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@Shug,

 

I'm with you all the way.  I think I like the first incarnation of the Other Ones best because the boys were only 3 years out from the final Dead tour.  They played the songs at the regular tempo, in the most current arrangements and I think Hornsby was more in the directors seat.

 

I get that Bob plays stuff slower in Ratdog.  That's what he set out to do…be a kind of all improv blues band.  Not my cup of tea.

 

My issue has always been that the changes in tempo and arrangements, for the most part, have had disastrous consequences for the music.  It's just plain boring a best and embarrassing at worst.  I tried to re-watch some of the Fare Thee Well stuff and it really was tough. Trey and Bruce were just there constantly watching Bob, who didn't seem to know what he was doing, but calling the shots anyway.  What was that even supposed to be, just a well attended jam session?  Trey and Bruce really held back.  It was just not that good.  My hope really was that Bruce would come in and just play musical director and whip them into shape.  Choose the top 20 tunes and learn them to a T and jump from there into slow/fast jams…whatever.  Lay down some hard rules about Bruce/Trey singing Garcia songs and alternating between Bob and Jerry songs in the set.

 

I've said this many times, and I get flack for it, but GD lost their spiritual and musical leader when Garcia died and have essentially been maintaining status quo since.  I really wish they'd slowed down, had side projects, but also got a guitar player and keyboard player that they would've stayed with for the long haul.  Be a band instead a bunch of scattered events.

 

I'm sure folks think I'm too critical…but shit, I love the Dead and I make all these comments as a Head.  Thank the gods we have all the tapes from the past.  That's where I always return to as well

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@Shug,

 

My issue has always been that the changes in tempo and arrangements, for the most part, have had disastrous consequences for the music.  It's just plain boring a best and embarrassing at worst.  I tried to re-watch some of the Fare Thee Well stuff and it really was tough. Trey and Bruce were just there constantly watching Bob, who didn't seem to know what he was doing, but calling the shots anyway.  What was that even supposed to be, just a well attended jam session?  Trey and Bruce really held back.  It was just not that good.  My hope really was that Bruce would come in and just play musical director and whip them into shape.  Choose the top 20 tunes and learn them to a T and jump from there into slow/fast jams…whatever.  Lay down some hard rules about Bruce/Trey singing Garcia songs and alternating between Bob and Jerry songs in the set.

 

I've said this many times, and I get flack for it, but GD lost their spiritual and musical leader when Garcia died and have essentially been maintaining status quo since.  I really wish they'd slowed down, had side projects, but also got a guitar player and keyboard player that they would've stayed with for the long haul.  Be a band instead a bunch of scattered events.

 

I'm sure folks think I'm too critical…but shit, I love the Dead and I make all these comments as a Head.  Thank the gods we have all the tapes from the past.  That's where I always return to as well

I hear you. What I listened to and watched of the Chicago shows seemed mostly terrible, yet everyone I spoke with who was there thought they were great.  I find them unlistenable.  Weir is more often than not a train wreck.  The exception to that was the Billy & the Kids set with Weir at Lockn'.  I was so nervous for Weir, just waiting for him to fuck everything up on a moment's notice, but he didn't. 

 

Anyhow, my GD listening so far today has been Dave's Pick Vol 11, Kansas 1972, and JRAD from the Brooklyn Bowl earlier in October.  You want current GD music?  Go see JRAD.

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I've said this many times, and I get flack for it, but GD lost their spiritual and musical leader when Garcia died and have essentially been maintaining status quo since. 

 

I also find it ironic that in roughly the last three years of the Grateful Dead, it was often Jerry that was the weak link as his health, energy and dexterity and probably his passion and drive declined.  Its unrealistic to expect these guys to be on fire in their 70s, but Jerry's demeamor in the last few years was like someone in their 70s when he was only in his 50s.

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I saw the last show in Chicago for the Fare Thee Well mini-tour. When people ask what I thought of it I tell them 1) the songs were loaded with chord flubs and timing flubs; 2) the vocals were at times harsh; 3) the transitions were consistently flubbed; 4) the song choice was peculiar (e.g., Estimated into deep jam that went into built to last?); but 5) Trey was amazing and 6) the crowd was amazing.

 

For me, Trey was the saving grace. It was a real treat to hear another great musician take the jerry leads and explorations and put a unique twist on them...that was a great ending to this band...at least until Mayer...And the saving grace was teh intensity of the fans from pre show to post show - that was fun and brought me back to 1988-1992...(the years i saw them)...

 

I agree wtih the previous posters in that the Grateful Dead died when Jerry died. He truly was the Grateful Dead.

 

The other formulations have been fun at times but never the Grateful Dead to me...

 

I call them the Sans Garcians...

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Is anybody going to these shows (or who went to any of the FTWs) remotely thinking they are GD shows, though? Of course the GD died when Garcia died. This is just the remnants (warts and all) of what once once, but I haven't met anyone who has compared the FTW or whatever to GD in any meaningful way because it's not even a close or fair comparison. 

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Yeah - nor have I.

 

I never go into a Dead related show, evening thinking I am going to an actual Grateful Dead show or anything like it -- even the FTW shows - it doesn't even make sense that one would think that.

 

NP the below show - forgot that Kimock filled in for Karan for a bit when Mark was dealing with his cancer. Good show.

 

https://archive.org/details/rd2007-11-08.adkA51TL.flac
 

 

Collection: Ratdog
Band/Artist: Ratdog
Date: November 8, 2007 (check for other copies)
Venue: Ovens Auditorium
Location: Charlotte, NC

 

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Yeah, I felt bad for Karan but Kimock really shines in this role, waaaay better than his noodling in his own band, imo. Here's another really good show of Ratdog opening for SCI at Red Rocks in that same era of '07. The "Money for Gasoline," "Shakedown," Sugar Mags," and encore of the Terrapin Suite stuff is all top-notch...

https://archive.org/details/ratdog2007-07-24.dpa-4channelmix.flac16

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For me, when you have founding members of the Grateful Dead playing primarily or exclusively Grateful Dead music in a given concert, it is natural to compare the quality of the music produced to the quality of music the Grateful Dead produced.  I know its not the Grateful Dead anymore, but I still want the music to be high quality, exciting, and emotionally moving.  Whether you call it "The Grateful Dead" or not doesn't have any impact on my enjoyment one way or the other.  As I've said before, I saw Phil and Friends shows with the Quintet lineup in which the intense deep jamming was easily better than most of the Dead shows I saw 1987-1995, and some of those face-melting shows left me in a puddle of goo on the floor of the venue, they were that good.  It was not the Grateful Dead, but they played Dead music so frickin' well.  That is what I would want and hope for from Dead-related shows today, as unrealistic as that is.  They can't do it anymore, apparently, and its not that surprising at their ages.  I am more than eternally grateful for the ecstasy and joy and comfort their music has given me over the years, so I ask no more from them than they have already given and I am thrilled more than I can say at being able to listen to all the recordings from years past.

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I also find it ironic that in roughly the last three years of the Grateful Dead, it was often Jerry that was the weak link as his health, energy and dexterity and probably his passion and drive declined.  Its unrealistic to expect these guys to be on fire in their 70s, but Jerry's demeamor in the last few years was like someone in their 70s when he was only in his 50s.

That is true. I didn't expect 'shows for the ages' but at least something compelling. At least the guys have been out there playing.

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I saw the last show in Chicago for the Fare Thee Well mini-tour. When people ask what I thought of it I tell them 1) the songs were loaded with chord flubs and timing flubs; 2) the vocals were at times harsh; 3) the transitions were consistently flubbed; 4) the song choice was peculiar (e.g., Estimated into deep jam that went into built to last?); but 5) Trey was amazing and 6) the crowd was amazing.

 

For me, Trey was the saving grace. It was a real treat to hear another great musician take the jerry leads and explorations and put a unique twist on them...that was a great ending to this band...at least until Mayer...And the saving grace was teh intensity of the fans from pre show to post show - that was fun and brought me back to 1988-1992...(the years i saw them)...

 

I agree wtih the previous posters in that the Grateful Dead died when Jerry died. He truly was the Grateful Dead.

 

The other formulations have been fun at times but never the Grateful Dead to me...

 

I call them the Sans Garcians...

Estimated > Built To Last. Lol!

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Is anybody going to these shows (or who went to any of the FTWs) remotely thinking they are GD shows, though? Of course the GD died when Garcia died. This is just the remnants (warts and all) of what once once, but I haven't met anyone who has compared the FTW or whatever to GD in any meaningful way because it's not even a close or fair comparison.

 

It is good to remember it's not the dead, but really could've been something focused and good in the same spirit.

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The Quintet was the shit.

 

BTW, I have a line (best friend cant fly back east for them) on face tix for P&F shows at Cap Theater end of the month/early next if anyone is interested....

Agreed! I caught the quinent 4-5 times and found them to be magnificent - the recordings hold up, as well.

I'm open for the FRI/SAT november shows if a single is available- if not, no worries!

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I really, really disliked the midi stuff. In retrospect, it was that, combined with Brent's death and Jer's overall decline, that caused me to drift away from them their last few years.

I just kind of grew to like it. The live sound was definitely more polished (digital?) from 86 to the end. Some tunes I never liked the midi on. Wang Dang with that midi sax! So goofy. Loved the flute on Birdsong though.

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The Quintet was the shit.

 

 

This.

 

The Mother of all Jam Bands. Fall '00 through Summer '02 I saw them a half dozen times, maybe more. OMFG some of those shows left me feeling like I was walking on air when I left the venue.

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I liked a couple versions of Built To Last - my favorite was 7.17.1989 (alpine)...after that version they started screwing too much with the midi (jerry's timing with the midi seemed off quite a bit) and Lesh's harmony added too much in my opinion (and he was frequently out of tune)...good song but they never settled on a finished version...

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That Alpine one is sweet, as is the 10.9.89 Hampton Warlocks. I always liked the tune and the midi stuff never bothered me. I thought it was cool most of the time and neat that they were taken a little leap into modern technologies, though I'm a big fan of the echo effect and Healy messing with weir's vocals, too.

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Cripes, have you no boundaries at all?

 

Yeah, I did not care for these particular songs: 

 

Eternity

Wave to the Wind

Childhood's End

Picasso Moon

Samba in the Rain

 

And, I often took piss breaks during the Bobby "cowboy" tunes (unless it was a "Mama Tried").

 

I also feel that "Dark Star" is overrated.

 

So yeah, I have some boundaries....

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