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3/23/95 - The Last Epic Show

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Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:44 pm    Post subject: Ads

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 2:06 pm    Post subject: 3/23/95 - The Last Epic Show Reply with quote

3/23/95 - The Last Epic Show

So, here it is, the last great show, from start to finish, by one Jerome John Garcia. We have all heard about it, here is the review. Now listen to it...

Charlotte Coliseum
Charlotte, NC
3/23/95 - Thursday
With Bruce Hornsby

Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo [9:40] ; Wang Dang Doodle [6:32] ; Cold Rain And Snow [8:36] ; El Paso [6:44] ; Loser [7:37] ; Easy Answers [7:59] ; So Many Roads [7:33]
Unbroken Chain [6:53] ; Scarlet Begonias [9:06] > Fire On The Mountain [15:59] > Corrina [14:03] > Matilda [7:20] > Drums [14:42] > Space [17:09] > Days Between [10:56] > Good Lovin' [8:52]
Encore The Weight [5:12]

Set One
Mississippi Half-Step: Well, the opener... Jerry brought his running shoes, and puts forth a mighty effort. Nice to hear Bruce's vocals back in the mix!

Wang Dang Doodle: Where is that poodle

Cold Rain & Snow: As I said before, Jerry put on his running shoes for this show, and he wears them here. Might as well be in the 80s, minus Brentski of course. The Band is officially feeling it. Bruce's tickling of the ivories is spot on.

El Paso: Excellent. An example of the fact that the rest of the band was consistently progressing... and since Jerry, as we know and love him, showed up to this show, a great effort. I always got the feeling Bruce loved this tune. This is the first tune in the set that really takes off into the areas that we all love about the Dead!

Loser: YEAH!! Jrock in the house! Laying it down... here you go, awesome solo... everyone is on it...

Easy Answers: Maybe the least cheesy version ever! Bruce!!! This version is perhaps the best ever! Powerful climax.

So Many Roads: Its 95, this should be a highlight of the set... right? Ellis? Jerry's voice has been better... Vince makes his presence known, for really the first time in the set, but is not at all overpowering. Jerry continues to play like we all want him to do. Solid vocals and all around playing here. Not the best SMRs ever, but up with the rest of the show.

Set Two
Unbroken Chain: Best rendition the boys ever pulled out... Phil actually sounds quasi-decent. This complex song is easy to bungle, and it was in 95 about every time except this one. Bruce acts as though he was always playing this one... saturate that! Maybe he is what was missing from other versions. Pretty sure the crowd was going insane... pipe up if you were there. The middle jam is perfectly delivered, structured as it is. Jerry took a partial role next to Bruce on this one. Jerry! Don't fall asleep! No nods!!!

Scarlet>Fire: Fully energized from the start! Bobby laying down the tune as we all love it. Vocals a bit iffy. Who cares. Bruce is completely en fuego to make up for it. The guitars are off and running. Jrock did not fall asleep. He even remembers he should sing a few of the verses. The pre-willows jam really gets going around the 4 minute mark. Awesome, energetic transition! Then we hit the Fire! Yes. Bruce is in the house, and Jerry slowly builds steam for this. Thank God, if at any point in 95, Jerry was going to hit it head on, this was the song. Its not the best ever, but it is definitely more than expected.

Corrina: I have mixed emotions about this song. When pulled off, it can be great, but like Unbroken Chain, they often bungle it. Tonight they definitely hit it right on the money. The highlight for me is the segue jam into...

Mathilda: A Bruce solo is a nice start to this one. He just tears it up, and as Jerry gets ramped up, everyone is in full swing. Excellent Mathilda here. Jerry's vocals are a little weak, as they have been all show, but its 95... I am just glad they are hitting the instruments so well. Bruce does another awesome jam session to take us into drums>

Drums>Space: Bruce and Jerry control space for the most part. Bruce especially seems to have had a lot of fun with it.

Days Between: Best out of space... such a perfect segue. Unfortunately, Jer's vox are pretty raspy in the first few verses, but as usual, it gets better... Sometimes that extended break during D>S just caused his throat to close up or something I guess... Instrumentally performed perfectly. Jerry does nail the Phantom Ships verse... then flubs the light of the sun. By the hopeful candle verse it is properly building up steam. It is a nice touch to have Bruce supplementing Vince's organ tones. Unfortunately, as the song builds in intensity, Jerry starts blowing more and more lines... shit. He recovers again by Valentines of Flesh & Blood, but come on! Read Jerry! Read! All in all, this show is scared by this mediocre vocal performance of the song that, to me, should be a highlight. The final jams are well executed.

Good Lovin': They cut to this a bit prematurely in my book... if you are going to screw up 40% of the lyrics of a ballad, at least give us the huge payoff at the end, jam it out a bit, then transition. To me, a good lovin without some wierd Weir rap at the end is blah... so...

Encore - The Weight: OK, good time to pull this one back out. Bruce is strong here, he really jumps into his verse. It is a great cap to a great night. Perhaps the best encore effort of the year.

Set One Summary: Excellent focus by Jerry... probably his last completely solid show, matched by a solid, where the fuck where you Jerry performance by the bad. Highlights = El Paso, Loser, So Many Roads

Set Two Summary: The best ever Unbroken Chain. The whole predrums segment is out of control. A definite keeper. Space is cool with Bruce continuing to provide some extra umph... Days is performed with solidly, but mediocrity describes the vocals. Highlights = Entire pre-drums sequence

Overall: Its 95... we all know it as the worst year on record... This is clearly the best show of the year. Without Bruce's added spice, this show is roughly equivalent to 5/26/95, which ain't too hot. Jerry came to play, his lyrical prowess is spotty at best, but his playing is on. In the end, it is a toss up between who played better, Jerry or Bruce? Does this performance compare to a 1972-4 or 79-81 effort? Nah... but! This show is solid!
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I LOVE this show. big surprise, huh Wink ?!

i wore out, i mean literally, WORE OUT my cassette AUD copy when i got it in late Spring '95.

i have the AUD and SBD of this, my only complaint is that Phil is not NEARLY loud enough on any source.

i fucking LOVE this second set, though...i remember being super, jaw-droppingly impressed with the intro to Scarlet when i first heard it. In fact i remember my exact quote to my friend who was driving when i popped the tape in and cued up Scarlet for our first hearing: "DAMN, they are STILL SO GOOD!!!"

i still dig it.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2008 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will add this show to my list of shows to listen to this wknd.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prior to this show, I have always liked shows that you rave about. I would not have listened to this one but your rave review plus it being in the March Deadness tournament caused me to give it a listen.

I agree with you that the transition from Corrina to Matilda is cool and also agree that Bruce was a major contributor. Although Jerry's vocals were raspy and tentative with the words as you say, I always get a strong emotional response to SMRs and Days Between.

I must say though that I have a very different reaction to Jerry's guitar playing. The only positive thing I can say about it is that it is sparse in terms of the number of notes played per measure. This is OK with Days Between and So Many Roads I guess but in general his playing seems tentative, slow, and sloppy to me. He actually tended to take a back seat to Bruce, which probably was a good decision here, even with Scarlet Begonias and the transition to Fire.

Although I rarely think it is worth our efforts to talk about shows we do not like since there are so many shows we love, I am interested to have others weigh in on their assessment of Jerry's guitar playing in this show. I listened to it right after listening to the 67 show that is in the top 64 tournament and I find the difference in his playing between these two shows to be a very large one indeed.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was there, the crowd reaction for Unbroken was insane, probably the loudest and most sincere I ever heard. The sound was the worst I ever heard at a Dead show. Everything I disliked about the Cutler mix came together for that show, it was way too quiet and way too mono. This was also the show where quite a few people I overheard during the intermission were abuzz about a rumor that Carrot Top was there.

All in all it was a very odd scene that night. Come to think of it, getting to Charlotte and then getting to the shows from where I was staying in Charlotte was a bit of an adventure as well. Not quite the adventure of getting back to Atlanta and getting to those shows, but still.

Good times.

I am the adversary and must remain the adversary
I am not yours to embrace
I am not yours to invoke
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will listen to this show Koch and also to the 04/04/94 suggestions for I have discovered that we both like Days Between in this period. I don't care about the mistakes in the lyrics (I don't catch each single word - that helps), but the overall feeling of the show and ... of that song

I mean, sports are big, big, big business. (Phil Lesh)
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