3/22/90
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Grateful Dead bootleg reviews 3/22/1990

 

Without a Net reviewDozin' at the Knick review

3/22/90

Nightfall of Diamonds reviewView From The Vault II review

 
Grateful Dead bootleg reviews 3/22/1990

The Grateful Dead
Copps Coliseum - Hamilton, Ontario
3/22/90 

Set 1: Feel Like A Stranger, West L.A. Fadeaway, Easy To Love You, Beat It On Down The Line, It Must Have Been The Roses, The Last Time, Picasso Moon, Don't Ease Me In

Set 2: Scarlet Begonias > Fire On The Mountain, Samson & Delilah, Believe It Or Not, Truckin' > Jam > Drums > Jam > The Other One > Hey Jude* > Dear Mr. Fantasy > Hey Jude (reprise) > Sugar Magnolia, E: It's All Over Now Baby Blue

Review
3-22-90 Copps Colisuem

Listening to this is like watching a preview for a great movie; after all, this is the tour used for WITHOUT A NET. At one point, I 'm pretty sure I'm spotting a portion of INFRARED ROSES in Jerry's noodling. Even if I'm wrong, this show is still a solid smile from the starter to the encore.

To begin with, you've probably heard the "Scarlet > Fire" that starts set two, since it was featured on SO MANY ROADS. And that was no accident; the band is hugely interactive, firing off ideas like sparks from a wheel-lock. In fact, the whole second set is top-shelf, from start to finish -- the final performance of "Believe it or Not" may well be the low point, and it's still solid. "Truckin'" kicks off an absorbing jam, and the post-Space songs have to be heard to be appreciated; this was a band that had reached a new peak, and milked it plenty.

Of course, it isn't all second-set honey -- the first set starts with a strong trio in "Stranger", "West L.A." and the rearranged "Easy to Love You". Each is a strong, even fantastic performance -- not surprising in light of the later set, but unmatched by the remainder of the first set, despite the breakout/debut of the Stones song "Last Time", which would later be placed near the end of second sets. "Picasso Moon" and "Don't Ease" are neither disappointing nor edifying, but serve rather to fill out time until the REAL set can begin.

Fortunately, the second set delivers all we could want: "Scarlet Begonias" soars and dives with elasticity and grace, while "Fire on the Mountain" carries on with ease and verve. "Samson" burns, giving over to "Believe it or not" 's ashes. "Truckin'" proves this band worthy to carry on the name of the septet that performed in Europe back in 1972; though their style has changed, there remains the commitment, and it's a long while before the instrumentalists give way to the percussionists. I admit that this section has been in frequent rotation in my headphones.

We know the usual drill for shows at this time, regarding drums and space; this is one of the shows where it works. It's largely a Brentfest after this, as they essay a medley of "Hey Jude" and "Mr Fantasy" that almost works, then really does work as Jerry digs in.

What does this mean to you? It means the kind of magnificent failure that most bands never dare attempt, but reward repeat listening all the same. Naturally, it would never make an official release -- more "perfect" performances exist from other dates -- but damn if it ain't real, vivid, and visceral -- a word we rarely hear these days for music.

But we used to -- for Dead shows in the 60s. Which reminds me: when they play "Beat it on Down the Line", Brent rips in some organ lines that take me right back to those days of yore -- as if it had been Brent, and not Pigpen, who had fingered those keys back in 1967. Hmmmm --- maybe he wasn't such a bad addition to the band, after all ;-)
Ramble On Joe

Review of the Grateful Dead's concert performance on 3/22/90, at 
Copps Coliseum - Hamilton, Ontario
Grateful Dead bootleg reviews 3/22/1990

 

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