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!
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
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.
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!
Sound Quality: A+
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