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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Joined: Nov 29 2007
A truly great show

One of my finest moments as a Dead Head was being at this, sweltering hot, July show. Authorities condemmed the stadium that morning but decided to let the show go on to avoid potential riots. The boys closed out this great venue in wonderful style laying down a truly A+ show. The fantastic first set serves as a mere appetizer for the unbelieveably stunning second set. Glad to see the title of this release as, in my humble opinion, this is the finest Standing On The Moon ever played. The Box Of Rain and Loser from this show are also peak versions. No Dead Head will be disappointed in this one. Been waiting for it to be an official release for 20 years now. Thanks boys.

"The singing man is at his song. The holy on their knees"

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Joined: Apr 16 2009
1989 Deadshows

Didn't see the GD in the summer of 1989, but did go to the LA Forum shows in December and really liked what they were doing in '89. The Philly show will be fun to watch on DVD, count me in!

gratefaldean's picture
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Joined: Jun 22 2007
Amazon

It does say DVD on the "colorful" disc, and it's a 4-disc set. I don't think Amazon has a 4-disc audio-only version when this description says 3 audio 1 DVD.

JackstrawfromColorado's picture
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Joined: Jan 2 2009
amazon

They have a picture of the discs and if you zoom in you can see that one reads "DVD". I agree though - they should clearly advertise the fact...

"Here's my half a dollar if you dare .. double twist when you hit the air. Look at Julie down below .. the levee doing the dopaso"

naataanii's picture
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Joined: Jun 13 2007
amazon orders......audio only

I was looking at Amazon to pre-order, but the discription of the product is "audio cd" and mentions nothing of DVD, please be aware.

Peace,

Spencer

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Joined: Dec 8 2008
amazon

available for pre-order at Amazon.com - release date is 4/20 - free shipping

ironman88's picture
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Joined: Jun 8 2007
When's this thing gonna be up for pre-order...

...I'm checking here daily, credit card at the ready. When can I place my order?

ironman88's picture
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Joined: Jun 8 2007
Amazon - Importing Imports is usually expensive

From my Australian location I generally check pricing at both amazon.uk.co and amazon.com before placing an order. The same item can vary significantly in price depending upon which store you use and depending upon whether or not it is listed as an "Import". If I want an Ace release (for example) then it's always cheaper from the UK. Books tend to be cheaper via the US. Being able to do on-line currency conversions is real handy and has sometimes swayed my choice of amazon store. But, Amazon.co.uk has the quickest delivery!!

Zomby D Wulf's picture
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Joined: Jun 9 2007
amazon presale

Crimson White & Indigo July 7 1989 Jfk Stadium
Grateful Dead
More about this product
List Price: $39.98
Price: $31.99 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping. Details
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This title will be released on April 20, 2010.

guit30's picture
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Joined: May 1 2009
Bonus Disc from Road Trips 3.2 done

Just a note, I called to order the last Road trips and asked if they still had the bonus disc, I was told no, so I didn't order, will wait for Amazon.

"Jesus Christ, The Same, Yesterday, Today and Forever"

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