Grateful Dead

New Philly '89 DVD/CD Set Coming Soon!

Here’s a cool way to kick off the new year and decade: Coming soon is a fantastic new release called Crimson White and Indigo, a DVD/3-CD set that captures every second of the Grateful Dead’s superb July 7, 1989 concert at Philadelphia’s John F. Kennedy Stadium. If you loved the popular 2005 DVD/CD release Truckin’ Up to Buffalo, from July 4, 1989, well, this is the very next show: why, it’s practically like being on tour without having to pitch in gas money, eat bad road food, swelter in the heat or score a miracle ticket. Nope, all the work has been done for you—from the crisp multiple-camera shoot (with no video effects, you’ll be happy to hear) to the crystal clear and powerful audio, mixed from the original 24-track analog tapes in both Dolby Digital stereo and 5.1 surround (for the DVD), and mastered in HDCD (for the CD). But the proof is (always!) in the playing, and this show from the sizzling summer of ’89 tour is sure to please both hard core and casual fans with its energy, diverse song list and passionate playing.

Two years removed from the craziness that surrounded the “comeback” tour of 1987 and the Dead’s unprecedented flirtation with mainstream success—thanks to “Touch of Grey” and the In the Dark album—the group was still riding the crest of that wave and attracting thousands of new fans with each passing tour. The summer of ’89 began in style for the Dead on the solstice itself with a nationally televised/broadcast concert from Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, Calif. A week and a half later, the GD circus hit the road for seven East Coast stadium shows, followed by a handful in Midwest amphitheaters. The group was in excellent form throughout, offering a great selection of old and recent favorites, and polishing some of the new songs which would make up their album-in-progress at the time, Built to Last. Visually, the Dead’s stage set that summer was perhaps the most spectacular they ever mounted—designed by noted Czech artist Jan Sawka, it consisted of dozens of enormous painted canvas panels covered with various patterns, colors and shapes—some abstract, some concrete; quite an amazing sight in an enormous stadium.

In what would turn out to be the final rock concert in Philly’s JFK Stadium (the first was The Beatles in August 1966; the aging stadium itself dated back to 1926), the Grateful Dead come out on a brutally hot afternoon (after a fine opening set by Bruce Hornsby & the Range) with rock ’n’ roll on their minds. “Hell in a Bucket” is an appropriate opening choice for a day that is nearly hot as Hades, and then Jerry takes the party to the next level with a truly inspired “Iko Iko.” He’s all smiles, and that’s always a good sign! From there, the first set dips into some blues (“Little Red Rooster”), Hunter-Garcia classics like “Ramble on Rose” and “Loser,” a potent version of Dylan’s “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again,” a wonderfully exploratory version of “Let It Grow,” and finally, Brent Mydland’s still-newish anthem “Blow Away,” which is one of his finest performances of that rockin’ tune.

You gotta love a second set that opens with a warm and inviting “Box of Rain”—peppy and nicely sung—and then right on its heels a “Scarlet Begonias” > “Fire on the Mountain” that is as “up” and celebratory as you could hope for: The “Scarlet” breezes along with joyous purpose, and the “Fire” hits all sorts of mighty peaks; at nearly 25 minutes, it’s a spectacular pairing. “Estimated Prophet” is marked by a smoldering intensity and then the jam that follows settles into the majestic Hunter-Garcia ballad “Standing on the Moon,” surely one of their greatest late-era compositions, and played only seven times before this standout version. The DVD depiction of the “Rhythm Devils” percussion duel gives us a fascinating glimpse of the tools and techniques Mickey and Bill used to create their magical alchemy, and then, following “Space,” the band launches into a hair-raising, careening “Other One” (dig how the camera shows us Phil’s rumbling bass intro up close!), Jerry takes us down to the docks of the city for an emotional “Wharf Rat,” and Bob gets back into party-mode for the concluding “Lovelight.” The encore of Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” offers a beautiful grace note for a show that has taken us through so many different spaces and moods.

The beautifully designed package for Crimson, White and Indigo (the name comes from a line in “Standing on the Moon,” of course) includes loads of great photos by Bob Minkin and an essay from veteran Grateful Dead observer Steve Silberman. All in all it’s a wonderful show from a great year!

 --Blair Jackson

Stay tuned for pre-order info, coming to this space soon!!


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jackl921's picture
Joined: Jun 24 2007
Philly 89

I remember this show & the hot weather that came with it. From down on the grass to back to the seats it was an exhillarating day. Sprayed with hoses down in front.
Dancing my head off. Oh to be young and energized again. Those were good times for s ure.
Blown away by "Stuck inside of Mobile w/the Memphis blues again"
Everybody was so tight and in tune with each other. Watching that DVD brought back the moment in time like The Dead can only do.

Ursa Minor's picture
Joined: Jul 19 2007
I just pre ordered this show with the T-Shirt!

Hey Nice Job guys....I just pre-ordered my offer with the getting a good quality GD t-shirt that's limited for 10 bucks, that's a great deal. I also want to support nice releases that are complete shows and with video! Please release more, and where the heck is "sunshine daydream"!

Ursa Minor

"the warm wet world of analog audio"

Joined: Apr 6 2008

i can understand a lil happens to us all ;)

"PRE" Order...?

Joined: Mar 29 2010
Hot day and hot show

I was there. The Blow Away from Set 1 and the Estimated from Set 2 melted my face. I think I remember fire trucks spraying the audience during the show. The spinners near stage left were intense. This has always been one of my favorites. Already have a great audio recording from the Archive but it will be nice to have a DVD as well.

Joined: Mar 29 2010
What a show!

I was there and it was a hot day outside. People were mooing like cows to get into the old place. Once in, my friends girlfriend fainted cause of the heat. So did my other girlfriend. She fainted. All in all, doses were flowing and the show was hot. Bob Dylan took stage to play Knockin while Jerry sang if I remember correctly. The shakedown outside was great. Anything you wanted there was obtainable. It was like 5th ave. I miss the old 80's Dead. I bet it misses me too. The only problem was the lack of water to go around.

Joined: Jul 9 2007
what gives?

Amazon has track listing, price, pre-ordering, and release date. This page has not changed since the announcement (Feb 17th).

Joined: Feb 10 2008
I'm also with Rogue

I am always wondering what is coming next and I check the site every day to see if anything new is coming out. It's like waiting for tour announcements from the old days. My money will always be sent their way whenever they release anything. I want more as well. I love it all and am glad to see that they are listening and concentrating on complete shows lately. Keep em coming boys.

Joined: Sep 11 2009
always amazon

After the store treated so many of us! Spend your money wit AMAZON the boys get their $$$$$ and its usually less $$$$$ for the hardcore GD music fanatics who dont need the headache of and i think it is a great site just not for shoppping

Captain Stormfield's picture
Joined: Nov 4 2007
I'm with Rogue...

I constantly wonder what releases are coming next, even while I'm placing an order for whatever release is currently available. So while I wait for this one to drop, I'm already thinking about the next box set (and the one after that), the next Road Trips (and the one after that), and the next Pure Jerry...speaking of Pure Jerry, aren't we overdue for one of those?

enlightend rogue's picture
Joined: Jun 4 2007
I want more

I haven't even gotten this and I'm wondering what could be the next release? At this rate of every 5 years or so maybe i'll be alive for 4 or 5 more releases. seriously what is the hold up w/ this stuff can we get our hands on some of this while were still able to enjoy it?What happened to a video every year or so? I just downloaded the Phil Bday show and I thought that was stellar how about releasing some more post Jerry stuff as well. My $ are ready to be spent. I dont have much faith in any action on my words I remember I said the same thing on the little card they sent us w/ the video to Backstage Pass what is it 20 years ago now Rogue


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