"If you tell the Truth, you don't have to remember anything"
-Mark Twain
"You realize, of course, that everything I say is horseshit." -Kurt Vonnegut

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


On this date, 35 years ago, The Grateful Dead played their second of two nights in Portland, Oregon. Given its proximity to Ken Kesey and crew, this show was a prankster event. Download set I and II of this marvelous show.
I consider this to be the best first sets of 1977, because of the two notable bust outs and the energy that they exhibit throughout. They open the show with the first bust out, "Casey Jones," the first one since 1974. What could have happened if the band realized what they had done in this version and decided to continue to push the envelop? During the solo, Bobby takes his solo and as usual makes way for Jerry to take over the soloing duties. He caps off the solo then forgets the third verse complete, if you listen carefully you'll hear him try to mutter something. Before he steps back and unleases on his guitar, till someone hints at verse three, which comes out extra boisterous. Surprisingly the "Sunrise" is a highlight, they way the music builds and peaks. The second bust out is a Ken Kesey special, "Duprees." This is the first one since 1969, and is the first one that has a slightly slower pace funk to it. Just like the earlier bust out, Jerry has a hard time with the lyrics as he mutters them out of a guitar solo. The energy from the song is carried through the following two songs, "Let It Grow" and "Deal," as they close out the set with a bang.
Following up a high energy first set, some times the second can be a let down, but this one keeps up the pace with the first set. "Samson" opens up and is followed by an excellent "Scarlet/Fire." The bubbliness of the "Scarlet" and the darkness of the "Fire" is magnificent. Then Bobby takes over the set and proves the rock is king. The "Playin'" is not long but there is a musical breakdown that Jerry steers into "Drums." Then "The Wheel" comes out of "Drums," and features some real pop in the instrumental break. The fantastic combo of "Truckin'/Other One" comes spinning out of the "Wheel." The two songs get so blended that the "Other One" starts with the band seemingly not realizing the change. So before they spring off the Phil baseline they venture back into a "Truckin'" esk jam. With all the high energy music, the "Wharf Rat" seems mellower than normal. Yet the song is handled with brightness that is emulated by Keith's piano playing on the song. A raging "Sugar Mags" closes out the set. They encore the night with "Johnny B Goode," a song where the band sounds like Bruce Banner bursting into the Hulk. A magnificent prankster event that Jerry had the bust out but Bobby was good tonight.
I: Casey Jones, Straw, Sunrise, BE Woman, El Paso, Dupree's, Let It Grow, Deal
II: Samson, Scarlet, Fire, Playin', Drums, Wheel, Truckin', Other One, Wharf Rat, Sugar Mags, E JBG

Next blog isn't coming till 10/14. It's a story not widely told, so tell your friends, because its the bubbliest story in Rock 'n Roll history.
The next Dave's Picks Volume 4 was announced last night and it is looks like another shoot and score by Lemieux. It's a show that fall between two recent post "THOUGHT I HEARD" and "THE DAYS THAT ARE TO COME," from the College of William and Mary on 9/24/76. At first glance, I'm pretty stoked to hear "Franks/Music/Stella Blue." Yes please can I have another.

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