Grateful Dead

Road Trips Vol. 4 No. 4

The Dead Conquer Philly on First 1982 Road Trips Release

It’s hard to believe that a year like 1982, which included so many excellent shows, has only been represented once on an authorized Grateful Dead release — Dick’s Picks 32 from the 8/7/82 Alpine Valley show. What gives? Who the hell knows? All we know is, that’s wrong and it’s time to make it right! Which brings us to the latest Road Trips selection — an indisputably fine show from that underrated year: the complete Philly Spectrum 4/6/82 concert, with a heapin’ helpin’ of the 4/5/82 Spectrum show to fill out this awesome three-disc set.

What, you may rightfully ask, is the big deal about this particular show? Oh, you’re full of questions, aren’t you? Well, let’s start with a rock-solid first set in which both Bob and Jerry are “on” from the get-go, singin’ their hearts out on a wide range of mostly uptempo tunes—“Cold Rain and Snow” > “Promised Land” is the pumped-up opening, and the set also contains sparkling versions of “Big Railroad Blues, “Jack-A-Roe,” “Might As Well,” “Mama Tried” > “Mexicali Blues,” “It’s All Over Now” and others. There’s barely time to take a breather. Those Philly fans always expected big things out of the boys when they came to town, so most Spectrum shows have some extra zip to them. Or maybe it’s because the band was fueled by cheesesteaks.

As is so often the case, however, the real fireworks come in the second set. It starts with a massively funky “Shakedown” that’s one of the best of this era, eases into a superb “Lost Sailor” > “Saint of Circumstance” (that combo was always a little richer in the second set), and then into an elegant “Terrapin” before the Rhythm Devils take over. Mickey and Bill have quite a duel, too, eventually ceding the stage for “space” and a rollicking “Truckin’” to start the back half of the set. A short but fiery “Other One” follows, and then that crashes into another stupendous “Morning Dew,” which totally lives up to the intense energy of the earlier proceedings. “Sugar Magnolia” is the joyous romp you always hope it will be, but then ol’ Jer leaves us on a note of dark mystery, with an inspired “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.”

Completing the discs are a few tunes from the previous night’s first set, including the rarely played “Deep Elem Blues” and Bob’s still-newish cover of “Man Smart, Woman Smarter,” plus a beautifully played chunk of the pre-“drums” second set from 4/5 that has “Bertha” rolling into “Playing in the Band,” which detours at “Ship of Fools,” before heading back to “Playing” territory; a very well done medley indeed.

All in all, it’s a lively and powerful dose of Dead from one of the band’s all-time favorite venues. So order your copy of the 3-CD Road Trips Vol. 4, No. 4 today! Needless to say, the sound is pristine, and mastered to HDCD specs. A colorful booklet with an essay and photos is part of the deal, too. But you already knew that. To check out what’s on each disc and to order, click here.

Blair Jackson

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Captain Stormfield's picture
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Joined: Nov 4 2007
Free? Why?

Why should Grateful Dead music be free? Simply because you feel entitled to it? It is the property of other people.

Do you give away your valuables for free? Do you mind if I stop by your house and take some of your possesions just because I want them? I didn't think so.

I for one have a job, and at the end of the week, I expect to be paid for it. In other words, I don't work for no pay. Likewise, if I owned something of value, I certainly wouldn't give it away for free (sorry). I'm so tired of people who think the Dead music is some kind of charity akin to the Salvation Army. We got free music from them for DECADES. And we can still stream much of it for free now. If they want to sell some of it now and then, they are perfectly entitled to do so.

And the statement about Jerry was so completely insensitive and disgusting. I hope marye removes your post. It was out of bounds.

marye's picture
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Joined: May 26 2007
marye's not going to remove it

marye's going to leave it there as testament, as it were. But. yeesh.

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Road Trips Vol. 4 No. 4