Ask any DeadHead when was Jerry's last show and they will rattle off, Soldier Field 7/9/95, but ask them the last Jerry Garcia Band gig and you'll get a blank stare. So I'm taking this opportunity to break this trend. Today is the anniversary of the final JGB show and as a DeadHead would imagine it occurred at the Warfield Theatre. Jerry played more shows there than any other venue. His first gig there was with the Grateful Dead on 9/25/80 as part of the 15 anniversary tour. Over the next 15 years he would play a total of 124 nights there with the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia Band, and Garcia/Grisman band. This was his final show here.
Most DeadHeads dread listening to anything for 1995, because Jerry was not at his best but on this night he wasn't at his worst either. The most played song by JGB, "How Sweet It Is" opens the show. As most JGB shows, Jerry fills the set with songs he loves by artist that he listens to. This show features nods to Dylan, Van Morrison, and the classic Band tune "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down."
Garcia did at one point try to make JGB an alternative place for songs that he penned with Hunter but that was quelled when he claimed to have given away as many copies of "Cats Under The Stars" as were purchase in the record stores. He plays two songs off of this album in "Run for the Roses" and maybe his most loved song "Reuben and Cherise." A song the Grateful Dead played 3 times in 1991, even though it was in his solo band rotation from 1977. He closes the show with the upbeat "Midnight Moonlight," which he had been playing since 1973 with Old And In The Way, a band that was started with his compadre John Kahn. This was the last the two played together on stage.
The last two songs Jerry recorded with JGB was "Coffee and Cigarettes" and "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" for the movie "Smoke" soundtrack. He went back in the studio after Soldier Field with David Grisman to record "Blue Yodel #9" for the Jimmie Rodgers tribute album that Bob Dylan put together. So he had a couple of more months of creating music after this finale.
I: How Sweet, Stop That Train, Simple Twist, Run, You Never Can Tell, Sis & Brothers, Deal
II: He Ain't Give You None, Struggling Man, Think, Reuben Dixie Down, Midnight Moonlight