Sunday, October 26, 2008
10/14/89 - Grateful Dead - Brendan Byrne Arena (The Meadowlands) - East Rutherford, NJ
I remember being disappointed with this show at the time. I think that's just another example of how spoiled we were back then. They were consistently very, very good and we were going to A LOT of shows. The slightest dip in anything seemed disappointing. That being said...I can't really find much at fault with this show at all. It stands on its own quite well. I would have killed for a show like this in the last few years.
A few shows had passed since the Warlocks shows and they hadn't played any of the breakout songs again. That could mean 2 things. 1) They were due to pull them out again, or 2) They were just one-offs and we'd never see them again. The first set was played well - but everything was played well in 1989, so it didn't seem terribly special That is, until the end of the set. They were tuning and you could hear that "chunk chunka-chunk chunka-chunk" again. All of a sudden BAM! "Help On The Way" - the song we saw them break out last week in Hampton. In the first set? They never did that - even back when they played this song a lot. And a fine version it was. The crowd was pretty electric during the break. We now knew that the "new" songs were not only a possibility - they could turn up anywhere in the show. That was always one of my favorite things about Dead shows. Anything could happen.
But, of course, that never came to be. The second set was really good, but there were no more surprises to be had. It was also incredibly short - only 6 songs plus drums/space. I think that was the basis for my initial disappointment. But the first half was quite the dance-fest. "Scarlet" and "Foolish Heart" were tons of fun. "China Doll" was excellent. This success of this song depends on Jerry hitting the high notes at the end and he nailed it. I always loved "Black Muddy River," too. Nice closer.
I went to this show with a few friends from college and stayed with one of them in Jersey. Shows are always better when surrounded by a bunch of friends.
10/14/04 - Mission Of Burma/Channels @ The Black Cat - Washington, DC
I guess I lost my stub for this one. :(
I had seen Mission of Burma's big return at the 9:30 Club in 2003. I remember thinking they were really good, but it wasn't the OMG! show I was hoping for. This show, however, was IT. They were just on fire. They blasted through song after song like it was going to be their last show ever. I finally "got it" with them. Pure guitar craziness. They could have gone on all night, as far as I was concerned. My very similar thoughts on my original review here.
J. Robbins' latest band Channels opened. Impressive. I'd love to see them again, but I don't think they play many shows. Check out Waiting For The Next End Of The World. It's totally Dumbek approved.