"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

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Didn't Get To Sleep Last Night

For the third straight year, I find myself publishing a blog on this day. It is the only non-holiday that this has happen with. The first year it was Woodstock, then last year it was the 1991 show, where the band played "Dark Star" in the first set for the first time in 20 years. Now today we go back to 1981, for a show from McArthur Court this year. Download the SBD copy HERE and HERE.
As typical for the good shows from 1981, the first set has a good flow to it. There isn't the 6 minute cigarette breaks between songs for "Tuning." Here they flow from the rocking "Jack Straw" opener to the brilliant "Friend of the Devil" before jumping into the firery "El Paso." Bobby Bobifies "Minglewood." Its interesting to hear him catch the missing lyric as he speaks them instead of screaming. It really shows how much he puts into singing "Minglewood." As always "Peggy-O" is the most heartfelt song of the first set. Beautiful pace to the gem.
The second set opens with the disco funk "Feel Like a Stranger." The song improved greatly over the first couple of months of it's life span, to where the "Go to Heaven" and "Dead Set" version differ eminencely. Then the meat of the set, "Scarlet/Fire." This is quite different from the fluent versions of 1977, this is two very distinct jams. So much that you can hear Garcia holding, holding, holding onto the "Scarlet" jam, before letting Phil drift the band into "Fire on the Mountain." Almost immediately afterwards Bobby drops the band into "Estimated Prophet." This, quite fluently, moves into "Eyes." Although "Eyes" is short it is packed full of excitement. As the Rhythm Devil's take over Kesey, Babbs and Thunder Machine move out onto stage with the boys. "Space" is short, because almost immediately there are "Other One" phrasing that is present in the jam. Then as always "Stella Blue," is the pleasant cool down to the second set. Bobby ends the show with two classic rockers. Before the band ices the cake with a wonderful "Baby Blue," which is the second one since 1974.
I: Straw, FOTD, El Paso, Loser, Minglewood, Peggy-O, Rooster, Deal
II: Stranger, Scarlet, Fire, Estimated, Eyes, Jam, Drums*, Space, Other One, Stella, Around, Good Lovin' E; Baby Blue
*With Ken Kesey, Ken Babbs and Thunder Machine

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