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Md5 files are just text files. The GD has blocked all of their SBD shows from being downloaded at archive.org. You can probably find that show at bt.etree.org. For some unknown reason you can still grab all the SBD shows there.

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At first, they had them taken down - and then a compromise was made that they would leave them up as streams. The reason they blocked the downloads, was due to the band wanting to sell those shows. Or selling them at some point. I think in recent years the SBDs that have been used in a creating a product have been taken down completely. Of course, you can find them elsewhere as I mentioned.

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Okay here is a smoker- I listened to this 2nd set driving to Lone Pine this morning in the rain ->>

11/17/73 Pauley Pavilion UCLA

2nd set highlight - Playin>Uncle John's>AM Dew>Uncle John's>Playing. WOW!

A real nice Eyes>Sugar Mag to close the set.

The run of Playin>UJB>Dew>UJB>Playin was done three times. (also 11/10/73 & 3/23/74) As the Tapers Compendium Vol.1

states - this version "is absolutely flawless in its execution"

Check it out if you can.

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12.15.72 is amazing. The playin' is extremely different than most versions in that jerry is on attack mode throughout. At some points in the jam it is only jerry and billy plyaing...Verry different...The Truckin' Dark Star is the highlight for me. The five minutes prior to the verse in dark star is jerry at his best, rivaled (in my opinion) only by the five minutes prior to verse one of 7.18.1972 dark star...take your pick - i'm happy with either...


The 11.17.1973 PUMUP is their finest (again in my opinion). The 11.10.1973 version was a bit nascent in that the jams and transitions were a bit abrupt, and the 3.23.1974 just didn't get that deep...The 11.17.1973 version, however, was a roundtrip ticket to planet janet. The first playin' space gets very deep with jerry meandering and apexing at will, the dew is very passionate, but the transition back to playin from the ujband steals the show. Instead of singing, "i guess it doesn't matter..." after hte monstrous note fanning, the and launches back into ujband seemlessly, and following the finale verse jerry switches into his playin' tone for an amazing transition. Breathtaking to say the least...


The band did this sort of thing (playin followed by several songs and then later in the show bringing back the reprise of playin') from time to time. But most variations skipped any sort of playin' space and just headed right back into the reprise. This version (and 5.19.1977 for comparisons sake) featured a full blown space complete with tigerish fannings and just balls out crazy jamming.


Thanks for bringing up these shows and jogging some great memories...


Take a bow Jerry...take a bow...

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I'm listening to Two From The Vault - Disc 2 this morning. That brings back memories of where I bought it. A record store that no longer exists. The dude that ran the place carried every GD cd there was - even the Dick's Picks that were out in the stores at the time.

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12.15.72 is amazing. The playin' is extremely different than most versions in that jerry is on attack mode throughout. At some points in the jam it is only jerry and billy plyaing...Verry different...The Truckin' Dark Star is the highlight for me. The five minutes prior to the verse in dark star is jerry at his best, rivaled (in my opinion) only by the five minutes prior to verse one of 7.18.1972 dark star...take your pick - i'm happy with either...


The 11.17.1973 PUMUP is their finest (again in my opinion). The 11.10.1973 version was a bit nascent in that the jams and transitions were a bit abrupt, and the 3.23.1974 just didn't get that deep...The 11.17.1973 version, however, was a roundtrip ticket to planet janet. The first playin' space gets very deep with jerry meandering and apexing at will, the dew is very passionate, but the transition back to playin from the ujband steals the show.  Instead of singing, "i guess it doesn't matter..." after hte monstrous note fanning, the and launches back into ujband seemlessly, and following the finale verse jerry switches into his playin' tone for an amazing transition.  Breathtaking to say the least...


The band did this sort of thing (playin followed by several songs and then later in the show bringing back the reprise of playin') from time to time.  But most variations skipped any sort of playin' space and just headed right back into the reprise. This version (and 5.19.1977 for comparisons sake) featured a full blown space complete with tigerish fannings and just balls out crazy jamming.


Thanks for bringing up these shows and jogging some great memories...


Take a bow Jerry...take a bow...


Agree with all that. Excellent analysis!

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Knowing me, I problably read both them before, but still an enjoyable read this afternoon, none the less.


other news: I guess I will try to attend a showing - wish it was the complete third show, though


The Grateful Dead is back in select movie theaters nationwide for only one night on Thursday, April 19 at 7:00PM (local time) for the second annual Grateful Dead Meet-Up At The Movies presented by Fathom. This year we've reached deep into the Grateful Dead vault to present the unreleased iconic concert captured at Alpine Valley Music Theatre on July 18, 1989 (the show directly following the band's famous Downhill From Here performance.) The event features the complete concert with two and a half hours of music!


Don’t miss your only opportunity to join friends and fans for the second annual Grateful Dead Meet-Up at the Movies at 7:00PM (local time) in select theatres Thursday, April 19.

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wish it was the complete third show, though

I agree. Stronger show/tunes played imo. Still cool to see the live stuff, though.


Don't know where any of you people live but the Weir-Chris Robinson-Jackie Greene trio deal is doing a handful of dates again in a feww months. I caught them last summer north of Denver and it was really good stuff. They're back in Denver area for 2 this time around and I know IN and a couple other stops. Catch it if you can.

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Interesting that 18 July 1989 would be shown..in my opinion a hangover show overshadowed by the ephemeral 17 July 1989 show. Here is a review I wrote a few years back about this show...


7.18.89 Alpine Valley

East Troy, Wisconsin


41st Show of Year

10th Show of 1989 Summer Tour (13th if you count the 3 June Shoreline Shows)




After a rather epic night which featured the return of Bid You Goodnight and one of the finest China Cat jams ever, the band resurfaced for night two of three at Alpine. According to Mr. Brian Dyke who reviewed these three shows for the Compendium, the rain was pouring and the mud was everywhere for this show.


Destined to be in the shadow of 7.17.1989, the band opened with Touch of Grey. As the opening chords and verses are performed the band sounded tired and sluggish. The song itself is flawless, but not atypical. The jam suffers the same fate as it fails to develop beyond typical.


In contrast to the Touch, Jack Straw has the band sounding more awake and alive. Weir’s screaming of the verses adds quite a bit to this “energetic” feel, but it was Jerry’s main jam that really adds spark. In particular, the main jam builds nicely and has interesting note runs from Jerry, but the jam doesn’t build into a massive fanning of notes (ala 1978), but instead peaks out as the jam is rising (very similar to the Europe 72 versions; e.g., see 5.4.1972). This version works.


Jerry’s 2-Spot is Jack A Roe. This tune worked well as the two spot on 7.10.1989 and 4.3.1989 mainly because the Jerry led jams really built the pace resulting in high tension. This version on 7.18.1989, unfortunately, didn’t have the pace builds during Jerry’s jams. The result was a constant pace throughout the song rendering it a bit flat.


Weir’s blues spot is next filled with Minglewood. Weir does a nice job of singing this and the song itself is flawless. But Jerry is again a bit flat. The first Jerry solo is slow and not edgy, and the main jam has Jerry’s finale being flat and barely increasing the overall pace.


Jerry sounded distracted at this point. The Touch, Jack A Roe and Minglewood efforts by him were at best average.


Next is FOTDevil. The show intensity up to this point was teetering on barely above average, and the intensity was lacking. This FOTDevil was a bold selection considering that if it wasn’t very well done, the listener would be half asleep. This version is __very__ slow. The jams are equally slow as well. Jerry walks through various scale runs, but the main jam fails to develop into any interesting heights. At some points the pace is so slow that the Jerry’s leads begin to stall before they even cover five or six notes. Many better versions of this tune exist.


Like a sleep deprived driver who shakes his head to stay awake, Weir next enters Memphis Blues. Memphis starts out nicely, but the verse to verse rise that Weir typically does so well (see 7.7.1989) sounds a bit forced on this version. Jerry’s leads inbetween the verses is also rather banal at points and unconvincing.


Obviously the band was not having their best night of the year (hmmm … 2.10? 4.3? 4.28? 6.19? 6.21? 7.7? or 7.17?). All totaled Jerry sounded a bit too relaxed or lethargic – perhaps a bit too much Persian.


But, just when a label may be dropped on the band for at least this particular performance, Jerry pulls out Bird Song – the highlight of the show. The timing of the song portion is immaculate and features very nice pauses inbetween certain parts (e.g., “I’ll show you….(pause of silence for about 1 full second)…snow and rain.” The jam portion features three distinct themes. The first involves very deep Jerry probing with the band providing a chipper rhythm. The second theme gets more pace driven as Jerry cycles through the lower part of his fret board. The improvisation here in this second theme is very complicated and drives home the message that Dark Star was on the horizon (in October…). Finally, the third theme involves a complete strum session with Jerry creating a monstrous sound. This Bird Song is very different than the previous songs in that Jerry’s note picking was very complicated and interesting. It was almost as if a different band took the stage.


The previous band returned to the stage for the set ending Promised Land. The ending jam is a bit flat and doesn’t get beyond typical in its theme.


A rather dull first set. Perhaps the band was a bit hung over from the great performance the previous night. But, the Bird Song makes the first set worthwhile and should be heard by all.


Set two starts with Sugar Magnolia. Weir does a nice job with the song portion, and the rhythm is equally exuberant. This was a very nice start to the second set considering the lackluster first set (sans the Bird Song). As the SSDD instrumental starts Jerry barely plays SSDD before switching flawlessly into Scarlet. The transition was very well done. But, only being able to review the song portion because there was no Sug Mag SSDD jam, this version is just above average.


Scarlet Begonias is strong. Jerry delivers the verses with pluck, and the first jam creates a nice drive that is just shy of exceptional. The outro jam starts out with a little bit of complicated note playing from Jerry. But, just as the jam begins to get interesting Jerry switches to Women Are Smarter. I would have preferred Fire On The Mountain, but the ensuing Women is very well done.


Women Are Smarter, surprisingly, is likely the highlight of the second set. The reason is the main Jerry jam which is very extended. Jerry provides a very nice Cajun theme that flows through numerous pace changes and interesting themes. As the song ends and the vocals slowly drift to a near silent “that’s right, the Women Are Smarter…” Jerry starts Eyes of the World.


Eyes is well sung, but the jams don’t rise too well in pace. Jerry’s themes seem to stall rather quickly and the “feel” is just not there. This version is the definition of average as the song is ok, and the jams, while flubless, are barely interesting.


As the drummers start, the band just didn’t sound very enthused. With the exception of the Bird Song and Women, the versions were for the most part average or below average.


Unlike the very layered Space of 7.17.1989, the 7.18.1989 Space is mostly cacophonic with numerous midi blasts but little thematic progression.


Near the conclusion of Space Jerry starts dramatically hinting China Doll. The song itself is not played too well. It sounded loose at the seams and not very tight. Mydland provides a very present harpsichord sound that sounded a bit out of place (the harpsichord sounded great on acoustic versions (like on Mars Hotel and the September October 1980 run)). The jam is not atypical either.


Next is Fantasy Jude. This version is not bad. Mydland is rather hyper as usual with this song. It truly is impressive to hear him nail the high notes. The jams on this version reach some nice heights as Jerry puts forth some nice runs, but they are not overly impressive.


Throwing Stones is next and the band sounds a bit tired. The song is slowly played and Jerry’s rhythmic notes don’t sail like some others (see 4.13.1983 for a fantastic Throwing Stones with very interesting Jerry throughout). The Weir scream (“on our owwwwnnnn”) is toned down a bit and sounds alright. The main Jerry jam doesn’t really take off however. The band sounded like it was on autopilot at this point.


As Throwing Stones melts into the “ashes ashes all fall down” the band stops and starts the vocal SSDD. Weir produces some nice yelps on this but the Jerry driven rhythm sounds tired. Not overly impressive.


The encore is Quinn The Eskimo, and Jerry does nice job of creating interest after mostly average show; but not that much interest.


Perhaps this was the inevitable hangover show from a well done show.

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For comparisons sake...here is my 17 July 1989 review written around the same time.


7.17.89 Alpine Valley

East Troy, Wisconsin


40th Show of Year

9th Show of 1989 Summer Tour (12th if you count the 3 June Shoreline Shows)




The final three shows of the 1989 Summer Tour began on a Monday in rural Wisconsin at easily one of the most pristine places to see the Dead --- Alpine. Sadly, the band would be barred from Alpine following the final show, and would not play Alpine again until without Jerry in 2002. The Garcia Band would play Alpine in September 1989.


7.17.1989 is for the most part (the Row Jimmy, Masterpiece, Push, and MNStopped are omitted and replaced with the 7.19.1989 West LA, Desolation, and Deal) presented on the DVD Downhill Free Here. The DVD is very appealing because it does not mar the songs with annoying psychedelic side effects.


Let the Good Times Roll starts out the concert to a dusk setting. I’ve really grown to like this opener and this version is just as great as most. The harmonies, which really make the song, are all in synch and the band seems happy. The finale has very nice series of Jerry notes, followed by a Brent falsetto, followed by Bobby falsetto screams that suggest the evening as a whole may be special.


Feel Like a Stranger immediately follows. The DVD shows Jerry almost prancing on the stage with a big smile on his face. Based on other videos I’ve seen of the band (particularly 1984 and 1985) Jerry seemed very healthy and happy. His eye contact with Brent is nearly incessant through the Stranger, and Jerry was smiling a lot. The main jam is perhaps a bit short. There is only one main theme, but Jerry does a good job of creating a groove. The jam is not overly impressive, but the band sounds quite in synch and relaxed.


Jerry next delivers Built To Last. As with the progression of the other new Jerry tunes, notably Standing On The Moon and Foolish Heart, Built To Last was on a roll. The previous version of Built To Last (7.9.1989) was a highly exceptional version, as was the version on 7.17.1989. Jerry’s vocals were now confident and his inflections on certain phrases suggested that the song was beginning to take its own form. Weir’s note progression through the song encourages the contemplative edge of the lyrics. Truly, it now was a Grateful Dead classic. To highlight the previous comment even moreso, Jerry chose it as his first tune of the night on 7.17.1989. As with the previous versions, Jerry’s singing is confident yet suspicious, and the band’s rhythm is completely in tune. Another fantastic version of Built To Last. On the DVD, as the song ends Jerry turns to face Kreutzman who puts a thumb’s up --- Jerry smiles in return.


Next is Me’n My Uncle. Weir’s singing is a bit relaxed in comparison to the vicious early 70’s versions. But, as with the rest of the scene, the music and the band had changed over the years. Late 80’s Me’n My Uncles were not so much about attacking the listener but seemingly moreso on the careful presentation and nice improvisation by throughout the song. All stats included, MAMU had only been performed 4 times in 1989 (the previous version on 5.7.1989 which was above average but not exceptional). Jerry’s rhythmic improvisation during the song portion is perhaps a bit repetitious, but the main jam has Jerry taking nice improvisation leaps and creating a nice tension filled ending. The song’s finale does an adequate of pouncing on the ending “Left his dead ass there by the road.” Not the best but not the worst version. If anything it sounded a bit too polished and not gutsy enough.


Jerry immediately drives the band not into Big River or Mexicali, but Cumberland – a bit of a surprise. The harmonies and jerry’s singing are perhaps a bit rough, but this Cumberland has a swift pace and the enthusiasm seems to be very present. On the DVD, Jerry is smiling nearly through the whole song. Jerry’s first solo is very fast and lifts the band from a fast pace to a faster pace. The second jam has an even faster pace and high note squeezes (ala Europe 72 versions) and high note bends that reek of Southern Blue Grass Roots. On the DVD, as the second jam starts, Jerry and Brent are each bobbing their heads while staring at each other. The finale harmony sounds better than the harmonies at the beginning of the song – and as a whole the Cumberland was a success.


This sandwich, MAMUCumberland, featured two songs rarely played by the band as of 7.17.1989. The MAMU was a bit too clean for my taste (not enough room for error), but the Cumberland sounded great.


Weir’s bluesy rock tune is All Over Now. I’ve always really liked the Dead’s version of this tune. Another great tune for Jerry to harmonize Bob. Bob’s singing is a bit hysterical but not as much as other versions. The first Jerry solo is crackling and very complex while sounding simple – pure Jerry at his best. The main jam starts with Brent organning his guts out with gushing keyboard solo. Mydland’s solo reaches some great areas and is interesting in its melody – more than just the typical energy rising organ runs, but really creative. Jerry jumps in at this point and provides a rhythm in Weir’s absence (it must have been his turn). Finally Weir returns but the jam had stalled a bit. The final push of the major jam was lost and the chord pounces didn’t sound completely on the ball (1.. 2.. 3.. (slight pause) ___4___ (bang)). Because of this messed up solo, this version is below average. The DVD failed to shed light on whether Weir was having technical trouble during the finale jam.


Row Jimmy is also a bit bittersweet. The song itself is sung nicely by Jerry but is almost a bit too fast. This leaves a hurried feel to a sung meant to be played very slowly. The jams are nice as Jerry reaches some nice points and leaves the solo relaxed enough not to kill the version. But, these jams are at best average and by no means are transcendental. The finale is marred by some flubs and the overall effect of the song is lost. This was removed from the Downhill From Here.


Masterpiece is next, which also was removed from Downhill From Here. The harmonies between Jerry and Bob sound great, and the song for the most part is nailed. Of note, Brent was beginning to sing harmony at times. But during the Jerry solo the rhythm’s timing is off at one point, and as Jerry creates the push to the “When I left Rome” segment, Brent overplays his keyboard drowning Jerry’s notes out. Better versions exist. The energy just isn’t as sizzling as in other versions (for example, see the 7.10.1989 version which is incredible except for the last 10 seconds).


Jerry’s next tune is When Push Comes To Shove. This tune gets a bum rap I think. I think the lyrics are just fine, but the jam segment is a great pad for Jerry to improvise within chordal structure (just like West LA Fadeaway). Apparently the evidence is against my contention because this was to be the final When Push Comes To Shove. This version is not bad as Jerry sings nicely and the band provides a swinging rhythm. The jam has Jerry running through his scales but not really providing an impressive display (unlike the 6.19.1989 version; sans the Weir effects). Shove is also omitted from Downhill From Here, as is the ensuing Music Never Stopped.


This rather up and down first set ends with Music Never Stopped. The previous version of this was played on 7.10.1989 which was very well done (despite the slightly rusty transitions during the final jams). It appeared that perhaps the band intended on keeping this tune in their repertoire. This version starts out with a slick and slappy rhythm that adds a sarcastic twinge to Weir’s presentation of the lyrics. Jerry mostly directs this approach as his rhythm is choppy and direct. The often changes in tempo of this song make it fun to listen to and the 7.17.1989 version rises to the task. The band leaps into the drift segment after the final “Music Never Stopped.” Jerry starts the drift with soaring notes that must have cascaded into the Alpine Valley breezes. This jam starts out slowly and barely increases in pace, until Jerry starts the ascension. The rhythm clearly responds and Weir starts to emit very nice note blasts as well. Jerry finally reaches a zenith and starts repeating the same cycle of notes permitting the band underneath him to switch to the overdrive segment of the song. As they do this Jerry effortlessly switches gears as well. Unlike the 7.10.1989 version, this transition was flawless. The finale is an all out jam with Jerry repeating cycles of high end notes along side Weir’s signature MNS finale bars. As noted, the set as a whole was a bit up and down, but what a great way to end it.


The second set begins with one of the finest China Cat’s I’ve ever heard. Throughout the song the band is tight, not over anxious with their complex parts, and as a whole just let the song develop. Jerry’s singing is subdued and not aggressive. Brent’s keyboard fills the gaps nicely and does not mimic or ape the Weir / Garcia parts. The jams inbetween the verses are confident and flubless.


The highlight of the show (tour?) happens during the instrumental finale to China Cat. Jerry slowly set the stage for an incredible peak at the finale of the instrumental jam. After the final verse, he slowly works through a series of notes cycling back and forth. On the last run, however, he surged deeper – and the band instantanesouly followed. As the pace suddenly began to increase, the jam was now in full gear and surging ahead. As the band set a very fast pace Jerry began a series of note cycles high up on the fret board that began to make the sound delirious. Not only was the band cooking, but Jerry was teasing the ultimate finale. For about 20 seconds Jerry dances his notes in this zone and at any second within it the band could have entered the structured finale. But, Jerry didn’t and instead dove the band deeper into the jam with a return to the middle portion of his fret board. This was short lived, but the effect was to reset the jam and the tension filled within the jam.


The beauty of the Grateful Dead is endless, but one aspect that I truly enjoy is their ability to create tension not from what they are doing but from what they are not doing. In this instance, the tension was from Jerry teasing the finale of Ccat and making the listener nearly beg for the finale.


Of course Jerry starts another attack, and this time he skips through his notes to a very high end series of spackles. This time Jerry has returned to creating the platform for a monstrous finale. He almost plays rhythm and assists the band in creating the right sound from which to spring. Of course, the ultimate result of this minor segment is more than just adding a cool sound. Jerry, by switching from improvisational lead to rhythmic lead once again assists in creating tension. The listener upon hearing this can’t help but ask, “Where’s Jerry?” You hear him but you don’t know what the hell he’s doing. One thing you do know is that he will pounce, but the question is when?


As the jam surges forward, the pace begins to envelop the sound. Brent is freaking out on his keyboard. Lesh is dropping short lasting but impressive bombs, Weir is nearly fanning his guitar, and the drummers are pounding away about as fast as possible. Jerry, on the other hand, was still racing through his rhythmic notes ever ever ever increasing the tension. Sure enough the sound could have been likened to the Hoover Dam about to explode. Still, with all of that pace and tension, Jerry was still dancing through his rhythmic improvisation.


Just as the sound was literally about to implode from too much pace, Jerry springs out of the blob of hysteria and starts another improvisation surge toward the ultimate goal – Ccat finale. The band was forced to keep the pace underneath Jerry and the job must have been tasking – they were going on 60 straight seconds of pure all out jam pace. As the improvisation hits a zenith Jerry perfectly leaps onto the structured finale. After all of the tension that led to that point, the structured finale is soothing. Yet, a bit unnerving because of its intensity. Jerry Garcia – the ultimate teasemaster.


From beginning to end, this China Cat instrumental jam provides one of the finest 3 mintues of Dead jamming I’ve heard (actually 2 minutes 48 seconds). I think it definitely ranks among 8.27.1972 and 11.19.1972, except of course, Jerry provided the lead instead of Bobby.


And, the DVD does a fantastic job of focusing on Jerry’s fingers throughout the main portions of this jam (and on Weir’s and Lesh’s). I recommend buying the DVD just for this 3 minute jam --- the remainder of the show is gravy.


The ensuing Rider was doomed to be in the shadow of the epic China Cat, but it still was exceptional. Jerry’s first solo is a bit tame and he sounds distracted (the DVD suggests that Jerry was having no technical troubles as he stood in one place through his lead). The final jam, however, is literally blistering as Jerry scorches through his jams. Easily one of the finer Riders of the year. Easily one of the finer Chiders the band had done.


The band immediately launches PITB. The song is tame and the timing of all the instruments almost hypnotic. On the DVD the band looks serious and in full concentration.


The first theme of the jam features Jerry doing very timed and rhythmic PITB melodies while Lesh and Bob take turns emitting signature runs. Lesh, in particular, opened a bit of a solo. This intro was very standard for this era, but this intro is nicely done.


From this Jerry opened up a very nicely paced PITB theme that was a bit typical but certainly enjoyable and certainly impressive. Jerry really starts to fly and the band is equally in pace (reminds me of Star Wars as the Millennium Falcon flies through hyperspace).


Just as the band begins to hit a nice stride Jerry opens the third theme by altering the pace of the jam with a new melody. The band quickly follows suit, but not necessarily in Jerry’s direction. For a few moments Jerry is going one way with his new theme while Weir emits very funky wah wah blasts.


The fourth theme starts with a slow drive by Jerry. The band slowly calms behind him and they start into a drifting type jam. Mydland influences the direction by providing a tension filled melody. Jerry pounces on this and sends the jam towards a desperation sound. Jerry reaches a point where he nails some chilling note cycles. As these cycles are finished the jam starts tumbling from the tense back to familiar PITB. Another of Jerry’s fine skills was the ability to reach a zenith point in a jam and effortlessly run equally as fast in the opposite direction – complete fluidity.


The fifth theme has Jerry returning to familiar PITB jams. This lasts for about 30 seconds.


Jerry next opens the sixth theme by altering the effects on his sound and slowing his pace a bit suggesting a desire to search for a new song. Upon reaching the desired sound, he starts a timed note progression that almost sounds like a march. At this point PITB had certainly been exited, but no new song was clear. The pace gets quite delicate as the band is playing very slowly while Jerry is delicately (yet very quickly) spinning transition webs. At times the sound is PITBish, and at times not.


Eventually Jerry starts the seventh theme which is a extremely impressive drift starting with an increase in pace, followed by a decrease in pace that lands directly in Uncle John’s Lap. In his review for the Compendium, Brian Dyke purports that instead of typical B scale drift into UJB, Jerry chose a G scale drift. Either way, the transition was very sweet.


A stunningly complex PITB for this era. Jerry’s ability to flip themes at such short notice was uncannily on on 7.17.1989. His mastery of pace changes was also clearly still present. For the most part, the DVD shows Jerry hanging his head throughout these jams.


The UJB is the band flexing its muscles. Unlike the angry version of 7.10.1989, this version is more of a tale. The overall pace is slow, and Jerry’s solos are crisp and direct. His first jam is flawless and demonstrates his unique ability to create melodies out of nothing. As the song reaches the main jam the pace rises. The main jam starts with the structured jam, but Jerry breaks free and starts his own interpretation. Basically he presents a pattern of very fast sprints followed by five or six lengthy notes. The intensity dramatically rises as the band rhythmically creates a storm cloud underneath Jerry. Jerry makes the storm even more intense by joining in the all out strum session that effortlessly breaks into the bridge. The DVD shows Weir rushing forward and backward in unison with the rhythm. After the final vocals, the band launches into another rhythmically driven UJB outro theme. But Jerry, instead of joining in on the jam begins to drift back towards the confines of PITB (for a truly breathtaking glimpse of UJB back to PITB listen to the 11.17.1973 transition). The band does little to resist as the sound drops into a slow but extremely impressive Jerry drift that lands into the strumming of a G chord, followed by C, followed by D, by C, and by G --- Standing On the Moon. This was a very fine reading of UJB. As noted, it is not as aggressive as others, but more soothing. It certainly fits in perfectly with this truly amazing pre drums second set of 7.17.1989.


Standing On The Moon is a masterpiece. Rumor has it that there was a full moon that arose behind the stage just as Standing On The Moon started. The DVD does not confirm this as its focus is on the stage. The band’s confidence with the song was very evident. Jerry’s singing was direct, heartfelt, and meaningful. This was, in my opinion, the first exceptional Standing On the Moon. The previous versions all lacked for some reason or another (even the previous version on 7.7.1989 which was a great success didn’t have the ephemeral feel that this version has). The outro jam starts slowly with melodic contemplative note runs, but the jam builds and hits a point not of intensity but perhaps melancholy. Jerry drifts the jam downward and to a standstill. The song ends and the there is silence for about 3 full seconds before the start of drums.


This must have been another impressive moment for Jerry. Once again in his exquisite career he had written a new song, developed the music, struggled through the rough early versions, altered its complexion, and, on 7.17.1989 watched his labor turn into fruits. The DVD shows that the lights dimmed to near darkness as the song concluded, but my guess is that Jerry likely was smiling.


After the drums, Jerry starts the space out only with one of the drummers. His first Space theme is relatively happy in tone and shows off his newfound mastery of the midi by switching between a horn sound and a bell sound. Weir arrives and starts providing a few feedback blasts and wah wah blasts. Weir’s effect is to make the sound as a whole a bit eerie. Jerry next starts a series of waterfall sounds. The third theme has Jerry’s guitar sounding like the bass on Seinfeld. His pace increases and soon Jerry is flying through his lead. This jam is rather impressive. Through the third theme Jerry switches to the flute sound and continues the incredibly fast picking. The notes with this sound tend to blend together lending a nice psychedelic effect. Jerry switches back again to the Seinfeld bass. A fourth theme is started with a very odd sound from the midi. It quickly switches to the 7.15.1989 Close Encounters midi sound. Sure enough Jerry starts another interesting Close Encounters jam. The fifth theme has Jerry attacking the high end of his fretboard before emitting more waterfall sounds. The sound and feel is gushing, and at this point the entire band is onstage with him. After the waterfall is complete, Jerry switches guitars and starts a nice drift accompanied by a massive cymbal splashing that blends into the Wheel. A rather impressive Space considering the second theme’s pace, and the Close Encounters jam. As had been the trend through this Summer 1989 Tour, the Space segments were getting better and better.


The DVD unfortunately clips about 4.33 minutes of the Space. What is missing is the third theme to the beginning of the Close Encounters theme.


The Wheel is well done with nice vocals and nice jams, but as a whole is not really above average. None of the jams are flubbed, but the jams won’t force you to hear them either. Jerry hints at Gimme Some right as the outro jam to the Wheel starts, and the resulting transition is about 10 seconds in length.


Gimme Some rolls in and Brent’s vocals sound a bit strained. The band seems very enthused, but this by no means is an exceptional version. The jam within the song starts with Jerry missing a note and the resulting lead from him is at best average. The outro jam fails to gain momentum before landing into GDTRFB.


GDTRFB was making its fourth appearance in 1989. The first was on 4.2.1989 (an above average version); the second was 4.13.1989 (a below average version); the third was 8 days previous on 7.9.1989 (which was above average; came out of an at best average Gimme Some; and featured tight Jerry solos that by no means were overly impressive). This version is better than the previous three, but just barely better than the 7.9.1989 version. The first solo by Jerry is tight and well directed, and Weir even adds a China Cat intro theme. At the close of the second verse, Jerry raises his guitar high and leans toward Brent, as if to introduce his turn. Brent’s solo cooks. Jerry’s jam follows Brent and starts at a fast pace and gets even faster. The band kicks in rhythmically but there is not the sense of overwhelming jam that other versions of GDTRFB almost need to be exceptional (see 8.22.1972 – by the time the band is at the peak of the second jam the feel of the jam is extremely intense; whereas this version while definitely including fast jamming doesn’t have the extra feel of a special moment).


After the outro jam Jerry and Bob start the chords to NFA. Absent an entry jam, the band launches into the first verse. Inbetween verses, Jerry opens up a strum session as he fans through nearly each and every chord before opening up the space for an extended jam. This jam is shortlived however as opens the jam complete with extended feedback, but instead of expanding, the bands drops back for the second verse. After the second verse, Jerry does open up an extended jam. The first them is a typical NFA jam that lasts a long time. As a result Jerry builds up a lot of pace and the band underneath him starts to get restless. The feel of the jam was that it would blow at any second. Instead Jerry started fanning low notes resulting in a gurgling or drowning sound to the jam. Jerry leaps from this into very high notes with the band returning to familiar NFA chords. Jerry starts the second theme which is still traditional NFA but his improvisation is more pronounced during this theme and the jam as a whole is much more interesting. Despite a frantic attempt by the band to return to NFA, Jerry persisted in jamming in the opposite direction. The thought of the band pulling a rubber band one way and the Jerry the other is rather appropriate. Finally Jerry lets go, the jam or rubber band snaps back onto the band, and Jerry delicately starts the NFA chords. More easily written than performed. The NFA ends with an extended vocal delivery by Bob, Jerry and Brent. This NFA had two very nice extended jams. The crowd bridges the gap between the NFA and the encore with extended singing of NFA. The DVD shows the band in high sprits as smiles abound.


The first encore is Bid You Goodnight. This was the first Bid You Goodnight since 12.31.1978 (which someone once said was 756 shows earlier than 7.17.1989). Obviously this version is marred by the vocal restraints of the band, but from a sentimental aspect, it couldn’t have been sweeter. A real treat for the crowd. And, this was the beginning of the rerelease of songs that seemingly had been retired…


The band leaves the stage, but returns much to the surprise of nearly everyone for a second encore. This time the band pulls out Johnny B. Goode. Jerry’s solos are very well done and Brent has a nice solo too.


A very fit ending to this great show. Interestingly, the set list provides that Weir had only one song wherein the verses were sung only by him – PITB – until the JBGoode encore. Clearly this was Jerry’s performance. The Good Times Roll, Built To Last, and Music Never Stopped were all exceptional. The Rider and UJB were exceptional. The NFA had two very well done jams. The Bid You Goodnight marked not only a very nice conclusion but also the beginning of the rerelease of retired songs. The PITB featured a very complex series of jams from Jerry, as did the post drums Space. The Standing On The Moon was the finest of the year, and marked the first exceptional version. And, and, and the China Cat Sunflower finale instrumental jam was easily one of the finest Jerry led jams of their career. For those who challenge the notion that the Dead was as good in the 80s as they were in the 60s/70s (as I used to), check this show out.

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7.19.89 Alpine Valley

East Troy, Wisconsin


42nd Show of Year

11th Show of 1989 Summer Tour (14th if you count the 3 June Shoreline Shows)


The 42nd show of the year was also the final show of the main 1989 Summer Tour. This main tour comprised 11 shows in 17 days. Only one show (7.7.1989) was exceptional. But, the average show was definitely on the rise – certainly a better tour than the 1989 Spring Tour.


The band started with Hell. The band immediately sounded stronger and more energetic than the previous night. The Hell is strongly sung by Weir with a mixture of cockiness and revenge in his voice. Jerry’s rhythmic timing is nearly perfect and the first jam really takes off. The main jam reaches a nice series of peaks with not only the Jerry jamming but Weir as well throwing in nice wah wah effects. The main jam is perhaps a bit too extended as the band’s support slips a bit near the end, but Jerry’s note picks were still lightning fast and not typical. The vocal finale has Weir belting out some great screams as well. As a whole, a great way to start the show.


Sugaree is next and the band still sounds very tight. The first jam has Jerry creating a nice pace with consistent picking that eventually blends to a strumming – leaving open the possibility of wide open jams for the next jam. Jam 2 starts with Brent while Jerry awaits turn. Jerry takes over and opens up another elevating jam that builds to point where Jerry starts improvising. It reaches a nice cyclical groove that sounds very hot. From this Jerry starts a Sugaree digging theme that is blisteringly fast. The jam reaches a point of no return and has to come down. No strumming or fanning but a very hot jam by Jerry. Unfortunately jam 3 starts with some chord strumming but quickly stalls into no jam – and Jerry returns to song. This version is hurt by this. As a whole, this Sugaree was on track to be exceptional but with the lack of third jam, the version is just above average.


Mama Tried is next and the band still sounds very tight. Weir’s singing is very energetic. The main jam is tightly hit but nothing dramatically impressive.


The Mama rides right into Mexicali Blues. This version sounds less convincing and a bit too loose. The main jam has Jerry and Brent trading off leads, but it doesn’t sound like it initially was intentional. Jerry’s timing throughout the main jam is a bit off as well – more rehearsals on this version would likely pay off.


Jerry revives the set with Althea. Again the band sounds solid throughout the song, but the jam is exceptional. Jerry’s first jam inbetween verses jam has an echoey effect that sounds interesting and the note runs are well taken. The second jam really flies and gets nearly agitated. The third jam as well sounds very tight and hot. The transition to “there are things” is perhaps a bit off but still sounds great. The fourth jam starts out with fanning from Jerry before opening up nice run of notes exclaiming the intensity of this version. The final jam is extended and has Jerry nailing home the intensity of the tune. The note runs are complicated and feature nice note bends that only Jerry could create. While not as well done as 9.6.1980 (which may be a 9.75) this version cooks and easily was the up to that point highlight of the first set.


Next is Victim Or The Crime and it is slick and haunting. The band was really in synch during this version. Jerry’s rhythmic notes are nearly chilling and Weir’s vocal delivery is almost more of an accounting than of song delivery. The final jam has Jerry once again reaching outer limits of first set jamming. This was a very nice tune for him to jam on. This version was basically a destruction jam because the jam while cycling through its chords gets way out there before Weir corals sound in with step up in chord structure. The final outro is mostly just Jerry moaning through some strange guitar sounds. A great version.


West LA Fadeaway keeps the exceptional trend alive. Jerry sounds mean in his vocal delivery. The first jam is snide and leering – definitely on a path. The jam shuffles through its notes and certainly reaches a “bursting effect” as Jerry reaches the West LA theme. As it concludes the transition back to “got a steady job” was seamless. The final jam quickly develops into a massive beast with the Jerry lead theme getting more and more intense. This was easily one of the best West Las I’ve heard. Downhill From Here DVD provides this version. The band looks to be deep in concentration. The footage does a very nice job of capturing Jerry’s fingering throughout.


Desolation Row is next, and it too is on the Downhill From Here DVD. Weir’s delivery is truly impressive, but Jerry’s vocal harmonies are a bit off at times. The jams from Jerry start out a bit flat but by the final jam it is well done. This was a pretty good version but not exceptional.


The band saved the highlight of the first set for the last tune – Deal. Jerry’s pace on the vocal delivery is very fast, and the band is right there with him. The main jam turns into a monster very fast. This jam as a whole reaches about three different zeniths. The first is Jerry strumming away and fanning home what could have been the finale, but instead Jerry continues and builds another note driven zenith. Finally, as if that wasn’t enough, Jerry captures another zenith with an extended note cycling that is nothing short of beautiful. This is one of the all time great Deals. Luckily, it was captured on the Downhill From Here DVD and during the final zenith, the drummers are focused on showing Kreutzman openly smiling and laughing out loud.


This first set was a welcome refreshment from the lackluster first set of 7.18.1989 (not including the Bird Song).


Set 2 starts with Box of Rain. This version is a bit flat. The rhythm sounds sluggish and Lesh’s vocals a bit off. The final harmony is way off and the timing of the transitions is not that great. Jerry’s solo is at best average. Better versions exist (see 3.19.1990 and 12.10.1972)


Like 3.19.90, this Box of Rain goes into Foolish Heart. Unlike the previous stellar versions (e.g., 7.10.1989), this version is a bit sloppy. The transitions are at times a bit unconvincing during the song. The first jam is majorly flubbed as Jerry prematurely hits the structured note finale leaving the band off guard. The sound completely comes to a halt while Jerry continues to jam, but the sound is very awkward. The second jam gets out there but stalls a bit.


Considering the above average first set, this was not a great way to start the second set.


Next is LLRain and it is relatively standard. According to Brian Dyke’s Compendium review, the timing of this song was appropriate due to the rain that was occurring. The jams on this version are not overly impressive but the Weir vocal finale has some nice Jerry moments underneath the bellows.


The pre-drums portion of the 7.19.1989 second set ends with Terrapin Station. This version is flubless, but the version as a whole is not beyond average. While it sounds great, Terrapin is a difficult tune not to call average because there are few moments where the band has opportunity to improvise.


The Space segment has flowing streams of midi notes from Jerry. Still this version was not as impressive as 7.17.1989 but not as poor as 7.18.1989. Unlike the 7.18.1989 version, this is more sharp and angled. The jams don’t build on themselves as much like they did on 7.17. Jerry eventually hints at the Other One and band starts to coelesce around him. A little better than average Space.


The Other One has both good and bad. The jam into verse one barely present and has little interesting jamming. Perhaps it was meant to be jazzy esque but there was little Lesh (not nearly as well done as 2.12.1989). The “good” part of this Other One was the post verse one jam. Jerry jams through with his midi sound. This was the first “song” to have the midi since the 7.15.1989 China Doll (which suffered from technical problems). The sound was great as Jerry cycled through various themes with Lesh matching his wits. Jerry was mostly testing the waters here and not overly jamming. About half way through this jam Jerry switches out of the midi and back to his regular guitar sound for final push. As a whole this was not a blistering Other One, but the presence of the midi sounded great. Jerry was slowly making the transition to include his midi in his songs as well as his Space.


Out of the Other One Jerry enters the Wheel. This likely was an error considering that the band played the Wheel on 7.17.1989. This version is rather fast paced but marred by instrumental and verbal flubs and there were no overwhelmingly interesting jams.


Jerry recaptures sweetness with Morning Dew. Along with the West LA and the Deal, this was the highlight of the show. The vocals are mournful and exclaimed by Jerry. The first jam is monstrous and fast paced peaking with very nice strumming from Jerry. The second jam slowly builds but features some very impressive note sprinting. Eventually the pace of the rhythm catches up to Jerry and it turns into all out meltdown. The sound reaches some bizarre note emissions as Jerry fans home the finale. A great way to end the set.


The band encores Lovelight. There is a nice extended jam by Jerry and the Weir vocals are nicely presented – in particular the vocal finale.


And so concludes the Dead’s final stand at Alpine, and the main portion of the 1989 Summer Tour. The band’s 7.17.1989 was the highlight of this three night run, followed by 7.19, and followed by 7.18.1989.


Next for the band was the Cal Expo – on 8.4.1989.

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Thanks for sharing your review - I agree that the West L.A. Fadeaway from the 19th was excellent. If I had to pick my top five favorite Dead songs, I think I would have to put West L.A. in it.


Perhaps, because their performance of that song on the 19th is etched in my brain (as I wrote many times, the 19th was my first show.) Great groove and love Hunter's lyrics.

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I love studying the shows and especially studying the tours...doing the same with wilco is fun too...the dead shows are more varied though - each show really was different...can't say the same about wilco. The dead show differences come through not only the set lists but also the enthusiasm...The wilco show differences show to show don't arrive through the set lists, on average, but rather through their enthusiasm...i think...



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Dave's Picks Volume 2 (07/31/1974)


There are some nice photographs accompanying the early announcement of the release. I know that one chick is Donna, but who is the other woman?


Just watched the slideshow, set to Jack Straw. Love those photos. The next week at Roosevelt Stadium was my first proper Dead show, these photos really bring me back to what was a great time.

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