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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Offline
Joined: Aug 21 2007
$$$

The heck with EBay, you can find most of those cd's for less at Amazon.com. No DVD is worth $40.00. They should be ashamed for asking this much....No previous DVD comes close to this price unlees you talking expanded sets.

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Joined: Aug 13 2007
$$$

$39.95 all nite long! Wait till U see what it goes for on eBay!! CD's that are $19.95 here are $25-$55 and more on eBay. Better check Bo,,,!

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Joined: Jul 22 2007
Philly '89

Thanks so much for leaving out the "trippy effects" ,we can get there on our own if we want to, Seriously though,this particular release seems as though it's gonna be a blast to hear and see again. Thank you and lets get some more 70's video releases out there .THAT WOULD TRULY BE A BLAST ,to go back to my early days traveling around with the boys,as my first show was the Stanley Theater in Jersey City in '72. It just NEVER gets old.

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Joined: Aug 13 2007
Crimson,,,

I know it doesnt make any sence to say it but,,, I cant wait! Of course I can,,,I have to. Whatever,,,the day cant come fast enough!

Offline
Joined: Jul 22 2007
Philly '89

Thanks so much for leaving out the "trippy effevts" ,we can get there on our own if we want to, Seriously though,this particular release seems as though it's gonna be a blast to hear and see again. Thank you and lets get some more 70's video releases out ther .THAT WOULD TRULY BE A BLAST ,to go back to my early days traveling around with the boys,as my first show was the Stanley Theater in Jersey City in '72. It just NEVER gets old.

Offline
Joined: Aug 21 2007
Too much $$$

They want $39.95 for this thing? Are you freakin' kidding me Rhino? I'll wait 'til I can find it cheaper. I can find whole seasons of my favorite TV shows for half that.

marye's picture
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Joined: May 26 2007
yup...

quite the pesky little disrupters this morning, so sorry!

Mr. Pid's picture
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Joined: Dec 22 2007
No worries cactuswax

I saw quen's drivel too, you're not crazy. Bang, bang Marye 's silver delete key came down upon their post. Bang, bang Marye's silver delete key made sure that they were toast.

Conversation is always more interesting than recitation, so speak your mind and not someone else's.

cactuswax's picture
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Joined: Jun 7 2007
non-sequiter

Well, now my comment looks even more nonsensical than Quen's did! Oh well, at least I'm not shilling the boobies

marye's picture
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Joined: May 26 2007
adios quen

nothing to see here folks, move along...

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