Dick's Picks 21
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Dick's Picks Volume 21 Dick's_Picks_ Volume_21_Grateful_Dead

November 1, 1985

Richmond Coliseum 

 

 
Dick's Picks direct from the GD 
 
 
 

Dick's Picks 21 review

Dick's Picks Volume 21 includes the complete concert the Grateful Dead performed November 1, 1985, at the Richmond Coliseum in Richmond, VA. It includes several rare items such as; splitting "Saint of Circumstance" and "Lost Sailor" between  "Drums” > “Space," and the seldom played  "Comes A Time," "She Belongs To Me," and "Gloria."  

Set one is well played, though it has nothing incredible to brag about.  The show begins with "Dancing in the Streets," which is the Grateful Dead's third rendition of it. This time their approach is shorter and more to the point and is closer to the original.  It serves its purpose of getting the crowd off their feet and ready for the evenings music.  The band does a wonderful job to close the set with "Jack Straw” > “Don't Ease Me In."   

The second disc begins set two.  First up is "Samson and Delilah" that is followed by "High Time." Before Bobby can begin a song Garcia begins "He's Gone" and the band follows suit.  The most interesting playing on disc two is the closing instrumental during "Comes A Time," that has Jerry experimenting with a different approach to the solo.  The "Lost Sailor” > “Drums” > “Space” > “Saint of Circumstance" experiment was a successful with smooth effortless transitions between the songs.  

The third disc is the best of the three.  The version of Bob Dylan's "She Belongs To Me" is superb.  That is followed by "Gloria," originally recorded by Van Morrison's early band, Them, and makes a perfect substitute for the typically played "Sugar Magnolia." It hits some high-powered peaks leaving the crowd wanting more. 

Disc three features filler from September 2, 1980, at the Community War Memorial in Rochester, NY to round out the release.  As good as the Richmond show is this is by far the best part of the release. The "Iko Iko" is a slower tempo than the later years and it melts into splendid "Morning Dew" that ends in electrifying fashion.  

Dick Pick’s Volume 21 has quite a lot to offer and is a nice addition to the Dick's Picks series.  The unique set list helps to prop the grade.  by Barry Small © 
Grade 
B+ 

Photo credit Ron Delany©
Lots more at his website.

https://www.rondelanyphotography.com/

Jerry Garcia Frost 1986

DP21 review by  Ramble On Joe
Beginning notes: I was initially quite excited when this release was announced, as 1985 was my year of highest attendance. However, I found this release a disappointment, and haven't had much interest in it since. In the interest of freshness, I have not looked at the set list (although I naturally remember the more remarkable aspects); I'll just play it and see how it goes.

The band starts out pretty sweet -- 'Dancin in the Streets' definitely has The Groove on it -- but Jerry's guitar is almost inaudible for a long minute, Brent is too loud. This must be the roughness they're always disclaiming about. they start again with 'Cold Rain', and things go a little better. The band moves slightly in and out of sync, like cars on a freight train crossing the switching yard. I think it's gonna be a good show! :-)

One thing must be said: the audience is just Not There. Ah well, no matter; sterile though it might be, we might not otherwise hear Jerry's clear invocation of the 'Spoonful' riff, which Bobby answers by playing the 'Rooster' riff. Jerry seemingly shrugs; it's Bobby's call, so we're treated to Brent's throaty Hammond warbles and Bobby's stinging slide, much better here than we're used to. Jerry's solo is more conservative than usual, prompting Bobby to try harder -- a true group effort, if not an especially notable one.

'Stagger Lee'. I've never quite understood the preference for 1978 versions of this or Minglewood; by the mid-80s, Jerry had crafted considerably more interesting guitar parts, and it's marvelous to hear how casually he tosses them off between & under verses. Mickey seems to be locking into Jerry's thoughts ... well, this IS the Grateful Dead :-) Not much happens for the second solo, so they cut losses and end it.

'Me & My Uncle': this song easily springboards into 'Big River', seemingly picking up some steam on the way. Phil seems especially keen, and someone throws some open high-hat behind the first guitar solo. But Jerry seems rather more thoughtful than fiery; though he cuts forth with some fine, toothy runs, the band seems more ready than he does.

BEW: The solo is sweet and finds the band all hitting together and in the same way; this train is rolling! Now we see them go through the dynamics together: energetic, smooth, soft, delicate. Yep, this engine's purrin', and 'Jack Straw' seems the perfect follow-up -- Brent chooses the clicky piano sound, which seems to work. Mickey's evidently been waiting for something like this, and so has Billy. Phil even treats us to some quiet bombs in the solo and the final chorus, easing up to a gentle halt for the closeout. They then ease out with 'Don't Ease Me In'; I guess Jerry wasn't quite ready to leave the stage, and Brent fills the Richmond Coliseum with his happy soloing and dangerous rumbles. Jerry sings & plays with enough passion to make this worth hearing.

'It's got to be FUNK' a voice says -- what the heck was that? Never mind; here comes 'Samson & Delilah', a little sedate after the break. Like 'Minglewood' and 'Stagger Lee', Jerry likes to fill this with some busy phrasing behind the verses, although he's slow to do so here. I'm not thinking this will knock out DP-18's S&D for listening pleasure .... it picks up in Jerry's second solo. The mix shows Bobby's slash-and-burn slide, Phil is bouncing off walls, and Jerry finally gets some heat going just before they cut out for the final chorus ... and Jerry digs in on 'High Time'.

'You told me good-bye / how was I to know?
You didn't mean 'good-bye' / you meant 'Please -- don't let me go'

Jerry's voice, of course, had changed a great deal since 1970. - but he pours his heart into this, and convincingly so. Bill & Mickey show sensitive emphasis, bringing out the emotional highs and lows. Often Jerry strains at his notes, but poignantly so. A nice performance.

'He's Gone'. The general feeling is as if they didn't want to leave the gentle warmth 'High Time' brought them to -- and they don't; it's more of the same. This might be about the point where some start getting restless. Perhaps the drummers wish for something a little more aggressive by now? Hard to say. Phil comes in recalling Jerry's set one suggestion, and before you know it, Bobby's singing 'Spoonful'.

Maybe it's the mix, but drummers don't sound too keen on the directions this set has taken. Not so with Brent, who stokes up the Hammond again to spit and growl around Bobby's vocal. I guess the drums finally get the memo, because suddenly they come crashing in on Jerry's solo. The excitement quickly fades on the final chorus, and the band goes exploring for other musical possibilities -- when Jerry suddenly turns a corner, and starts 'Comes A Time'.

Wow! Even on this sterile SBD, we can hear the audience sigh a cheer of appreciation. And we're right back in the sweetness of 'High Time', pure and vibrant and fresh again. The band largely lets Jerry carry it -- Bill & Mickey find a minimal groove, but don't hesitate to step in for dramatic effect, and the solo finds Jerry RIGHT ON this song tonight -- we're in the 'ballad slot' without having paid any drumspace dues. Bobby finds good use for his '85 sound, and Jerry works his '85 voice for maximum effect until he's just too sad to sing any more; he's GOT to play. And he does.

This ends rather sooner than it should, however, as Phil seems to have other designs -- some train wreck of miscommunication. But if they must fall, at least they fall together, and after some atonal scrambling actually manage to Get the Groove Back! Tragedy narrowly avertedly, we then find them broaching the 'Lost Sailor' theme. And so this unusual show begins its most unique moment.

They've had six years of practice, and it shows: changes, dynamics, harmonies, everything as tight & intuitive as you could want. They make the opening swell for 'Saint' but then just sorta drop out for the Drums -- not what I would call an organic transition. Bill & Mickey don't even sound as charged as I would expect after a setload of ballads.

In short, it sounds like a bad idea -- or possibly a good one that got shortchanged, as if the original plan was to go out on a Sailor>Saint but Jerry signaled that he wasn't gonna make it through another song without a bathroom break :-) Either way, I'm almost unmindful of the Rhythm Devils' workout in this set -- a bathroom break indicator if ever there was one.

And then the Beam comes in. Jerry joins, and Mickey turns off the Beam and returns to the drums, giving us a monotonous tribal beat. Does it fit with the other musicians' sounds? I'm not sure. Eventually he stops, and we're left with Jerry's lonely soliloquy amid Bobby's weird sounds. This soon infects Jerry, and we're soon on the Last Train to Weirdsville ... until some nice chording brings us back out again. It winds in & out of some more mysterious suggestions before heading down the 'Saint' path. Phil joins in gently and Brent trills an electric piano. Mickey & Bill must have sneaked on stage, because (without warning) Jerry riffs into 'Saint' and the drummers suddenly start playing. And so we found ourselves in a 'Sailor > Drums > Space > Saint'. The question: did it work?

To my ears: No, not really, but it certainly generated some interesting changes in the set structure. For one thing, Jerry's solo section of 'Saint' takes a more gentle, airy feel -- they haven't forgotten where they were five minutes before. This builds up nicely, although the drums & Brent sorta disappear at the climax. This vastly robs the following section of momentum, but then they largely recapture it anyway. For another: normally, S>S would mean the end of the first set or lead into Drums, neither of which is an option here. So what do they do?

What else, after a set of mostly ballads? They ROCK THE HOUSE DOWN! True, the beginning of 'Gimme Some Lovin' is botched so many ways I can't begin to enumerate them. But that simply can't stop them -- this train has gotta roll. Having been largely tied down for the past 90 minutes, the band just ROARS. By the chorus, we're sold; by the second chorus, we're singing, by the third -- well, somehow they bring it down again, and Jerry's singing another ballad, 'She Belongs to Me'. Now, how did they do that and make it sound good? The drums come in for the second verse, although they don't sound too convinced. By the guitar solo, they seem to be getting it; by the second solo, we've forgotten we were ever listening to anything else. Jerry's phrases soar and dip, whether vocal or instrumental, though the band seems largely stoic until the final choruses.

-- and Bobby's guitar promptly says 'Remember the Melkweg?' as he strums up the Gloria chords. WHAT?? What sense could that possibly make? Unless of course, you ve been wanting to get your ya-ya's out. Not satisfied with the band's buildup during the spelling lesson, he makes them do it three times before letting the chorus rip. Too bad we can't hear the audience here, as this is possibly THE definitive Audience Participation Song, but the band is not exactly dull listening in itself. Bobby himself has little idea what to do in between the sing along parts, but it's fun to hear him try, and the band clearly improvises the arrangement -- not that this hurts the results in the least. The end is not the most glorious of finales, but it's appropriately goofy -- as is the 'Day Job' encore, after all that's gone before. I mean: really -- who could take it seriously now? G-L-O-R-I-A !! (keep your day job)? Right .... and never trust a prankster!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Highlights: Brown-Eyed Women, High Time, Comes A Time, Gimme Some Lovin, Gloria.

Conclusion: Yep, Jerry stole the show. By and large, set two comes across as a catastrophe that became something else entirely, and thusly yielded wonders we might not otherwise have experienced. This was largely due to the insistence of one Jerome Garcia, but the best parts show the band in full sympathetic support. Not a perfect show, but one with some mighty fine moments in unexpected places.  :-)  by Joe Prisco © 

Track List

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Disc 1
 
1. Dancing in the Street (Gaye/I. Hunter/Stevenson) - 6:52
 2. Cold Rain and Snow (Grateful Dead) - 7:31
 3. Little Red Rooster (Dixon) - 8:22
 4. Stagger Lee (Garcia / Hunter) - 5:56
 5. Me and My Uncle (Phillips) - 3:04
 6. Big River (Cash) - 6:19
 7. Brown-Eyed Woman (Garcia / Hunter) - 4:55
 8. Jack Straw (Hunter / Weir) - 5:25
 9. Don't Ease Me In (Trad. Arr. by Grateful Dead) - 3:14

Disc 2
 1. Samson and Delilah (Trad. Arr. by Bob Weir) - 7:35
 2. High Time (Garcia / Hunter) - 8:44
 3. He's Gone (Garcia / Hunter) - 11:07
 4. Spoonful (Dixon) - 4:55
 5. Comes a Time (Garcia / Hunter) - 8:26
 6. Lost Sailor (Barlow / Weir) - 7:28
 7. Drums (Hart / Kreutzmann) - 9:03

Disc 3
 
1. Space (Garcia / Lesh / Weir) - 11:27
 2. Saint of Circumstance (Barlow / Weir) - 6:53
 3. Gimme Some Lovin' (Davis / Winwood) - 4:28
 4. She Belongs to Me (Dylan) - 7:54
 5. Gloria (Morrison) - 6:52
 6. Keep Your Day Job (Garcia / Hunter) - 4:11

September 2, 1980 ~ Community War Memorial ~ Rochester, NY
 7. Space (Garcia/Lesh/Weir) - 8:33
 8. Iko Iko (Crawford/Hawkins/Hawkins/Johnson) - 7:46
 9. Morning Dew (Dobson/Rose) - 11:06
10. Sugar Magnolia (Hunter/Weir) - 9:14

Musicians:       

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Jerry Garcia - lead guitar, vocals
Bob Weir - guitar, vocals
Phil Lesh - bass, vocals
Brent Mydland - keyboards vocals
Bill Kreutzmann - drums
Mickey Hart - drums

Notes:

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Released - March 2001
Tape Archivists - Dick Latvala, David Lemieux
Label - Grateful Dead Records