Friday, September 28, 2007

Da Bullz, Da Bearz, Da CUBZ?! ... Da Dead in Seattle 30 Years Ago Today

When it comes to baseball, loyalty is highly approved of. When you're a Mets fan, you're a Mets fan. No one else. Just the Mets. But I've got a special place in my heart for the "Loveable Losers" -- the Chicago Cubs. My dad was born in the northside suburb of Lake Forest. He grew up there and in nearby Highland Park. Northsiders are Cubs fans. My dad's a Cubs fan. Because of that, I didn't adopt one of Chicago's two baseball teams as my favorite, nope, I chose between the Mets and Yankees... but I turned my back on the two football teams local to where I grew up in Northern New Jersey and I adopted the Chicago Bears as my favorite football team and when Michael Jordan was playing, the Chicago Bulls as my favorite basketball team. Da Bullz! Da Bearz! Ditka!

In baseball, my loyalty's always been with the Mets but over the years I've grown to... sort of cheer for the Cubs, at least wish them well. Mets are and always will be, even in their humiliating pathetic despair, #1. But the Cubs deserve to win. Their last World Series championship was quite a few years ago -- 1908 to be exact.

So now ya gotta hand it to the Chicago Cubs for bein' one of the best teams in baseball this year. At the end of the San Diego-Milwaukee game on ESPN earlier tonight, the very first thing the announcer said was along the lines of -- "And the Chicago Cubs have clinched the National League Eastern Division Title." Dude, it was a Padres-Brewers game. But it had implications. Right after that last out was made, I had the idea for some reason to flip over to WGN, the Chicago TV station that the Cubs are often on nationally. Low and behold, instead of regular programming, onto the screen came came the graphic with a voice saying --"This is a WGN News Special" Had a plane crashed? Did the mayor have a fatal heart attack? No... Cubs Clinch! Pretty wild seein' the champagne a flowin' in the Cubs clubhouse. After their game in Cincinatti against the Reds, they had to wait around for about an hour and watch the end of the Brewers game to see if they could celebrate. Yup. Lots of bubbly and beer and even shaving cream. WGN's main sports guy was there for interviews plus there were many reporters on camera for interviews in and around Chicago, from Harry Carey's Restaurant up to Wrigleyville and the Cubby Bear. Best baseball fans in the game, hands down.

Now with 2 games left, the NY Mets have collapsed into 2nd place, a game behind Philly. Oh joy. They've sucked completely and utterly horrendously for the past couple weeks especially. A monumental collapse from their perch atop their division. Fallen from 1st they have and now it looks like no playoffs for them unless somehow they can pull out a freakin' miracle and a half. Even if they win both of their remaining games -- Phillies have to lose at least one. Yay. Mets suck.

Well, thank God there's great music to make the crappy times better! From Wrigleyville to Shea to Seattle 30 Years Ago Tonight... Ladies & Gentlemen, the Dead du Jour...

Is it Phil who mentions the NFL? It was never explained why.  Was this the year the Seahawks came into the league?  Beats me.  No, I just checked.  The Seahawks were starting their 2nd season.  First season they were an awesome 2-12.  And when the Dead were in Seattle for this and the next night, the new season was just underway.  But why the NFL was mentioned, it's still not clear.  In any case, Phil Lesh, Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Brent Mydland, Donna Godchaux, Keith Godchaux, Ron McKernan a.k.a. Pigpen, Bruce Hornsby, Mickey Hart, Billy Kreutzmann, Vince Welnick, they put on a great show this night in Seattle.  Only, wait, Vince wasn't there.  Neither was Pigpen.  Nope, Hornsby wasn't either.  But the rest were there.  What's that?  Brent was absent, too?  Why, yes, you are correct!  Pretty good show, though.  So sweet!

Grateful Dead -- 9/28/77
Paramount Northwest Theatre
Seattle, Washington

1st Set
(missing first 5 songs)

Tennessee Jed, Passenger, Peggy-O,
Me & My Uncle, Friend Of The Devil,
The Music Never Stopped

2nd Set
Bertha Good Lovin', Dire Wolf,
Estimated Prophet
Eyes Of The World
Not Fade Away Wharf Rat
Around And Around

U.S. Blues

It used to be for me that with shows missing songs like this, I'd just pass them right over. Afterall, there are so many dates with every song or just missing only the encore, why spend time listening to just a partial show? Maybe I'd get to those someday, savin' 'em for last. Well, these days I've decided to just let 'er rip, meanin' I'm gonna sample 'em all, no matter freakin' what. Glad I am! Even though the first five songs are missing, that's no reason to not give this a listen. And what I need to do is step in front of a swiftly moving train as punishment for not listening to 1977 in so long. Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb. Dumb.

Before this two night stand in Seattle, the boys had taken somewhat of a break from touring. Only five shows they played in those entire four months. But here they're back and rolling full steam ahead. Near perfection is a great way to describe the show on this night. There's truly no sense in writing any kind of proper review because it would be repetitious constantly repeating the same thing, over and over and over, repetitious saying great great great, just completely repeating the same thing again and again, over and over completely repetitious. Catch my drift?

There are a few words messed up in the lyrics here and there but each instance is so minor and forgotten quicker than it happens. The music is played so well that it completely makes up for those small mistakes. Dire Wolf makes an appearance for the first time in almost 3 years. One favorite moment, I think, is when NFA completely devolves and then evolves into what could really be called Space. The transition into Wharf Rat is, well, perfect.

Is this year truly the pinnacle of the Grateful Dead? That's for each person to decide on his or her own. My opinion? There are unbelievably amazing shows in pretty much every year from '66 to '95... but 1977 has quite a few. This one, man I dunno... I haven't heard 'em all from '77 but as I sit and listen to this show for the second time today, I'm astounded at how perfect the band sounds. Gorgeous. On a Scale of 0 to 10, 0 being Never Worth Listening To Again, 10 being Please Just Kill Me Now, Life Is Complete, this is a very solid 9 to 9.4 or so. Yes, to be precise, that's about right, by my estimation. I've said gorgeous already but I'm sayin' it again -- gorgeous.

Sound Quality -- Gorgeous. (Hmmm, there's that word again!)
How about a new word -- superexcellentedelicious.
There's some very minor and very brief static a time or three,
some tiny pops here and there, so this isn't perfect...
but it's oh so sweet!

9/28/77 is @ for listening only
Dload the Soundboard right here!


Oceanshaman said...

Bored by baseball, but love the Dead . . .

Currently listening to a 2nd set of a 9-29-89 show from Shoreline Amphitheatre . . .

Sweet Terrapin as I write . . .

Namaste . . .

rick said...

Great show, thanks very much for this one.

one says one number and the other another
but they were set at the same time. Hmmm...

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated