Hold on to your hat, we're coming in strong with one from the Windy City that'll have you movin' and shakin' from start to finish. DAVE'S PICKS VOLUME 31: UPTOWN THEATRE, CHICAGO, IL 12/3/79 signals a true rebirth of the Grateful Dead, reimagining classics and foreshadowing their 80s sound. This is as much in part due to freshly-minted member Brent Mydland bringing the organ back in as it is to Jerry finding new vivacity with his custom Wolf guitar. New guy, new guitar - it all makes for a heck of a good time!
Set One rolls like never-ending thunder with one standout after another - truly epic versions of "Brown-Eyed Women," "Ramble On Rose," "It's All Over Now," "Althea," and "The Music Never Stopped." Set Two hits with a crack of not-so-lazy lightning, barreling through an outrageous 28-minute "Scarlet>Fire" to a unique “Lost Sailor>Saint of Circumstance” and wrapping with a "blow the roof off the place" version of "Truckin'" and a rippin' "Johnny B. Goode." Ready for some quiet after the storm? You'll have to wait a just a little bit longer - we've filled in the gap on Disc 3 with a sprinkle of 12/4/79 - "Estimated>Franklin's Tower>" and an incredibly improvised “Jam.”
Limited to 20,000 numbered copies, DAVE'S PICKS VOLUME 31: UPTOWN THEATRE, CHICAGO, IL 12/3/79 has been mastered from Dan Healy's cassette recordings to HDCD specs by David Glasser at Airshow Mastering.
GET IT WHILE YOU CAN
Sweet, this looks great! We are blessed, thanks Dave!
Can't expect to never have a post-God release. Well on the bright side it does say ORGAN not plinko, and he was much less raspy and intrusive on the mic in 79/80. Set list looks great. I will give it an honest listen.
Brent is my favorite keyboard player for the Dead. I enjoy his sound. Looking forward to having this show! I will be more excited when I finally pick a show that will be released. I'm 0-31.
Finally a '79 show!
Awesome! Looking forward to a '79 show!
This tour is LONG overdue. Breaking in the new kid, this tour is full of GRATE music. I was personally hoping for 12.1.79 Pitts, PA, but this suffice! Thanks Dave etc for this release, more from this tour please.
let's preorder this, NOW
Awesome! Best artwork and possibly best Dave's Picks yet. Heck yeah!
THIS is why I've subscribed every year.
The BIG question, how long before its SOLD OUT I say 3 hours. This is a good one!!!!!
There was a steady drum beat for 1979.. I guess someone was listening.
I am not fluent with this show, so it's new to me. Looking forward to it.
No idea how long it will take to sell out.. We should get VGuy to give us Vegas Odds and get MaryE to set up a little gambling forum. :D
Love the colors and the color art. No bearded skeletons. Like I said someone must be listening.
i'm in love with this release
Excellent, LOVE the sleeve Dave.
Let’s get as far away from the skeletons as possible. Jerry hated them, and so do many of us, they’re embarrassing. But love this style.
Oh, ‘79 is rippin’ too, Brent’s on fire.
1979 works for me! Thanks....
I also heard a hint, just a sliver mind you, during Dave's long-winded synopsis of the 79 release. He may've touched on the box set yet to come....He said, "...I won't be coy..." or something along those lines. Garcia, during 6/5/70 at FW, made a similar comment to the audience....could it be a June 70 acoustic/electric box??? Actually, I'd rather hear an April 1969 box....so much in the cannon. Whatever comes will be appreciated....."time has come to weigh those things, you know this space is getting hot..."
Nice to mix it up a little, thanks guys!
Also, like hearing how their going to keep trying more variety.
But ultimately, like Dave said, not about the set list or what they played etc, it’s about how they played it!
Personally, I’m not familiar with this one but ifs it’s anything like 11/9, 11/5&6, 12/1, or the New Years run I think we’re going to be happy!
Edit: nice cover art too! Look ma, no skeletons!
1979>1981 were some fine years for the Grateful Dead, Brent was so good back then, when he was just the colour man, just in there at the right times to make a big difference in the sound, I loved those years, especially 1980, but 79 was a good year for me too. Good to get some filler on the third disc, but it's a shame that that second set gets chopped up, it's a good one. The third night 12/5 is a real cooker, hot, hot hot show with in my opinion one of the best second sets on the year. Bring that one on next Dave, a real good Norman remaster of that show would make so many of us so happy.
Is this a Betty board? sure hope it sounds better than the last Brent show released on this series, that one didn't do much for me.
I couldn't call the show, but I called the year. Really interesting and fun setlist and the elapsed times for many tunes tell me they jammed out. If you look at Jer's first set songs, there are no slow ballads -- so the pace looks brisk and rocking. My only '79 shows were Aug 12-14, one at Red Rocks, two at McNichols, and those rocked big time, so I'm looking forward to this release.
Amen to the artwork and burying the skeletons (pun intended).
Now... let's see if my box set prediction for fall '72 comes through. DL said Rhino would announce it, but no hint as to whether that means before or on Aug. 1 at MUATM. Either way, I'll be floating into that theater....
1) Great show! An under-represented era in the vault (for a reason - we'll get to that...)
2) Thank you for some original art - refreshing.
3) HORRIBLE recording. I believe this was mastered on a low-fi cassette - sounds like you're listening through a keyhole form the next room. Similar to the RT from 4/6/82... You HAVE to represent all eras, right? But some eras just have VERY compromised recordings compared to the crystalline splendor of the earlier 70's recordings. Dave had to walk this cassette master past scores of thick, juicy reels on the way to handing it to Rhino - I bet he avoided eye contact as he did so. I can only imagine the trash-talk that doinky little cassette had to endure walking that gauntlet...
I've always really enjoyed the Road Trips from a similar timeframe and this will be a great addition to those two releases. Some really interesting playing at this transition. Not sure about this being the BEST Dave's pick yet, there's been some mighty fine shows released so far, but I'm game for sure. Artwork is cool but a little cheesy for my taste, how about some abstract art or fractals? Have Bill K. do some more "1000 Mics" style art for a few releases? Eh?
12/5 is my favorite of that uptown '79 run. but this show is hot, love it!
This date -- down the road a ways in Cincinnati that night, eleven died at Riverfront Coliseum just before the Who show. Stupid arena only opened three doors at first, for festival seating on a freezing night by the river. Can't believe it's been 40 years. Looking forward to hearing this Chicago show and thinking of more pleasant memories...
Dave eluded that they have been working on it since last December and several months of the audio elements. He also mentioned outdoing boxes in the context of E72 and 30 Trips, both massive.
He also eluded to variety and the next announcement is the Meet Up movie affair and that the '91 Giants Stadium shows were the only recorded onto 48 track analogue....which could take several months to mix and master....and thinking the video elements might be included as well.
Whatever it is it'll amazing. Hope it's in my budget to afford.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I was at every single GD Uptown Theater show, and it was an amazing place! Cannot wait to travel back in time....
Glad I have a subscription...ordered an extra for one of my online buying challenged friends...rock on all!
Nice pick. Not familiar with this one but looking forward to it.
Happy to have that extra 30 mins of meat on disc 3 also; the Estimated > Franklin's from these months were H.O.T.
"12/3/79 has been mastered from Dan Healy's cassette recordings to HDCD specs by David Glasser at Airshow Mastering." I wonder if this got some plangent processing to make it sound better???
Looking forward to this release - can never get enough Althea's!!!
It sounds like somebody recorded this from the next room through a keyhole or something. I think Betty boards died out of existence at some point in November of 1978. There are a few good recordings from that month but they're also many really bad ones. There's nothing good from December or January and February of 1979.
I like the colors of the artwork. I'm not sure why the dragon was chosen, anyone?
I'm pretty sure this is going to be a one-and-done just based on the sound quality alone. That would go for any era. I listen to the Music Never Stopped on the listening party and it just sounds lackluster without Donna. Yes, best Dave's Picks ever, wish the whole series was like this.
Looks like a good show. I've got a few good ones from this tour, and for fall '79 I was hoping for Cap Center. Never heard this one and after listening to Dave and looking at the set list I am sure I will be glad he chose this.
God, I hope they dont just keep releasing larger and more expensive boxes than the 30 Trips. That was almost too meaty to digest if there is such a thing, a larger more expensive set would surely cost me a wife!
This pick is...fine...but the video has me intrigued! Something so big it kept Norman away from mastering the Picks? Suggests a large multi-track release....since the RT he missed was the Spectrum '82 show which came out right before the Europe '72 box! That one was 22 multi-tracked shows....even 8 multi-tracked Spring '90 shows couldn't pull him away from Dave's Picks....so what's left? The '71 Skull and Roses shows and the 1980 Warfield/RCMH shows?
In 2004 I started my association with Grateful Dead Productions working with the Dead’s engineer Jeffrey Norman on the DVD release of The Grateful Dead Movie. Jeffrey and I were introduced by the late Don Pearson, the Dead’s visionary sound system designer. Don liked what he heard when Sam Berkow brought him to the newly christened Studio C, and he thought it would a great place to work on the Dead’s surround projects. Since then, I’ve mastered a stream of Grateful Dead releases: the 73-disc Europe ’72: the Complete Recordings, Truckin’ Up To Buffalo, Sunshine Daydream, Formerly the Warlocks, the 23-disc Spring ’90 (the Other One), as well as remasters of all 13 of the Dead’s studio albums. What a thrill to hold the masters of American Beauty and Workingman’s Dead in my hands! Jeffrey and I have just completed mastering the 80-disc 30 Trips Around the Sun, a career-spanning concert retrospective.
Here's a link to the info from Airshow Mastering: https://airshowmastering.com/engineers-corner-spotlight-on-david-glasse…
YES!!! Always a good vibe at the 4,300 seat Uptown! This was the week before I saw them for two nights at a 3,500 seat hall in Kansas City. It was a great period as "new guy" Brent was really coming into his own and they could still get away with playing small venues like this.
I saw 11/1, 11/2, 11/4 and 11/8 this tour. Some hot stuff, first Alabama/Greatest Story, I think the band was energized with Brent adding something new to the mix, and the set lists were more varied than Spring 79 when they hadn't rehearsed that many songs. Having said that, Brent's Fischer Price tinkly keyboard sound leaves me a wistful for Keith's grand piano. C'est la vie, add it to the collection!
I was only 2 days off from my prediction of 12/1/79. I love this tour - can't wait to get my hands on this!
...not Wolf, like the description says.
i bet the warfield/radio city box is coming out!! can't think of any other runs long enough to rival Europe '72.
They've been maintained that the multi-tracks for these shows are missing...but with the release of the Warfield 1980 on record store day...the 2-tracks sound just fine. I might be wrong since they usually don't want to put out the same era one release right after another.
Any other thoughts on the box?
Nice Scarlet/Fire Image on the cover.
Just based on the setlist and song timings, I am excited to hear this!! Not every show can be my favorite era, but I can definitely dig in and get mucho enjoyment from this one!!
Looks great and I bet it sounds great too! Nice to see 79 get represented in the series.
I’m thinking the next box is on the smaller side. There’s still copies of PNW left. Perhaps 1969, 80’s or 90’s.
My 16th birthday
I lived only 90 miles away
But live GD was not on my radar until 3.5 years later
Excellent choice y'all
And bonus material...sweet
I didn't listen closely and skipped ahead every time Dave waved his arms (spoiler: hyperbole!), but I never heard him say anything beyond "Jeffrey Norman was busy" -- no specific project mentioned, I believe. The possibilities include the upcoming box set, the upcoming movie, and/or DaP 32, but also recall that Norman works on the Owsley vault releases as well. No idea whether or what they might have in store at this point.
Also, I never heard Dave say that "topping" previous boxes alluded to the size of the upcoming box. He mentioned E72, 30 Trips and Fillmore West ("just" four shows). He seemed more focused on the content, as in an era of hot shows, etc.
Obviously, with large boxes (Woodstock '69) and small boxes (July '78, PNW '73-'74) still on the shelves, GDP and Rhino are looking for a hot seller. I don't see that being some overly large box. I say that 4-6 shows is the sweet spot and "topping" previous boxes is about the prime music, not the number of shows. At least I hope it's under $200.
Okay, I think Thin has a very good (and, unfortunately, sobering) observation. That listening party SQ has me harkening back to cassette trading days. And you know what? If we were back there, I'd take this cassette board in a heartbeat. So my theory that the third release of the year may have a "meh" factor seems supported. But as is often the case, once the ears adjust to SQ, a good show comes through as a good show. So I remain quite happy with the DaP 31 news and plan to listen with pleasure.
No massive box sets anymore....
It looks like the Uptown is in the news and getting a full body makeover.
The Uptown Theater has been closed since 1981. While restoration was often discussed in the following decades, and several concentrated efforts were made to promote the Uptown's restoration, no such efforts were successful, leaving the theater in disrepair. However, on June 28, 2018, it was announced that $75 million had been set aside to restore the theater with hopes of reopening it within two years. Restoration work is expected to begin during the summer of 2019.
If Dave wasn't bsing us special big etc would point to a honkin' big set which would be ok with me and plenty of others here. I mean you can't very well ask for the Greek and expect 3 shows. For those that want a small box most likely they'll have a highlights set and download individual shows so everyone is a winner. Bring it on
Necessarily. Dave mentioned SSDD, Spring 90, and Fillmore West 69 as well. Though the point that Norman was unavailable b/c he was working on the box is well taken.
As others have said, for a big one:
1) 80 Acoustic/Electric
2) 70 Acoustic/Electric
3) Big Video Box (multi-year).
Or there could be another multi-year thing focused on a region/area/venue. MSG. NYC. Fillmore's. He mentioned variety a ton. If I had to guess, a PNW style box is where my money would be.
As for '79:
Dick's 5: 12/26: 1st full show Dick's
RT V1#1: Fall 79: 10/25, 11/6, 11/8-10, 10/31
RT V3#1: 12/28 + 12/30
RT Full Shows: 11/5 & 11/6 (downloads)
30 Trips: 10/27
And now this one. First 79 Daves.
As for sound quality. I am much more of a show quality over sound quality guy. (see RFK 89). Though both is always nice. As long as I can hear Jerry I am fine. If the lead is buried, that is bad.
Listening party stuff sounded fine on my phone.
Super excited for our first 79 release for this series. Same thoughts on the cassette as others have, definitely some concern, but am hoping for the best! Glasser has always produced high quality work.
We are in for a mega box, DL did say Norman was too busy working on the box to work on this release. I hope we don't exceed the $500 mark. I will have the same marriage concerns as others.
I guess August 1 will be the day!
“There’s a dragon with matches that’s loose on the town...”
Great show ! Wish it was the show before which was Stanley Theater which was a smoker. 12/1/79 great set list and the band was on Fire!
IT must be from multi-track or Plangent would be doing the transfer.
Oct. 74 Winterland/Radio City 80/Alpine 89 with Video. Could be why their waiting for 8/1 announcement.
I’m thinking 🤔 it’s fall 72 for the box! Radio city/ warfield 1980 doesn’t get me that excited but that might save me some money if they did
Hey peeps, you know that if the box is from an era that's my sweet spot, I'll buy the refrigerator-sized freakin' box! Don't get me wrong. I just didn't think Dave was talking # of shows as the criterion for greatness.
Hell, if he wants to put out a dozen late '72 shows, for a $400 box, tell me where to send the freakin' dollars.
I'm buying anything in the '66 to '74 range no questions asked, no matter the price. (Okay, hang on, could we limit the price to $300-$400? I mean, seriously!) Any other eras, I take a real hard look before humping it.