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: Jan 9 2009

This was my first show! I remember hanging out at a friends house around 11am, we started to talk about "the Dead" for some reason, and i asked "so where are they now". My friend responds with, there in philly now. Well i turned to my 2 friends and asked, can we go? So i got on the bus and thats where it all began.

Joined: Jun 7 2007


Joined: Jul 20 2007
So this is a commercial

So this is a commercial release from Rhino and will be released on April 10th. Will there be a bonus CD for customers who order here?


Joined: Aug 27 2008
Another full show - that's great!

And I am very grateful for it.
Thanks to all who made this release possible, the next GD tour date after the Truckin' Up To Buffalo(7/4/89in 2005). I just wished I was able to make this show, but wasn't able to do so, because of other commitments at the time.
Hopefully, the deadnet store will include a bonus disc in this package or I may consider buying this CD/DVD from my local bricks & motar record store, who is struggling to stay in business.

Joined: Jun 14 2007
Love '89

Thanks for putting this one out! This period of the Dead is seriously my favorite! Such a great summer run that year. While it is a bit high, I love the dvds and I usually break down and buy the cd as well, so its no big thing. Hopefully we'll get some nice bonus footage too!

Olompali's picture
Joined: Jun 5 2007
Please please please

Release this as two separate items.
Egypt and the Scrapbook had dvds tied up to a package deal and
now another one?
That's three in a row.

Joined: Aug 3 2009
ya should be seperate package

Should be seperate wacky package 20 bucks each.I think this show can fit on 2 cds maybe the 3rd one is bonus.

KRIYAS's picture
Joined: Jun 18 2007
should be seperate package...

for me I'll watch the dvd maybe once and never again. Its more about time, which I never have to watch a show. The last few years the trend of cd/dvd packages are such rip off crap. Release seperate packages. Because if I have the audio whats the point really? Unless you were there its not even close to the same thing. Do I get a hit of acid with this or some fresh dank smoke? Please release these as seperate packages in the future please. Or maybe Obama will help us...hahahahahhaahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahaha he was just lying and looking scared on tv sorry...

Harvested_Wind's picture
Joined: Mar 22 2008
It ain't $40 for a DVD.

Lots of comments about how $40 is too much for a DVD. In fact, this is a three-CD set plus a DVD. I'd love to see this for closer to $30, but really $40 isn't such a lot to pay for this much audio and video.

And, of course . . . you don't technically HAVE to buy it if you don't want to . . .

Meeko's picture
Joined: Jun 5 2007

I was at this show, and indeed it was a blast! If memory serves that night was a full moon, I kept hoping the camera person would focus on that while they played "Standing On The Moon"....maybe they did? Great time...I think at one point the authorities were going to cancel the show because they were worried about the structure, but they didn't thank goodness.




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