Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday Mardi Gras

Let's continue the April NOLA vibe with this Monday's show...The Grateful Dead and New Orleans have always had a tempestuous relationship, but no one can say the Dead didn't like to party, and Mardi Gras always seemed to bring out the crazy from the Bay Area boy-o's.
Picture is from this actual 2-7-1989 show.
This Monday's show is from Mardi Gras 1989, 2-7-1989 to be percise, click that link or listen right c'here:

The majority of the Mardi Gras Shows the dead performed had some sort of NOLA opener and this year was no exception with Al Rapone and the Zydeco Express opening up the partying. 
fun looking guy
 The Grateful Dead recording is a Sound Board from Charlie Miller, and while not a perfect recording (I think it is a bit tinny) it does capture the energy of the boys and some great late 80's playing, especially with the vocal work on can you not love Brent?!?!
 I always had a soft spot for the late 89/Early 90 shows and the reason is Brent, I think he was the MVP during these runs, with his colorful keyboard fills and amazing vocals, and he starts things off here with Hey Pocky Way!
The Dead covered this tune often during this time period, spreading The Meter's music far and wide.  For those of you who don't own Rejuvenation, go grab it, IMO one of the best American albums ever.
Back to this night in Dead-story though, the "Jack Straw" > "Loser" combo early on is average, Jerry's tired vocals do add to the latters weight, but there are much better versions of both out there.

The coolness creeps back in, via Brent of course, with the first ever version of "Just a Little Light".  One of Mydland's best (are there any bad?) "Just a Little Light" illuminates some of the darkness that was eating Brent up inside at the time, and sadly, shortly before his death.  The song didn't really evolve much (it didn't have much time to) but was a go-to for the boys during Brent's time with the group.  Another Jerry ballad colors the first set with "Standing On The Moon" which I think always worked better towards the end of the show, so while this version is excellently played I am not sure about it's set placement. A tasty "Bird Song" with great interplay about 7 minutes in ends the first set before the Mardi Gras parade runs wild with percussion intro fueled, NOLA tradtional, "Iko Iko", let's let the good Doctor talk on it:

Transitioning into the Dead's most ominous song next may have thrown the boys for a loop as they false start "Victim or The Crime".  Dead fans seem split on this tune, I really enjoy it (granted, this version isn't the best) and will talk about it at length in the future.  Brent comes to the forefront again to start the show closing Segue fest with his most hippy of tunes "We Can Run But We Can't Hide".  His vocally dexterous ode to Mother Earth flows right into a call to "Uncle John's Band".  Mid set UJB's are a lot of fun adding a new dimension of improvisation to the tune and this one is fun, spacey version.  My favorite way to come back to the planet after "Space" has always been "The Wheel" which leads into the very 80's closing of "Throwing Stones" >"Foolish Heart" >"Good Lovin'" is pumping and the "Knocking on Heaven's Door"  encore closes the playing this night with finality, but I am sure the Mardi Gras party lasted much much longer...

No comments:

Post a Comment