"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, May 31, 2013

We're All Wasted

The goods were delivered in Las Vegas in 1992, which is the final night of a three night run. You can download HERE. The show opens with the vehicle "Help"/"Slip"/"Frank's." The first set includes a bombastic "Queen Jane" and the dissension into space with a far out "Bird Song." Before the set is closed out with a tight "Picasso Moon."

The second set opens with an energetic "Scarlet"/"Fire". Then the "Women are Smarter" features a very energitic midi solo. There's an emotional "So Many Roads," where Garcia goes ballistic at the climax of the song. This is one of my top five versions of this song. All thought Bobby flies through "Saint of Circumstance," the boys don't leave the stage so quickly, Garcia leads them through a slow sleek "He's Gone."
Out of "Space" the band picks slowly progresses into sublime "Attics." As the song fades, Steve Miller joins the band for "Spoonful." Although Steve Miller opened all three shows, this was the first time he jammed with the boys. Miller's solo leads the band into "The Other One." Then they drop into a "Dew," which Jerry and Miller share the lead on. The band and Miller come back out to encore with "Baba O'Riley" into "Tomorrow Never Knows."
After this tour, the doctors shut down Jerry Garcia for the remainder of 1992. The band didn't return until the spring of 1993. Before the tour Jerry got to collaborate with another excellent guitarist. Garcia and Grisman had Tony Rice sit in and jam with the duo. The cut several versions of songs in Grisman's home studio. These rough tracks jumped into circulation when the pizza delivery guy stole the tapes and the "Pizza Tapes" were born. 
I: Help, Slip, Franks, Minglewood, Roses, Queen Jane, Bird Song, Picasso Moon
II: Scarlet, Fire, Woman, So Many Roads, Saint, He's Gone, Drums, Space, Attics, Spoonful*, Other*, Dew* E: Baba*, TNK*
*w/ Steve Miller

Friday, May 17, 2013

In Hopes He Will Come Back

Today is the anniversary of the first show Grateful Dead show played in Alabama. Although they promise to come back after the encore, they never did come back to Tuscaloosa. The band played four more shows in Alabama and all of them were "In downtown Birmingham." Download a Soundboard of this show HEREHERE, and HERE.
This show will also be the final show of the next box set that is due to be released in June, "May '77." In the video announcement, David Lemieux calls this his favorite show of 1977, which puts it in a very special class of shows. 
Like its predecessor, Cornell 77 (which is exactly a week before) the band opens with Bobby screaming his lungs off for "Minglewood." Then an outstanding "Half Step" transitions perfectly into "El Paso," like it was always meant too. One Bobby song and one Jerry songs account for the most tender moments in the first set, the transcendent "LL Rain" and the tranquil "High Time." And the first set is capped by a superb "Scarlet/Fire." The next "Scarlet/Fire" would be on 5/21 and is my favorite version of the combo, and this one displays some of that brilliant playing by the band. The layers of this transition is marvelous. Phil starts the bomb dropping as Jerry steps on the petal and Bobby holds it for a bit longer with a twinkling guitar rift, before the descention into "Fire." Superburb. 
The second set is vintage tour de force Grateful Dead, crushing the spirit of rock and roll pixie dust all over the audience. A mind-numbing sequence of "Samson/Bertha/Good Lovin'" ignites the set off into bouncing bliss. The key change between "Samson" and "Bertha" is a little rocky, which why it didn't become a regular combo like "Bertha/Good Lovin'," but is joyous in its receiption. Later the band vaults themself into another sequence, which ends the set in a massive display of excellence. "Terrapin/Playin'/Drums/Wharf Rat/Playin'." Boom! Talk about going home happy.  Phil amazing play on "Terrapin," Jerry's fantastic leads on "Playin'," and Donna's precious background vocals on "Wharf Rat" goes to show the sum of the parts are not more important than the whole. 
I have a confession to make. But it's sort of a secret. So. I love Donna's blood curling call to the "Playin' Main Ten" reprised march. It's usually loud as hell, although this one is not, and how many times have you left a concert and said "It was no good because it was too loud." The loudest concert I've ever been to was the Black Crowes at Irving Plaza. My ears were ringing for three days afterwards. It was epic. I loved it. Just like I love Donna.
I: Minglewood, Half Step, El Paso, TLOE, Straw, Jack A Roe, LL Rain, Jed, Passenger, High Time, Big River, Sunrise, Scarlet, Fire
II: Samson, Bertha, Good Lovin', BE Woman, Estimated, Terrapin, Playin', Drums, Wharf Rat, Playin' E: Sugar Mags

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

May '77

Today on SiriusXM's Grateful Dead channel 23, David Lemieux is set to take to the airwaves to discuss the new Grateful Dead box set, May '77. The special starts at 9 AM EST and is approximately 90 minutes long.
In a early leaked video, Mr. Lemieux detailed the five shows in the box set being 5/11, 5/12, 5/13, 5/15, and 5/17/77. This brings the releases from this magical month in Grateful Dead history to 10 out of the 19 shows being official releases. When hearing the news, and before watching the video, I was hoping that the box set was going to be the Palladium run of 1977. One of these five shows were used as the first volume of the Grateful Dead Download Series. If I could request some Grateful Dead box set's the first would be that Palladium 77 run, the Red Rocks 7/7/-8/31/78 run, Orpheum 76 shows, and the Spring 73 run 3/15-4/2. Yet the Grateful Dead offices aren't asking for my input on their future releases, so I'll continue to feature my favorite shows here.
Today is also significant because today is the one year anniversary of this blog and this is my 101 entry. I hope that have stumbled my way enjoys my writing and my positive point of view of the super powers of the good old Grateful Dead.
May '77
St Paul, MN 5/11/77
I: Promised, TLEO, Big River, Loser, LL Rain, Ramble, Straw, Peggy-O, El Paso, Deal, Lazy Lightning, Supplication, Sugaree
II: Samson, BE Woman, Estimated, Scarlet, Fire, Good Lovin', Uncle Johns, Space, Wharf Rat, Around E: Brokedown
Chicago, Il 5/12/77
I: Bertha, Uncle, Jed, Cassidy, Peggy-O, Straw, TLEO, Minglewood, Half Step, Dancin'
II: Samson, BE Woman, Estimated, Sunrise, Terrapin, Playin', Drums, NFA, Comes A Time, Playin' E: JBG
Chicago, Il 5/13/77
I: Music, Ramble, Cassidy, BE Woman, Minglewood, Friend, El Paso, Jack A Roe*, LL Rain, Scarlet, Fire
II: Samson, Bertha, Estimated, Drums, Other One, Stella Blue, GDTRFB, OMSN E: US Blues
St. Louis, MO 5/15/77
I: Bertha, Good Lovin', Row Jimmy, Minglewood, Jed, Lazy Lightning, Supplications, Jack A Roe, Passenger*, BE Woman, Dancin'
II: Estimated, Eyes, Drums, Samson, Ship of Fools, St Stephen, Iko*, NFA, Sugar Mags E: Uncle Johns
Tuscaloosa, AL 5/17/77
I: Minglewood, Half Step, El Paso, TLOE, Straw, Jack A Roe, LL Rain, Jed, Passenger, High Time, Big River, Sunrise, Scarlet, Fire
II: Samson, Bertha, Good Lovin', BE Woman, Estimated, Terrapin, Playin', Drums, Wharf Rat, Playin' E: Sugar Mags
*First Time