03-20-93 The Omni, Atlanta, Ga. (Sat)
1: Half Step, All Over Now, So Many Roads, Me & My Uncle> Maggie's Farm, Bird Song> Promised
2: Eyes> L. L. Rain, Lazy River Road, Truckin> Smokestack> Drumz> Wheel> Watchtower> SOTM> Saturday Night E: Liberty
Half-Step starts a bit in the song and there's some static here and there but otherwise great. Garcia is not playing around, right out of the door. Solid Vince solo in here. They don't rush it, and Jerry sings the Rio Grand-i-o in great voice. His heart's in it tonight. Post lyrical playing is superb.
All Over Now is rollicking, the boys are in fine form. More great tone and precision from Garcia. The whole team is on board.
So Many Roads is in an unorthodox slot in the set list. I'll take it. Small slop at the front end. Vince is too high in the mix, as it comes out in the vocals. The song though, it's great.
Energy is through the roof as we head into the duo. Bob is solid behind Jerry's noodles, as is Vince. Phil keeps the beat, drummers are on.
Maggies is also a blast, at first, with some sassy Garcia notes, a metallic sounding Bob. Phil is be-bopping, takes a minute to get his verse in. Things head downhill, life is lost. Nice Garcia solos in here and an abrupt ending. It needed to end, it cost them a bit of steam.
Bird Song>Promised Land
Garcia maintains his precision for the flight of Bird Song. Bob puts in song nice efforts while Jer experiments with MIDI. Bob gets a shot on MIDI after that. At about the ten minute mark things start getting out of control, Vince pushing, MIDI Bob and they all push up to those heights we know and love. Out of that Vince goes MIDI for a moment, and we fly back down to our perch.
In Promised Land it might as well just be Vince playing, because he's sooooo damn high in the mix.
Eyes to open is always a happy point for me. Bob and Jerry lead the way on this one. Jerry goes flute MIDI in the second verse jam. The whole team is back in motion after the mid first set derailment and the overly Vinced out mix. Stuffed full of energy, this eyes won't let you down.
Looks Like a Bathroom Break may though... At some point before the intro we went into an AUD patch and I didn't even notice until the intro when the crowd went nuts for LLR. I don't know why, total buzz kill version.
Lazy River Road brings us back to the soundboard. I love shows with this and So Many Roads. It also brings us back to enjoyable GD.
Pump me up. Truckin, while unreliable (especially in lyrics), usually does the trick. The build up build me up, and what comes out of the explosion is always a surprise. I know where it is going tonight, but still a fun point, especially when blind. They drop the bomb on the outburst! Definitely pushing the envelope into the awesome realm.
Bob signals Smokestack. The band contemplates while Phil bobs, and Bob jams a bit. No Swiss watch here, more of a sloppy segue. Finally Jerry agrees to Smokestack. It's a bit slow, and I know it should be, but...
The drums were especially sophomoric. Mickey took forever to hit the beam, and then that was lame too.
Wheel> featured a MIDI intro.
Watchtower> started off without a bang, but by the end Garcia proved he still had his skills.
SOTM> is another all time favorite. Bob plays strong chords to boost it. Jerry is in good voice. Not a knock out version but nice for the Bob/Phil element. It has a strong finish, and the finish is what it's all about in this song... rather BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE with YOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUU.
OMSN is where Bob makes up for LLR.
Encore: Liberty is always a fun pick for me. I know many hate it.
In the end, this show got derailed during Maggie's Farm and peaked in an out of awesome places, but never sustained. Bob was solid throughout, was Jerry. Phil had his moments, but wasn't where he could be. The two guitars... moments of greatness... kind of a summary of post-Brent?
For the era... a medium show verging on good.