Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

Talk about the recent Tours
 #59588  by wisedyes
 Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:07 am
Well, I just have to say that last night at JPJ Arena on the beautiful UVA campus was off the freaking hook ( for the most part ). Nice smallish venue, good sound, mellow vibe - the campus police were being mostly benign.

New Speedway Boogie opener, pretty well done. Bertha next, nice and bopping - Weir and Warren trading vocals. High Time with warren singing, very sweetly played. An epic Mason's Children after that, with an okay Big Boss man following. Doing That Rag was awesome! - Warren sang it. Standing On The Moon followed - musically very nice, I personally don't care for how Bobby sings this.

Off the top of my head I don't remember if there was another first set song after that - I don't think there was. VERY long set break, about 45 minutes.

Second set was short on songs, but they were almost all monstrous jams. Playing opener, extremely well done, into an unbelievable Crazy Fingers, with just epic jams. Phil was killing this one. A really cool drums, space was actually a bit more interesting than usual, and out of that a killer St. Stephen - The Eleven St. Stephen sequence. This is where it kind of lost me me , though - Mississippi Half Step ( an "eh" rendition ) into Foolish Heart to close it out. This one was played okay enough, just a weird way to end a show, I thought.

Encore was a smoking Gloria.
 #59589  by wisedyes
 Thu Apr 16, 2009 6:12 am
Oh yeah, forgot the Playing Reprise right before Foolish Heart. Looking Back, that would have actually been a better way to end the show, I think. All in all though, I was very happy. If they keep this going for a while I'm on board with it - it's way better than Ratdog or Phil & Friends. :cool:
 #59597  by Shuxter
 Thu Apr 16, 2009 8:57 am
cold and rainy. bad vibes in the lot with too many people copping bad attitudes sucking nitrious ballons. A mob still standing in the rain trying to get through arena security as the band took stage.

The 1st set lasted exactly 1 hour and was absolutely brilliant. Warren played an SG and firmly established himself as the star of the show. Starting off with an incredible New Speedway, Warren sang and played his heart out inspiring the band to put up a solid mostly blues based Dead set. Performances on High Times and Rag were of the chill bumps variety. Some of the leads he threw into BBM were off the hook and Bobby's confusion over the lyrics just added to the drama.
The audience responded loudly to any reference to rain in the lyrics.

After playing only 1 hour, they inexplicably took a break that lasted over an hour. Approx 65 minutes offstage.

The 2nd set started off well enough with a great PITB but it really wasn't the same band. The drumming seemed lethargic and overall, Warren didn't exhibit the edge he showed in the 1st set.
The drum solo was interesting enough but Space was a totally uninspired waste of time (especially after listening to the Greensboro tape). After just being treated to an hour with the lights on after only 1 hour of music, I was surrounded by people in the audience loudly grumbling as Bob & Warren stalled until the drummers returned to the stage. My message to the Dead: Space should only be an improvisation you go into when everyone is clearly in the mood - not a planed 20 minute set filer.

In spite of my slight criticism, the 2nd set it was overall a decent show. Bobby's excellent guitar playing was turned up sufficiently in the mix and always interesting. Repeatedly, just when Phil seemed to get comfortable in the mix he would hit a button and explode into a furious barrage of hot licks. Warren was obviously getting off on playing a Gibson through the auto-wah. The keyboards took a few brief spotlights but were mostly just grooving. I'm not sure how to phrase my comments about the drumming. They were there and playing relentlessly but somehow lacked that extra degree of dynamics and enthusiasm you expect from a two drummer band.

Whatever boredom the audience felt during the long 2nd set jams was more than compensated for by an incredible St. Stephen. Bravo!

They encored with a surprisingly good audience participation Gloria and took a group bow before exiting the stage.

I can't wait to get the tape. I expect to hear an incredible 5 star one hour first set that will be on everyones playlist and a decent but somewhat lethargic 2nd set spiced up with moments of brilliance.

A couple of tidbits for tape listeners to check. At one point in one of the 2nd set jams, Phil cranks up and leads into a Jimi Hendrix groove of the Purple Haze/ Foxey Lady variety. Warren starts following him but Bobby leads the jam into a different direction. Later, Warren & Phil clue that they're on the brink of a little Allman Bros jam but Bobby again turns it back. There's several other times in the 2nd set where Phil takes the initiative to shake things up but Warren seems complacent to noodle around Bobby.

A tip for parking lot shoppers. You can get the same shirt for prices ranging from $10 to $25 depending on the seller and how you talk to them. I actually had 2 different sellers try to raise the already quoted price after they saw me pull cash out of my pocket. The official shirts in the lobby are more expensive but very nice quality.
 #59606  by Maybeck09
 Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:32 pm
Agree with most comments. While its stellar weather today, it sucked yesterday. Show was good I thought. I had not seen the band since 93 and was preparing myself for compromise. Wrong- I thought it was great. Not my overall choice on tunes, but some great one sand jams. I was surprised how tight and focused everyone played and the band as a whole played. Highlights were St. Stephen, Crazy Fingers, Speedway Boogie, Playin, oh and Haynes! Man that guy can play!. He's not Jerry-he's his own man-and damn good. I was really please with his singing and wicked jams on some of those tunes. He's definitely no fill-in or temp guy. He lead the band on many tunes and really just got after it on some of the leads he was playing. In addition to the Allman sound and some killer slide work he ran the auto-wah a lot and got a really nice pinched sound. Looks like he played an SG most of the night. I thought the drums was really focused and energetic. And loud from where we were. Sound was good too although the keyboards got a bit to hot in the mix in early second set. I agree with wisedeyes that Miss 1/2 Step, Foolish Heart was a let down for an ender (As was Standing on the Moon in set 1) but overall I'm really pleased with the band and what they are doing and why they are back out there doing it. By far worth it-if you are on the fence go-these are good tight sets with some very inspired playing and there STILL are not many bands, if any, that play this kind of music, this well all night long.
 #59633  by wisedyes
 Fri Apr 17, 2009 8:57 am
Yeah, that Half-Step was pretty sad. It sounded like Bobby was trying to get Foolish Heart started right before it, then somehow it turned into that train wreck. I think they better work on that one at sound checks or something - definitely the low point of the evening. Plus, honestly, the show would have been better off ending with the Playing reprise instead of the quick end on Foolish Heart, but I think they got goofed up somehow.

I have to say, however, that I have listened back to the show again carefully ( bought the cd at the show ), and I am still very impressed away from "the moment", so to speak. Phil was just en feugo all night - that man is an unbelievable inspiration, 69 and still kicking that kind of ass! - and Bobby was playing the best I've heard in many years. I strongly recommend that Bobby never play a whammy bar equipped guitar again, he's so much better without one! Weir and Phil are really driving things, I think, and it sounds good. Chementi did very well, but I'd like to see him get a bit more of a prominent role sometimes - he's got the chops.

I also think that Billy and Mickey were actually a bit more "rock" than they usually are, which is good, imho. One thing that used to bug me sometimes was the lack of a strong, steady pulse - they are a rock band, after all. I thought they weren't nearly as snaky overall as they used to be, which to me is an improvement in some ways.
 #59656  by kenneybonz
 Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:41 pm
don't have a bunch of time to type but i echo the good vibes... what a show.. second time i'd seen them there and that added to the fun.. nice to see dave and others there too...
we have a great time, the parking lot scene was terrific and we saw so many friends

dc the night before was fun.., but the armada of nitrous boys looked a weeeeee bit too organized if you know what i mean.. several looked to be "muscle" and had faces that looked molded in jail .. regardless they'd have been better if there'd been only about 20 tanks outside the exit as opposed to 70 or so..

funniest sight of the tour was the dc show, all this going on in front of the US MINT and the US Mint Police officers just leaning on their cruisers shaking there heads..

added to the laugh...

go dead.. still, i'm thinking of gratefulfest rather than rothbury cause i don't know about camping with 40000 dead heads when i could do the same thing with 3000 nelson ledges folks
 #59698  by warrenMFKNhaynes
 Sat Apr 18, 2009 8:09 pm
Nice to see a review that didn't make everything seem amazing like Jambase. Love the honesty. I personally think warren should be singing alot more. ESPECIALLY Standing On The Moon. Thats one of those songs where no one can come close to Jerry, but if you're going to play it, let someone who can sing sing it.

I'm still disapointed that they think they can charge almost $50 more then they did 5 years ago for decent shows. That is greed, and don't deny it.

I bet they will have some better shows to come, but still I think I'll save my $$ for ABB/WSP in chicago and not The Dead.
 #59717  by kenneybonz
 Sun Apr 19, 2009 1:32 pm
mttourpro wrote:Nelson's is great, but AllGood is the best. Do em both if possible.

we try to do that and vibes, but we LOVE the folks at nelson ledges and then on top of that really like the water.. i thought all good was a bit less camping in the trees and quarry water and bit more baking in a hot field.. am i wrong about that...
 #59718  by wisedyes
 Sun Apr 19, 2009 2:40 pm
Hey! Does this mean that you and Rebecca aren't coming to my wedding?