This is the end of the line for Kathy and I and what an enjoyable little set of 4 shows this was. I haven’t had this type of experience since the JGB tour of Fall 1993. That is 16 years ago.
Let’s start with some people I may have seen tonight. First I saw my Bother Jay in the parking lot. It was funny cause Kathy and I were discussing whether or not Shakedown Street was in the same parking lot as the previous night and looking around I said that it is because this is where we ran into Jay last night. It was at that precise moment I saw Jay standing there tonight eating a chicken quessadilla. I grabbed a grilled chicken wrap from some Swine Flu Carrying Shakedown Street vendor and then we headed inside the show.
First in Shakedown Street I saw Bruce, the drummer from Williamsburg, that Larry Brent and I first jammed with with in his art studio/apartment prior to us forming Deadstein in 1990. I haven’t seen him since 1990 and we were both talking about how we both still have tapes of those jams. Finally, at halftime I saw Jack Buonocore and Rob the keyboardist. Jack is the guy I jam with who has the Tiger clone from Resurrection Guitars.
Kathy and I were in basically the same seat as yesterday’s show but one section closer to the stage, still row 18 (Section 125). The arena was empty again when the lights went out. It reminds me of Spinal Tap when no one came out to the end of their tour. While I type in jest I would hope that for heaven’s sake they realize they have to lower the ticket prices to fill the arenas. While browsing vendor wares after yesterday’s show they all asked, “How was the show?”
- This is both freaky and gay.
We opened with the Touch of Grey which was well done and quick. I don’t recall what the lead was like. I was probably taking pictures. Pride of C ucomonga was next and as I told Kathy I am embarrassed to say that I should know the song, but I had no clue. I wasn’t until halftime that I found out what song it was. Nevertheless it was well done and had a significant jam in it that sound Other One-esque.
Much like last night, the band was tight and played with confidence without losing too much energy at parts. The Crazy Finger was good with Bob and Warren trading verses. Warren sounded great singing having no problem emulating Jerry’s nuances while Bob was marginal doing his best to make sure he didn’t sound like Jerry. The Harmonies were good and jam out of it was pretty good.
The Music was not all that good. The singing part of the song was fair at best. Warren never really took advantage of the lead potential of the song and laid back encouraging Branford to step to the plate. Unfortunately, he didn’t take advantage of the situation either and it seemed like a wasted exercise needed Bob to add some useless voacal part at the part in the the lead where they should have been rocking. It wasn’t badly played, but you recall how great the song was with as much potential as any other Dead song. Oh well. It is what it is.
The Deal on the other hand was pretty good. The Branford lead during the song was really great. He has a lot of Jerry in his musical expressions. Days Between was soulful and sweet but was a lot of slow droning to deal with. It was well done and a serious effort at self contained quality music but it is easy to get bored by it. Not the bands fault, it is the song and without Jerry there to give it life it is like death.
Casey Jones broke out of the Days Between to rock to close the set. In sunnary, the first set had lot of tight songs and they were easy to like. Had fun and was eager to hear the second set.
Halftime Wharf Rat circle. I got some time to hear your story.
Halftime we did a lap around the arena. I got a Carvel cone while Kathy got the popcorn. We then ran into Jack Buonocore and Rob and spoke to them for a while. We finished the lap and headed back to our seats for the second set.
To open the second set, Sitting onto of the World was great.It may have been the best song of the night. The piano, the beat, the hotness, the Branford/guitar exchanges, it all worked.
Doin that Rag was sung by Phil and was true to the song. Branford was only there for the ending jam which was pretty good. I liked Warrens Mu-Tron sound. Speaking of which, I didn’t like it at Albany during the West LA but my seat at the back of the audience help even out those peaky sounds and it sounded right on. One thing of Warren’s I haven’t been liking is his extensive use of a leslie effect. Eventough he has fine control over the thing, it is on way too much.
Ramble on Rose had the crowd singing with Bob and Warren trading off verses. They spaced into the Terrapin and I liked what Branford was doing. He was playing those cool, hot guitar riffs like Jerry played on the album. They played half the Terrapin(Lady in a fan) and went into drums. I did not like Bob’s singing here. He either sang to quickly or only sang the first half of a sentence, letting the audience complete the rest. It wasn’t good.
Following the space jam after Lady in a Fan, Branford stayed out with the keyboardist during the beginning of drums and played some really interesting stuff. He did this the previous night and it was really cool on both occassions. I didn’t enjoy Drums this night as much as I did the previous night.
Space into Wheel is usually a nice sounding thing and tonight was no different. With Branford chirping in allthe place, it was nice. Wheel lost some energy toward the end when they created a vocal jam where it used to not have one but it was good and then they transitioned into and finished the Terrapin. I wasn’t thrill with how Bob sang this part of Terrapin either. I was hoping to here the end of the album version of Terrapin, since Branford was teasing those notes but it didn’t come. I Know You Rider was pretty darn hot as I recall. They played a China Cat at the Garden without a Rider so maybe this counts as a long sandwich.
While Women are Smarter was well done, It’s too meaningless as a way to end my experience with the four shows as an encore.