Dylan and the Dead
View From The Vault IV
Download Series 5
Road Trips Vol. 4 No. 2
Dozin' at the Knick
Download Series 9
Truckin' Up To Buffalo
Crimson White & Indigo
Formerly The Warlocks Box
Nightfall of Diamonds
Without a Net
Wake Up To Find Out 03/29/90
Spring 1990: So Glad You Made It
Spring 1990: Box Set
Spring 1990: The Other One
View From The Vault III
View From The Vault I
|Formerly The Warlocks Box
8 and 9, 1989
Formerly The Warlocks Box
October 8 & 9, 1989
release of Formerly The Warlocks Box contains the
complete concerts from The Warlocks (Grateful Dead) performances on October 8 & 9, 1989,
in Hampton, Virginia; no missing songs or bonus material added. These
shows were not announced through the regular ticket distribution channel so
they were "secret" shows, which avoided the carnival of ticket
invading the area.
was following the Grateful Dead closely at the time these showed
occurred. I had seen a number of the Shoreline shows in preceding
these, as well as some concerts following at the Oakland Coliseum in December. The band was certainly
playing exceptionally well on this tour.
of the surprise shows and pulling out so many surprises was big
news. The treats included numerous songs they hadn't played in years
“Dark Star,” (last performed 7/13/84, and that version was the first
“Help on the Way” > “Slipknot!” > “Franklin’s Tower,” (last
“Death Don’t Have No Mercy” (played just once at Shoreline 11 days
earlier, prior to that, last performed 3/21/70),
“Attics of My Life” (last performed 9/27/72, Dick's
Picks Vol. 11).
Also noteworthy is "We Bid You Goodnight was just the fourth
time played since it's comeback prior to that, it was last performed
I thought the Shoreline shows I saw
were good, hmmm.
first set from October 8, 1989, starts off nicely with "Foolish Heart,"
instrumental section demonstrates the bands cohesiveness. Jerry's other song
selections are much to my liking. During "Candyman" Garcia
plays this one guitar filler line right after the "pass the
whiskey around" that comes across pretty good on tape, really
trippy, that must have been awesome live. Bobby's songs are well
played, even if they may not be fan favorites. No question "Big
River" offers some fireworks. The conclusion is a sure high
point of the set. First, "Bird Song" is explored nicely
that builds through peaks and valley before landing into the "Promised
Land," a superb send off.
second set is where the jaws drop. Skipping over the standard
favorites, the band opts for the trio of
“Help on the Way” > “Slipknot!” > “Franklin’s Tower,” last
played in 1985. More excitement that can be put to words in
the arena upon hearing these opening chords. It's a tight execution no question. They continue with
"Victim." Jerry lightens the mood with a concise
reading of "Eyes of the World."
thrilling as the first half of set two is, things don't let up. The
high points are a rousing "Gimme Some Lovin'" and a
version of "Morning Dew," which arguably stole the thunder of the set
previous evening's performance was dominated by the Jerry songs
during both sets. To counter, Bobby bookends the 10/9 first set with two
of his classics, knockout versions of "Feel Like a
Stranger," and "The Music Never Stopped." The rest of
the set is pretty ordinary, with no real standouts.
the second set, it starts of with a spacey "Playing in the
Band." It's characteristics rolls over to a non-hurried "Uncle
John's Band" that morphs seamlessly into the conclusion of
"Playing in the Band," Jerry seems in charge here and he
and Bobby lock together with the song melody to bring the "Reprise" to
its close. While that was surely intense. The
notes of "Dark Star" follow. This is not one of those
teases, but a full blown 20 minute "Star," the first version since
Out of "Space" there are
mysterious hints of "China Doll," "Miracle," and even "Stella Blue." Rather, it's the resurrected rendition of
Blind Willie Johnson's "Death Don't Have No Mercy." The Grateful Dead's 1970 versions Jerry
handled the vocals, but the new remake they share vocal duties; in the style of the "The Weight." This morbid song retains the intensity of the sets mood, but during the instrumental they get a bit more lively. They segue into "Dear Mr. Fantasy"
bringing a much needed upbeat atmosphere. The Brent led song is perfectly placed. The "Hey Jude Coda"
transition is really tight. A few Bobby songs to close, and adding
"Good Lovin'" to follow "Throwing Stones" gave
the fans even more to cheer about.
top things off, Jerry resurrects "Attics of My Life,"
dusting off this American Beauty classic. Brent takes a very dominate
singing role along with Jerry, at times helping to hit the high parts.
October 1989 tour was a really touch notch. I had
most on tape and there's no question the band was inspired. They kicked it off in high fashion with these two shows,
now available in 24 track remastered format. While the box-set
isn't the least expensive release from this period, quality wise, Formerly The Warlocks Box rises to the
by Barry Small ©
Grade A +
Top of Page
1. Foolish Heart
2. Walkin' Blues
4. Me and My Uncle
5. Big River
6. Stagger Lee
7. Queen Jane Approximately
8. Bird Song
9. Promised Land
1. Help On The Way
3. Franklin's Tower
4. Victim or the Crime
5. Eyes of the World
6. Rhythm Devils
2. I Need A Miracle
3. The Wheel
4. Gimme Some Lovin'
5. Morning Dew
6. We Bid You Goodnight
1. Feel Like A Stranger
2. Built To Last
3. Little Red Rooster
4. Ramble On Rose
5. We Can Run
7. Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again
8. Row Jimmy
9. The Music Never Stopped
1. Playing In The Band
2. Uncle John's Band
3. Playing In The Band
4. Dark Star
5. Rhythm Devils
2. Death Don't Have No Mercy
3. Dear Mr. Fantasy
4. Hey Jude
5. Throwing Stones
6. Good Lovin'
7. Attics of My Life
Top of Page
Jerry Garcia - guitar, vocals
Mickey Hart - drums, percussion
Bill Kreutzmann - drums, percussion
Phil Lesh - bass, vocals
Brent Mydland - keyboards, vocals
Bob Weir - guitar, vocals
Top of Page
Produced by David Lemieux
Recording by John Cutler
CD Mastering - David Glasser at Airshow mastering, Boulder, Co
Mixed by Michael McGinn, assisted by Brad Dollar
Plangent Processing - Jamie Howarth and John Chester
Photos - Jim Anderson
Art and packaging - Steve Vance
Special thanks - Bob Weir, John Cutler, Jeffrey Norman, Mike Johnson
Additional images - G.
Dead Archive UC Santa Cruz
Recorded by Grateful Dead sound wizard John Cutler in the Le Mobile remote truck, and mixed recently by longtime Grateful Dead-associate and Bob Weir/RatDog studio engineer and front-of-house mixer Mike McGinn.
The listening party part 1
"Bird Song," and "Death Don't Have No Mercy
A note regarding the contents of the box. From the product description:
"This time out, they’ve packaged the CDs in a wooden replica of a cigar box (Virginia being a tobacco state dating back to colonial times), and filled it with all sorts of goodies, from a photo-laden historical essay by your humble narrator, to various pieces of cool memorabilia from the time/shows we won’t spoil for you by describing here."
- Certainly some nice goodies.
Review by Blair Jackson
Newspaper clipping from 1989
Miniature sample tickets
Flyer of the "camping out" rules
|From the Grateful Dead website
Our First ’80s Box: The Complete 1989 Hampton “Warlocks” Shows on 6 CDs!
By Blair Jackson
Formerly The Warlocks Box
It is a measure of the Grateful Dead’s confidence going into their fall 1989 East Coast tour that they decided to travel with the state-of-the-art Le Mobile remote recording truck so they could capture a bunch of their shows on 24-track tape, with an eye towards putting out a live album in the summer of 1990 in conjunction with a European tour that was already in the works. (Indeed the band recorded a number of shows on multi-track through the spring of 1990. The eventual album was
Without a Net, released in September 1990.)
There’s no question that the band had been on fire for quite a while. If you’re familiar with the CD/DVD releases
Truckin’ Up to Buffalo from July 4, 1989, Crimson, White & Indigo
from July 7 (Philly) and the video-only Downhill From Here from July 19 (Alpine Valley, Wis.) — not to mention the earlier nationwide telecast of the Summer Solstice show from Shoreline Amphitheater (Mountain View, Calif., June 21) — you know the group was playing at an exceptionally high level, arguably getting stronger each tour since Garcia’s remarkable resurrection following his Summer ’86 meltdown/near-death. The band had also been in the studio working on a new album,
Built to Last (released Halloween ’89), and that newish material was starting to sharpen up on the road, too.
When the first few dates of the October ’89 East Coast tour were announced, the Hampton (Virginia) Coliseum, long one of the band’s favorite places (and the site of many a fine Dead show) was not included on the list. You see, there had been some problems outside the last shows the band had played there — too many ticketless folks, too crazy a scene — and the powers-that-be in Hampton weren’t sure they wanted the Dead back at all. This is a problem the Dead encountered a lot during their post “Touch of Grey” renaissance, so the band got creative: Just ten days before the tour was to begin, the Dead suddenly announced a pair of “stealth” shows at Hampton set for October 8 and 9, 1989. There were no mail-order tickets sold for these gigs (as was common in those days); in fact, ducats were only sold in Southern Virginia through local ticket outlets, as a way to keep out the inevitable Dead Head invasion that followed the band everywhere. Instead of “Grateful Dead,” the tickets said “Formerly The Warlocks” on them, and when fans arrived at the gig those nights, the marquee read “The Warlocks.” Non-Deadheads passing the Coliseum must have been very confused seeing a band they’d probably never heard of headlining the arena. That, of course, was the point.
The folks who were lucky enough to score tickets for the “Warlocks” shows in Hampton were treated to two of the most exciting shows of the year. Because not only was the group playing great, they had also taken the time to rehearse some old favorites they hadn’t tackled in a number of years, including “Dark Star,” the glorious triumvirate of “Help on the Way” > “Slipknot!” > “Franklin’s Tower,” “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” (played just once at Shoreline 11 days earlier), and perhaps most surprising of all, “Attics of My Life”
(unplayed since 1972!). Not surprisingly, the crowd greeted these “revivals” with ecstasy bordering on hysteria. Can I get a “Woo-hooooo!”?
Over the course of the two concerts, the band offered up what was practically a career retrospective, delving into crowd pleasing nuggets ranging from “Playing in the Band” to “Bird Song” to “Uncle John’s Band” to “Eyes of the World” to a spectacular “Morning Dew”; raucous rockers including “I Need a Miracle,” “Good Lovin’” and that incendiary Brent-Phil stomper “Gimme Some Lovin’”; and recent tunes such as “Foolish Heart,” “Victim or the Crime” and “Built to Last,” among many others (“Dear Mr. Fantasy”! “Stuck Inside of Mobile”! Lotsa good stuff, for sure.) You can find the complete set lists
The Formerly The Warlocks box collects every note of the band’s two nights there, spread over six CDs. The concerts were originally recorded by Grateful Dead sound wizard John Cutler in the Le Mobile remote truck, and mixed recently by longtime Grateful Dead-associate and Bob Weir/RatDog studio engineer and front-of-house mixer Mike
McGinn. As always, the discs have been mastered to HDCD specifications, so needless to say, it sounds like you’re there, in the best seats in the house.
As this is the latest in a distinguished line of remarkable complete-run boxes (which includes
Fillmore West 1969, and Winterland 1973 and Winterland June
1977), the folks at Rhino have gone above and beyond to design a package that’s (almost) as exciting as the music. This time out, they’ve packaged the CDs in a wooden replica of a cigar box (Virginia being a tobacco state dating back to colonial times), and filled it with all sorts of goodies, from a photo-laden historical essay by your humble narrator, to various pieces of cool memorabilia from the time/shows we won’t spoil for you by describing here.
All in all, it’s a potent blast of the Dead at their late ’80s best that you won’t want to miss. To order your copy of the Formerly The Warlocks box,
From the GD website
Formerly The Warlocks Box
In October 1989, the folks who were lucky enough to score tickets for the “Warlocks” shows in Hampton were treated to two of the most exciting shows of the year. Every song was recorded with the state-of-the-art Le Mobile remote recording truck and recently mastered to HDCD specifications, so needless to say, it sounds like you’re there, in the best seats in the house.
The Hampton “Warlocks” box collects every note of the band’s two “stealth” shows spread over six CDs. This collector’s set comes packaged in a wooden replica of a cigar box (Virginia being a tobacco state dating back to colonial times), and is filled with all sorts of goodies, from a photo-laden historical essay to various pieces of cool memorabilia from the time.