Tuesday, January 15, 2008

T right here in Santa Fe...

Show review of the Grateful Dead 9/10/83 - Downs at Santa Fe, Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Ahhh, Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Brent Mydland, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann.  This venue has been known for years and years amongst Deadheads as Downs of Santa Fe and Santa Fe Downs.  Unless I'm mistaken, Downs at Santa Fe is more than likely the true name of the racetrack where this show and the one the day after took place, as well as a GD show the year before.  Unfortunately Ron Pigpen McKernan was absent.  Bruce Hornsby and Vince Welnick were years away from being in the band.  Keith and Donna Godchaux were in the band a few years before.  Songs from John Perry Barlow and Robert Hunter, of course.Cold. Cold & Snow. No Rain. Just way cold.

Way WAY cold.

I almost couldn't have a better three days off work. Because I switched shifts to work the Saturday overnight, my schedule got generously shuffled around and I'm now on Day 3 out of 3 in-a-row off. Unfortunately I've been Stuck Inside Of My House In Fairbanks With Them Wanna-Not-Be-Stuck-Inside-The-House Blues Again ... I don't really know what I'm saying. It's so cold... how cold is it?! It's Soooooo cold that it's cold enough to freeze the balls off a polar bear.

alllllll the way up to -33° (-36 C.)
from -44° (-42° Celsius)...
Yesterday we climbed...

Yes, -33° was the high temperature for the day, at least according to my trusty electronic measuring dealie with a remote sensor out in the backyard. Perfectly suitable for life inside, or maybe I oughta say, to drive a person batty from being almost forcibly sequestered inside. The closest I got to going outside was the inside of my garage (where it's about 20°) to start my truck up for awhile and check the timer for my engine block heater.

Today it's a little warmer ... Haaa! warmer's an odd but kinda funny word to use considering it's -13° (-25° C) now. Maybe I'll venture out to the gym for a run later. We shall see. -13's brrrrr freakin' cold but it's definitely not as bad as -30 something with ice fog. In any case, I'm glad I didn't work through these past couple of days 'cause that woulda been hell.

Back in uniform tomorrow.

For now -- I think I'll Play Dead...

Grateful Dead -- 9/10/83
Downs At Santa Fe
Santa Fe, New Mexico

1st Set
The Music Never Stopped, They Love Each Other,
My Brother Esau, Big Railroad Blues,
Beat It On Down The Line, Tennessee Jed,
Minglewood Blues, China Cat Sunflower I Know You Rider

2nd Set
Woman Are Smarter, Cumberland Blues,
Playing In The Band China Doll Drums Space
The Other One Jam
Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad
One More Saturday Night

Encore -- Cold Rain and Snow

An amazing tour this would have been, methinks, to go tripping on, road and otherwise... not exactly because of the shows themselves, but where they took place and the roads you'd drive getting from place to place.

The East Coast swing in June...

Saratoga Springs, New York Columbia, Maryland
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania Madison, Wisconsin
St. Paul, Minnesota Suburbs of Chicago

...would've been so boring compared to the tour that the boys went on
in late August -> early September...

Portland, Oregon Seattle, Washington Eugene, Oregon
Boise, Idaho Park City, Utah Red Rocks, Colorado
Santa Fe, New Mexico Austin, Texas

Freakin' sweet! The only downside -- several indoor venues. Oh well. But what beautiful country to go tripping through!

Couple weeks after that first night in Portland, the traveling music and summertime funtime roadshow would steam into northern New Mexico -- a weekend stand at a horse racing track on the edge of town.

Some sloppy lyrics mar the opening Music Never Stopped. Bobby's moment of pure befuddlement was quickly made up for by such great energy here on this Santa Fe afternoon. Things even get cranked up a notch in TLEO. Jerry rips his solo and this has been such a great opening so far. Big RxR and China->Rider are also definitely worth mentioning -- both especially rockin' and they contributed tons to how sweet this first set is. No one is taking a break for this show!

It's weird to me, how a quick run through Women Are Smarter followed by an equally brief Cumberland Blues make the beginning of Set 2 feel almost more like perhaps the middle of the first set. To the rescue comes Playing In The Band to truly get us into a much better second set groove. In no time the boys are diving into Jam-land. The way this ship steers is nothing less than mesmerizing. Is it Captain Jerry at the helm? Obviously it's easy to focus on Jerry's incredible guitar work but is it him in charge or does the whole thing move fluidly because of everyone's motion working perfectly in sync together?

Whichever way, Playin' melds into a nice China Doll then back into more jam-land very similar once again to the territory they were in before the pistol shot at 5 o'clock.

For quite a time during Space, it's interesting to hear Bobby, in particular. He's really goin' at it on guitar, very prominent at times, even more so than Jerry. As time goes on he gets into this pattern that sounds like it's part of a real song or something. Not the usual rhythm guitar heard from the Bobstar. Eventually both Jerry & Phil start layin' down the groundwork for The Other One ... strong then backing off then stronger again. More often than not a setlist is pretty clear in stating what's played. Is this The Other One Space or is it still just Space notated with (strong) hints of The Other One ... or could it be labeled The Other One Jam or just another The Other One except notated that there are no lyrics? In any case, it's a pretty cool lengthy passage of spacey jamming, with a bunch of shifts to and fro.

UGH! Unfortunately there's a very annoying splice that completely ruins the transition from O1 to GDTRFB. So harsh... no, I mean terribly harsh, just mean, like taking a baby's security blanket... and then kicking the baby in the head! Oh well. I guess this means someday I'll have to check out the other source for this show to see if that's any better. Could be a win-lose situation. If the transition there is better, will the sound quality be just as good? This is great for an Aud... no, I mean great! Probably for 1983 auds it's an A+. For all GD Aud recordings this is without a doubt A- to a solid A. At times, I swear, might as well be a Soundboard!

As far as the show itself, well, I don't like to judge 'em as a whole anymore. I used to. Now I just enjoy and I notice what's bad, notice what's so-so, and notice what blows my mind without giving the whole thing an overall Grade According To Me. Sometimes I almost want to but I quickly cut that thought off before it begins to better formulate in my mind. Like with show, I wanna give it an A+ but here's why...

Cold Rain & Snow for the encore! Up until this point in September of 1983, they'd played this around 150 times... but never once as the Encore. In the perhaps 100 times playing this from after 9/10/83 to the last time in 1995 -- again, never as the Encore. So this is the only time ever. Now that doesn't necessarily make this whole show but I'm a Setlist Oddity freak and so this is unique as shit and pretty cool to me. Not that the Dead in itself isn't unique... but this is clearly a Setlist Oddity in their history.

What a great show to pick completely at random. Of the countless mediocre Auds with no Soundboard in circulation to listen to, this is a treat and a half!

Jeff Silberman's Master Audience PCM;

Sennheiser 441 mics >
Technics SV100 PCM > DAT > CDR

Thank You, Jeff!

GD 9/10/83 Santa Fe is @ Archive.org
for both listening & downloading
(unfortunately this isn't the 2007 Upgrade.)
In addition to Silberman's recording,
there's another Aud (FOB) source in circulation.

Grateful Dead backstage pass (from www.psilo.com) - Downs at Santa Fe a.k.a. Downs of Santa Fe a.k.a. Santa Fe Downs, 9/10/83, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Grateful Dead - Downs at Santa Fe ... or Downs of Santa Fe, New Mexico poster, 9-10 and 9-11-83

Steal Your Face


Scott said...

I always found it amazing that Bobby could remember every word to the aforementioned Stuck Inside of Mobile...and Desolation Row but screw up the words to Music Never Stopped and Truckin'

This is a good show and one that was among the many of the often overlooked 1983. No Philly alas...

Nazz Nomad said...

-33? what the heck is wrong with you?

Mark said...

This looks like a good show - downloading it now and THANKS for hosting it for us!!!

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

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated