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Jerry Garcia concert reviews by Rob Goetz - 3/3/89 - San Francisco, CA

Jerry Garcia concert reviews by Rob Goetz

Jerry Garcia Band ~ San Francisco, CA
3/3/89

Jerry Garcia concert reviews by Rob Goetz - 3/3/89 - San Francisco, CA

Friday
3rd JGB Band Performance of 1989

The Grateful Dead's first six shows of 1989 were not dramatically impressive. With the exception of 2.10.1989 which was exceptional, the Dead was at best average through the 2.5,6,7,10, 11, and 12.1989 shows. But, the first two Jerry Band shows (1.27 and 28.1989) were very well done and 1.28.1989 (all that is available is the second set) was one of the finer Jerry shows around. With this momentum, Jerry returned to the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco for two shows - 3.3 and 3.4.1989. Unfortunately no recording of 3.4.1989 exists.

3.3.1989 was performed with Clarence Clemons on saxophone, and it was the first JGB with Clarence Clemons. Jerry's first show with Mr. Clemons was on 12.31.1988 which if my memory serves me correctly was an average show. This was the first of many JGB shows with Clarence Clemons in 1989.

The first set starts with LSTNTogether. The song is well performed and tight by the band, but the Clemons sax sounds a bit mashed in at times. The first jam has Jerry and Clarence trading off leads. On May 27, 1989 Clemons was to perform with the Dead, and on that performance, he was reluctant to take leads and at times Jerry seemed almost to be forcing him to try. On this Night Together, Clemons did take the reigns but the jams didn't really develop too deeply. The main jam is more of this, but Jerry's jams didn't really go very far either (see 1.28.1989 for a phenomenal Jerry led main jam on this tune). The jam isn't bad or flawed, but is just not very above average. The band was likely getting adjusted to his sound, and him with theirs. 7

Next is Stop That Train which is catchy and nicely done. But, the sax during main solo is a bit too direct at times. This was pretty well done as a whole, and was a step above the opener. 7.35

Jerry provides the Dylan classic Forever Young next. While there really aren't any flubs, this version doesn't leap out as being exceptional or above average. The CC solo is quite well done, but Jerry's rhythm and improvisation seems a bit flat or constrained. This version doesn't have the sweeping interpretation of Dylan he typically does. 7

The show takes a step up next with Run for the Roses. This was a very sweet version as the song is perfectly sung. The CC sax solo has some transitional flubs inbetween the chords, but the main jam is nailed tight as Jerry's progressions are filled with signature Jerry flavorings. 7.75

At this point the band was getting in synch with Clarence, and the following Like a Road provided the first exceptional version of the night. The song is nearly perfect with sweet Jerry moans and harmonies by Jaclyn and Gloria. During the jam CC seemed to be careful not to step on Jerry's toes. For the most part CC played inbetween Jerry's note runs. Jerrys' solo has very nice flavorings as well, and the CC solo is very well done. Like a Road is well suited to CC as it allowed him to open up the soulful sound of the saxophone nicely. 8

The first set ends with an exceptional version of TWLWMYDo. The song is very snappy and tightly paced. Jerry's solos soar and are filled with signature progressions. CC plays a very nice cyclical rhythm behind Jerry. The CC solo is pure rockin' roll (again filled with very interesting and complicated leads - very unlike his playing on 5.27 or 6.21.1989). Also of note is the Seals solo which is equally impressive and filled with cool grooves. Jerry's final run sends this version over the top. 8

This set began as average, but really came to life with the Run Roses, Like a Road and TWLWMYD.

Next is Hope it won't be this way. The song is sweetly sung and the Jerry solo is perhaps a bit typical but certainly wasn't flawed nor disrupted the feel of the song; ending is superb as Jerry and the harmonies backed by CC sounds superb. 8

Deal ends this first set. The main jam has an extended Jerry solo that is filled with explosive runs and signature progressions. The band was cooking very well together as this was the 4th exceptional version in a row. 8

Set 2 starts with a nice Harder They Come. The band was still tight and the vocal harmonies were sweet. Jerry's first solo is quite complicated but slowly paced - truly grooving the swinging beat and improvising nicely off it and the CC rhythm was not intrusive. CC's turn is somewhat repetitious as his sound gets to be the same on this jam. The Seals solo starts out interesting but stalls back into a rhythm sound. Jerry's second solo is a bit more aggressive and assertive than the first but very short as the band returns to the song. The ending of the song is nicely done as Jerry provides some nice screams --- not exceptional Jerry here, he was a bit cautious (similar to 1.27.1989 JGB), and the CC Seals solos were average at best --- 7.25

Next is Waiting For A Miracle. The song portion sounds a bit forced and too fast on this version and is not convincing. The jam portion has relatively flat Jerry, and the CC portion sounds forced as well; not the best version (see 1.28.1989 for a great version). 6.75

Someday Baby is next and it is a bit flat through the Jerry and CC solos, but with the Seals solo the pace and the energy seemingly wake up. But the ensuing Jerry solo doesn't quite take off - a very average version. 7

Set 2 finally wakes up next with a brilliant version of Stoned Me To My Soul. Jerry's singing and the harmony is beautiful, and the CC rhythm throughout sounds very soulful and well placed. The band's rhythm as well seems very awake for this version; the Jerry solo is flavored and contemplative and meanders very nicely. CC doesn't really have a solo here, but his interplay with Jerry is well taken as this was the first exceptional version of the second set. 8

Next is Evangeline which is the typically fast paced version. Jerry's solo is not too impressive. CC's solo is more oriented to classic rock, and his solo was well done, but Jerry's runs aren't as impressive. 7.3

The band gets deep with Don't Let Go. Jerry and CC each trade nice leads, but Jerry's second chance drives the jam very deep. CC seems a bit at a loss as Jerry soars through numerous themes in a very impressive manner. Jerry transitions the jam from bizarre and creepy to driving jam that increases in pace dramatically to a light tippy toe dance. CC must have been impressed - Bruce Don't Jam like that. Seals and Jerry soar straight through the rafters with an amazing jam that when concluded brought back to Don't Let Go - CC not too big of a presence through this jamming - as it sounded as though he was likely watching and observing. Still this was easily the highlight of the show. 8.0

Keeping up with Don't Let Go - Lucky Old Sun is brilliant. There were great Jerry and CC solos and great Seals organ. 8

The show ends with Tangled Up In Blue. The first two jams sound great, but third stalls a bit at first before Jerry kicks it into overdrive and sails home. Better versions exist however. 7. 5

This was an interesting show as Jerry introduced Clarence to the JGB. Clarence had some flat moments and some great moments as well.

Set 1: 7.6375
Set 2: 7.475
Show: 7.55

LSTNTogether 7
Stop That Train 7.35
Forever Young 7
Run for the Roses 7.75
Like a Road 8
TWLWMYDo 8
Hope it won't be this way 8
Deal 8

Harder They Come 7.25
Waiting For A Miracle 6.75
Someday Baby 7
Stoned Me To My Soul 8
Evangeline 7.3
Don't Let Go 8.0
Lucky Old Sun 8
Tangled Up In Blue 7. 5
Rob Goetz

Jerry Garcia concert reviews by Rob Goetz - 3/3/89 - San Francisco, CA

 

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