RFK Stadium 1989 Box
LESS THAN 5000 LEFT
The Grateful Dead battled the elements in July 1989, enduring drenching rains and stifling humidity during back-to-back shows at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in the nation’s capital. In spite of the bleak weather, the band thrilled the massive crowds both nights with triumphant performances that rank among the very best of a busy year that included 74 shows and the release of the group’s final studio album, BUILT TO LAST.
ROBERT F. KENNEDY STADIUM, WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 12 & 13, 1989 includes two previously unreleased concerts taken from the band’s master 24-track analog recordings, which have been mixed by Jeffrey Norman at TRI Studios and mastered in HDCD by David Glasser. The collection’s colorful slip case features original artwork by Justin Helton and a perfect-bound book with in-depth liner notes written by Dean Budnick, editor-in-chief of Relix magazine. The set will also be available as a digital download in Apple Lossless and FLAC 192/24.
When Jerry Garcia, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, Brent Mydland, and Bob Weir rolled into D.C. in July 1989 for the Dead’s two-night stand at RFK, the band hit the stage running with a stellar rendition of “Touch Of Grey,” the group’s biggest hit from its only Top 10 album In The Dark, which was released in 1987. The following night, the band returned to its double-platinum commercial breakthrough when it opened the show with a fiery version of “Hell In A Bucket.”
“RFK Stadium '89 fell right in the middle of one of the best tours of the last 15 years of Grateful Dead performances, with these shows being the sixth and seventh of an 11-show tour. This tour is widely considered the start of a nine month period of sustained excellence, which ran from Summer '89 through Spring '90. The RFK shows are as good as any of the more famous shows from this period, including July 4 in Buffalo, July 7 in Philadelphia, and the Alpine run,” says David Lemieux, Grateful Dead archivist and the set’s producer. “When Bob Weir has asked me to provide copies of Grateful Dead songs to give to his bandmates to learn and rehearse, he almost always requests Summer '89, and I've often drawn upon the RFK shows for this purpose. It's really that good!”
Both shows feature standout moments, but the July 12 show is notable for a few reasons. Perhaps the biggest is that the first set featured at least one song sung by each of the band’s four lead singers – Garcia, Weir, Lesh and Mydland – something that rarely happened. Another surprise came when the band opened the second set with “Sugaree,” a song that almost always appeared during the first set.
Pianist Bruce Hornsby — who briefly joined the band between 1990 and 1992 — is featured on both shows. He played accordion during “Sugaree” and “Man Smart (Woman Smarter),” with a touch of keyboard-tinkling, on July 12, and then played more accordion the following night for “Tennessee Jed” and “Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again.”
For fans of Mydland’s tenure with the Dead – which began in 1979 and ended in 1990 with the keyboardist’s tragic death – these stellar shows capture that incarnation in peak form. Among the long list of highlights are performances of live staples such as “Eyes Of The World,” “Wharf Rat” and “I Need A Miracle,” along with rarities like “To Lay Me Down,” which was played only a few times in 1989. The July 13 show also features the band road-testing “I Will Take You Home,” a track Mydland wrote with Dead lyricist John Perry Barlow that would appear later that fall on Built To Last.
Release Date: 11/10/17
Limited Edition of 15,000
A Dead.net Exclusive
Listening Party: THE BIG ONE
Far From Me
To Lay Me Down
Looks Like Rain
R.F.K. Stadium, Washington, D.C. (7/12/89)
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Just seeing this now! Went to the Meet-up and it was fantastic! Definitely getting this! Thanks for throwing us '80's fans a bone! When does the DVD come out?
The mix at the theater was fine, but not loud enough. No mention of this being released at the showing. Nice surprise announcement in my email inbox.
This version of Men Smart, Women Smarter is definitive. Saw Hornsby sit in on Sugaree and Stuck Inside of Mobile the previous year at Buckeye Lake in '88 and the beginning of the accordion years. Estimated > Eyes was sweet. Far From Me in the first set was another highlight. Glad to see this set isn't limited so anyone who really wants one shouldn't have to worry about missing out.
Saw them at Alpine in '89. A peak among peaks.
Happy Birthday Jerry!
1st: the sound: our theater had issues. the sound was off the first 1/3 of TOG. Then for the remainder of the show, about every four minutes, there would be a skip of several seconds with silence and visual disruption. Not a happy audience when that happened. and the mix was off, I agree.
2nd: a fun little show. glad I went.
Really hope these CDs sound much much better than the mix on Meet up at the Movies. Felt like it was a 2.5 hrs keyboard solo! Love Brent, but he was wayyy too prominent in the mix. Can barely hear any guitar solos. And what's up with the super echoey singing??
Can't wait for this box! and still hoping for the Alpine '89 box as well.
....yeah. Quick I am at times. Haha (shhhhh). Proofreading is good....reminds me of a certain line. "What would be the answer to the answer man." Hell if I know. Just answer the man! Wha?!
That was a quick save there Vguy....
You know I was gonna...
....i love roller coasters. I love getting strapped in to prep for the ride. I also love The Grateful Dead. I love getting strapped in to prep for the ride. Sometimes one needs to strap in mid-song. You know. When your ear catches a certain tone. All part of the plan....
I do consider '68 to '69 to be one of my favorite periods of the band's, am currently getting blown away by '76 shows, and do particularly like a number of their '82 to '85 shows, so it's not that Mickey was horrible or anything, just that as a whole it seems to me that in their mid and later years, his presence subtracted more than added to the drumming side of things.
Re. the late, late 60s I think he fit in better to a primal drumming sound than a more developed one that emerged after his departure in '71 (along with the band's further evolution as a whole), and so other than some of his percussion flourishes and part in the drum solos when they became a standard part of the shows, I think that by the Keith era, the band's sound had grown beyond what Mickey could best offer.
Minas, what you're saying about the later electronic sounds totally resonates with me. The electronic drums, Jerry's midi, etc. generally take me out of the larger sound. In addition to the particular playing style of the early 70s era, the band's individual and collective tonality at that time (particularly from '73 and '74), really grabs and enchants me in a way that the later sound, and particularly that of the last era, doesn't, regardless of many wonderful shows from then as well.
....in my inbox like a Spanish lady's rose. Spanish ladies are spicy
See that freak in the wife beater? Name is Hart....
It's in the mix. I'm sure it's in there.
Cracked me up.
Wonder if the release will have Billy's Holy FS in it!
Listening to this show is like ingesting an IBM Machine (or Mac if that's your fancy).
The last time I listened to it.. even the next day my burps had color and sounded like Chopin.
The Grateful Dead releases I have listened to are mastered in HDCD but don't actually use any of the HDCD advantages. No Peak Extension is used. I am also fine with most CDs. So for the less easily satisfied we we could wish for DSD in addition to lossless 192/24 downloads. Devices like your OPPO would have no problem playing DSD downloads. BTW: I am will be getting the 192/24 downloads. I would really like to see CD + lossless file download at a priced reduced from the cost of buying them separately. Old Stereo owner in the later group of folks.
....The Grateful Dead would not exist without Jerome John Garcia. Fact. I don't look at The Dead as a science experiment. I look at them as a celebration....
edit....been a while since I've gone primal. Been in a 77, 78, 82 mode lately. Went through a Thelma phase a month ago. Figured it's time to go through the DP 16 Fillmore Aud 11.8.69 wormhole. I hear this guy named Hart does some percussion....i like making my bed to this era
An impossible question to answer..
If there were no changes in keyboardist.. no doubt these threads would disintegrate into vitriol about personnel changes behind the skins.
I liked Mickey's contributions.. I always viewed him as the mad professor w/ sticks, strings and large clubs. I like the soundtrack from Apocalypse now and his use of The Beast in the second set. Sure.. they sounded like ill-timed popcorn poppers at times and had their good and off nights. But when they were on, especially in the later years.. the drums space segment was its own show inside the show.
When it worked, it worked well.. when it didn't, perhaps Jerry or Phil were having a good night so I would focus on them.
One Edit: Keep in mind.. Mickey was in the band from 9/67 through 2/71. There were some mind blowing performances in those years. I guess my take is take it for what it's worth.
Second Edit: I do like the 72 through 74 a whole lot too. Billy had a great perspective on this in his book.
You are correct, the addition of Mickey Hart narrowed the drumming significantly. Billy went from a one man rock / jazz / prog virtuoso, who had room to add his fills and actually steer the band during improv pieces, to a one-two, one-two, one-two layer down of the back beet, while Mickey would throw tom-tom rolls down on top of it (or cowbells). It's just what Jerry wanted or Phil or whoever (certainly not Keith, because this slowly encroached on his musical space within the band). Bob Weir too. He ended up moving toward that thin high end part of the spectrum, just to be heard (his words). Bad move in my opinion. They never should have touched that '74 sound, cuz it was gold. Butterfly effect. People will defend the move and cite a song or two here or there, and sure, Samson and Delilah required two drummers, and b the Let It Grow section sounded awesome in 1977, but by and large, they moved forward with a legacy of old songs that lost their precision with Mickey there. Compare Uncle Johns Band in Winterland 77 to the delicate nuanced touch of Winterland 73, and you hear exactly what the band lost. Sugar Magnolia. Greatest Story Ever Told. It goes on and on, but this is what the decision makers in the band wanted. Even Phil commented that they'd lost the magic after the hiatus. And then by the last 15th years of their career, they were into electronic drums and triggered sounds and the like. I don't get the impression from his book that Bill had any choice. And clearly Keith had no choice what kind of keyboard he was going to play, because he quit the band over it. I would love to know who decided Mickey's return was necessary and why (rom the decision makers, not the opinion columnists).
For those experiencing the same problem:
Using Firefox browser on a Mac OS X system. The problemsolving tactic was to go into my Firefox preferences and allow "3rd party cookies" to be accepted. Doing so allowed the transfer of my shopping cart info from GDM proper to the Warner system.
$77 later I am enrolled to receive this release in November!
Not a great price and not a great selection of shows IMO, but 80s getting represented! I want 80s releases, so my money goes where my mouth is! Let's do some more 80s in 2018!
Maybe people here will think I'm being negative here, but I'm simply being earnest about my impressions below, and not trying to stir up anyone's ire. I'm not much of a musician myself, and so am particularly curious about what others, particularly the more 'musically-sophisticated' think about these (musical) matters. So here goes:
Saw this new box set and, unfamiliar with the shows, immediately went to check them out at the Archive for potential purchase. Out of impulsive curiosity I clicked first on the second night's Other One, a piece I consider a more demanding test of the Dead's playing in the later era. Immediately I had a common response to late 80's and 90s recordings- disappointment with the drumming- particularly with Hart's, from what I could tell from my laptop (for casual show reviewing)- which sounded under-powered and sloppy in its timing/synching with the rest of the band, which made it hard for me to lose myself in the band's playing. This brings up two issues I have with shows during the band's later years- that after '86 or so, the drumming sorta fell off the map for me with most shows, and that after the 70s, Hart's contribution to the band more obviously becomes a liability to my ears.
To preface this- I understand that advancing age may make a drummer's job physically harder than a keyboardist's or string player's, and that later on the other band members had their weaknesses as well, compared with the earlier years- and that substance abuse, changing lifestyles, ambivalence about touring by a certain member etc. certainly impacted the band's onstage creative dynamic, particularly Jerry's towards the end. That being said, when I listen to later-era Dead, the decline in the drumming tends to jump out at me first and be much more often problematic- it's usually less creative, less nuanced, and much less energetic than the earlier years. Were they just not able to keep up their stamina like they used to? Part of this I also attribute to there being two drummers.
While I recognize Hart's contributions to Kreutzmann's early drumming development, plus the excitement and raw energy possible with two drummers, plus the many interesting drum portions of later concerts, I've always felt that Hart's return to the band subtracted from the more articulate, jazzy, and nuanced playing of the solo-Kreutzmann era, particularly as time went on. While it's impossible for me to imagine the Dead's instrumental excellence being possible without Lesh or Weir (and obviously Garcia was beyond crucial), many Heads' favorite era (and mine as well) is the one that also happened to be sans Hart, particularly '72 to '74. Part of that is obviously due to where the band members were in their overall creative and life trajectories, plus the addition of Keith on keys, but part of it I believe is that the sound balance was better with just one drummer, and Kreutzmann could fully develop his strengths as a player. With Hart's return, and after the initial flush of the first few years back in action, to my ears the decline in the drumming becomes more obvious, even clearly 'dumbed down,' partly due to Kreutzmann's having to reasonably synch with someone else playing in his domain- he just couldn't 'stretch out' as much. While the drummers still had many strong nights, the drumming just didn't compare to the early 70s, and by the late 80s it was (on the instrumental side of things) most often the band's weakest link.
Maybe just my biases (and for what it's worth, any 'Mickey problem' doesn't begin to compare in my mind with the 'Vince problem').
What do other people here think?
07/12/1990 RFK was a superior show to it's 1989 counter part. Ask anyone that was there - it was truly transcendent. The faithful standing in the rain - rewarded with a dark star that shimmered like a jewel. For years I carried around a laminated purple stub with dancing skeletons from that show in my wallet - that's how good is was.
Once again GDM misses the boat based on the powers that be narrow scope of knowledge. The disconnect is painfully obvious - to say "nine month period of sustained excellence" stopping short and leaving out the epic and last truly great tour by the band - summer of 1990 - is just plain ignorant.
Just got home and hopped on here to order. I now have "3" by my shopping cart icon, but everytime I click the icon and go to the shopping cart page I am told my cart is empty. Tried about 12 times now...
Guess I will try again later.
I really wish GDM would sell through Amazon. Then again, GDM probably can't meet Amazon's standards for third-party reliability.
EVERY release through the GDM website comes with hassles that don't happen at other sites.
Still: Happiness to all who are excited about this release!
Digging the smiles and interplay between Brent and Jerry during Minglewood
Going with the high res. flacs for the first time. Picked up a "Bluesound Node 2" streaming device. I've ripped and tagged all my official live Dead discs (1FTV through Dave's 23). I never look at the booklets and less stuff makes life a little easier IMHO. I hope the download process is painless.
I saw all of summer 89 except Deer Creek. Good times, good times. I still like to look at my 7/4 ticket stub and say out loud "Grateful Dead and 10,000 Maniacs? More like 55,000 maniacs !!" I remember the 7/13 show was physically draining as it was four shows in five nights. I think this was the last summer that the scene wasn't too overrun with nitrous gangs and people there just for the party. Dave sure is filling in this tour.....can Foxboro or a complete Alpine release be far behind?
After years of pining for 9/18/87, I'll now beg for 10/31/70, 5/7/70, or any Capitol November 70. Those reels have to be somewhere !!!!!!
Thanks, Dave and Jeff, and Happy Birthday, Jerry. I miss your playing.
Ordered. I wish they would fix their ordering system, long since time. No excuse. Tried three times earlier and all failed in different ways and fourth try said system busy try again later. I just tried again and got through. I find it hard to believe that this box had the kind of response GSTL did, so is seems odd at best that the system couldn't handle the request.
I liked these shows when I was there, though I much preferred the spring summer 90. Possibly that has to do being on the field with heat and all the rain both these nights. On 7/13 it was relentless after the break, and by Wharf Rat I gave in and we left - my fiance, in three months my wife, was drenched, despite our rain gear. I think it also had to do with I never really loved Bruce playing accordian at these shows, particularly Tennessee Jed. I did like the 12th a lot and am always glad to get an official release of a show I saw.
This looks like a great set, but I think I'm going to have to pass on this one. First of all, I'm running out of room to store all these boxes. More importantly I don't have the time to get around to listening to what I already have. I'm sure these will sound great but the 2 spring 90's boxes do
too and those rarely get touched. If I need an '89 fix I've always got the 30 trips show that isn't getting any play. Plus, every 3 months we get a new Dave's so those don't see much, if any, replay. I guess I just don't need 2 more '89 shows in my life with everything else we already have. If I ever change my mind, luckily it's not limited, so I can always pull the trigger on this. Glad this was put out for all you 80's fans though!
Get down in it, Spacebrother.
Maybe he fainted in delight...
Outside of the Dead family there are very few HDCD discs being released these days. Apparently few, if any, actually implement peak extend because very few people have HDCD players (the decoding chips aren't even made anymore, although there may be a software workaround). Even Microsoft, which bought the technology years ago, no longer builds HDCD decoding into its Windows media player. There's a good discussion of HDCD by Charlie Hanson of Ayre at: https://www.audioasylum.com/cgi/vt.mpl?f=digital&m=184282
I tried using PayPal to pay for my order twice and the system failed. On my third attempt, I ticked the credit card box and got an order confirmation straight away. I didn't enter any credit card details nor did I enter a password to access my existing account.
I'm quite happy about this release. I like both of these shows and no boards circulate (aside from the first set on the 13) although Tom Thumb's Blues appears on Postcards of the Hanging. Can't wait and thanks!
Great memories of both of these shows! I'm in. Thanks for the Brent fix guys!
Dead.net, please list the packaging size dimensions or show more photos of length and width. I need to know if it is small enough to fit on a CD shelf before I buy.
Glad the Brent-era gang finally got a box of their own. No doubt some folks will kvetch that these aren't early or mid-era shows, but being 24 track recordings, they're bound to sound pretty damn sweet. Though my ear rarely ventures past 1978 (yeah, I'm one of those), I'm actually tempted to grab a copy simply because of the multi-track sources.
Anyway, all website and shipping fuckery aside (which I thankfully haven't experienced), it's been a pretty stellar year release-wise. Looking forward to Dave's 24 and more...
I'll take Cd's over DVDs anytime. I cant put a DVD into an ipod. I mean I guess I could but I've never figured out how and have given up on it at this point and just don't give a shit about it anymore.
And most of the setlist. I threw down my $60-whatever as fast as I could and was delighted to have none of the processing problems that plagued "Light."
Something else to look forward to!
As Monsieur Lemieux himself once said elsewhere on this site:
"6/10/73 at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC, where the Dead played two shows with the Allman Brothers Band and Wet Willy. These shows have long been considered for release, and it's only a matter of time before we see them mastered properly and released. They're really exceptional."
So I can't wait for next Monday morning!
89 is fine, but 73 will set you free...
IMHO the [rice here is not bad, less then $11 per disc. I was expecting more like $15 per disc so I am happy. And no limited release so nobody can sqawk about that.
I don't watch many dvds so I won't miss that. The last show I saw was in '87 so I will be glad to get these two. 3.5 month wait though will be tough!
Great points by all on this thread, both the DVD and selection.
I do believe this release offers a little balance to the 2017 releases, a year that I think has been exceptional, and its not over.
I want more DVDs.. I look at it the same way I look at the Multi-Track tapes that were not used for Spring 1990 v. 1. If not now, then they risk never being released.. and they are a part of history. There are not that many shows recorded with 'decent' (term used loosely) video. I believe if people bought them, if the demand was there.. they would/will get released.
Still good discussions, all points of view are being expressed respectfully. Civil discourse at dead.net? Whoo Hoo.
Oh, and my LiveJerry 9 just arrived.. made it just in time for the birthday celebration.
And peace shall reign forever more over the dead.net kingdom.
I would probably never watch it either, but it would a good throw-in. Not going to the Movie night tonight, but I would stream it at home for the same cost as a movie ticket. Just sayin.... ;)
Simply put, shows from the early to mid 80s aren't being released as much as other eras because the tapes of those shows don't sound good. I understand wanting those shows released, but they're not gonna get released over Betty Boards and 24 track material. Maybe when they get Plangent working on cassettes they'll release more.
Having said all that- I still bought it- I just love the Dead. Period.
As a person who saw all of his shows between 1982 and 1990 (the bulk of which I say between 1987-89) I am disappointed. The jammin' in the early 80's (Philly '81/ Nassau '81/ MSG 82/ U of Iowa '82/ Fall '82/ Fall '83/ Marin '83+84/ etc.. is far superior and I do not give a ___ if Jerry was using cocaine. I lost that prejudice listening to the Zoo '82!
I cannot see, for the life of me, what the powers that be hear in 1989 other than nostalgia and Brent. The vocals are terrible - the jamming is by-in-large undeveloped - and most of the new material is plain not that good.
Again- this was my time - it was lots of fun. But the early 80's rocked. The arenas were small - many universities- and plain fun. Jerry was living in that unique place in life where he was still young but old enough to see the value of experience.
Example: Cap Center - 9/15/82:
Let it Grow
Not Fade Away
Round and Round
Touch of Grey
That's what I am talkin about Charlie Miller, Dave, etc... C'mon guys
....tonights donut flavor at the Phish show is maple. Wolf was made of maple. The rumor mill is saying Phil was spotted in NYC today. Just sayin' (don't shoot!!)....
Check out tonights poster for dangs sake!!
....an alligator and a (wharf) rat...hmmmm
for sure thought it would be the 3 night run Spectrum October 1989
anyway , the next performance at Deer Creek after this 2 night run is really solid show as well. Check it out people !
long road trip last weekend. i had a few 70's shows spinning and one 80s. Grabbed a random stack and these were it
6.19.76 ~ set 1 ~ "Looks Like Rain" !!!
6.29.76 ~ set 2 ~ "The Wheel" !!!
4.16.78 ~ set 1 ~ "Cassidy" !!!
10.9.82 ~ set 2 ~ "Eyes of the World" !!!
some hot shows and these performances were some of my favorites from each
when I get the $20-$30 stuff I have no problems with customs but with the Spring 90 sets I had to go to DHL & pay a wad of customs duty. With other companies I don't get that problem. Same happen to you?
Happy Birthday JERRY,
Taper Commando's celebrate!!!! It's finally here. Tell me more....
Was this recorded inside that truck? I've recorded many a show in the 80's with this Fall'89 being my exit tour from NJ.
(regrets)- Goodbye DEAD-BELT and Pine Barrens & The Shore. Hello Ocean Drive Apt on South Beach behind The Clevelander Hotel. The RFK "He's Gone" was a 2nd set opener. It had a different up-beat tempo we were not familiar with, but thrilled to dance to it.
Tapers with dome tents were the refuge for our NakDat's, D5 & D6 Sony's cassette pro-decks plus fresh to hit the market, The New Maxell 100 min metal cassettes tapes. So while The sky's poured down straight-line rain. We did faith based taping. Which was hit the record function as the Band walked on stage, Zip-Up the tent with One Taper inside to watch the No.1 deck. And have faith that it all works out (and did). The Tape Flip was fading away with the DAT's taking over. I still to this day had my best experiences during shows in the rain. Merriweather, Toga come to mind. All 80's too. I have been patiently waiting for something better than our audience recording of RFK 89's and Happily this release will be on my BD. No Complaints here.
Definitely happy to see this release. Would have rather of seen Alpine but not complaining. 24 track should sound amazing. I would never watch the DVD so happy to not have it included here. Should lessen the amount of unhappy people when the next Dave's Pick is from the early 70's. Would have been great if there wasn't such a long preorder wait. I am a fan of the late 80s and will reach for this often. Count me in.
Start dancing snafu & mustin321, 'cause I just shot at your feet for saying those two words.
That's a one ounce shot glass with cheap whiskey, no guns involved here.
Interesting HDCD observation by smadsen. I've noticed that the CDs in recent years do not seem to fully implement the HDCD specification, in particular peak extend. Dave's 20-22 come to mind. No peak extend, disappointing from that perspective.
I was wondering if anyone else noticed.
On the other hand, numerous earlier releases have excellent HDCD implementation, with peak extend, examples: Ladies & Gentlemen, Europe '72 complete, FW 1969, Dozin' at the Knick, Winterland both 1973, 1977 sets, So Many Roads, Formerly the Warlocks, To Terrapin & others. Also, Garcia Shining Star & How Sweet It Is. These all have great balance, fine dynamic range without compression.
Other than the Dave's series, they've been making high res downloads available. Those are completely uncompressed with optimal audio, a better choice than HDCD for anyone primarily interested in audio quality, especially the limited HDCD implementation in the recent years releases. The engineers should use peak extend for the CD only releases. Perhaps they don't because without decoding HDCD with peak extend are not perfectly compatible.
But I'm not quite the latter-stage Dead fan I once was, but I really do love the price-point here, so I'll more than likely order this just before release date. For me, the total price with shipping and sales tax should be an extra $10 or so, bringing this baby up to $75 to $77 USD.
5.75 bolts (out of 6)
They didn't play Space on 7/12/89 --- I think the price should be lowered because of that...JUST SAYING!