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1980-08-24 - Grand Rapids, MI (Listening Club)

 
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dogstarz
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:00 pm    Post subject: 1980-08-24 - Grand Rapids, MI (Listening Club) Reply with quote

This is a Listening Club review. Thank you everyone for participating!!!!

dogstarz wrote:
Grateful Dead - 1980-08-24 - Grand Rapids, MI

Set 1
The Dead open with Jack Straw. A pretty smooth version. Nice harmony during the "Leaving Texas on the 4th day of July" part. Around the 4 minute mark Garcia takes the lead and you can hear Phil joining in the fun. Once again excellent harmonizing vocals take over for the last verse of the song. After a few seconds of tuning and perhaps deciding what to play next, They Love Each other begins. Garcia's vocals are excellent on this. Overall this seems to be a pretty average version for 1980. The 2 minute mark has a nice riff, that doesn't last long. Brent has an excellent solo beginning right at the 3 minute mark. Things begin to heat up a little around this time as well. Then Garcia chimes in with his own voice via guitar. What started off as average begins to grow into a better version of the song that I have heard. I really enjoyed TLEO. Honestly, that song is becoming one of my favorites. Someone in the audience yells, "Get off the stage" during another tuning. Then the band plays Cassidy. The energy that has built up in the previous 2 songs carries over into this one. The drummers are both on for this one. I would like to point out Bob and Brent's vocal harmonizing during this song. There is some nice guitar work from the double team of Garcia and Weir. Then after another verse is sang, Jerry finds his comfort zone. His lead for this is excellent. Then the band comes together once more for the closing lyrics. Brown Eyed Women begins at an excellent tempo. After the rocking Cassidy I would expect no less. The whole band seems to be locked in during this number. Check out 2:43. Garcia and Brent play so perfectly off of each other. Garcia sounds like he is having the time of his life when he comes back to sing, "Delilah Jones was the mother of twins..." He almost screamed Delilah Jones. A very high energy version indeed. The Grateful Dead came to Michigan to rock. Pure and simple. Passenger is played with the same momentum that the rest of the songs had. The drummers are doing a great job, while every now and then you can hear a random Phil bomb. Overall, that was a solid performance of Passenger. After another tuning break, Jerry begins to play Peggy-O. This sort of slows down the set, but it is still a welcome addition to an already great show. Jerry's solo is very heartfelt and smooth sounding. Brent and Phil are hard at work complimenting the soloist. Weir and the drummers do a great job keeping the rhythm. "Whenever i return Pretty Peggy-O" is greeted with much applause from the audience. Looks Like Rain is played after Peggy-O. Bob's vocals are pretty good on this one. The first verse doesn't really have any variations from other versions I have heard. I do enjoy Jerry's solo around the 2:50 to 3:33. Bob begins to sing again, as the rest of the band go into verse mode with a smooth transition. The ending of the song was decent, but hasn't become what it will later in the 80's. Althea is started. The rollicking rhythm of the guitars, mixed with a complimenting piece played by Brent add to the vocals. Garcia's voice blends perfectly with the rest of the band. I dig Bob's slide work in the 3 minute mark. In the 6 minute range, Garcia has a nice solo. The rest of the band follows his lead once again.This time Weir steps in and adds a little slide to it. Let it Grow starts and the energy of the show is back to where it was before Peggy-O. The band begins to play faster in the 4 minute range. Garcia once again goes ahead and gets a little crazy with the solo early on. The rest of the band is on fire as well. Bob and Brent sing "What shall we say..." one last time with energy. Check out Jerry at 9:34. Then the band begins to move in a slower direction, before the intro to Deal is played. This is a pretty satisfying version. A nice uptempo midsong solo is played. The end of the song has some great high pitched screaming from Bob, while Jerry sings with a little more energy.

"Thank you we are going to take a short break. We'll be back after a few minutes."

Set 2

Set 2 begins with Samson and Delilah after a little tuning "jam". The song begins with a drum countdown and then off we go into second set. The band seems to be just as energetic as they were in the first set. There is some nice slidework from Bob under Jerry's soloing. Weir's vocals are pretty strong as well. After a tuning we get Ship Of Fools. This song has a nice sincere feel to it. Garcia's vocals are pretty good as well. I like the upstroke guitar rhythms here. I really think this is the "first time" I have actually listened to this song. This sort of reminds me of a slowed down Crazy Fingers. Weir and Garcia meld together during the solo of this song. Beautiful. At 6:59 Brent adds some color to the song, almost giving it a new texture. At the end of Ship someone in the audience yells "Dark star!!!" at least I think thats what he yelled. The band tunes up as they get ready for Feel Like A Stranger. This picks the show's energy back up after Ship. Weir's vocals sounds excellent. There is a weird guitar part that I can't tell who is playing at 2:28. During the 4 minute mark there is a nice call and response from Brent, Bob and Jerry. This leads into a fun, yet kind of calm jam. The music gets stepped up a notch by Brent. The song closes with a nice jam. Then the band begins to play those all too familiar note to China Cat Sunflower. This is a solid version. The song peaks during the beginning of an excellent transition around 5:24.Then before you know it, I Know You Rider is being played. The vocal trade off is excellent as well. Weir's voice is really good this whole show. Energy is almost bursting at the seams during this Rider. The drummers are having a fun time as well. Then Jerry begins to sing "I wish I was a headlight on a Northbound train" and you can hear the audience cheer in the background. The band jams a little more before singing with no drums, the audience clapping in rhythm. This leads to Drums. This drums is kind of boring, although it picks up steam around the 4 minute mark. Then Space melts from drums. Space goes into some obligatory weird corners before Not Fade Away begins with energy. Bob begins the verse "I am goin to tell you how its gonna be!" Overall the song is pretty average, then again it is the beginning. During the 4 minute mark the band begins to get in the groove. Some nice interplay with everyone on stage. The band changes course, collectively, to Black Peter. The emotion that Garcia has during this song, and the music seems very thought out. I am really digging this solo 8 minutes into the song.Sugar Magnolia explodes out of Peter. The whole band is in a rocking mood, or I am guessing they are while listening to this. The audience is clapping along. After a pretty good, energetic musical break Sunshine Daydream emerges. Bobby lets out some of his signature screams as the band lays the groove. With that the band walks off the stage and the audience cheers for an encore. The band picks up their instruments for one more song, Don't Ease me In. This is a pretty decent version of the song. Personally, after this show I think I would have preferred something a little different.


tizi wrote:
I have heard just a couple of 1980 GD shows Embarassed so here are my fresh impressions:

The aud recording souds great to my ears ... a surprise I have to say ... it sounds better than some sdbs really.

This is a Bobby show in my opinion, his voice is strong in most of the songs. On the other hand Jerry's vocals are not up to their potential on most of the songs (except for Ship of fools) .

It is a very TRIPPY SHOW with no extended jams, this seems to be in most of the '80 show ... but that doesn't bother me.

The best portions of the show are in that order:
1. Ship of fools (a very passionate rendition of that song ... which is not one of my favourite tunes ... but this version did hit me);
2. Feel Like a stranger (a very very TOXIC version, so strange pace/mood ... just weird ... the Jerry solos at the end just gave me the final intoxication ... I had to breathe. In one word ... the opposite of Spandau Ballet if you remember them!)
3. The instrumental part/ solos of Let It Grow
4. I like the weird sounds in the Space section ... not too famirliar with 80s spaces either.

One interesting moment was also all the lyrics and solos missed by Jerry during China so that after Bob came loud singing Rider I had a feeling that the strong Jerry solos were kinda an answer to his missing the solos and lyrics in China .... this is maybe just my impression!!! I don't have all of that experience!

Form 1 - 10 I would give it a 7

I am interessed to see other's reviews!

Ciao Dogstarz .... greate idea by the way!!!


Kochman wrote:
08-24-80 Grand Center, Grand Rapids, Mi. (Sun)
1: Jack Straw, TLEO, Cassidy, B. E. Women, Passenger, Peggy-O, L. L. Rain, Althea, Let It Grow> Deal
2: Samson, Ship Of Fools, Stranger, China Cat> I Know You Rider> Drumz> NFA> Black Peter> Sugar Magnolia E: Don't Ease

Set 1
Jack Straw opens up another show, generally a good sign. Decently executed, nothing great. Decent sound quality on the show, not a top AUD, but not a bad one by any means.
TLEO is just too slow for my taste in this period. Definitely features a nice Brent solo in there starting at about the 3 minute mark and keeps giving for a good minute. Jerry follows this up with a great solo as well, and this is actually pretty nice... still down on the tempo though. It's like listening to something from 1994, but when you know it's 1980 you just expect more... I do anyhow.
I am listening to this without looking at the setlist, so Cassidy came as a bit of a surprise this early in the set. The solo before the chorus that heads into the big jam is so so, but I have better hopes for the big jam. Jerry's tone this night is remarkably clean, and his playing is sharp. Phil finally starts making his presence felt, but is not impressing me... Jerry does some nice, high octane noodling in here, while Brent fills decently and Bob pushes Jer further. The drummers get a special mention... the jam ends abruptly and they end the song. Pretty good Cassidy in the end.
Next we get a Jerry tune... tuning sounds like... FOTD?... BEW? And the winner is BEW! Everyone has their timing right, including Phil. I had to actually turn him up a hair on my EQ, which is basically a "w" format for me. Brent takes on some sharper, higher notes, such as Swami would call "Taxi" Brent, from the hit sitcom of the late 70s and early 80s (right time?). Jerry goes nicely into the first solo, and satisfies as usual. He keeps it going as they all jam a bit after his solo, but he still runs the show of course. Very nice BEW! When he busts back in with "Delilah Jones was the mother of twins", his voice is cracking, not kermitesque, but kind of cool somehow. I dug it. The Tumbledown Shack vox are a bit overdone. Love this song about whiskey making and Americana. Bob's slide during the verses at the end is a cool twist in this song that never really gets mentioned. Nice rhythm guitar throughout the song really.
Somehow I sense a Passenger coming up next... pretty easy to call actually, as Jer tunes up for it directly. Will Phil make the cut here? Phil is mediocre here. Jerry is nice, but definitely not a top shelf Passenger... Phil does pick it up closer to the end, perhaps realizing he is supposed to rock out on this song, but other than a few loud booms, he is largely absent, a frequent problem in this period of 1980. Brent and Jerry take up all the slack, and mainly Jerry of course. The downward scales please me.
Peggy-O is basically the opposite of Passenger at this point, and it surprised me showing up here. I am pleased by this choice though! Jerry hits some key high notes and does the verses well.
Dammit... not fucking Bobby's lamest song. Yes... LLR is next. I promise I didn't skip it.
Althea comes to save the day. Good year for the gal. To be honest though, this Althea does little for me. When they hit the Space is Getting Hot... it kind of mellowly goes through the motions to me. The final jam is ok, but not really motivated. Then they bust straight into>
Let It Grow, the answer I needed! Jerry is noodling nicely throughout the verses, this bodes well. At 2:45 we get the first solo from Jerome, and he is already ripping. Isn't he why we are all here? Well, most of us, some of us are here for Keith and Donna of course, which sadly didn't take part in this show. As they re-enter the lyrics, the energy level basically doubles and Bob is feeling it! The second solo is really jam time for everyone... and they all came to play. If there was a weak spot here, it would definitely be Phil, who is kind of plodding behind the pace it seems. We get some fannoodling in this portion, with Brent and Bob working as a dynamic duo in support... while the drummers, probably led by Billy, go off throughout. More cowbell would have been nice. Someone recently mentioned that cowbells signaled chord changes... I don't know, I am technically dense when it comes to music, but that seems far fetched... they really needed the drummers to remind them? I don't buy it, but could be wrong, probably am. We start the final jam with fannoodling! A good sign of things to come? Or can you only go down from such energy levels. Well, this goes down, it somewhat falls apart, BUT, chances are being taken, they slow down drastically and regroup... and we get them going into Deal... very prematurely it seemed.
Of course, this is pre-rearrangement Deal... but... Jerry doesn't care, he rocks out. Nice work here. The outro vocals suck, and Brent actual hits Donna like levels, so does Bobby, they fucking totally ruined this decent deal with that crap outro. Look, I get "energy", I love it, but have some sense about you.

Set 2
Samson & Delilah opens the 2nd! I had a cat named Delilah, Duderino had a cat named Samson... both orange tabbies... within 90 miles of each other. Alas, they never met. Anyhow, what am I gibbering about? Back to the music. This Samson starts of with a great intro solo from Jerome, and Bob is in fine voice (but he always overdoes the vox on this song, let's be honest). Jerry really shreds this one, and Brent is all over it on the organ, LOVE IT! Jerry refuses to let up, and basically his sonic waves destroy the arena... thus tearing that whole building down! The Grand Center reduces to rubble.
Do I sense Ship? Yes, it is Ship! The under-appreciated Ship of Fools, theme song to the Lost Sailor Pub! Jerry lays his proposition down just fine here. Definitely a nice Ship with some strong rhythm guitar in key places. Brent is also fine and dandy, ready to be the 1st mate.
I will refrain from further tuning guesses...
Stranger was a total surprise in this slot! Nice choice though, and they are definitely equipped to pull off a nice one in this show. This gets disco quick as Bob tries to figure out how he would know if it was love. This is a great Stranger, with nice and sharp wah wah from Jerome. Brent picks up an interesting tone in here that is almost like an electric piano (not synth) if that makes sense... but it doesn't last... he goes back to the also enjoyable Oct 79 Shakedown St style boogy tone that I love so much. Just after the 6:30 mark Jerry finds a particularly nice jam segment. Just before 8:30 the jam heads back to the theme. Nice jam, but nothing earth shaking.
Ok, if Stranger was a surprise, this China Cat is a total shocker! Holy crapola! Interesting placement, let's see how it goes... I am very glad I went into this blind... Really added to it for me. Jer's guitar is mostly sharp, but his vocals are lacking... perhaps the placement threw him as well? This one packs some serious X-factor in the transition too! Nice, totally Jerry driven! I didn't want to jump to conclusions, on this night, but it does head into Rider next. Rider keeps the energy intact, and cranks it up yet one more notch. And they keep on cranking it up, X is re-achieved (I am a firm believer that X in China will lead to bigger and better things in Rider). It basically stops on a dime and heads into...
Drums>Space... We get some orbital jam noises in the Space.
Doesn't take long before I hear the familiar sounds of NFA quickly gain structure. This jams pretty nicely, but doesn't really get me going... this song in general... the segue is into... peter?
Black Peter it is indeed. Nice. Another under-appreciated song. I prefer this to Rat and Stella, personally. This one is pretty much flawless, including great and specific use of feedback by Jerome, to accent his playing. The outro finale jam is beautiful and full of power, and Jerry seals the deal. It just features some great jamming, some more X factor even. Thanks again boys.
Sugar Magsto close out the set. I could have guessed. Blazing, energetic tempo here, sure to please.
Encore is Don't Ease... a catchy yet annoying song.

Overall summary...
This is a good, but not amazing, 1980 show. I liked it, but it doesn't top the list for me in this year that is so hit and miss. Phil is mainly absent, often clogging along behind the music, often low though I turned him up, clearly not doing what Phil is known for... Jerry is sharp, and his guitar has a beautiful song. Brent and Bob take turns being consistent (pun intended)... never fully convincing me, but turning in some fine moments the both of them. The drummers are on all show.


Zephyr wrote:
Grand Center, Grand Rapids, MI, August 24, 1980

Is everybody in? The ceremony is about to begin.

Actually, this show is far from Lizard King territory (except for LLR, of course Wink). Tight and to the point, this show features precision playing but very little jamming and no Steal-Your-Face space. Good vocals are prominent, though, with almost no blown lyrics. Its shortest suit is jamming: there are no jams longer than five minutes, and only three that approach five minutes (LIG, Stranger, and Space>NFA all feature sub-five-minute jams). Jam band? Not this night.

But wait! Koch has invited us to review the meta-aspects of the performance, which means the recording, the editing, the surrounding tour, and the era – both of the band and my own life. Allow me to address each of these aspects, in reverse order.

Personal
I first encountered Dead culture in September of 1978 (hello freshman year in college!). I saw my first show in Baltimore, May 5, 1979, but I remember absolutely nothing about the show. I entered some kind of weird LSD blackout that lasted, literally, from the first note to the last note. I remember everything before and after the show normally. Weird, huh? I guess on some cosmic level I wasn’t ready.

So my REAL first show was Rochester’s Holleder Stadium, Sep. 1, 1979. OMFG! WTF!!! I was totally blown away and remember everything about everything. I became a dedicated Deadhead from that day onward. So how is it possible that I didn’t see a single show in 1980? Astonishing. My next show was a two-night stand in Denver, July 13 and 14, 1981. So the 1980 sound of the Dead really speaks to me because quite a few of my earliest tapes were from 1980 through 1981 (Cornell, ’80; Hartford ’80; Chicago, ’81).

While this show was being played I was, with ten fellow students, caravanning across the country to take up residence in Santa Fe, New Mexico at my college’s Southwestern campus. If our plans had been better we would have intersected with this tour. Oh well.

Band
The Grateful Dead had recently celebrated 15 years of existence and was, unbeknownst to all, at the mid-point of its 30-year run. Brent was still a newbie, but was also a seasoned, enthusiastic player, which gave the band a psychological boost from ’79 through ’81. Shows exhibited the Dead’s patented variability in quality, but they were playing hot shows, with a lot of focus and energy, frequently. Garcia was burning his candle at all three ends: the Heroin, the Dead, and JGB. His hair was still black, but he was, at 38, blazing away on afterburners, torching the last years of his late youth.

Tour
This is the seventh show of a 16 show mid-west-to-east-coast tour. Shows lengths varied substantially, from freakishly short to freakishly long: 126 minutes on 8/21, 200+ minutes on 9/6. This show is a little shorter than average with 144 minutes of song time.

They played 78 different tunes on this tour. Of the 19 songs played on this night, only one, Passenger, fell out of their repertoire; it gets played 21 more times before disappearing after its final performance on 12/27/81. Material from 1979’s “Go to Heaven” LP was still in heavy circulation, but only Althea, Stranger and (God help us all) Don’t Ease Me In get played this night. “Little Red Rooster” was a bust-out on this tour (8/26); “Iko Iko” and “The Wheel” made their first appearances with Brent at keys (8/16, 8/17); and, for the 1st time, a “Supplication Jam,” unmoored from “Lazy Lighting” and any lyrics, was played on 9/4.

The next “tour” was their unprecedented, mammoth 15-night stand at San Francisco’s Warfield Theatre, with acoustic sets kicking off each night.

Editing
The person who mastered these files likes tracks to start exactly at the first beat. I hate that. Song tracks should begin a second or two before the first note, especially if there’s a count-in. Then, inexplicably, he precedes the Samson track with nearly two minutes of dead air. Hello? I respect keeping dead air intact (and not creating a zillion “tuning” tracks) but tons of dead air at the beginning of a track is just sloppy editing.

Recording
I can’t understand how this can be considered anything less than an A AUD. There might be a lot of A+ AUD recordings out there, but no AUD recording needs to sound better than this to make me happy.

There is material missing at the end of drums and beginning of space, maybe as much as two minutes or maybe just a tape flip. The original tape from which these tracks were made clearly left an unknown amount of dead-air out (you can hear the splices). Even so, the tracks include a total of about 14 minutes of dead air, all of which, except for the aforementioned Samson, is placed at the end of tracks.

And now, finally, The Show
The Jack Straw opener isn’t balls-out, but it has some nice flourishes from Garcia. Lesh gets in some beefy jolts toward the end of the jam, but they enter the final verse without much umph. No biggie; they’re just warming up.

A sharp They Love Each Other follows, distinguished by a nicely piercing Garcia lead during the instrumental break and a great flourish from Phil to wrap things up: in a flash he goes from grinding bones in the dungeon to cracking his knuckles on the fortress’s highest ramparts.

Cassidy is up-tempo and relatively brief. It’s the Brown-Eyed Women that smokes. The instrumental break ends with thunder and Garcia comes back to the vocals growling!. It’s this kind of gone-in-an-instant stuff I love. Is the band ready to kill? Let’s see….

Passenger fits the bill. I’ve always thought of this as a weird outlier of a tune. If I ever figure out how to explain what I mean, I’ll let you know. This is a rampaging version that makes you seriously wonder why they stopped playing it.

Peggio cools the joint down in a delicious way. 1980 versions of this tune are my favorite, and this one is a showcase: spare Brent, leisurely Garcia, all happening in a big sonic landscape. They create an atmosphere that is perfect for the arrival of Looks Like Rain. I’ve been a sucker for this tune ever since Boulder ’81, so if this were a jury I would have to recuse myself. It’s a perfect vehicle for the lounge lizard lurking inside Weir; he lets the lizard out with integrity, though, and sincerity, and that makes all the difference (right?). And the band LOVES backing Weir on this tune. This is a good version without being outstanding in any particular way.

Althea is journeyman playing, but nothing special.

Let it Grow finally allows for some longer jamming. They don’t go crazy, but they play a tight jam before the final verse. Then things head pretty quickly into Deal.

This is a WTF version of Deal. Deal had a better arrangement in ‘71-’74, but at least the Brent era rearrangement featured a long jam before the last verse. Which means this version is sub-par in more ways than one. This version clocks in at 4:45. 4:45? There are 400 longer versions and extremely few shorter versions. It truly has no jam at all. The only thing that makes it interesting are the tail-end vocals: Is that Weir singing falsetto? LOL WUT?

All in all, set 1 would have made me very happy had I been there, mostly for song selection, and it holds up well thirty years later. I’d hit it.

Set two starts with a bang: a smoking Samson and Delilah makes it clear the Boys have some juice in them. They jam hard in the belly of the song and come out with precision and authority. This is a great version by any standard.

Ship of Fools follows, in the “lull” spot. This Ship lists a bit, with sour chords here and there, and it never really catches much wind. It’s the only song that comes close to being a clunker.

Feel Like a Stranger gets things back on course. This tune crystallizes the fact that this is Weir’s night. The Boys are sounding best whenever Garcia backs up the Ace. This Stranger is long and robust, exhibiting perfect muscularity within a Spartan soundscape. Garcia gutters and flares, an eternal flame illuminating Weir’s primitive landscape of lust, need and alienation. Lifetimes go by beneath a Neanderthal moon.

And now... What’s this? China Cat Sunflower? Yes! Awesome. This China-Rider cranks. The China Cat vocals from Garcia are a bit feeble, but the jam into the fanfare has a nice unfurling flavor that makes it sound like it goes on longer than it really does. Phil does some tasty stuff in the midst of it all, and then he really comes alive as the Boys plunge deeper into I Know You Rider. One odd thing is that Mickey seems to be beating sticks together during various part of the tune. Not bad, but weird.

Rider breaks hard and clean into Drums. Drums are nothing special. But drums are a harbinger of things to come: lots more of nothing special. Space goes nowhere for about five minutes, leading into a lackluster Not Fade Away. In fact, the entrance to NFA is the low point of the evening for me. Ninety seconds of generic intro ends with Weir stumbling into the verse. Why the stumble? Who knows? His delivery reminds me of any number of sandbagged entrances to R&R, but it’s not as though Garcia threw down a surprise “Sing Now” riff. Inexplicable, but minor. The Black Peter is enjoyable, and features a nice outro. The Sugar Magnolia is par for the course: well done, but not memorable. Don’t Ease Me In wraps things up, for what it’s worth.

Summary
A solid show with a nice run-up to drums. The novelty placement of China-Rider is cool. I’ll probably cue up that 5-song sequence again someday, but the rest of the show I’ll never listen to again. This is a good example of a show that has few flaws but which, because it lacks any distinguishing X-factor ambience, doesn’t command my interest. For contrast, check out the ten-minute Gone Jam from the night before. Woot! Or the post-Drums Playin’ > Comes a Time > Playin’ from 8/19. Booyah!


cheesebeer wrote:
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show[/url] was a fun one to review and listen to, it was somewhat uneven but definite moments of GD glory.
Jack Straw opener isn't the greatest ever but it is fairly solid with the band warming up. The bass levels are still being worked on, around 4:30 the bass gets turned way up for a few seconds, in general, this show has not the greatest bass sound, but it is listenable, it is the one thing I would say about the sound quality that is somewhat maddening. Isn't this the period when Phil was drunk too? It's not bad most of the time, just doesn't stand out. Jerry's guitar sure sounds purty though.
They Love Each Other really heats it up. I usually don't like this song, but the Brent/Jerry attack lifts this one head and shoulders above many of the other slower versions of this song that I have heard. Brent has a nice solo around the 3:25 mark and Jerry follows it up around 4:20 with some excellent axe work, the crowd really likes it. After the song during tuning on this track one of the audience members does a nice Indian war whoop too.
Cassidy is sublime. If this were a sbd this would be a 5 star version all the way, the band burns the house down with this song. Nice triangle too.
Brown Eyed Women midtempo style is a good choice to follow that up. This song is at its best when Jerry is not froggy, and he is in fine singing voice for this one. 2:25-3:06 is a very nice portion of Jerry guitar, wow. When time comes to sing the Delilah Jones line, he growls out Delilah like he really means it. Another peak in the song is the "drink down the bottle and you're ready to kill" line, nice guitar attack after that one.
Passenger adds another building block to first set greatness. Very nice organ, some dominating bass, more sweet sweet guitar tone from Jerry. 1:51-2:25 has some nice bendy Jerry and 3:51 kicks off impressive Jerry guitar.
Peggy-O is awesome, wonderful introspective Jerry solo again, he's doing pretty good today so far. If you listen close, funereal Brent drops some fat organ notes that are perfect in the "William he is dead" line.
Looks Like Rain threatens to take us to the doldrums quickly. Captain Jer tries mightily to drag us out, a slow and workmanlike climax develops, not too bad I guess.
Althea is fine but boring, gets better near the end. I have heard better versions of this song.
Let it Grow with a nice disco kickoff features great singing and Jerry trying to put all his noodles together into a nice climax, with mixed results. Great playing but it doesn't all mesh. Nice moment of laser fanning at about 9:28.
Great segue into a nice Deal though, gets back onto track for a nice set ender. They repeat the end line something like 24 times, which is climactic enough for me.
The first set was really nice, a B to a B+ in my book.
The second set starts with a uniformly excellent Samson and Delilah, Bob jumping right in with the Delilah line. Garcia nearly channels Hendrix on this one, very meaty.
Ship of Fools is pretty strong, great choice of tunes.
One would think Feel Like a Stranger would be excellent. It eventually develops, but I think the band is tired by now, some nice stuff, but not stellar.
China Cat Sunflower turns into kind of a trainwreck, though they are trying, the rhythm is a little confusing and there are some moments of badness.
Jerry saves the day with the transition though, and I Know You Rider is stronger, with Bob and Jerry giving emphasis on singing the key lines and a little fanning thrown in there.
Drums is fine, Space has a nice alien mothership theme to it that eventually develops into a lumbering beast of an NFA, not very exciting version of this song that segues into a feckless Black Peter, usually a song that I love, but this one sounds dialed in, although there are peaks near the end.
Sugar Magnolia, meh.
And then we get Don't Ease Me In for an encore, whoopee. Not too exciting, the second set is nowhere near as strong as the first set on this show to me.
This is a nice show all around for great Jerry moments though, his guitar tone, singing and playing in parts is superb.
I give the second set a C-to a C.
Thanks again Dogstarz, this is a great idea.


chingsinkly wrote:
Grateful Dead
Grand Center
Grand Rapids, MI
8/24/80

This is one summer 80 show I had never heard. At first glance I liked the setlist and I'm always down to listen to a FOB audience recording. After listening to this show about three times total I'd give the sound quality B+....above average aud in my book but there are better FOB's out there. The opening Jack Straw was so-so with the jam ending a little short. Left me hoping that they were getting warmed up. They Love Each Other delivers with some nice work from Jerry on a song that I'm not usually a huge fan of, I like this one though. Cassidy has some nice energy the jam could have been pushed a little more but a decent one nonetheless. Now Brown Eyed Women is up, this is the best BEW I've heard in a bit..high energy, great playing and Jerry getting into it when they come back into “Delilah Jones...”. The energy doesn't let up with Passenger....Jerry owns it with Phil thumping along. I don't really have any favorite Passengers but this one is superb. I will be seeking other shredding Passengers now. Peggy-O is up next, great way to cool off and catch your breath...personally I think just about every Peggy-O is sweet but this is a very nice one, love it. This Looks Like Rain doesn't make it rain enough but few LLR's I hear do. Althea was played a ton in 1980...not a bad one here. Let It Grow> Deal to end the set brings the energy back, especially the LIG everyone's on at a furious pace. Deal keeps the energy up but it's under 5 minutes and Deal's under 5 minutes don't really deliver like they would when they stretched it out to 7+ minutes. Good first set. Highlights for me are BEW, Passenger, Peggy-O and LIG.

The second set opens with a smoking Samson, nice intro from the drummers before they tear into it. Next Jerry chooses to slow things down a little with a nice Ship Of Fools. I usually enjoy Ship Of Fools slows the tempo down a little but it's an interesting song. Nice start to the set...Feel Like A Stranger is next, not bad but played a lot in 80 this one doesn't stand out. Still liked the set at this point. China> Rider leading into drums is sweet. Great placement! The jam in China Cat Sunflower gets frantic then they start with the familiar I Know You Rider theme....the combo delivers going into drums. Drums is short and I found the 5 minutes to be interesting...wacky space short and interesting, I like it. The Not Fadeway beat kicks in...better stuff can some out of space but whatcha gonna do? Black Peter contains some nice solos from Jerry, really dig the outro jam...a charged Sugar Magnolia ends the set. The post drums is a little short. Highlights for me are Samson, China> Rider, Black Peter and Sugar Magnolia. And the encore is Don't Ease...not an ideal encore. The Pre drums however is great stuff. Overall I'd give the show a B, great energetic show at times....enjoyed it, a random pick that turns out a nice show I hadn't previously heard!!


nickJ wrote:
The recording is lovely -- everything is loud and clear, there's just enough room ambiance, and the crowd sounds relatively laid back. It's Sunday in Grand Rapids, MI, and the boys are coming off another 3-nighter at their beloved Uptown in Chicago and a Saturday night at Alpine Valley.

At the downbeat, they sound kinda mellow; not tired, but not chomping at the bit or really flying out of the gate. Strong Jack Straw, but imho Jerry almost turns in a better performance in TLEO, giving me a sense of where his head is at. Great call with Cassidy, though again it's well played and well paced, but no real sparks. BEWomen sounds at first like Jerry's looking to take it up a notch -- and so he does. Really fantastic solo, and dig how he growls "Delilah Jones!" So far this has been an A+ setlist for me. While I'm not much of a Passenger fan myself, Jer roars through both solos, so I ain't mad at it. The big man is fully warmed up. Nice Peggy-O, with some strong deep bends in there. LLRain felt a little more standard to me, but again a very nice one; ditto with Althea, but now three slow-ish ones in a row isn't really keeping the energy up… Let it Grow storms on home with a couple nice Jerry peaks, but ultimately didn't blow me out of my seat. And Deal has a rippin solo but without much of an ending, I also wasn't super into it. I am, however, feeling the falsetto screaming (is that Bobby or Brent?) at the end. So, all in all, a very strong first set, but nothing that's really pushing my buttons. BEWomen gets the highlight, though it's a very good set.

Second: Notice Jerry's Freedom Jazz Dance tease in the pre-set noodling? I also like that dude @1:17 who hollers "Repent! Praise Jesus! He's coming again! I'm warning you!" and sets the mood for the Sunday night Samson. Fine. Then Ship? Both with long breaks in between? Fellas, fellas. Stranger has the potential to get things rolling. And so it does, until the bottom seems like it drops out of the jam around 7 min into it, and a minute and half later Phil kind of pointedly brings it back to the ending. Another minute or so of deciding and off they go into China Cat. I'm thinking that they're gonna have to work up a real whopper of a jam and/or take it someplace totally leftfield to redeem this pre-drumz. Well, not so much. Jerry sounds great and gets in two strong peaks in China Cat, though kind of like Stranger, it almost sounds like he's looking for the band to get there with him and it doesn't happen. It almost sounds like he's trying to rev everyone up up after his headlight verse in Rider, but to no avail. The usual big finish, then drums. Short, followed by some cool hazy synth in space, giving way to a lazy laid back NFA, which Bobby comes in too early for. Black Peter is strong but by this point it feels like everyone's eye is on the clock. Sugar Mag and Don't Ease take it out: both well done, both not making any real ripples.

I enjoyed myself with this one, but this was definitely a "1st set was better" show, and it wasn't even particularly that much of a burner. The lack of second set jamming kind of tanked it for me, and I'm not in any rush to come back to this. When I'm in the mood for late summer '80, I'll be still be sticking with 8/19 or the Uptowns or 8/31 or the September shows for the time being. B-

I am now going to submerge myself in a 76 Playin' to recalibrate my head.


maximinus wrote:
Here's my review, short but covers the details:

Jack Straw - A couple of nice Phil bombs, not overly energetic but a reasonable start.
TLEO - This brings the energy level back down, nothing special to write about here.
Cassidy - What's Jerry doing in that intro? Again, nothing special. They sound a bit tired.
B.E. Women - Best so far, picks up some energy. The mode now seems more 'relaxed' than 'tired'.
Passenger - Jerry doesn't bring his A game to start with, but picks it up a bit for the 2nd solo.
Peggy-O - Better, but not brilliant.
LLR - Best song so far. Band seem tighter now. Good version.
Althea - Jerry just doesn't seem to have the energy. He doesn't do anything really wrong, he just seems lethargic. I don't need speed metal Jerry but he ain't bringing out the emotions on this one. His singing is pretty flat. However, the band pick things up a little at the end.
Let It Grow - Sounds better from the first riff. Not a bad little piece in the 'E' section of the end jam.
Deal - How fast can Jerry get off the stage? Faster than you think.

Overall, a disappointing first set.

Samson & Delilah - Good start to the 2nd set, although they screw up the ending Jerry build-up a little.
Ship of Fools - Average. Not a lot of emotion.
Stranger - Almost a little funky in the middle, but nothing to grab my attention, really.
China -> Rider - Decent build-up to the rider. Rider itself is ok, and then that's it straight into drums.
Drums -> Space - Nice (but short) drums. Doesn't sound like there's much conviction in the space; it kind of dribbles into NFA (which has some nice keys from brent at the start).
NFA - Even this seems to just run out of steam. They just to start to get to what could be an interesting space when it all just seems to run out of steam. This whole second set seems to feature songs that the Dead start with good intentions but never go anywhere.
Black Peter - Not a bad version of the song. At least Jerry brings some emotion to it.
Sugar Magnolia - Jerry wakes up at the end jam but he - and the band - ain't whipping up a frenzy over it.

E: Dough Knees - What's the shortest encore that Jerry can sing? 3:03, that's how short.


Conclusions: There are many reasons why I listen to the GD. I'm sure that if this was 'background music' to some other activity then I'd enjoy this. But listening to it to review it just brings out it's flaws. There's almost no real jamming except for in LIG and Stranger (and even that ain't much). Jerry didn't seem to be up for doing his own tunes - the highlights, such as they were - are the Bobby tunes. Also there are a few musical cock-ups by the band, nothing seems to gel at this gig.
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maximinus



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gosh my review looks pretty negative compared to all the others Shocked

I just didn't feel there was much energy coming out from the band, and there was a shocking lack of jamming throughout the show. Also, possibly one of the worst NFA's I've heard for a while.

Unfortunately, now I have to listen to it all again to compare it to what you've written!

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Zephyr
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

maximinus wrote:
Gosh my review looks pretty negative compared to all the others Shocked

I just didn't feel there was much energy coming out from the band, and there was a shocking lack of jamming throughout the show. Also, possibly one of the worst NFA's I've heard for a while.

Unfortunately, now I have to listen to it all again to compare it to what you've written!


Your review isn't so far afield from all the others; you just don't go into quite as much nauseatingly fawning detail as the rest of us, leading me to believe you have a more stable personality and happier home life. Laughing

Nice job, Dogstarz. I'm betting the reviews get shorter after this maiden voyage.

Picking shows at random is a good way to discover, and force close listening to, B-level shows. There's a reason the same 200 shows get mentioned over and over in best-of threads: there are a LOT of B-grade (and worse) shows out there.

One surprise for me in reading these reviews was seeing how unsurprised most of you were about the total absence of a jam in Deal. A 30-second jam wouldn't have surprised me, but nothing??? Ouch. You said it best, maximus: "Deal - How fast can Jerry get off the stage? Faster than you think."

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cheesebeer



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zephyr wrote:
maximinus wrote:
Gosh my review looks pretty negative compared to all the others Shocked

I just didn't feel there was much energy coming out from the band, and there was a shocking lack of jamming throughout the show. Also, possibly one of the worst NFA's I've heard for a while.

Unfortunately, now I have to listen to it all again to compare it to what you've written!


Your review isn't so far afield from all the others; you just don't go into quite as much nauseatingly fawning detail as the rest of us, leading me to believe you have a more stable personality and happier home life. Laughing

Nice job, Dogstarz. I'm betting the reviews get shorter after this maiden voyage.

Picking shows at random is a good way to discover, and force close listening to, B-level shows. There's a reason the same 200 shows get mentioned over and over in best-of threads: there are a LOT of B-grade (and worse) shows out there.

One surprise for me in reading these reviews was seeing how unsurprised most of you were about the total absence of a jam in Deal. A 30-second jam wouldn't have surprised me, but nothing??? Ouch. You said it best, maximus: "Deal - How fast can Jerry get off the stage? Faster than you think."

I agree on the NFA, I thought it sucked. I've heard so many better versions of this song by this band, I've listened to a couple from 1970 lately that burned the house down.
Also I thought the second set was killed by Feel Like a Stranger and an underwhelming China Cat, this could have been an A grade show if the intensity wouldn't have died somewhere. I'll take the Deal over the NFA.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zephyr wrote:
I'm betting the reviews get shorter after this maiden voyage.

Picking shows at random is a good way to discover, and force close listening to, B-level shows. There's a reason the same 200 shows get mentioned over and over in best-of threads: there are a LOT of B-grade (and worse) shows out there.


This is a big reason that I thought this could work. Many of us here have harddrives filled with almost, if not, every show that was recorded. We might as well listen to this stuff.

As I was reading these, I was interested in the fact that many of us pointed out the same details, same weaknesses and same strengths. We are one step closer to being a borg collective!!! Laughing Laughing Laughing

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Kochman
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deal was re-arranged to be longer, I believe, during the Dead Set... so this is still in the short but sweet Deal era it had been up till this point.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kochman wrote:
Deal was re-arranged to be longer, I believe, during the Dead Set... so this is still in the short but sweet Deal era it had been up till this point.


Yikes. It appears you are correct. All the versions that look longer based on track length are actually not as long as they seem.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duderino gave me that knowledge... exhort him.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kochman wrote:
Duderino gave me that knowledge... exhort him.

Come on, I am waiting........ Laughing
I am curious to find out which exact show they started jamming it out. Wonder if it was planned or spontaneous. I might have to do additional research.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Duderino wrote:
Kochman wrote:
Duderino gave me that knowledge... exhort him.

Come on, I am waiting........ Laughing
I am curious to find out which exact show they started jamming it out. Wonder if it was planned or spontaneous. I might have to do additional research.


Planned: It coincides with show number one of the next "tour," which was the kickoff show of 15 in a row at the Beacon: 9/25/80. Nineteen versions later (3/7/81) they played their first 10 minute Deal. The jam on the Deal from 3/7/81 is longer than the entire version played on 8/24/80 (4:50) and is definitely worth a listen.

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was born and raised in Grand Rapids and can only imagine how the home town folks dealt with the influx of heads. Must have been hilarious. The last time I was at the Grand Center, the auditorium had been converted into an indoor par-3 for the golf convention. Good to hear they played a good show there, I would have written this one off due to the city.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2010 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

best avatar ever
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