Thursday, April 9, 2009

Dead In A Blender

a.k.a. Free The Dead: Part 3...
I mean Part 2 but it's Part 3 but it's really Part 2

Alright, alright, alright (you've got to say that in a laid back, Texas drawl, Matthew McConaughey voice otherwise half the effect is gone. Capiche?) Time to wrap this Free The Dead sucker up. Probably coulda shoulda been all in one post but bite me, I didn't have time to do it that way. Probably coulda shoulda been in order, too, but oh well, sue me. Ha ha, I'm feelin' loopy this mornin' and with the tunes in my ears all I really wanna do is kick back and listen. Time to Play Dead.

Free The Dead, Middle Show #2 - Blender Theatre at Gramercy, New York City -- 3/30/09

The Dead -- Monday, March 30, 2009
Blender Theatre at Gramercy
New York City

"Free The Dead" -- Show #2

Playing In The Band Good Lovin' The Wheel Franklin's Tower
encore: Touch Of Grey

Oh yeah, I'm really lovin' the very loose jam to kick off the show. This would have been amazing at Grateful Dead shows and I'm guessing it's something they would have gravitated toward in time. Bobby adopted the style and then Phil, often leaving the fans guessing what the first song will eventually be after they've already been playing (jamming) for several minutes. What will they go into? Momentum builds so nicely. Nearly ten minutes worth of jamming and finally we get to Playin'. Oh man, sooooo nice!!!!

In a sense, this is the 2nd set, a continuation of the show that started eight hours earlier at the Angel Orensanz Center. Definitely a change of pace from the slightly smaller hall and just three guys standing there playing quietly. Here we've got everybody playing in the band just as they will be on the upcoming tour. And they sound great! When they leave the first part of the song behind and settle into more jamming, they are sooo comfortably at home with hardly a note out of place. If this is a glimpse of what's to come, then fans who sold kidneys and such to be able to afford tickets will be in for a great time.

When it comes time to make a transition to the next song, not everyone's on the same page but it comes together. Unlike in the acoustic show earlier in the day, here Bobby's takin' all the vocals so far. And once again the band is in perfect symbiosis, feeding off each other to put forth an exceptional effort in crafting this Good Lovin' into a sweet rendition. A better segue is executed upon their movement into The Wheel. Warren's featured kinda prominently in the vocals on this one but overall it feels a little tired whereas the thirty minutes that preceded it were so full of life. Still some sweet music throughout. The drummers, Mickey and Billy, are just absolutely on. I like Jeff Chimenti on keys but was Bruce asked to play or what? How much more amazing this band would be. Oh well.

Listening to this with Sugarmag the other day I remember totally digging the transition (left turn) into Franklin's. Phil hits the turn signal with his bass and the band follows without missing a single step. If there's one moment I really miss Jerry it seems to be here. Warren's geetar is nice enough and doesn't sound exactly how Jer would be playing but this is where he should be. More vocals from Haynes, as well as a verse from Phil, help make this rendition The Dead's and not something that's supposed to be the Grateful Dead. It's now almost weird to think of these songs being played without Jerry but it's been like that for a long time now. Bob, Phil and Warren really have a great way to make something Dead-like but still their own in this post-Garcia age. And then to finish up we get what I think is a wonderful Touch Of Grey. Not the absolute rockinest version but it's nice and very well-played. I've always liked Bobby doing this with Ratdog; it was one of the earliest Jerry songs he started doing... and how fitting.

One final note -- the sound quality for this recording is exceptional! Soundboard? No, but close.

ARCHIVE HEADPHONESThe Dead, as of April 8, 2009,
is not @ the Live Music Archive
Download The Show Here

Audio Quality:
Source: Neumann TLM-170 (cardoid, 2 rows behind SBD, center) -»
Sound Devices 722 (@24/96)

Part 1 - The Dead - 3/30/09 - Blender Theatre
3/30/09 - "Free The Dead" - Show #2 - Part 2
3-30-09 aka 03-30-09 aka 3/30/09 aka 03/30/09 aka 09-03-30 Blender Theater


Paticus said...

I cannot wait to hear all three of these...AND the Reconstruction. Whoo-hoo!
Regarding the show opening jam...My Special Lady and I went to see Phil & friends and Bob Dylan somewhere in Orange County in 2000, and when Phil came out and they just jammed for 10 minutes or so, about five minutes in, the woamn in front of us leans over to her friend and says..."Phil Lesh sings, right ?". She was terrified that she was settling in for 2 hours of jams.It was priceless.

Anonymous said...

Thanks as usual Zooma!
Just back from a two week biz trip and it was great to see this posted (plus a fine Academy Of Music 72 show.) It made for a nice welcome home.
Also, wonderful anecdote from Paticus.

Darkstarjamblog said...

Really well put description of this show Zooma! I agree that this band seems to capture the essence of The Grateful Dead while being a unique entity in itself. The band plays Jerry's songs but never mimic his sound. I think Warren sounds good but will probably sound better after some rehersals and a few shows under his belt. Can't wait to see 4 of these Dead shows! Darkstarjamblog

Anonymous said...

Many thanks for posting the Dead's show - really looking forward to hearing them in '09. Pity they don't seem to come to Europe!

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

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated