spirits doing backflips over the heads of the audience, and we were dead sober! This was a HUGE version, and afterwards,the lads floated down into the only number that would have fit right then... Morning Dew! This one was even more massive than the Other One, and they put everything they had left into the jam at the end. I recently played this one for an older friend of mine who's a die hard Cornell '77 fan, and he just sat there with his jaw dropping (as mine did during the show...) and afterwards agreed that it was right up there near Cornell. Say what you will about that comparison, but Jerry did take a big, deep bow after the last chord. We were all exhausted. I almost expectedthem to blow off the encore, but they came back out anyway. As the first chords rang out, I yelled "Mighty Quinn" just as Lea Ann yelled "Casey Jones." The intro did resemble both songs somewhat, but ended up being "The Weight" First time I'd heard them do it, and I've gotta say that it was the perfect way to cool off after that apocalyptic post-space. Afterwards, I asked Lea Ann what she thought. She just smiled.
09-04-91 Coliseum, Richfield Oh. - John Zei (JSZEI@MEGSINET.NET)
This was quite a show and quite an experience. We drove in from Chicago and we're ready to see a show which marked the first venue Vince played with the Dead. I hooked up with an old friend who hooked me up...By showtime i was floored. This was a wise idea since this was the best show I have ever experienced. Mine was a religious experience in the trueist sence of the word. The first set was tight, and a good beggining for what would follow. Let The Good Times Roll, and they rolled up to a nice Jack Straw. By this time it became apparent that Bruce was making an extra effort to contribute. Jack A Roe nicely moved into a Walking Blues. I realised why this song was written and conveyed to my friend that it was about "Walking from relationship to relationship." Ahh. Friend was well played but then came the Black Throated. Bobby was on. His rhythm was in sync which helped this show kick into high gear. Tennessee... Ain't no place, except tonight. Solid Masterpiece. Cold Rain and Jerry started to cook. Cold Rain -> Promised!!! What year is this? Jerry's on, Bobby's on, Bruce is stepping on the keys. The whole band is running like a well oiled machine. The Promised Land kicked the doors down. But this was just the beginning. Second Set. This Scarlet-> Fire is the best of the 1990's. Jerry takes each note to a screeching peak. The transition between songs was smooth and creamy. Jerry took his sweet time working into Fire, extending the jams to their fullest. The band just got tighter with Bobby's rhythm and Bruce's key sweeping. The sound in the Coliseum was loud. Hats off to Healy on this one. Estimated followed which was like watching the news after the Super Bowl. It was Jerry all the way. He's Gone was sweet and extended into a long and melodic a capella. Drums->Space. I know this show by heart. I've listened to it so many times it's become a mantra. Pick up your China Doll. Mine was fractured and I began to weep. Lessons to be learned. The Wheel is turning and it won't slow down. Bobby gets ahead of himself on Throwing Stones and muffs the lines, but as much as they seem to screw up the vocals they make up for it in music. Not Fade Away. I know my love will not fade away. The Weight was the finale of my first religious experience at a Dead show and my fourth year of being a head. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.
10-31-91 Oakland Coliseum Arena - Paul Cerra (email@example.com)
Nineteen Ninety-One was one heck of a ride for the Grateful Dead. It began with Vince Welnick still getting used to his role as keyboardist. The year saw all sorts of notable musical happenings, such as the return of New Speedway Boogie and a first-set Dark Star in August. Unfortunately, this year also saw the very untimely death of Uncle Bobo, Mr. Bill Graham. It was more-or-less because of his death that 1991 would see the last of the New Year's shows. The Grateful Dead had finished up an outstanding set of shows in Boston and New York in September of this year and had a month off before a four-night stand would begin back home in Oakland.
The first show was scheduled for Sunday, October 27th, but everyone was excited about the Halloween show. This was a tough ticket to get. If you mail-ordered, it wasn't hard, but you could detect the enthusiasm easily enough: my mail-order ticket was #6744, and I sent in my order on the first day! I also got tickets for the Sunday show. At the time, I lived just over 200 miles from Oakland, so I had two separate road trips planned to accomodate those two shows. October was filled with anticipation, but sometimes reality intrudes even when the Grateful Dead are involved. First, I came down with a terrible cold, and I knew I'd have to skip the Sunday show.
Secondly, and much more notably for the rest of the world, Bill Graham perished in a helicopter crash. This news just seemed to find us, wherever we were. No one seems to remember how they first heard it; it was as if the bushes and floorboards whispered about the tragedy. It was like Obi-Wan Kenobi sensing "a great disturbance in the force." And it hurt! A number of us gathered, for whatever reason, at my house. Even with my cold, my senses were not dulled enough to miss the import of the news. Graham had been intertwined with the Grateful Dead since... since... well, since the 1960's, we knew! Memories poured forth and landed on the table like spilled wine.
There was this duality with Graham. Some older Deadheads remembered Graham as "mean" -- a guy who was rude to the crowd, a guy who had an iron rule and didn't care who suffered. Those same heads remembered Graham as a man who cared about the music and the scene and was passionate about making it as good as it could be. Everyone knew that Graham and the Dead were tight, and any friend of the Dead was a friend indeed.
After the reminiscing was over, a concern arose: would the shows go on? A phone call to the Oakland Coliseum produced the news that, yes, the shows were still on. Nevertheless, a strange air fell over us. What did this all mean? How would the band react? My cold was bad enough to cause me to miss the Sunday show. I gave my ticket to a head named Dave Nielsen. Nielsen, sporting a head of long wild blond hair, practically snatched the ticket out of my hand and bounded away to the truck with a gleam in his eye: Grateful Dead, Dead ahead! He promised a full report upon his return. I almost wished that Nielsen hadn't returned. Back then, the internet wasn't quite the force it was nowadays, and posted reviews and setlists weren't always timely, complete, or accurate. Nielsen phoned me the next morning to boast that Carlos Santana AND Gary Duncan had sat in with the Grateful Dead. So much for the question of how the band would react to Bill Graham's death.
Over the following days, we heard reports of the Monday and Wednesday shows, and they weren't notable. In fact, most people reported that the shows were decidely average and unremarkable. Reports aside, Thursday saw plenty of activity around my dwelling. The application of makeup for costumes; the packing of ice chests; the procuring of small quantities of certain substances. In particular, we fortified ourselves with "ants." At this time and all during the summer in Central California, blotter acid on light-brown paper was making the rounds. Imprinted with a single black ant, "ants" were the rage because they were cleaner than anything that had come around in years. They didn't have the power, the visuals of liquid. They didn't have the cartoonish mystery of other blotter... mickey mouse, TNT, orange suns. What "ants" had was consistent purity that made it impossible to ever decide how strong or how weak they were. You could take half a blotter hit and fall asleep two hours later; you could take one and one third hits of blotter and watch the hills melt into puddles of fiery liquid.
The drive to Oakland was uneventful; as usual, we got there around 3:00 and found the parking lot had already been open for some period of time. The standard vehicles were already parked... the great big buses, the VW camper vans, the four-wheel drive vehicles flying flags. Exiting our vehicle, we descended into a stream of costumed people... oh yeah, it was Halloween! My cold had left me, the air was cool but not chilly, the Grateful Dead were in Oakland for Halloween and not London... all was well! (You'll recall that one year prior to this date, the Dead had been on tour in Europe, where they played Werewolves of London as the encore at the Halloween show in London.) The hiss of nitrous oxide tanks echoed around us. Cars raced from the parking lot gates and filled in the spots around us. The sun was descending in the California sky. Skateboard wheels clicked on cracks in the asphalt. Various vendors, some costumed, some not, some ALWAYS costumed, approached us to sell us beer, veggie burritos, fatty eggrolls... and mushrooms, lots of mushrooms. But we had "ants." And did we ever had "ants." The question was how many "ants" to ingest. I'd been gobbling this stuff for most of the summer and was used to it, so I happily took my share... of two. Wisely, I cut one in half... two "ants" and your world could fall away, and we also had plenty of beer to drink and several eighths of incredible California and Oregon Indica. This was not the night to go overboard before even getting into the show!
The decision was made to go and stand in line. Our crew was a foursome. The obvious leader was Hasan (accent on the first syllable), owner of the truck that ferried us to the show. The loudest and most boisterous was Chris, and there was NO WAY that Chris was only going to eat one and a half "ants." Chris was a two-ant man, and he made sure that Hasan followed his lead. (So who's the leader?) Phil was the veteran of the most shows... he'd been going for ages. I brought up the rear. Fittingly, I was voted to go and stand in line. I had only juts reached the line when the rest of my crew arrived, toting beers. We played cards in line until we were let in.
The line at the Oakland Coliseum is notoriously well-organized and disciplined. People do cut in line but usually pay the price of some verbal harrassment for doing so. The line starts in the parking lot in an area demarcated by ropes and the presence of yellow-jacketed security guards. But these weren't Cap Centre or Meadowlands 'jackets; these were guards who worked for Uncle Bobo. The late Uncle Bobo. The line eventually reaches the ramps that wind up to the entrances of the Coliseum Arena. There, police and yellow-jackets let groups of 'heads up the ramp before cordoning off the flow and making the rest of the line wait for a minute or two. It's very orderly and no one ever really pushes or shoves. Beers get dusted; pipes get stowed; tickets get checked. This night, as we reached the top of the ramp and stood in another mini-line to have our backpacks checked, we heard the voice of a female Graham-guard: "we're only checking for bottles and cans. DON'T WORRY, we're not looking for your drugs. We don't care if you have drugs." We missed Bill Graham really badly at that moment.
Inside, controlled chaos reigned. Volleyball was being played in a cleared area at the far back of the floor. Even though we'd been in line relatively early, we'd underestimated the Oakland crowd; there must have been a good three thousand people in there already. The floor was already half filled. This was realized with a bit of alarm, and so we clambered down the stairs to the floor. After gazing around and realizing that we'd lost our chance at the better positions, we took a position exactly in line with the soundboard against the white line that marked the end of the floor and the beginning of an imaginary aisle. That aisle would have remained imaginary if not for the Oakland police and Graham's yellowjackets, who politely but firmly, we knew, would keep it clear.
It's difficult to really put the magnitude of this show into words. It is one of the strangest things I've ever experienced. Sure, "ants" probably had a lot to do with that. And the infusion of Indica helped blast away any lingering fragments of reality that had tried to attach themselves to me. Still, it wasn't until second set that it REALLY got stranger. Scarlet->Fire + Truckin' is how the second set began. It was pointed out by Hasan, who could barely speak, that this is exactly how the Dead had opened their second set in London one year ago. Hasan was practically giddy with the satisfaction that the Dead would play Werewolves tonight! Chris was so cooked on "ants" that I couldn't help but grin... normally headstrong and sure, Chris was looking a bit like he'd bitten off more than he could chew, and Truckin' was not helping matters. Phil hadn't said a word since halfway through the setbreak, but that was normal. Phil could have eaten five "ants" and you wouldn't have known the difference.
Now, I'm pretty short and our position on the floor wasn't the best, so I couldn't figure out why the crowd was going so wild as Truckin' ended and Spoonful began. Eventually I saw why... someone new was onstage, some guy with a guitar! From halfway back on the floor with the power of "ants", it looked like a chimney sweep. That didn't seem right, but with the Grateful Dead, knowledge always finds you. And it did this time, as it always did. Someone in our group gleaned the knowledge from a fellow who'd been here on Sunday night that the chimney sweep was Gary Duncan.
A pause after Spoonful gave way to the opening sounds of Dark Star. Dark Star had been in the rotation for awhile now, so it wasn't the surprise of a lifetime. Especially since it had been played twice in Boston. Still, this doesn't diminish the excitement! High fives slapped around our heads. Pipes and other smoking apparatus appeared in the hands of every other person. The ceiling, already filled with a haze and looking to be two thousand miles away, disappeared beneath the resulting cloud. Excitement was so palpable that Scooby Doo and Shaggy could have cut donuts out of it. Heck, if I'd had a knife, I'd have tried it myself. Dark Star crashes. It was a great night. Dark Star filled our heads and our souls. I watched bliss spread across the faces of my friends.
Just as suddenly, a man appeared on stage to remove that bliss. A tall man. The music got scary. Phil's bass suddenly sounded meaner, scarier. The bliss was gone. The knowledge found us again. I could barely see the tall man over the heads of the equally tall people in front of me, but yet his image found my eyeballs and stayed there. The knowledge came unto us that this was Ken Kesey, and he was hear to remind us that we were at a funeral. Uncle Bobo was dead and there was no time for bliss. Kesey rambled his ragged rap as the music pulsed behind him. Like a storm, the music began to rage as Kesey raged, and it exploded into fury when Kesey screamed something at us. I was so high that I'd only been catching every third or fourth word of his rap. But I caught the last word, alright. "D E A T H ! ! !" Hasan looked at me with a shattered look of amazement. We looked back to the stage to find that Kesey had disappeared. Chris was laughing a wild laugh and Phil, our Phil, was looking intently at the stage.
The storm rose higher and raged harder until we were left with nothing but Mickey and Billy. That night, Drums and Space were so long and so intense and so dark that people began to get worried. It was physically exhausting. We'd been standing for a good hour, dancing too, but you couldn't dance to this. Hasan didn't know whether to sit or stand. He tried to do both and looked silly doing so, and he knew it. All around us, acid-takers and shroom-eaters raised their hands into the air and stretched, trying to reclaim their reality and failing. This night was so strange that no one could find a foothold. When you tried, you'd look right into the eyes of people wearing skull makeup, top hats, and werewolf outfits, and you'd lose it again.
Like a beacon from a lighthouse, we eventually caught the notes of Dark Star. Thank you, Lord! People rose from where they'd been sitting as if the preacher had just walked into the churchhouse. Even this eyedropperfull of familiarity was welcome in what had become a strange, strange evening. That chimney sweep had come back out during Space and remained for Dark Star. Oh, I reminded myself, it's really Gary Duncan. He's a good guy.
The Last Time followed Dark Star, and everyone sort of looked at each other with the import of the song before abandoning that thought to dance around. Form! Musical Stucture! Standing on the Moon followed, and it was simply beautiful. There are better versions, yes, but there aren't that many of them. The tapes will confirm this. And we needed this. Personally, I needed Stella Blue, but it had been played on the second night of this run. I looked up during Standing on the Moon to see that the Chimney Sweep was gone.
Throwin' Stones->Not Fade Away closed out the show. During this time, three friends of Hasan appeared out of nowhere. Sure, I guess we were on the aisle, but it sure seemed strange. They were simply demolished by mushrooms and were making guttural grunts and groans trying to communicate. They kept hanging onto Hasan and trying to talk to him. Not only were they failing, but Hasan didn't want to talk. If I could have spoken, I'd have told Hasan to tell them that they should be good or the chimney sweep would get them... but I couldn't say much. Werewolves on London was the encore (sung as Werewolves of Oakland) and it rocked... hard. A simply wonderful evening.
As we left the coliseum and burst out into the evening air, we looked each other over and silently marvelled at what had just happened. Chris and Phil's pupils were so big that I don't think they had any iris left. Hasan was still trailed by his three shrooming friends. One of them was had his two hands cupped together, and the other two friends were gathered around him as though he held a talisman of some sort. As Phil and Chris wandered in front of us, Hasan and I peered at the talisman. It was a huge mushroom, a cap and stem. It looked blue and purple... it looked bloody powerful! Hasan's friends were apparently contemplating eating it. They still couldn't talk and were making bizarre noises while gazing at the psychedlic mushroom. Eventually the fellow with the mushroom found his tongue and said something to Hasan about finding his stuff and catching a ride home with us. Hasan was quite diplomatic but he and I both knew that we'd not see this fellow again this evening, and certainly not if he was going to actually eat more mushrooms.
Back at the car, we talked about the experiences that we'd all had that evening. Then we realized that we still had a two hundred mile drive in front of us. It was Hasan's truck, so he got behind the wheel. Phil and Chris, those maniacs, got in the bed (there was a shell) to take bong hits. Hasan somehow made it out of the parking lot, but I had to help him negotiate the freeway onramp. I don't really know how you help someone drive onto a freeway onramp, but I know that I did it and that Hasan asked for and needed my help. Like I said, it was a strange night.
A hundred miles down the road, on a lonely stretch of highway 101, we pulled into a gas station. Hasan got out to gas up the car. Phil went into the convenience store for food. Chris and I lingered in the car. I talked Chris into packing me a bong hit, and, still in the front seat, I took the bong and prepared to suck down my hit. Chris exited the vehicle and went toward the convenience store. I began to smoke. Just then (did you guess?) a highway patrolman swung his cruiser into the gas station. I guess policeman get hungry, too.
As the officer got out, his back to me, I could see Chris at the door to the store, looking back my way. He was absolutely horrified to see my still enjoying my hit as the officer walked towards him, and he ducked into the store as fast as he could without looking obvious about it. I had to go and see this for myself, so I went into the store after I'd finished my business. There we were, covered in tie-dye, reeking of smoke, sharing the store with a clerk and a cop. Phil was so engrossed in his choices of either grapefruit or orange juice that he didn't even see the cop next to him. Chris was so spooked that he had grabbed a variety of snacks and was already at the counter. I could see his neck bulging with nervousness, and I imagined I saw sweat pouring down it, too. Of course, I KNOW that I saw the potato chip packages turn orange from yellow and then red from orange, so who knows what I saw. Chris paid for his food as fast as he could and beat a hasty retreat. Outside, we reconvened and jumped in the truck, and left the cop at the store. Another victory for our side.
I never saw another show like this one. I knew I never would. I kept going, I kept hoping. I saw Branford in Los Angeles in 1994, and that was something! But it wasn't like Halloween 1991. Nothing was. The Grateful Dead, with many other bands, played a tribute concert to Graham in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco on November 3rd, a Sunday. They'd opened their concert the Sunday before with Sugar Magnolia, Bill Graham's favorite song, but they left it unfinished. We had expected them to finish it at the Halloween show, but as we talked about this possbility during setbreak, some head who said he was from New York said that they'd finish it at the Golden Gate Park concert. And he was right. The dead closed their set that day with Sunshine Daydream. They played four shows leading up to and including New Year's Eve, and then that was it. No more New Year's shows. It just wasn't the same without Uncle Bobo.
92 Capital Centre - Jeff Gillespie (Jeff_Gillespie@vnet.ibm.com)
We were just experiencing a fantastic Help-Slip-Franklins when Bobby turned to the band and held up ye ole sign for estimated. This is by far the best Estimated I ever heard. But what makes this one so memorable too, is the fact that after Bobby sang "Fire wheel turning in the air" a green globe suddenly sprung up from the crowd. It was the size of about a beachball and just started glowing with these eery blue green light. Next thing we know it is flying literally around the stadium, and came right over me and my buddies head. What makes it even wierder is the fact that after the show trying to describe it to people others did not see it. But then walking thru the lot every now and then you'd hear others talkin "Hey did you see the glowing light?" most answer were no, but some of us did and it just put the topper on a killer night. PS I was sober that night!
12-5-92 Compton Terrace, Tempe, AZ - Eric S. Crane (firstname.lastname@example.org)
My friends and I had tickets to the Creamery Benefit 20th Anniversary. When we got the news about Jerry, we decided that when the Dead were able to play again, we would be there. The shows in Denver were great(especially the second night!), but you really couldn't beat the weather in Arizona, not to mention opening the show on the 6th with "Here Comes Sunshine." We wondered if we were supposed to leave after that song, because we didn't know if they could top it, and if they did top it, if we would be able to function normally ever again (yeah, HCS was great- but the Cryptical>St. Stephen>Cryptical was amazing, then Branford came out...). Anyway, on the 5th, the second set deserves a little bit of credit. Things started wonderfully with a very South-Western "Scarlet" that had us in a trance by the time "Fire" showed up. If you've never seen a show in Compton Terrace, you have to realize it's kind of in the dessert, with mountains in the distance behind the stage. Since the shows were in the afternoon, the sun would set on the mountains near the end of "Drumz" and you really couldn't complain about that. "Fire" was absolutely magnificent. Each jam seemed to get a little hotter, each seemed a little more dreamlike. "Fire" ended on the beginning of "Estimated," and this is where things began to get interesting. As Bobby finished his "parrot calls" the band seemed to be headed for "Drumz." Instead, Jerry began something, with the band barely giving his attempt much effort. It seemed that Bobby wanted to give Billy and Mickey their due, Phil was in the mood to see his kids maybe, and Vinnie seemed kind of lost. Since this only lasted a second or two, by the time I got excited about it- it was over. As "Drumz" began, I asked my friends if they had heard it too. They answered yes. At first I thought Jerry was going into "Caution," but that didn't seem possible. Then I wondered if they were trying to play a "Supplication Jam" and Bobby didn't bite. I asked a taper after the show if he knew what it might have been, and he said he didn't hear anything, maybe he should smoke some of what I had... I finally got the tapes. I compared the jam to 5-6-81, and while there are similarities, it's not "Caution." I then turned to the Bill Walton Birthday Show, and while it does have the rythm of the "Supplication Jam" it doesn't seem to be that either. Then, one night driving home I heard it on a tape. The same chord progression clearly happens on 7-1-85 during the "Playin'>UJB." It then dawned on me that Jerry was trying to finish the "Playin'" they started in Denver. Of course, they did finish the "Playin'" the next night, so I figure that's what it was. Upon further investigation, I realized that the "Supplication Jams" they played in August of '91, were after "Estimateds," with the first one on 6-24 being the show after a "Playin'(6-22)" and the one on 8-14 being preceded by a "Playin'" on 8-12, that was finished on 8-16. Now I wonder if these are really mislabeled "Playin' Jams." Someone please look into this...
4-23-93 warfield - joel stein (email@example.com)
I'd like to comment on the JGB performance at the Warfield on 4/23/93. This seminal JGB show continues to inspire all of us. I was privlaged to film the second set, it was distributed under the title "Portrait of Jerry Garcia @ Warfield" to many deadheads at vista point camping sites and elsewhere. Each song contains a wonderful refrain, and Jerry really cooks. He smiles throughout, and we can only agree when he sings during Money Honey, "What other man can take my place?" For those who haven't yet seen the video of this show, the song "Eyes of the Maker" is now available at my web site as a quicktime movie, only 60 megabytes! The address is www.math.csusb.edu/faculty/jstein. So go get it and enjoy! Jerry was at once a master magician and every man. His truly humble nature marked him, most of all, as a great teacher. Thankful for the remarkable talent he'd been given and accepting of his own limitations, he met the challenges in his life head on, with a message of love. And for this example we all thank you, Jerry.
4/1-2/95 The Pyramid, Memphis, TN - Dennis Wehlitz (firstname.lastname@example.org)
After a fairly long break in going to shows (due to a serious accident), the Memphis show were a bit of a reunion for me. First of all, I have to say that the city of Memphis (residents, cops, merchants, etc.) were the most gracious of hosts. The weather was fabulous, the glass and steel venue was almost mystical, and the boys cranked it up for us. The first night brought us a great first set, with a Hell in a Bucket opener, a sweet Candyman, and the Dead's premier reading of Al Green's Take Me To the River! They followed with a sweet Lazy River Road (by far the best of the newer material), a Masterpiece, Childhhods End and a great Deal to close the set. First set was well worth the drive. Unfortunately the second set was a bit of a let down. Everyone was hoping for an April Fool's Day surprise (maybe an Elvis tune), but we got a slacker version of Foolish Heart, which was followed by Way TO Go Home (ugh), and a lazy Saint of Circumstance. Eyes of the World never really got cooking, the Wheel kind of dragged, Standing on the Moon was OK, and One More Sat. Night was kinda lax. So we had a great day and a special first set. After the show we boogied on to the blast that awaited us on Beahl Street. Bo Diddly played in one of the clubs, and the whole scene was kinda like the French Quarter North. The second night simply smoked. The show started with a cookin' Shakedown, then Bobby threw in Same Thing, and Jerry presented a sweet Althea. Bob responded with the best Memphis Blues I have ever heard, and it sounds even better on my digital soundboard of the show. Howabout a 10C Jed to get the locals pumped? We got it. Oh, and if you could have heard the Promised Land that closed the set. Beautiful. Second set opened with Here Comes Sunshine, Eternity, and a great Crazy Fingers. Estimated led into a jammin' Drumz and Space, and the Stones' Last Time >Wharf Rat Not Fade Away closed the set (we counted 54 rounds of "you know our love.." clap-clap-clap-clapclap). The rumor buzzing around Memphis was that we were gonna get a Casey Jones encore. They soundchecked it before one of the shows, and old Casey wrecked the train not far from Memphis...so we were hoping. So the the band returned and Phil hit us with an Unbroken Chain. It was nice to see, but honestly the tapes prove that this one could have used a little practice. Anyway, this stand was one of the most fun that I had experienced in my 11+ years of Deadom, and unfortunately it was my last great shows. I'm sorry to say that my next show was the Pittsburgh summer show, where Jerry was in terrible shape, and my final show was two nights later at the Dear Creek fiasco. I reviewed the Deer Creek mess for Relix Magazine, so you can check out my opinion of it in the issue that came out after Jerry checked out (Phish was on the cover).
6/2/95 Oakland to Vegas to Shoreline - Gordon Baker (email@example.com)
2/25/95 5/21/95 6/2/95 The Valentine Moon The Religious Holiday Moon The Honey Moon In the presence of the Jack In the presence of the Queen She White Bear, Elder Crone, Chief of of Saints, who guides me with of Saints, who guides me the White Waters Tribe, and leader of the the laws of the masculine with the heart songs of a new four Nations who provide us with all the principle. A comment on ad- vision for community. She basic necessities of life. Her name is diction and my twenty year Takes me on the journey of Hydros. She is supporting me in getting struggle with substance abuse. finding inner peace. She in touch with my manifesting abilities. Smoking pot has been at the shows me possibilities for Feelings are powerful allies which make core of my vision for com- people of incredible procurement of basic necessities easy. munity. The Jack is here to diversity cooperating with She has brought me here to learn from help me break free of addiction. love and acceptance. her this lesson in power.
At each show my life story unfolds through the moment to moment affairs of my day to day experience. The opening song gets me to reflect a little on what I was doing as the context of the show. Before each show I draw a Tarot card.
The Jack of Clubs The Queen of Clubs Hydros This Jack is smoking pot. He's This Queen is looking out She's the Crone who runs the show at got a fat joint burning in one for number one. She's the gathering of the White Tribe. She's hand and the other is over his got an eye on the door and got a feeling in her belly which is a mouth because he's got one a hand on the purse. She hunger for all things good and pure. She mean hacker's cough. jumped through every Hoop. feeds you and gives you a warm shirt. A Mission of Community A Mission of Community A Purpose for Survival
Feels Like a Stranger Jack Straw Alabama Get Away>Greatest Story I am trying to break a twenty I just finished taking care I am back at work for the Milhous year marijuana addiction. of Judy's sick mother for Ranch. I have started my summer season. I have emotional and one week while Judy and I will work full time for the next several health problems correlated her father went to Chicago months painting many of their residential with my smoking addiction. for Milton's 80th birthday. facilities, offices, and the school. Things are going to get stranger, My old buddy you're One in ten thousand who come for the So lets get on with the show. moving much to slow. show.
Before the deep insights can be revealed at each show some past life energy comes up for healing. It comes out of the context of the show and relates to the overall theme of the show. The shows are connected laterally through time as the healing energy is transmuted by my own continuous process. It is energy which has to be cleared first and it comes up right away. My drug addiction in this life time is part of a larger cycle of emotional processes from other life times and brings forward a great deal of karma.
Peggy-O West LA Fade Away Candyman I have many past lives in the army. In this past life Judy's In this past life I was a drug In this life I was an army Captain parents, Grace and Ferrel, dealer in Memphis. My girl friend was from the lower class of profes- were my parents. I was a a hooker who has incarnated in this sional soldiers. I fell in love with soldier with a command on life as Jenifer. I had mixed feelings for a woman who has incarnated in a distant front. I had returned her. I pushed her away from me with this life as Sue Knight. She was home from my post upon my drug abuse. I was in a great deal of from a wealthy Clan. I tried to hearing they were both ill. confusion. I did not share my true win her hand. That failed When I arrived I found that in feelings with her. I was jealous of her because her parents thought I was my absence a will had been lovers. I was angry she was always too poor to support her on my drafted and signed which satisfied and I was needy. I realized soldier's wage. I made terrible excluded me. This had been for me to take care of myself I had to and ridiculous threats to her and done by my brother, who is quit drugs and tell Jenifer how I really her family. Shortly there after I now Judy's sister, Joanne. felt. I went to New York to make one died in battle. I died to escape I worried, perhaps I was not a last drug deal. When I returned to the shame I had brought on good son and I did not deserve Memphis I was going to marry myself. So it is that I am a share in the inheritance. Jenifer, but I got murdered in New working on my issues with self- So it is that I am working on York. I am working on healing my worth. My relationship with Sue being worthy of great reward. shaken confidence that I can change has been a long spiral of nagging My relationship with Judy's my dysfunctional patterns of relating. questions about self-worth . This family is a big opportunity to My relationship with Jenifer confronts is a core experience for me to heal. to heal this experience. me with an inability to share feelings. What would your mother think if Met an old mistake walking Look out look out, the Candyman, she heard my pennies clink? down the street today. Here he comes and he's gone again.
As I go through the various stages of sobriety new issues come up related to "Personal Laws", "Inner Peace" and "Taking Care of Myself." In Peggy-O , during the Valentine Moon and my first month of sobriety I am confronted with a core belief, or personal law that I am "unworthy." West LA Fade Away, during the Religious Holiday Moon gave me another look as the same issue after it had evolved with the healing energy of four months of sobriety. In the life time called to me in West LA I am sorting out my "worthiness." I am attempting to come to terms with my self worth in relationship to the benefits I have earned in my life. Two weeks later, during the Honey Moon my experience of sobriety challenges me with a different past life where I also had tried and failed to quit doing drugs. In that life I made a commitment to cleaning up my act but I never did. I was murdered instead. Finding out how to take care of my basic needs and getting that the relationship between getting unhooked from drugs and being honest in my sexual relationships is just like finding out how to provide myself with my basic necessities. This has been a purpose of mine in many life times. The White Bear has come to help. Just as quickly the energy of the show moves me forward. The patterns of addiction and dysfunction can be easily related to sexual energy. The sexual energy has to be released in order to get to the deeper levels of revelation. At each show I am forced to deal with my sexual addiction, no matter what else I am supposed to be getting from the trip.
Minglewood Red Rooster Good Morning Little School Girl Sexual addiction is like drug ad-. I have this huge and insatiable Getting in touch with my feelings diction. Minglewood explores the sexual appetite. I am always is about feeling my sexual feelings psychology of a guy who is into on the prowl looking for a piece even when they are deviant. I want every sort of inappropriate relation- of ass. The entire time Joan to have this fantasy lover who is ship. Joan will be here in two weeks. was here I kept trying to get young and pretty, and stupid. She I want to get stoned and avoid my into her pants. Lucky for us would be willing to do what ever I passions. I can't get stoned because both she resisted my advances. want. I thought Joan was going to I'm just getting over pneumonia. Joan has been gone about a play that role, but she did not. Judy is not that sexually appealing. week now. When I really look Now I am looking for somebody I want some strange ass. I admit it. at how I acted when she was new. There is this chick named My sexual addiction controls me. here I am embarrassed. I Gail who has sat down next to me. Dealing with this sober is not easy. made a fool of myself. I would like to make her tonight. My number one occupation is I'm a little red Rooster to lazy Tell your moma and papa I'm a steeling women from their other men. to crow for dawn. school boy too...
The addictive aspects of my relationship with Joan also must also be cleared out before I can get on with my Missions and Purpose.
Row Jimmy Ramble on Rose Joan is coming. I wonder what it will Well, Joan has come and gone. It was one hell of a three month be like. Row Jimmy tells me it will period, filled with changing emotions. When she first arrived I be dissatisfying and sad. I will not get thought we were going to be lovers. I was hot on her, always what I want or expect from her. hitting on her for sexual favors and talking about sex with her. It She won't get along with Judy. was doomed to frustration from the beginning. Broken heart don't feel so bad, Good bye mama and papa, good bye Jack and Jill, You ain't got much of what you The grass ain't greener and the wine ain't sweeter thought you had. on the other side of the hill.
From the inside world to the outside world. If you are going to get to the Missions of the Purpose you are going to have to deal with what is out there. Look closely to see the world and ask yourself, Who am I in this social order? Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues El Paso (w/ Bob on acoustic guitar) Reflections of the self populate the stage, and a frightful landscape What would I do for love? With is being calling up as the context for healing all the wounds of the my pride and vanity, would I kill, human experience. If community is going to be made I must or be killed? Is that love? How fully embrace of the darkness in my heart. To transcend greed does it feel to have my amorous and deceit I must rise above my self-centered intentions. I must projections rejected. Surely this confront my addictions to substance and sex. I am Tom Thumb... has nothing to do with me... Now all the authorities just stand around and boast about how Just for a moment I stood there in they blackmailed the Speaker of the House into leaving his post. silence, shocked by the foul evil And Angel who just arrived from the coast, who started out looking deed I had done. Cradle me up in so fine but left looking just like a ghost. the arms that I'll die for, One little ...Started out on Burgundy but soon hit the harder stuff.... kiss and Felena, good-bye....
Having cleared out some of the energy blocking the higher self from coming through, the closer of the first set introduces the major themes to be deeply considered.
Easy Answers>Deal So Many Roads>Promised Land It is pretty easy to see why I seek Bird Song>Promised Land relief in the form the numbness Before I am going to have the community I am seeking I need of marijuana intoxication. I am to find peace in myself and come to terms with my sadness. I filled with painful emotions. I need to accept my emotions. The White Bear has delivered have been rejected in love, and the land which had been promised to me- this land in California, is acted with terrible judgment. I truly the Promised Land. The land I was promised as a reward for have been greedy and dishonest. incarnating. I've known forever I would end up here. So Many All these things swirl around in Roads. I am looking for inner peace, a way to ease my soul. There my core and when they come up are many ways to go. When I choose one way, I am also letting go ...I don't want to hear... of others. Coming to terms with the profound sense that I am the ...I don't want to know... master of my destiny. But life has a way of forcing the Birds singing as I go to promised land has a different connotation. healing I need upon me. I am The bird song is the sound of a friend passing over to the here after being offered a deal, and the deal and the promised land. Dealing with the issue of death is a is called, "sobriety." I need to stand profound block to getting in touch with my feelings. Fear of death, sober in the presence of my truth. fear of loss, fear of being abandoned when Judy dies. The Bird I need to take the courageous step Song jam is so intense. It is cluttered noises. I can't relate. It is as of taking responsibility for my life if the emotional experience of dealing with death is too much and without the crutch of intoxication. the music allows me to get lost, sleep in the stars, dry my tears in For 20 years I've smoked all the pot the cosmic wind of eternity. Of course, I know Bird Song is a I could, and I thought Deal was about tribute to Janis Joplin, and the beautiful music she made before her not letting go of an opportunity to drug and alcohol abuse end in her death. It makes me cry and cry score more dope, but now I think the realize how this beautiful spirit person who had such a gift for song "opportunity" is really a warning, not was also a drug addict and self-destructed. The pain in my belly, the to get involved with drugs or drug grief and sadness, the sense of loss, and lost years. As I'm dancing dealing... Don't let that deal go down. I am crying. Crying for Janis, and for Jerry, and for Brent, Keith, I could get my dope... and Pig Pen...
All three opening sets followed the same pattern. A general statement about the situation. A relevant past life in which self worth was an issue.. Dealing with sexual addiction. Thoughts about Joan, and clearing my sexual and dysfunctional patterns in my relationship with her. Thoughts about my social values. Closing with a summary of an issue or issues which need special attention. A need to examine what feelings have come up in my latest attempt to stay soberer.
The Second Set The shows continue to express on the themes initiated in the first set. It is time to dig deeper into the issues and process the insights about the mission or purpose which the show is revealing.
Victim or the Crime > Samson and Delilah New Speedway Boogie> New Speedway Boogie It is Sunday in Sin City. That Would Be Something Am I the Victim or the Crime? Peace of Mind? Inner Peace? Cool. I'm kind of getting to dig A very powerful way of expres Give me a break. What I feel New Speedway.... I feel the dark- -sing how I feel about my drug right now is total isolation ness of twenty years of smoking addiction. I ask myself what is and burned out. It isn't that, pot has greatly lifted in the is my responsibility for my drug hot, maybe 90 degrees, but I last four "dry" months. And it is use and the consequences I am fried. And it's a rocking working, I'm getting more in touch experience as a result of version of a gospel tune I with my feelings. The She White smoking pot? Pneumonia, never really liked. How is the Bear, who's name is Hydros, is herpes, reduced immune Bible story of Samson and pleased. She is the Water Bear. function, more colds, and depres- Delilah related to me finding She comes to the Shoreline to sion are the most memorable of inner peace? I know the story bathe me in rain, and connect me a twenty year legacy of dope use. fairly well. Samson, who is a to my core emotions. The gift Bottom line, while Bobby strug- Jew (arrogant and self-centered) Hydros shares with me comes in gles with the question, I am more and Delilah, who is a Gentile the ability to manifest all the basic confident with my personal (beautiful and worldly) get in necessities of life: the food, air, fire, answer. "I am never the victim. a relationship which is not so and, of course, water. All coming I am responsible for using drugs." much a matter of affection and from a place of great manifesting My current bout of pneumonia love, but power struggle between power which lies at the core of my is a reasonable consequence the dominating and rather stupid emotions and has been sleeping for of smoking, and if I continue Samson, and the seductive but some twenty years in the fog of smoking I'll have even stronger treacherous Delilah. Not too marijuana smoke. Now I am awake consequences. It is, "quit or die." unlike the relationship between I realize, with the help of the White The New Speedway Boogie is a dead heads and the establishment. Bear, I do not have to struggle with real surprise . With all the shit that This is why I never really dug this life. Everything I need I can have has gone down since I started song . That isn't how my relation- for myself with no effort because I smoking pot, I am blown away that ship with the world is. I have a am in touch with my feelings and I only now see the "darkness" is in- commitment to having my the feelings themselves produce a side which keeps me addicted. relationship to the worldly order kind of "magnetic" magic which, Being addicted is like being stuck be the best possible relationship when I tune into it, creates from in a revolving door. The faster a person can have. Then why am the world apparent, all those you go the rounder you get. I I so aggravated right now? I think things I truly need to live. "That think the very fact that New being in Sin City with a 500 mile would be something!!!" O, man, Speedway is back is a hopeful sign drive home tonight and work sometimes the Dead make me that the darkness is lifting. I am tomorrow, and I haven't seen Judy laugh so hard I start to cry... going to lift myself out of my ad- in a week, and I've spent the week Standing in the pouring rain!!! -diction. And I am going to do it doing "mother in-law duty" is Jerry is a master of funny com- by love, not with harsh words and enough to aggravate anyone. You binations of tunes. Well, I guess penalties, but with a total paradigm think Samson and Delilah had to he has had his own twenty years shift. Looking back to Victim, I deal with that kind of shit? If I had of "darkness" and "standing in realize my drug use is mostly a my way I'd be home in my bed the pouring rain." Who could cover for denied feelings which I sleeping... Samson and Delilah blame him for putting a need to own, and when I do, the were rude ignorant and self- good natured humorous twist need to smoke will subside. destructive. I... am not like that? on the whole affair?
Wow. The second set keeps right on rolling. The opener always brings up issues. Sometimes that is fun, like Shoreline, other times it's a drag, like Sin City. In all times what comes next reveals more about the real intention I have for being at the show. All that clearing of old energies which got blown out during the first set is now paying off in some rewards of insight about my present time situation. It can get chaotic. There is no formula here like in the first set. It is just as likely Phil or Vince will have something to add to the discussion as Jerry or Bobby. Hold on to your hat. Unbroken Chain Long Way to Go Home I guess it had to happen. I mean It is a "Long Way Home." As everyone was talking about it. far as I have come in developing It was really just a question of my emotional sensitivity I too "When?" Unbroken Chain has have a long way till I am this haunting melody, and Phil's "home." (That is; having the voice... Spooky... and what is it direct and personal visceral about? Inner peace? It is pretty experience of life being easy.) clear Phil hasn't exactly found it. Vince obviously does not find it "Ride you out on a cold rail road easy either... What do you need and nail you to a cross..." Who is to set your body free? The telling who that, "forgiveness is answer is in the body. I kind of the key to every door..." I Look get there is more to be said on around, heads dancing, some guy how it is that we get "home." with no clothes running around I kind of hear Vince crying, as if screaming "Dose me!" When I everyone he deals with has the look around I see a bunch of very attitude, "What the fuck, I will unhappy people in a very unhappy get what I want and do what I town. I... am not like that? have to no matter who I screw."
During the tuning breaks between numbers I get a chance to reflect a little on what's really going here. Where is my community? What is my purpose in life? These are the questions I hope will be answered as we blast into the next section of the show leading up to the Rhythm Devils...
Looks Like Rain (w/Bob acoustic) Eyes of the World Saint of Circumstance I am sinking. That long sigh. That I am rising. I am awakening. I The wind of increased awareness unbelievable sadness. I know am filled with gratitude. I know is filling my sails of creativity. I am that depression. I know what it what is that I want. I want that the source of my personal security feels like to have a broken heart, "home" where my spiritual in the world. The feelings in my to hurt and hurt and hurt some brothers and sisters live in peace body are windows into the process more. I also know smoking and harmony. This community of manifestation. I am dancing, marijuana is as much a cause of is no pipe dream. It is a real expressing and releasing, depression as is the circumstances possibility which I can create breathing in big gulps of the fresh which seem to precipitate the out of the interpersonal ocean breeze which comes off the bay. depression. Smoking intensifies which surrounds me. This is I'm a painter. I paint houses. I the emotions and blows them all my heart song, this is my mis- paint houses to make money. That out of proportion to the events. sion, to love unconditionally. is how I survive.
I am starting to get a focus here. It isn't merely a matter of creating community. I am being drawn inexorably towards a spiritual law which I will need to help me create the community I want. To help me find the people who are my people. There is a heart song waiting to be sung. Not only am I getting in touch with those feelings, but I am mastering using those feelings to guide me in building the foundation of a sustainable way of life for myself and my village. Each person must feel secure that their basic necessities will be provided. What creates the wholesome food, clean air and water, and appropriate housing? The music is staring...
Terrapin Station>Turtle Jam> Corina >Corina Jam> He's Gone>He's Gone Coda> Rhythm Devils Rhythm Devils (w/ Carter Rhythm Devils The story begins with two men who Beauford, drummer for the DMB I thought Jerry was going to are in love with the same beautiful helping out ) Every person has a play Wharf Rat, but it's, He's woman. To test each and determine right to civil liberties. Freedom Gone... Abandonment? Who which one wins her favor she casts equals peace. What can I do to abandoned who? In the great a question of brave deeds on the get it to work? My relationship ocean which is life, you can two men. I never really get what with Joan sucked. I scream. Got hardly be any where with out happens- which is also part of the to let go of that which is done. being exactly some where. story... There is an orchestral kind Got to let go of Joan. I'm glad Which is not to say that any of crescendo as I consider... Ter- she's gone. I have got to get on where is just as good as any rapin. The Turtle. The Lady with with my life. And then I start where else. No, some places are the Fan is seductive and I am tripping on what's going to hap- definitely better than others. I'd tempted by the allure of her sexual pen when Judy's mother dies? rather be rich than poor. Getting charm. I am embarrassed to admit Will Judy and I receive some big money is a problem. I don't like that one of my strategies for inheritance? Would that be the work. I just want to hang around, avoiding confronting unresolved seed money for buying a bigger lay on the beach, think, make sexual feelings has been to smoke piece of land, or is it a nest egg love. But to live like that and still pot. The strategy has failed. for Judy's golden years? I want eat three square... So I paint Marijuana, once hailed as the elixir to get a bigger piece of land. There houses for a living. Nothing of the carnal pleasures, has itself are four undeveloped parcels on wrong with that. It's a good become a demon with wants and the east side of our land. One of way to make a buck. The big- needs which have exceeded my them has a creek. I would like to gest problem with being a intentions. It sounds like fire get all four pieces and cr
06-04-95 Shoreline Ampitheater - Matt Shelton (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The last three Shoreline shows (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; June 2-4, 1995) were my 23rd, 24th, and 25th shows (oh, I discovered the band much too late!). The run was the first time that I attended all three shows of a run; over the prior two years I had been seeing 2 out of 3 shows. I'll never forget, after two nights of glorious music Friday night and Saturday night, realizing when I woke up Sunday morning that all I had to do was get up, enjoy a few hours of the morning and afternoon, and drive from S.F. to Shoreline for another day of music! My favorite G.D. song is, without a doubt, "Eyes of the World." Believe or not, prior to my 25th and last show, I had never heard Eyes live before!! On the way to the Sunday show, my friends Eric and Trevor came to pick me up. Eric was a G.D. veteran; Trevor was a G.D. virgin! Eric was waiting in the car, and Trevor came upstairs to my apartment. He had a boom box in his hand, and he said, "I don't know why, but Eric asked me to hit the play button as soon as you opened the door." Trevor hit the play button, and Eric had cued-up the 8-6-74 Eyes. Sweet! I new that this would be my lucky day! I realize that for many Deadheads, the highlight of the show was probably "Unbroken Chain", which I think was the third song of the second set. The fourth song, of course, was a wonderful Eyes. I was in heaven. As it was the only Eyes that I ever heard the Dead play, I will remember it for the rest of my life (in fact, I need to get a 6-4-95 tape!). My story continues, though. On Friday night, August 11, 1995 (i.e., two days after Jerry's death), the Dave Matthews Band played the Greek Theater. I went to that show with my G.D. buddies as well as other non-Deadheads. We arrived at the Greek several hours early to get a good spot, and we had quite a bit of time to kill. I was talking to Eric, Trevor, and another Deadhead named Ben, and we started wondering if the DMB would play a G.D. song in tribute to Jerry. Once we all agreed that they would, we of course had to guess what song would be played! Songs such as "Uncle John's Band", "Sugar Magnolia", and "Truckin'" were suggested. I said, "No! Dave Matthews isn't going to play such a well-known G.D. song, he'll probably play something a little more obscure to the non-Deadhead." As Eyes can be such a jazzy song, and as the DMB features a sax and a fiddle, I told everyone, "I bet they play an Eyes!" My buddies said, "No way, you're just saying that because Eyes is your favorite song!" Well, about half way through the show, Dave Matthews paused between songs, and said, "It's been a really tough few days for you in the Bay Area and for the rest of the music lovers out there. We would like to play a song in tribute to Jerry. We just learned this song; we have not played it live before." Sure enough, within a few notes, I was hearing my second live Eyes. It was a beautiful, mournful rendition, and it was a very emotional moment!
6/30/95 Three Rivers Stadium - Gabriel Montemurro (email@example.com)
Here are two snippets from a longer review of 6/30/95 (as well as 6/24 and 6/25) that can be found at http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/3674/summer.html
During the break between sets, ominus looking black clouds appeared over the stadium and it was evident that they were going to do more than just threaten us with rain this time! The Boys came out and a bolt of lightning light the sky, thunder rang out and Mickey accompanied it with a shot on the drums. The band seemed to be taking an extra long time fiddling around on stage before the second set. ("What are they waiting for?") I called The Beatles song 'Rain' as the opener (Jerry gave it away!) For those of you that don't know, the song begins with the band singing the word rain together and stretching it out over six or eight seconds. Anyway, after much waiting, the boys finally stepped up to their mics - the first few drops of rain fell - they let out "RAAAAIIIIIN! I DON'T MIND" - and at that very moment it started to rain so hard that you would have sworn that the sky fell!!! "SHIIIIIINE! THE WEATHER'S FINE" - I can vividly picture the rain drops as they fell in my view of the stage..... they were LARGEST raindrops I have ever seen in my life. The audience roared with excitement! My friends and I welcomed the refreshing rain as we danced on that hot summer evening. (You can hear the rain on my audience tape, it doesn't interfere with the music, it actually enhances it)
.....I have a wonderful story to go along with the next song 'Terrrapin Station.' Prior to this show I had never heard the entire song, I had heard only the 'Lady with a Fan' part. There was an empty seat to my right and a girl had found her way over after the beginning of the song. She decided to occupy it. After Jerry sang the final verse of Part 1 ("....In hopes he will come back, but he cannot be bought or sold" ) the boys jammed the next few notes, they built in intensity and speed, and the excitement was building in the girl next to me. She was showing it with her increasing movements and involvement in the music. The sound was building and she was following. I thought to myself that something big was about to occur, I could sense it. Suddenly, she pulled herself in, arms close to her body, crouched down a bit and formed a tight bundle. Then, keeping her hands together, she slowly began to pull her arms up her body and until they were directly above her head - she was *unfolding* like a seed that had just began to sprout (her arms) and break the surface of the ground. In unison her arms spread outward, like she was drawing a rainbow over her, and Jerry belted out the line "INSPIRATION MOVE ME BRIGHTLY" On her face was the most magnificent smile, and I was overcome with joy. And as quickly as she arrived she was on her way again. This entire event occured in less than a minute, but it seemed like a lifetime............ inspiration moved me brightly.
6/30/95 Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pa1 - Hooper (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This is the show that really opened me up to what the Grateful Dead is all about. I had recently attended my first show and was not all that impressed. I thought that it was completely over-hyped, but wanted to find out for sure. Rusted Root opened the show. They set the tone and energy for the day very well. The Dead came out hard right away with an excellent Bucket. I right away realized that this was going to be a different show than I had seen at RFK. The other highlights of the first set were a good Candyman and beautiful versions of both Bird Song and Masterpiece.
The second set is where things really took off. The band came out on and just stood there for a few minutes. I had no clue what they were doing. All of a sudden the skies opened up and the Dead answered with Rain. WOW!!! I have never heard a stadium of people go so completely nuts before in my life. Then Phil stepped to the mic for a very soothing Box of Rain. Next it was Vince's turn with Samba. A pretty soulful version of this song that I generally don't care for. Next comes the launching pad, LL Rain. LL Rain was grand and they suddenly flowed into Terrapin. The Terrapin was the best that I heard in years. I thought that I had magically been transported to the late 70's. The jam that followed was also amazing and even the drumz were mindblowing.
The space that followed I will describe how I remember it, but I am not sure if this happened or if I was just hallucinating. When the rest of the band joined the drummers there was great sounds of thunder. The boys started on this and then came the lightning. They seemed to follow each crash with some amazing sounds. The lightning was followed by fireworks far in the distance which also semmed to go perfectly. Bobby flowed out of Space with a well intended Miracle, but not everything was there. Next Jerry stepped forward for a soul tearing version of SOTM. This song is so powerful and they have definitely worked this into one of there best post-drumz songs. The set then ended and they came out with a rockin' encore of Gloria. The only thing I can remember from this is the whole stadium rockin' up and down screaming "G-L-O-R-I-A". This blew my mind. I wasn't even aware that they still played this song. What a show!!!!
09-19-95 The Boston Garden, Boston Ma. - Chris Fields (email@example.com)
September 19, 1995, A Day That Dreams Might Have Been Made Of....
Today would have been a day of such excitment that might make any Boston area deadhead burst with pure joy, yes today would have been the final night that the Grateful Dead played in the Boston Garden. What did this mean you ask ? Well I can't say what others might feel but for me this is what it would have been....
Not often in ones life do you get to see your favorite band play in such a hall as the Wonderful Boston Garden. Yeah the place looked like hell but the events that had happened in the building were pure heaven. Was it the teams and the bands that played there or was it the building that gave life to the these teams and bands ? Any event there was fun to go to, from Barnum & Baily's Circus to the one that followed the Dead there time and time again. The place was to hot that in late season Hockey games a fog would cloud the ice and who could forget the play-off Hockey game that was canceled due to a power failure. For me tonight was the night I could be proud to tell my grandkids I was at...right after I explain to them who the Grateful Dead were...I could have even popped a tape into a deck and let them hear it ! Other people brag about how they saw the Celts win the NBA championship or even say they saw Bobby Orr fly through the air after scoring the Stanly Cup winning goal, me I wanted to have the right to say I saw the Grateful Dead tear that old building down...
Well I guess I do have the right to say I saw the last night, as I did see it and yes I can still pop a tape into a deck for my grandkids to give a listen and I'm sure I will still have to explain who the Dead were :')
...this morning I went to my tape box and pulled two sets out. One was the last show I went to with my Wife Sparky, Sept 28 1994 the other was the last show I saw Oct 3 1994....the idea was I was going to listen to both tapes during the day, even Drums and Space as in most cases I would not want to..........so I put the 28th show in the player and started the car for my drive to work, it started off with "Let The Good Times Roll" and the flood of memories rushed by, I smiled and sang along. Then it was Bertha, man I was dancing in my seat and smiling and singing, it was at this point I stopped the car on the small back road I was driving down and with tears welting up in my eyes, it finally hit me it was over for real....
We will never know what the band had in store for us tonight, only I somehow know it was going to be a lot of fun....yes tonight was to be my swan song to the grande old building and I could not have been able to pick a better way to say goodbye. And the day that they do tear that old building down I will be there with a boombox in hand with a tape of the Grateful Dead playing just that song....
They can tear it down but the can't take it away
"all of my friends came to see me last night....."
03-02-99 Further Fest '97 - randall (JMFarm@aol.com)
IT was the best concert I have ever been to. I had a good time listening to the grate music, and it was intresting to see all diffrent ages of Grateful Dead Fans enjoying the same great music.
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