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Dark Star, Latter-Day Jerry (LDJ), 10-16-89, 7-12-90, etc.

 
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bzfgt



Joined: 11 Sep 2009
Posts: 477

PostPosted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:39 pm    Post subject: Dark Star, Latter-Day Jerry (LDJ), 10-16-89, 7-12-90, etc. Reply with quote

I don't know if this is in the right section, or if it should be the 'Brent-a-Rama Years' or whatever that section's called. The discussion could go either way. Anyway, I am a big fan of Garcia's later (post-coma, say) style of playing. Like many musicians, it gets a bit more laconic and formalized, and at times may seem repetitive. But I like the little swoops and glissandos and the way his sense of a solo gets even more counter-intuitive toward the end (although I'm not always a big fan of his habit, throughout his career, of playing solos that have no discernible beginning or end but just sort of trickle in or peter out).

Anyway, the Dark Star from the Meadowlands 10-16-89 is probably not one of the all-time top ten performances of the song, considered strictly from the perspective of Dark Star, although it is in the midst of a great set (at least if we ignore the two songs that ensue from Space). But I think Garcia's playing in the first segment of Dark Star to open the set is some of the greatest he's ever done, and really epitomizes the power of his guitar playing in the era in question. It's such a great sound, such engaging note selection, Garcia is very loud and dominant on this show, and this segment of music is just masterful. It may not be the most adventurous, rather it is confident and assured, a pretty and mostly perfect piece of music.

I agree with Koch that the best latter-day Dark Star over all is probably 7-12-90, although on that show Garcia's playing is at times a bit cruder. There is a great, although short, Midi horn section on that one, too, that stands out for me. But I digress, as usual.

Anyway, while I wouldn't insist on 10-16-89 as an all-time great Dark Star, it is an all-time great piece of Grateful Dead music, if that makes any sense.
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Kochman
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that 10/16/89 is pretty damn good... and way better than the 10/9/89 of fame.
"Nightfall of Diamonds" is the official release of course.

This DS has one of the faster tempos to it of all the DSs... and definitely, from what I have heard at least, is the fastest of any after the 89 revival at Hampton. Garcia is spot on, opening a set with DS was definitely a surprise though! This is followed up by an epic PITB>UJB>PITB, with the 2nd iteration of PITB having more noodles than an Italian Market.
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bzfgt



Joined: 11 Sep 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

More Latter Day Dark Star (LDDS)! The encore from 7-13-84 is 15 minutes or so of absolutely top-knotch Grateful Dead music! Garcia seemed to have had a lot of passion in his guitar playing in '84, despite comments that he was drugged-out and didn't care. While his voice was (entertainingly) deteriorating, this was a great time for his playing and this DS has some of the best of the bunch. It doesn't spin out and get weird or display too much variety, compared to a lot of older versions, but it still has to be one of the highlights of their career, for different reasons of course than something like 11-11-73.
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bzfgt



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did I say 'knotch'?
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bzfgt



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

11-13-72 is as good as anything. 4-8 and 4-24 have been released and they are also two of the best of the year. But 11-13 has a kind of dark gravity that makes it unique. What a nonsensical thing to say.

10-31-71 (DP2) has to be one of the greatest Dark Stars, from a year not known for them. I would think of it as a 'classic' rendition along the lines of Live Dead and 2-13-70, a strong statement of themes and fairly straightforward playing compared to 1972-74.
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Kochman
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How do you feel about the 8/16/91 version in the 1st set?
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Grateful_nirvanA



Joined: 25 Aug 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kochman wrote:
How do you feel about the 8/16/91 version in the 1st set?


I'll throw two cents into this one. In my opinion, it's good, but not great. It seems to be kind of a fun thing for the band to play, as Hornsby had been injecting DS themes all over the place in order to "jack up" the proceedings (as he stated on the GDH). To me, it comes off nicely, and the crowd loves it, but it seems more of a novelty or a direct ploy to push the band to reach a little deeper. I have the sense that, if you were there, you had your mind blown, but listening to it now, and having not been there, my mind isn't blown away by the DS. It also is noted in several places that the sound at this show might not have been completely dialed in until the Desolation Row that proceeded the DS, which might explain why the time was right to let it out. Now, the Scarlet > Victim > Fire to open set II is another story, it may just blow your mind!

I'm still a big fan of the DS from 10/26/89 in Miami. That show is a monster. The 10/16/89 (Bobby's 42nd birthday) and the 7/12/90 DSs are both nice in their own way, just like 8/16/91. I think it was Phil (or maybe it was JG) who said that they never really stopped playing DS, they just moved in and out if it as the music played the band. I think this group of DSs really falls into that category. When the vibe was there, they were there with it. 7/14/84 is there too. Why wouldn't you be moved into DS-mode when there is a lunar eclipse?
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bzfgt



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kochman wrote:
How do you feel about the 8/16/91 version in the 1st set?


I haven't heard it, or if I have it was back in the day. I'll get around to it for sure. I was at a show a couple months prior at Giants Stadium when they went into DS in the first set...for a few seconds, then it dissolved into Masterpiece. Kind of like Jesus returned, but then turned out to be Paul Lynde. Anyway I think I discussed all the other ones GN mentions on this thread or another one...so probably not much to add there that I haven't already said.
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Kochman
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bzfgt wrote:
Kochman wrote:
How do you feel about the 8/16/91 version in the 1st set?


I haven't heard it, or if I have it was back in the day. I'll get around to it for sure. I was at a show a couple months prior at Giants Stadium when they went into DS in the first set...for a few seconds, then it dissolved into Masterpiece. Kind of like Jesus returned, but then turned out to be Paul Lynde. Anyway I think I discussed all the other ones GN mentions on this thread or another one...so probably not much to add there that I haven't already said.

I would recommend the entire show... it is one of my favorites of the year, with the obvious highlight being the S>Victim>F... led by Bruce.

I like this particular DS because it is short and sweet... it won't go long and deep, but it is on the money in my opinion. Every DS doesn't have to be 30 minutes... the early ones were often very short and still cool.

In fact, part of the reason I am not a huge DS fan is that very often they just went too long and spacey for me, to the point where it bores me...
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Grateful_nirvanA



Joined: 25 Aug 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kochman wrote:
Every DS doesn't have to be 30 minutes... the early ones were often very short and still cool.

In fact, part of the reason I am not a huge DS fan is that very often they just went too long and spacey for me, to the point where it bores me...


I concur. There is oftentimes a lot of noodling or space in DS that seems to lack a lot of purpose. While every minute of every performance can't be action packed, some of the '74 versions seem to me to miss out on achieving the essential drive of the song. Sometimes, it reminds me of the "jam" over at your friends house. No one has the ability to make it coalesce into anything real compelling. Short and intense works well for me.

Not a DS, but check out the PITB from 5/21/74 and compare it to any of the '72 versions. I'd bet it would be rare the 5/21/74 version topped the shorter '72. But damn, that 5/21/74 is a monster!
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Kochman
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 18, 2011 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good call, I was just thinking about that adventure into uberspace from 74...
72 PITBs are just right for me, driven and focused.
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rgerbel



Joined: 15 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bzfgt wrote:
11-13-72 is as good as anything. 4-8 and 4-24 have been released and they are also two of the best of the year. But 11-13 has a kind of dark gravity that makes it unique. What a nonsensical thing to say.

10-31-71 (DP2) has to be one of the greatest Dark Stars, from a year not known for them. I would think of it as a 'classic' rendition along the lines of Live Dead and 2-13-70, a strong statement of themes and fairly straightforward playing compared to 1972-74.


Glad to see appreciation of 11/13/72, which clearly is in my top 5 of all-time. I get the "dark gravity" concept but it also is light and joyful at times, most notably at the end.

I like 10/26/89 the best of the Brent dark stars. I also really like the 12/31/90 one, which is really a good show in my mind - close to if not better than 3/29/90. I am a Bruce fan, by the way.


Last edited by rgerbel on Sat Feb 19, 2011 6:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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bzfgt



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I forgot Jersey City and Spectrum from the released -72s that are dope. Of course there will be a bunch more in the fall...

I like Bruce for the most part. The New Year's is another one I haven't gotten around to yet. In that era I was lucky enough to see 10-16-89, 3-29-90, 7-12-90, 9-20-90, 6-14-91, and 6-17-91 if that one counts. I think that's all of them...9-20-90 is pretty darn good if you ask me...
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