Been listening to this one again yesterday and today. You came in at the right time. First set drags a bit until Ramblin' Rose, which kicks the show up a notch or two. Doesn't really let up after that. What a fun show. A hot and sweaty day at a really cool venue in central Ohio. Really just a big field with a stage plopped down in the middle.
I'm thinking about doing a more complete review.
OK, here it is...
Buckeye Lake Music Center
Hebron, OH - 06/09/91
New Minglewood Blues
Ramble On Rose
When I Paint My Masterpiece
Reuben and Cherise
Let It Grow
Samson and Delilah
Playing In the Band
The Other One
Around And Around
ENCORE Knockin' On Heaven's Door
First, the negatives: This show opens with Picasso and ends with RoundNRound E: Knockin. None of these are ideal, imho. It's a pretty decent Picasso, if you like Picasso (I'm looking at you, Swami). Bobby's really into it and it kicks nicely at the end. Sugaree, that classic first-on-deck song, pairs nicely, but the mix just isn't there yet. Jerry's really far back, and gets crowded out by the rest of the band.
Things pick up during Minglewood, with nice leads by all parties.
Now the good stuff: The band follows with a nearly flawless run of choice tunes, extending well into the second set, staring with Ramble on Rose, Masterpiece, Reuben and Cherise, Let it Grow to finish the first set. Simply fantastic. The playful RoR really gets band into gear. Jerry soars with MIDI jams. Masterpiece is as good as it gets. Bobby is really on for this entire show. What a difference that makes!
This is my favorite Reuben and Cherise. I don't think any of the four were played as well as they could have been if the band had kept with it. But it's such a great song. As long as they hit all the changes and Jerry nailed the lyrics it was great. What a treat.
This was also the best Let it Grow that I saw. Really tight with a lot of energy. The whole band comes alive. Bobby's in a zone. The MIDI comes back with a vengeance. Jerry hits the effects pedals pretty hard this show. Some may not like that. But he's really nailing it tonight. [if you ask me, it was bobby who overused the effects]. Nice brisk pace on this incredible LIG.
That energy carries over into Set II with Samson. Some may not like a Samson/Crazy Fingers combo to open the second, but this one is convincing and portends good things to come. Samson really gets everybody dancing and the jamming is precise and awesome. One of the big pluses about this song was that they usually played it so well and it really got the rhythm section involved early. Seems like Bobby's strong contributions this night energized Garcia. This is also a good CrazyFngrs. Who doesn't love the last few minutes of this song where it just becomes this beaming high-energy jam spiral? This of course leads inexorably into Playin.
The Playin -> He's Gone is BIG. One of my favorite latter-day PITB's for sure. Really dark, sets a nice mood for a great, spacey transition. A little MIDI flute line from Jerry announces the arrival of He's Gone. Nice and bouncy -- bruce is all over place. And jerry's having no trouble keeping up tonight. Another near-flawless performance of albeit a fairly standard song selection. Great vocals in this show. Few, if any, flubbed lyrics that i can recall. I love the wailing, bluesy outro of HG. Gets really tribal. Friggin sweet. Not-so-subtle Other One tease closes abruptly with a Garcia power chord, leaving the drums alone for a while.
Don't skip this Drums. Turn up the bass and the volume and just enjoy!
Space segues nicely into Other One jam for a few minutes before Phil drops the proverbial BOMB! Great vocals. This version has all the crazed and urgent creativity that this song deserves. Bobby falls back a bit in the mix and it's the Jerry and Phil show. Phil is all over the place. "Comin'.. Comin'.. Comin' a-round!" The segue to Wharf Rat is pristine and inspired (even tho the Archive seed is clipped a little here). Spectacular transition. Wharf Rat is upbeat and spot on. Not the best I ever saw, but very good. Jerry is simply performing tonight.
Vince's back-ups in this one... love em or hate em? I think they sound pretty nice actually. He goes where Bob can no longer go.
Followed by the standard wrap up, Around and Around. AnA never bothered me like it did some people. it's a great rocknroll song.
E: Knockin'. Big Yawn. Always made me worry that Jerry was about to die.
Funny, this show sounds MUCH better in retrospect than I felt about it at the time. i really think I just let the Picasso opener and the RnR/Knockin closer ruin it for me. goes to show how important those two slots are i guess.