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!!


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Joined: Jun 4 2007
incentives to purchase here?

For this release, I'm going to have to add my name to the cavalcade of folks preferring to purchase on unless there's an incentive to purchase here (e.g. a bonus disc or something). They run a tight ship over there at Amazon, so why not? After all, this ain't charity... Am I off base here?

simonrob's picture
Joined: Jun 7 2007
To Europe - from US or UK

Personally I wouldn't be laughing too much if I had ordered this from Amazon UK at their prices. If I order from Amazon I always go to Amazon US. In this case it should cost $32 + $6.50 for standard shipping to Europe (~ 1 week) which comes out at $38.50 - much better than $96 + $3 standard shipping within Europe from Amazon UK. In good old Euros these prices come out to 28.50 Euros from the US against 72.00 Euros from the UK. American readers please note that CD prices are high in Europe compared to the US - here in Holland a typical CD purchased in a local store will cost between 17 Euros and 21 Euros ($23 - $28). You think thats bad - don't ask about the price of gasoline!

cosmicbadger's picture
Joined: Jun 13 2007
meanwhile in Europe

Amazon UK have just emailed me that the price has INCREASED from

a painful £40.99 ($61)

to a ludicrous £63.99 ($96)

you have to laugh....

taphedfrek's picture
Joined: Apr 18 2009

Can't wait to see this especially after being teased with the first three songs at Giants on 7/09/89. Will the rest of that show ever be released or will we be left hanging?

gratefaldean's picture
Joined: Jun 22 2007

On presales, if the price drops again before they ship it, they automatically give you the lowest that. Any clues if there will be any incentive to buy here rather than elsewhere?

Joined: Apr 6 2008

this is what I saw today when logging into my amazon acct...

"Please note that the price of Crimson White & Indigo July 7 1989 Jfk Stadium has decreased from $35.99 to $31.99 since you placed it in your Shopping Cart. Items in your cart will always reflect the most recent price displayed on their product detail pages."

far out! I think I'll buy now!

giantnerd's picture
Joined: Jun 24 2007
Blu Ray?

I'm guessing this is not coming out in Blu Ray format, but that would be incredible!!! Anyway I'm super stoked for the new DVD. Don't laugh but new Grateful Dead DVD's are one of my most favorite things in life!!!

Joined: Apr 6 2008
FYI is selling this exact package for 5 bucks less AND free there any benefit in buying from
I want to show my support, of course, and by purchasing from Amazon brand new the GD are still getting their fiscal support they rightfully deserve...

Is there a bonus disc or anything being packaged with it?
I'm looking for a reason to buy thru and thus far I have yet to see it. :(

Joined: Jun 14 2007
the show that almost wasn't

The fire department of Phila wanted to cancel the show and condemn the building due to numerous problems. Although it was a city building it was never inspected before hand, typical of Philly. But with over 40,000 Heads already in the bowl there was no way they could cancel and cause even the friendly Deadlings to get riot minded.... So thankfully we have another Philly show to flashback to........ The Spectrum was always a better place for a show but this show I remember as a really good one ,,or should I add,, a really good 'Other One' ,,,,,

edburns's picture
Joined: Mar 11 2010
This was my first show!

I've had a good audience recording since the tape tree that summer. I've been waiting for this to come out on DVD for years. Interestingly enough, two days later I saw The Who across the street at the Vet on 7/9/89.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.