"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

Friday, October 26, 2012


On this date in 1989 the Grateful Dead closed out their fall run in Miami, Florida. This fall tour is the precursor to the excellent tour that was just released as a boxset, the spring of '90. Three of the seventeen shows from the fall '89 tour are official Grateful Dead releases, "Formerly the Warlocks" and "Nightfall of Diamonds," and this show features the one "Dark Star" from the tour that wasn't released. Download the SBD copy HERE and HERE, though I do have to worn that there are a few drop offs in this copy.
The show opens with a great "Foolish Heart," and it kind of ends in a disastrous bang. It's clear that Garcia likes this jam and wants to use the song similar to "Shakedown," were it can be an exploratory first or second set opener. I'm not comparing "Shakedown" to "Foolish Heart" as songs, just the way the band uses them. Bobby follows "Foolish Heart" with a great "Rooster." In my opinion, the best "Rooster's" are early in the sets and all feature the coy Brent verse. Later in the set, the band plays a very lively "BE Woman," then contrast it with a dark "Victim." The "Victim" jam slides down a shaded path at dusk, dark notes on a dark guitar, that drifts into the abyss of the night sky. This vehicle drops to the cold dark center of the universe, black, as the bright opening to "Don't Ease" shoots us back to Earth and the end of the set.
There is a casual manner in the slight jam as the band takes the stage and drops into "Estimated" to open the second set. "They're gonna light my way," a line that is very prevalent because of how this tour is a foreshadow of what is the best tour of the Brent Myland Grateful Dead era, Spring 90. As the jam fades Jerry starts the "Blow Away" rift, although there isn't the reprieve after the "Wait a minute" line, it's a solid version. The band falls back into that fiddling jam that started the set before jumping into "Dark Star." Of the three of this tour, this is the longest and it is also the first 25+ version since the 70's, though there aren't many versions in the 80's. There is 12/31/81, 7/13/84, 10/9/89, and 10/16/89. Since the band had just started to play "Dark Star" on a regular biases there is conformability with the song and that is what gives it its depth and length.
This "Dark Star" is like a wave that you catch as it lifts you, then carries you on it's crest through the theme, the cosmos and the verses, until the wave crashes with the end of the second verse.  However,  the motion of the water doesn't end there and neither does the band. The water rushes on and up to the shore, the music does the same until the dry sand is beneath your feet and "Drums" plays on.
Don't skip "Space," there is ambient keys played by Brent and as Deadbase notes, there is a "Close Encounters" type sound to it. There is a brilliant breakdown of the chord structure at the end of "Watchtower" to transport them into an elegant "Stella Blue." This "Stella" does have that special reflection in Garcia's voice and that firm tenderness of his guitar. A moving rendition that is played into "NFA," which Bobby's guitar work is fantastic on. As always the crowd doesn't let the "NFA" clap chant die, as the band reprises it briefly before closing tour with "Bid you Goodnight."

I: Foolish Heart, Rooster, Stagger Lee, Uncle, Big River, BE Woman, Victim, Don't Ease
II: Estimated, Blow Away, Dark Star, Drums, Space, Wheel, Watchtower, Stella Blue, NFA E: Bid You Goodnight

Dave's Pick's 5 has been announced and it is a monster of a show from UCLA on 11/17/73. In the announcement, Mr. Lemiuex apologizes for the fact that it took 40 years to release this show, with the show highlight being "Playin'/Uncle John's/Dew/Uncle John's/Playin'," we accept your apology.

No comments:

Post a Comment