Monday, June 14, 2010

Monday Dead From London 3-21-1981

Well the USA pulled out a draw with our old mother country England this weekend in the opening match of the World Cup.  Green couldn't handle Clint Dempsey's shot so we got what basically amounts to a win for us, and both squads looked poised to advance now. 
 So today for the Monday Dead series I am grabbing a show from London Town.  It is from 3-21-1981, you can listen to it via that link or stream it right c'here:

This is a soundboard recording that gives you crystal clear audio.  It is impressive, so much so that you may think it was a studio recording.   This show is from the Rainbow Theater in North London, the venue has quite a history, and while now it is a church, I am pretty sure some Dead Heads saw God on this night.
The recording puts the vocals directly in the forefront of this show, with Bobby and Jerry singing right in your ear and after some levels are played with during "Alabama Getaway" the music comes in fresh, with a heavy dose of Brent and a bit low level of Phil and the low end, but overall a clean listen. 

The segue of "Me and My Uncle" and Johnny Cash's "Big River" twinkle along with energy and set up an excellent and fairly unique pairing of "Tennessee Jed">"Little Red Rooster".  This starts the highlight of the show for me as the end of the first set contains some unique pairing and playing.  A growling Garcia leads a great stroll through TJ, lazily plucking and strumming before the blues of LRR come bounding out via Bobby's slide guitar.  Maybe not quite up to the Howlin' Wolf original but a hell of an effort...

There is a bit of sound quality drop in "Little Red Rooster" we get an audience patch briefly, but I don't mind it is good to hear the audience chime in after an awesome solo.   

"Althea" comes next and I think this was the perfect early 80's song for the band.  It has a great groove, fantastic lyrics and lends itself for some solo styling, and this version is great.  It is always a pleasure to hear when it is done well and this version certainly is as Phil comes alive dropping some unique bass lines while the drumming duo step up too.  Then we get a big time "Let It Grow" Phil has been fully turned up here blasting away, and the end gets a bit spacey, ala "Playing In The Band".  Then they end the set with a usual opening pairing of "China Cat Sunflower">"I Know You Rider", Great Stuff here as the band is hitting on all cylinders (Check out the Motoring going on right around the 4:20 Mark of CCS) before the set break, almost makes you wish they kept it going.

When they came out for of the break, they pulled out another favorite of mine, "Jack Straw" and this a rollicking version.  Things get a bit slower with one of my least favorite Jerry ballads (another pops up at the end of this set), "Ship of Fools" grinding out some of the energy, but the second set really focuses on "Estimated Prophet">"Eyes of The World".  Both contain some fine, if a touch sped up, experimenting before the "Drums>Space" singals the beginning of the end of the show.  "Not Fade Away" has some nice jamming , but then I have never been a fan of "Black Peter" which pops up before "One More Saturday Night".

Overall though this is a an excellent recording of a really great show, with the highlights coming mostly at the end of the first set, give it a listen.  Enjoy.      

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