Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy 4th of July with the Grateful Dead 7-4-1987

Well it is a national holiday, and hopefully you are all out BBq'ing up some fun and watching the sky explode in honor of our great country.  I was in a bar 4 years ago around this day and the conversation came up, "What is the Greatest American Band?"  We discussed/argued/arm wrestled/danced jigs over various issues and criteria, and we all had different opinions in the end, but I went with, you guessed it. The Good Ol' Grateful Dead.
 To me they just represent American popular music the best over the course of the last 60+ years.  Never settling into genre's, routine or predictability.  Having up moments down moments, new members half members, problems and awe inspiring live musical moments on more of a regular basis then their critics like to admit.   So July 4th and The Grateful Dead, ain't that America?!?  Last year The Dead released one of their best July 4th shows with Trucking Up To Buffalo.  If you want a great clean late 80's Dead experience give that show a whirl, it is really great in both DVD and CD form.

Today is something else entirely...

it is from a sweltering hot country birthday in Boston July 4th 1987, you can click that link or stream it right C'here:

This is a Front of Board Audience tape so the quality may not be as high as some of the past shows I have highlighted but on the 4th we are in the crowd with the people, we can hear their cheers and the crackling of mics and swirl of the tapes.  At any case it is certainly listenable in fact I think this version is better then the "supped" up one also found on archive.

This show was a bit different then the rest of the tour, while technically you can call it 2 sets, in reality it was 1 long one, but during the first part some of the highlights are the Brent led "Tons of Steel" (yes I love Brent...who doesn't?!?)  and the crisp sounding "Box of Rain" that fired up those in attendance even more then the oppressive heat.
After "Althea" the band went pretty much right into a perfectly summer shining "Uncle John's Band" that had some sharp lines from Jerry and a great drum section from Billy and Mickey.   A brief "Playing in the Band" and a nicely segued "Truckin'>Other One>Wharf Rat" which found the band (especially on "Wharf Rat") flowing sweetly even with the echo vocals.  OK I know you must be thinking sure it's an decent set but nothing remotely special... well they had to play another full set, helping out this guy...
And magically that recording is posted here (sssh don't tell Sony!) it is a special holiday treat.  While I am sure looking back neither group was particularly in love with the performances on this tour, I find them much more listenable then most people.  Perhaps because I love Dylan so much, but I always find him a fascinating listen even when he is sucking donkey nuts, and believe me he is far from doing that lewd act here.  Summer of 87 weren't his best run of shows, they did remind him how powerful a live show experience can be and for that you can directly thank the Grateful Dead.

"John Brown" bristles, I love the ease with which the Dead play "I Want You" even if Dylan is a touch aggressive.  The "Joey" and the fire and brimstone laced "Slow Train Coming" both made the official release following this tour from this show.  I've never really been sure why when it comes to the "Joey" but today's show may actually be my favorite version of "Slow Train Coming" Dylan ever did, the oppressive heat comes thru reminding that there's Hell Below...

All of the "All Along The Watchtowers" are fun this tour as are the "Queen Jane Approximately"

Dylan and The Dead 07-04-1987 Queen Jane (approximately)

agratefulmule | MySpace Video

And the "Stuck Inside A Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again"

Dylan and The Dead 07-04-1987 Stuck Inside of Mobile

agratefulmule | MySpace Video

I am hoping to do a whole series on Dylan (with some help) so I will leave this show here for you to enjoy, and have a happy, safe, fun July 4th...The boys wish you all the best:

No comments:

Post a Comment