Thursday, May 8, 2008

Shenandoah in the Garden


Well, Spring has Sprung here in central Alaska... for real... sort of. The ice on the Tanana River has achieved break up and the water will be moving towards the ocean soon. Before that happening, Spring
was here... technically. Psychologically speaking, we've turned a corner and today is a new day. Spring is truly here. It's time to look ahead. Couldn't do that before, nope, 'cause there was a wall up, a barrier that couldn't been seen over. That wall's been toppled and the future is in my sights. Actually I don't see a whole lot on the horizon that's definitive, but at least I know the future's out there.

First things first -- I need to think about a vacation! Somewhere, anywhere (almost) that I'll be free from the internet, free from work, free from most everything that revolves around living this daily life that I live. Not that it's a bad life... but I need a break to not have a care in the world 'bout nuttin'! Yeah, that would be nice. It's been over a year since I've had anything that resembled a vacation... I could really use a few days to decompress, recharge, and to just be.
Ketchikan maybe. Or Dutch Harbor. Or Burma to help with everything that needs helping there. That wouldn't be much of a vacation but helping others in need should be my #1 priority in this life... not self. Never self.

Now that I've nicely messed up my idea of going hiking and relaxing somewhere for a few days, let me move onto the main course for this post: some music, maestro... tis time to Press Play!


Grateful Dead Steal Your Face - shamrock design for BostonGrateful Dead
September 24, 1991
Boston Garden
Boston, Massachusetts

Grateful Dead Steal Your Face - shamrock design for Boston

1st Set: Let The Good Times Roll, Feel Like A Stranger, Althea,
It's All Over Now, High Time, Beat It On Down The Line,
Big Railroad Blues, Desolation Row, New Speedway Boogie

2nd Set: China Cat Sunflower-> I Know You Rider,
Women Are Smarter-> Ship Of Fools-> Dark Star->
Drums-> Space (w/some Shenandoah)-> Foolish Heart->
I Need A Miracle-> Standing On The Moon-> Around And Around

Encore: The Weight

In the 1990's when I was in full Dead swing, you might say, there was a serious drawback to going to college anywhere West of the Appalachian Mountains: Fall Tour was not entirely doable, I'm sad to say. Fortunately for me, my school -- the University of Utah -- was on a quarter system at the time. Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer versus the normal three semesters. What that meant was we didn't have our first class until about September 18th-ish at the earliest. What that additionally meant was in September of '91, before I had to depart the East Coast to head back to Utah, I got to see some shows on that Fall Tour.

That was a pretty nice tour, overall -- and a pretty good year overall -- with my highlight being, and I hate to sound like I'm bragging here, 9/10 at Madison Square Garden with special guest Branford Marsalis. After seeing that, quantity no longer mattered. I saw a bunch at MSG that run but no Boston Garden. Too bad for me, in a way... but at the same time, I had a great Fall.

After MSG, some good shows took place over those 6 nights in the Gahhden... and this just might be one of the two best.

Grateful Dead - Boston Garden ticket: 9/24/91

LTGTR! It might not be a kickin' Bucket or Bertha or Jack Straw... but it's a pretty fun way to open a show! If only maybe they'd taken some time to rehearse a nice transition into what would come next. Ahhh well. Criticism aside, what does come next really helps to set the groove for this night -- Stranger is perfection! One title for this show that I had in mind -- The Bruce Hornsby Era Was Way Too Short! Man, he shoulda stuck around for the duration 'cause what a beautiful difference he makes! His piano playing helps make Stranger absolutely perfect. Then again, listening to this show for about the 3rd time in a week now, I can't help but be impressed by the entire band here just blowin' this outta the water! Sooooo nice!! And then Althea is just more of the same and Bruce again totally shines on All Over Now. He's a musical genius on piano and with this music he fits in amazingly.

I hate to sound like a freakin' broken record but the rest of the set is just more greatness right until halftime. Jerry hits every word and every note of High Time making that just beautiful.

BIODTL is the set's main speed dance tune... but uh oh, there's only the briefest of pauses before it's time to boogie to Jerry on Big RxR... a great number for Phil as well as Jer, both of 'em right up until Bruce takes the spotlight then Jerry's turn again while Phil never misses a beat! Oh mama! Those two songs back-to-back makes for a great little 8-minute dance-fest!

After Desolation, there are a few blown words from Jerry in New Speedway but here's a case where it just doesn't matter because everything's been going so perfectly; some missed lyrics here mean nothing. What an interesting way to close the set. They'd been playing Speedway all year... but for the first time since 1970!

China->Rider to open Set 2 -- heaven. Just breathtaking. There's no need for me to elaborate... but I will, a little. It's not often when I say that I'd really like to give the Aud of a sweet, sweet soundboard a listen but I wanna give, in the future sometime, the Aud of this a listen. Why? Moments like right after the first line of Rider when the crowd always cheers at that spot... and when Jerry just NAILS with such intense emotion "I wish I was A HEADLIGHT, on a northbound train. I'd shine my light through that cool Colorado rain." Holy freakin' crap. It brought me to tears... again. When Jerry is really on, that's perhaps my favorite part of any song... and yeah.... I'll get choked up like I am now after hearing it about a minute ago. That's the show right there. Anything else after this just doesn't matter.

But since Jerry's right on the money tonight, after a nice Man Smart, Woman Smarter, how about an almost stellar Ship Of Fools? A few flubbed words take away the total perfection but still an A+ version!!

My pinnacle had passed in that Rider but for most everyone in the arena that night, I've gotta wicked feelin' that Dark Star is their moment. Second appearance on the tour with the first being that night a couple weeks ago in Noo Yawk with Branford. Well, sorry, folks, it can't be better... but it can still be pretty nice. Another bit of heaven to be sure... and another song for Phil to really stand out... sweeeet.

If you listen closely during Drums, thanks to the soundboard, you can hear Mickey, I think, often letting out a yell that seems like half a chant at times. I'd love to see the video of this because you can clearly hear Billy & Mickey really enjoying themselves. They have a pretty go at it but not for too long before they exit and the others come out for Space. And here fans get such a treat... over halfway through it kinda sounds like they're setting up for I Will Take You Home... of course that won't be played as it's a Brent tune but the tone here really seems like this is Summer or Spring of 1990 and not Fall in 1991. Onward they play... whoa... what? Shenandoah? Seriously, Jer? WOW! For just a moment it's there then it's gone then bits come back... but altogether it's so much Shenandoah Lullaby you could reach out and wrap your arms around it... wow. Do I use that word too much? Or these two -- so sweet!!! Wow.
Soon after that Foolish is in full bloom but I'm still recovering from how cool that Shenandoah moment was.

Everything on this night is just hitting so magnificently. Foolish is practically flawless and then with Miracle it's audience participation and Bobby having some quick fun. Standing On The Moon... I'm... again practically speechless. Another plateau. Another!

Around And Around is pretty typical but a fun way to get that last bit of dance goin' before we get one of my favorite encores -- The Weight. With Bruce I think this is even better. He adds an extra bit of greatness to the tune. The crowd, of course, goes nuts when Phil takes his verse. Everyone throughout is right Dead on, pun intended. It ain't even a Grateful Dead song but who cares! Almost any non-GD song the Dead do, they make it like it's their own. The Weight is one of those all the way. The smile on my face and the tears in my eyes as it comes to a close... yeah...
I knew my time spent seeing shows in the 90's wasn't a waste. I knew it! This show is an example of the greatness that there still was. Hell yeah!

Source: Soundboard > DAT > CD
Sound Quality: A+

9-24-91 Boston Garden @
for listening only


TINY STEAL YOUR FACE - Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, Vince Welnick, Bruce Hornsby Download It Right Here TINY STEAL YOUR FACE - no Brent Mydland.  No Donna or Keith Godchaux or Tom Constanten or Ron Pigpen McKernan.  Songs by Robert Hunter and John Perry Barlow and Bob Dylan.
9-24-91 aka 09-24-91 aka 9/24/91 aka 09/24/91 aka 91-09-24 setlist 320 kbps mp3 SBD download

Grateful Dead - Boston Garden backstage pass: 9/24/91



Sugarmag said...

Hey Chris, I can so relate to the emotions that you wrote about in this post, "A smile on my face and tears in my eyes" it was definitely not a waste of time, although I'm sure my parents thought so. Cool show, thanks for the memories.
I hope you get a vacation

Zooomabooma said...

Ya know, I can listen to GD (and Jerry and related) shows all day and all week long and when they're great I'll smile and I'll groove to the tunes so much... and when there are times of mediocrity, I'll acknowledge that... but then there's a show like this and compared to the most monumentally incredible Dead shows, this probably wouldn't even crack the Top 50... but there's something about a great show from the 90's that really strikes a chord with me in the way it did here.

That was such a great time for me. My parents for awhile voiced their objections to my crazy traveling and spending habits to see the Dead... especially when I was not enrolling in school at times to instead work and travel. I made the decision that I was gonna do what my heart desired and eventually they just let me do my thing.

In a way I wanna listen to more shows that I was at so I can try to kind of relive the experiences and share the memories. Even though I wasn't at this one, that was exhausting, listening to it twice in a row, the 2nd time while typing. I'm beat!

There are so many years so I'll keep mixing it up... but whenever it may be, I'm already looking forward to once again visiting this era.

Thanks for your comments, Sugar Mag... the one here and on other posts. I dig havin' your presence around here :)

AussieJohn said...

Looking forward to listening to this after it's downloaded - thanks for taking the trouble to put this up.
I too had crazy spending and travelling habits to see bands in years gone by.
I don't however regret a single minute of it and only wish I'd done more!

Zooomabooma said...

Heya Aussiejohn... thanks for the comment, hope you've enjoyed the show by now!

While it takes some time to put together a post like this and to upload the files, it's really no trouble... it's my pleasure to be sharing the music!

Will said...

I haven't molested a nazi monkey in years...

This link isn't working very well.. has it expired??? is there anyway to re-up that shit???
- holler back at me -

Zooomabooma said...

Hey Now Will... I'm glad you haven't molested a Nazi monkey in years. Hopefully you're reformed now! It's a sick thing, you know. And those poor monkeys, they were brainwashed into Nazism!

Anyway... try the links again! Nothing I personally put up will expire, hell no, I ain't gonna be a part of that expired download link crap that pollutes the internet!

I checked each link for this Bahston Gahden show and there doesn't seem to be any problem.

Let me know what's up, would ya?

Thanks & Enjoy!

KhinaDoll said...

Thanks for uploading this! I was at this show (my first actually!) and the energy was just crackling. It may have been the herbs, but I remember that during "Dark Star" that the musical tension between Jerry and Phil's playing made me imagine a thunderstorm forming inside the Garden. During Drumz, Mickey would hit some drums and then point his drumstick out toward different areas of the audience and yell. (in my mind he was sending out lightning bolts!) Space and that lovely lullaby theme seemed like the sweet calm after the storm. Almost 18 years later and listening to it brings it all back. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Love your site.
The links for this show are down - any chance of a re-up? My tape is of this fine show is long worn out, and I would love to hear again the wonderful Dark Star they played that night. Len

Zoooma said...

I'll try to get to it.

Anonymous said...

Hi there Zooma. Checking in daily and waiting patiently for the re-up of this show and the 17th March 1991 show. Hope you can find the time soon. Thanks in anticipation. Len

Len said...

My man Zooooma. I am still here, everyday, hoping [patiently] for a re-up of this fine fine show. Len

Zoooma said...

I'm closer to workin' on this for you (and for anyone else who'd like the show.) My life's in shambles, music's not important right now . . . but still this crosses my mind everyday so hang in there.

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

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated