It's depressing -- 5 days without a run now. I'm not about to slash my wrists or anything, I guess it hasn't technically depressed me... but this time has freakin' stunk, I tell ya what. No exercise and feelin' like a slug -- not good. By the time I'm able to get the gym again, 6 days will have passed. Oh joy. The last two I should have run ... if I wasn't battling and getting over this brief cold.
At this 9 o'clock hour as I type this I'm supposed to be starting an overnight shift ... but yesterday I made some calls and switched nights with someone and I'll be taking Saturday night instead. It's been a crappy couple days off. Have been sequestered inside all dang day long, times 2, just sleepin' and takin' it easy, stuffin' meself with plenty o' Vitamin C. The episodes of needing to blow my nose every minute finally stopped about 24 hours ago ... so I knew I was on my way to recovery. Feelin' better I am, and hopefully tomorrow I'll even be able to run again before work.
Now, 'tis time again, kids, for that great old American fun time band, in America's great old fun time capital, well, not exactly in it, but very close to it ... Lake Buena Vista, the home of Mickey Mouse and various dwarves and a family of pants-less ducks, is just down the road a few miles from Orlando.
Orlando Arena, Orlando, Florida
Jack Straw, Sugaree, Wang Dang Doodle,
Row Jimmy, Black-Throated Wind,
Reuben And Cherise, The Promised Land
Crazy Fingers-» Playing In The Band-»
Uncle John's Band-» Playin' Jam-» Drums-» Space-»
Box Of Rain-» Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad-»
Turn On Your Lovelight
It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
Whoa! What a charge there is in the Jack Straw to start the festivities on this first of three shows on the Dead's very first time in Orlando. I saw a pretty good amount of shows when Bruce Hornsby was a member of the band but it just might be possible that I never saw a Jack Straw during that time... or never had a copy of a show with one in the years that followed. The reason I say that is because Bruce takes a line here and that's not something I remember. Oh well, it's not like remembering exact details is something possible with me anyway. What I do know is when Bruce takes that line, he just nails it and the crowd LOVES it!!! Wow!! That was a treat!!! The first song of a show is often incredibly spirited ... it's often a matter of whether or not that is sustained for the rest of the night.
Sugaree -- ahhhh. I'm almost at a loss for words here. No, it's not even close to the best ever, but it still is oh so sweet! I'm so glad this a soundboard. This particular night, unless the sound quality was just abnormally unbelievable for an Aud, would be wasted without this beautifully clear sound.
Now, it's not often I rave about a Wang Dang Doodle. Truly it's often not really worth mentioning. Not that it's a bad song, I like it just fine but it's just one that's usually just there and never really that special. I was actually blown away by a Wang Dang recently, with Phil & Friends 4-20-98. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention this nights. Everyone's extremely together makin' for a really great playing of this song. Bruce especially. I swear, it's like he's been in this band for years and years the way he fills in so perfectly. And he continues yet again on Row Jimmy. So far I'm not sure if there's been a bad note played!
After a flawless BT Wind, what came next makes this show nearly legendary. Three weeks before, there was a bust-out of almost monumental proportions -- the much loved Jerry tune Reuben and Cherise making its first ever Dead show appearance on the first night of the tour in Landover. Days went by and it made another appearance on Long Island. Now here it is again, the 3rd and final time in the Spring Tour.
So few got so lucky to hear it while so many suffered in agony from not being there. I was out west in Utah for all of Spring Tour but Vegas, Cal Expo, and Shoreline was next after Orlando. I saw 7 of those 8 shows -- no Reuben. Went down to L.A. for a one-night stand there on the first of June -- no Reuben. Summer Tour (with still a couple weeks of Spring left) started up and right after finals, I made it cross country straight to D.C. to see much of the last half of the tour -- no Reuben. They did play it once more, early on in the tour, in Ohio. But that was it. Four measly times. Nooooooo, they couldn't debut it when I was at the years first shows in Oakland in February, or play it out west, not even once. Ahhhh well, such is life.
On this night in O-Town, the kids they enjoyed Reuben and they enjoyed the hell out of it! I'm happy for 'em, those that were there. And I'm happy for this soundboard!
Set 2! I am a huge proponent of getting things started on the raucous side and Crazy Fingers just doesn't do that at all. But that's okay here. Jerry has one minor lyric flub that's hardly even worth mentioning because the song flows so beautifully along. In the last few minutes Phil and Jerry steer it so smoothly into the night. This band is just unbelievable, I'm just in awe. They're so good at this!
Some notes of Playin' bring a hard left turn and away we go! God, I love listening to this. There's so much going on: you can zoom in on Bobby playin' around on rhythm guitar, or on Jerry, the central figure when Bob's not singing, constantly noodling away on lead, or on Phil layin' down this incredible backbone on bass, or Bruce all jazzy on piano, with Mickey and Billy never missing a beat on drums, and Vince a little bit in there somewhere, I think -- mmmm, what a great jam they've got goin' on.
Time for a brief break from that with the emergence of UJB. Bruce has picked up his accordion here so we've another new sound to hear. I think it's actually a little annoying at times. Just a weird sound to hear within a Dead song. He sure does know how to play it interestingly, though!
Soon enough the UJB-Playin' sandwich moves back to a Playin' theme and Bruce's accordion takes on a Space-ish sound to it. I was really diggin' something in particular Jerry was doin' for a moment near the beginning. Couldn't place my finger on exactly what it was but almost familiar sounding (but definitely not Playin'-related.) The Jam evolves rather spacily and a little erratic, but of course still all held together by musicians who know their craft and they know it well. They might give the appearance that each instrument is out there on its own when in reality each of them is in tune with the other. Separately but together they build up this massive crescendo of sound into what just about blew my mind, holy cow, there's this rapid cosmic collision of... just this interplanetary moment of... where everything just explodes and... wow. I don't really know what it was, it all happened so fast, officer!! Mmmm. That's the feeling I'm left with! Mmmm!
From there the jam devolves, sliding away and dissolving into more Space-like territory rather than an actual jam. Kinda like Space in reverse, sorta, as they eventually wind it down and let the guys with the drum sticks take over.
Unfortunately, and, man, I hate when there's an "unfortunately" to mention, unfortunately here's the first time in the show that I'm not really into it. Normally I dig Drums, always a fan of hearin' and bein' a part of drum circles, always thought of these guys as my inspiration when I was bangin' away putting in my part of the music. But on this night from Mickey and Billy, I wasn't really feelin' it. A little uninspired perhaps. It does get better, methinks, when Mickey moves to the beam and starts gettin' experimental with all of his electronic percussion dealies and such.
Space is... I'm out of adjectives. Out of this world good? Definitely definitely definitely an improvement over Drums. They explore so many cool corners of the universe before treating everyone to a little Phil time. He's been all over this show on bass but how about a step up to mic? Is Box of Rain ever bad? There's something so soothing about Jerry singing along. This one gave me a big ol' smile!!
The end of the show steams ahead in a manner perfectly in line with the greatness before it. I'm tellin' ya, not a note out of place!
With Bruce back on accordion, some quiet Dylan for the encore brought the crowd down to where they could probably just relax, enjoy, and walk into the warm Florida night on top of the world.
That was a slice of 1991 heaven. Excellent show. This pick was a little less random than my usual method. I didn't pick it for the setlist, just knew I wanteda SBD from Spring '91 but not from one of the usual northeast locations. So glad I picked this one!
4/7/91 Orlando is @ Archive.org
for listening only
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