Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Morning Dead

Back this Monday with a dose of The Dead to ease your work week into gear.  Hitting the summer of 1985 for this one, back in a time when Merriweather Post Pavilion had nothing to do with Animal Collective.

Here is your show for this morning: June 30th 1985.

'85 is an interesting year for the Dead as they rolled out their 20th Anniversary tour, Jerry's playing was crisp and clear but there is no denying what my friends P-Style and Mark call his "Kermit The Frog" singing from this tour.
(Someday I'll find it, the tye-dye connection)
Also I may be wrong with this, but I believe Spring/Summer '85 was the first time that the group broke out their MIDI system (which I just found out stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface).  Love or hate the Dead, you need to admit they were constantly on the cutting edge of music technology, and the MIDI usage was another link in that chain (one that long time fans still argue over it's success with the band).  You can hear it come into play in the first sets CC Rider with the guitars sounding like a Saxophone/Trumpet mix...a cool version.  This Oade Brothers recording seems to have a bit of hiss too it, the cymbals are bit high and Jerry sounds even more distant vocally, but it does convey the crowds rambunctious energy...and is flat out fun coming on the heels of a mighty SPAC show (that I am sure I will get to eventually).

The opening set is crisp and quick ("Big Railroad Blues" is pure speed) and contains the first reason why I picked this one; "Keep On Growing".  Brent and Phil are my two favorite Dead members and to hear them try out this Derek and the Dominoes tune is a joy...too bad they could never really get it right and they slaughter the lyrics, oh well...I wish they kept trying with this song, though I think they only played it live a handful of times. 


The second reason for posting this show is that I am feeling really good this Monday so I wanted something funky.  "Shakedown Street" along with "Miss You"

and the new Black Crowes song "I Ain't Hiding"

are the holy trinity of disco rock and this version of Shakedown which opens the second set is arguably the best representation of disco/funk Dead.  

Brent kills it on keys, the guitars cook, the crowd eats it up with a spoon...these 15 minutes are ecstasy for the eardrums. At 10 minutes they drop in some riff-y goodness that just makes your ass shake and your head bob and then they blow off the roof around the 13 minute mark, kinda makes you wish they kept this jam going even longer..but they still had a monster set to get too.  A scorching Samson and Delilah is up next before the bust out of the summer of 85.... Cryptical Envelopment starts a segue fest that triggers Drums> Space> Other One> Stella Blue, looming large and moving everything home to the Sugar Magnolia> Sunshine Daydream closer.  Hell of a show, Hell of a show...  (Full setlist and more links after the jump)

Merriweather Post Pavilion 6-30-1985 (personal reviews are here as well)

Mississippi Half-Step
C.C. Rider
Brown Eyed Women
Mama Tried
Mexicali Blues
Keep on Growing
Big Railroad Blues
Looks Like Rain
Don't Ease Me In

Shakedown Street
Samson and Delilah
Gimme Some Lovin'
He's Gone
Cryptical Envelopment>
The Other One>
Stella Blue
Around and Around
Sugar Magnolia

U.S. Blues

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