Sunday, June 2, 2013

Captain Trips

The Charles Atlas of the psychedelic set, the Grateful Dead

I stumbled across a few videos from this show a year or so back, and was blown away. For late era Dead, Jerry seems so energized, engaged, happy, inspired.  The videos that initially caught my eye were Foolish Heart, which comes out of a wicked Victim jam.  Jerry leans into the last chorus of Foolish Heart, letting the vocal build as he loved to do, and a sign that he wanted to take it to the next level. After the build up, he breaks it down, and the concluding jam nods to the Layla outro: Garcia plaintively rhapsodizing, while Hornsby entangles him in a bittersweet melodic web. Jerry's feeling it, and the rest of the band feed off the energy, particularly Weir's sympathetic and abstract rhythms. Jerry pulls his chin off his chest, gives the band a smile, and that's all folks. 

Then there's a Stella Blue, and what can be said about that? That after fifteen years of blowing people's minds with this song, Jerry pulls his chin back down, leans into it, and tears this tune a new asshole. It echoes throughout the cosmos to this day.

The rest of this show is tits from beginning to end. When least expecting it, you'll find yourself in hog heaven. Enjoy the ride.

Grateful Dead 12-28-90 Oakland Coliseum Oakland CA

Set 1
Cold Rain and Snow
Walkin' Blues
Friend of the Devil
It's All Over Now
Brown Eyed Women
Victim or the Crime
Foolish Heart

Set 2
China Cat Sunflower
I Know You Rider
Saint of Circumstance
He's Gone
All Along the Watchtower
Stella Blue
Around and Around

E: Black Muddy River