Okay, it wasn't ALL roses...
One of the subjects that came up behind the scenes the other day was how just about everybody had a particular song (usually found in the second set) that they regarded as the perfect opportunity to beat the restroom crowds, purchase another overpriced water bottle, or decide whether they just had to have that T-shirt. The perfect opportunity, in short, to be anywhere but in the hall listening to the tune.
In classic Deadhead fashion, it also came out that the same tune that sent one person running for the exits was the show's high point for another. So it goes. What's your experience?
Tales of Shakedown: http://www.dead.net/forum/tales-shakedown
if you were vending, that kinda changed a lot of timing...
In my opinion, with the actual Grateful Dead playing, there was absolutely no song that could be voluntarily missed, ever.
That has since changed with the post-Grateful Dead incarnations. If you have to use the restroom during any song by The Dead, The Other Ones, Phil and Friends, Furthur, Dead & Company, etc - then that is ok. The post-GD incarnations are not to be considered with the level of reverence that the original Grateful Dead had.
Of course, if you had a crazy explosive bathroom urge of any variety back when the Grateful Dead were playing, then by all means, rush to the bathroom during a Dark Star. We have all had those moments in life, but hopefully they never struck many of us while the actual Grateful Dead were playing.
I will admit that during some of the last songs from what I consider the weakest songbook era, I would not be thrilled (long way to go home, if the shoe fits, childhood's end, wave to the wind, and maybe one or two others), but I would never excuse myself from the immediately vicinity of where the Grateful Dead were performing. Never. Not one time.
I either went to the bathroom before the show started, waited until intermission, or did it during drums and/or space.
When I was on tour and selling shirts, I would stand near the exit listening to the encore. When the last notes of the encore were played, I would sprint to the car in order to grab my shirts, tarp, lanterns, etc. This was only done to make sure to that I would be ready to sell to the exiting crowd. I realize there was great risk in doing this. There was potential to miss a 2nd encore.
With the double-encore at the last show ever played, I was already sold out of stuff, so I stuck around (besides, it was the end of the tour, so I was going to say goodbye to some of my other friend on tour until I saw them again when the Grateful Dead resumed in the Fall....which sadly, never happened). Because of that I did not miss the Box of Rain they played to end their career.
I must have seen a different Dead than you. Brent and Jerry rocked the house, with no slack and even encouragement from Bobby. I will take you home is one of my Favorites! Goes to show, you just never know. Carina would be my exit song. My friends say "find your shoes" but I love me some US BLUES Shoes can wait!
I mean come on you could,shit,shower and shave during that song!
Miss a moment of the Grateful God damned Dead to take a pee break ?!?!?
Unheard of !!!
That's what the set break was for.
However, if this is a thinly veiled poll to determine personal Dead duds I'd have to confess to being less excited with any Beatles cover. In my ears those tunes just couldn't be Deadified.
you make excellent points.
while i stand by my comments...maybe it was more like too much space/drumz, not that they DID space/drumz. 100% agree their drum solos/duets are the best I've heard, but 5 or 10 minutes would be fine.
FTW drums was/were AWESOME, I'll agree and commented on originally.
My favorite part of most Dead shows was the jamming and improv, and wondering where they were going to go next.
Can't agree. Billy and Mickey often gave us the best part of the show. Remember the Beast? The Beam? Their awesome communication, like two brains in one head? Those may have been the best drum solos in rock history. Mickey is really a world class percussionist, and Billy may be the most underrated rock drummer ever. They played together so often that they practically read each other's mind. I remember those intense primal jungle rhythms swooping around the stadiums... just blasting our minds to pieces.
You hated space? Ok. That was the Dead at their freest and most creative... the part of the shows that harkened back to their Acid Test roots. Far out music was what made the Dead unique... not C&W rave up covers.
I don't mean to be rude, but I think you really missed out on what the band considered its most exploratory work. But you weren't alone. A lot of people just liked to hear them play tunes, and not push the limits... not testing the definitions of music.
Space...drums. although FTW had amazing drumz.
May Bob be in fine voice
May Jerry find all the right notes
May your trip of choice be treating you right
And may you be in the bathroom 10 minutes before anyone else realizes the band is playing sapce/drums
Before I rant, let me note that I love the GD and nearly all of the material not bashed below
But, here goes...
It is appropriate to take a piss break, cringe, plug your ears, roll your eyes, laugh or vomit when any songs of the following types are played:
Anything Brent wrote (i.e., not Hey Pocky Way). Brent was a great keyboardist and could provide some fine scratchy vocals (though, at times, he did sound like the lost Doobie Brother). He was probably their best keyboardist, though I love Keith's early contributions. But Brent's own songs were cheesy as hell. Maybe some fans never bothered to listen to the lyrics. Tons of Steel?!? Terrible analogy to build a song on. Far from Me, Easy to Love You, We Can Run... pure Velveeta. I could just about tolerate Just a Little Light and Blow Away, because they played well in arenas... but you'd think Barlow could've given him some better lyrics! The nadir of Brent's material, though, was I Will Take You Home. It's sweet that he wrote a lullaby was for his daughter, but he should've played it for her birthday party... not in front of stadiums of rock fans, C&W listeners, and tripped-out hippies! The band was too egalitarian about members' contributions, at times... and this is a perfect example of where they ought to have said "no."
Any song where Phil sings. I love Box of Rain and Unbroken Chain as compositions, and Phil's a great bassist, but let's get honest... the guy's voice would only be appropriate for a bad karaoke night where everyone is getting bombed and is laughing. The ONLY song Phil could've possibly sung to positive effect was Pride of Cucamonga, and he never performed it with the GD. I never cared for Tom Thumb's Blues, or anything else that brought him to the mic. He provided horrid harmonies on Brown-Eyed Women back in the early 70s. Laughable! Sounded like he was deaf. Phil must be surrounded by "yes men" who would clap at his farts. Phil wrote New Potato Caboose but Bobby sang lead vox. It never really worked well live, but it could've with more practice. Point being... DON'T "Let Phil Sing!"
Almost everything written in the 80s and 90s. I liked songs like Touch of Grey, Hell in a Bucket, My Brother Esau and Black Muddy River... but they were nothing to write home about. I didn't eagerly wait for them to appear... ever. West L.A. was legit. Throwing Stones seemed legit back in the day. Listen to the lyrics today. It's not only dated, but it's a pretty boring rant on the insidious forces tearing the world apart. These thought pieces that Bobby and Barlow started writing (e.g., Victim or the Crime) are pretty terrible, lyrically. They just don't fit the GD's apolitical origin, which was one of the things that made them special. [Note: Contrast Uncle John's with the contemporaneous Edwin Starr song, War, if you don't know what I mean.] Goopy songs like Standing on the Moon and Days Between make me shed a tear NOW, but they were a real drag back then. I like Picasso Moon and Victim or the Crime... MUSICALLY. VotC has some truly challenging "out" stuff in the solos, and the use of the tritones is nice. Foolish Heart was met with tons of excitement... The great new hope for a classic! It was mediocre, at best. That lick Brent used to play was hella annoying... all 1980s zippy and cheesy. They never took it to any real heights. Same deal with Built to Last. They played that annoying 7-4-1 progression over and over. A real pill. It brought down the energy of the first set of the final night of Fare Thee Welll, in fact. I barely remember that boring-ass material from the 90s. Easy Answers, Liberty, So Many Roads, Samba in the Rain, Way To Go, Corrina. Lazy River Road was a'ight, I guess.
As for other bad material, Loose Lucy, Money Money, Day Job... it wasn't the Dead at their best. Lazy Lightning... stinky (though Supplication was pretty good). Looks Like Rain... a real stinker, unless you and your significant other were there together and liked goopy sad songs about lost love. Barf.
I like Blues for Allah. It didn't perform up too good, though.
I'm sure there are plenty of others I can't think of.
Good rule of thumb:
-Jerry... thumbs up (especially old material)
-Pigpen... thumbs up
-Bobby... thumbs mostly up (especially covers and old material)
-Brent and Vince... thumbs up for harmonies, thumbs down for their own songs
-Phil... thumbs always down
Winner of Best Piss Break Ever Award:
I Will Take You Home (aka, I Will Take a Whiz)