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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cosmicbadger's picture
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Joined: Jun 13 2007
dvd cd

. Various Views from the Vault and Truckin' Up to Buffalo were all issued as separate CD and DVD packages. Maybe that will be the case here.. Let's wait and see

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Joined: Mar 2 2008
we're only in it for the money

On February 20th, 2010 bzlrbi said:
It's completely superfluous to force customers to buy BOTH the DVD and CD. ....

yes, but it's good 4 profit!

"Money, that's all I want!"

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Joined: Jun 5 2007
I can't wait to see this

I can't wait to see this DVD. I was fortunate to be at this show. It was one of my all-time favorites, actually. Philly's my hometown, and it was just one of those days where everything comes together. Pretty flawless setlist, with excellent playing throughout. I usually liked indoor shows the best, because all that energy stayed bottled up inside the building, and it appeared to me that the band often played better, and with more intensity, in those conditions. But this show was an exception; it pretty much smoked as hard as any other show from that era, indoors or out.

I feel pretty lucky to have seen most of my shows from 1986 (just before the coma) to the end of Summer Tour 1990. In hindsight, that period stands as one of the last great stretches of peak Grateful Dead performances. That doesn't mean there wasn't magic to be found right up until the end, but sometimes the band struggled, too. At my last couple of shows (my very last was one of Jerry's last; Tampa Stadium 95) I remember thinking that I might not get to see the band too many more times. Back in the last few years of Brent's tenure, though, it felt like they were on a roll that was never going to end. I know that wasn't possible, but I'm Grateful for the chance to think it was, even just for a moment.

ironman88's picture
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Joined: Jun 8 2007
Recession Busters

On February 20th, 2010 bzlrbi said:
It's completely superfluous to force customers to buy BOTH the DVD and CD. .... Get with it, folks; we're in a recession!

So, spend your way out of it!

CD, DVD....AND... and a T-Shirt. Now there's a stimulus package for the US economy. LOL.

ironman88's picture
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Joined: Jun 8 2007
Look Dad Its Jerry

On February 21st, 2010 KJ7XJ said:
I look forward to getting a new DVD and having my 3 year old say "Look Dad Its Jerry!"

I remember how proud I was walking into the local video library with my then 3 year old son when he pointed to a poster on the wall and said: "Look Dad, Jimi Hendrix". ;-)

Joshua_me's picture
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Joined: Jun 24 2007
Ahh yes, I was at that

Ahh yes, I was at that show...

*Incredible* Scarlet/Fire...

Blistering heat, but I always loved the free showers at JFK...

That was an absolutely perfect night for me in more ways than one,
I look forward to the DVD...

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Joined: Jun 23 2007
Hot day. Hot show.

This was a fun show. Yes, it was HOT out. I remember being fairly close to the stage for the first set and having to slowly make my way out of there since it was getting way too tight to move, none the less dance. Second set near the back of the field. I loved the way they kicked back into Lovelight after it sounded as if it was ending. Just a solid, jammed out show. This show was sandwiched by Buffalo and Giants stadium for me and the friends I went with. This was definitely the strongest show of the 4 I saw, subjectively speaking ;-)

Peace!

KJ7XJ's picture
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Joined: Jun 16 2007
Ya Hoo!

I had the opportunity to hit many of the west coast shows on this tour and have since filled the HD with 99% of the SBDS from this year. I LOVE this year!! So many tight versions of the songs that were broken out the year prior. I am always up to seeing a professional video release of a show. I look forward to getting a new DVD and having my 3 year old say "Look Dad Its Jerry!"

Thanks all that made this and 20+ years ago possible!!

PS - I agree that the Solstice show 6.21.89 would be a nice release at some point. My VHS copy is weary. But then again there are a lot of 88-90 shows I could suggest too! - Peace de KJ7XJ

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Joined: Mar 2 2008
just release only

from 60's and early 70's please, so I' ll fell I don't have to buy anything, anylonger!

please!

naataanii's picture
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Joined: Jun 13 2007
Free Tiger

Not sure if this link will last but there is a new page on FB titled "Free Tiger" an awareness cause that has hopes of eventually convincing Jim Irsay (owner of the guitar) to loan it to the RRHOF for 6 months out of the year for all of us to see. Check it out.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Free-Tiger/317306917703?ref=ts

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