Download Series 9
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Download Series Volume 9 Download Series Volume 9 - Grateful Dead
Civic Arena 
Pittsburgh, PA 
April 2 and 3, 1989
 
 
 
 
Order: GDM or Grateful Dead - Grateful Dead Download Series Vol. 9 (Civic Arena, Pittsburgh, PA, 4/2&3/89)
 
030105GratefulDead iTunes downloads

Grateful Dead Download Series 9 review

Download Series 9
Grateful Dead
4/2 & 3/1989
Civic Arena - Pittsburgh, PA

The Download Series Volume 9 brings a release from a fairly well represented year, 1989. It is comprised of two complete concerts on four discs. On a minor note, the order was arranged in a few cases to include the beginning of set two and/or encores at the end of set one. However, since this is a download, you may prefer to fit it on three discs, especially the second show. 

My overall impression of the release is that the band is tight, in sync, and powerful, predictable, Phil is aggressive, Jerry's voice struggles frequently, and the second sets have more to offer than the first sets. The first sets are good, but the song lists are fairly standard and the renditions don't offer any revelations. Brent and Phil both sing lead and help out others like "Gimme Some Lovin'" and "Mr. Fantasy" > ""Hey Jude."

The first show begins with a crowd pleaser, "Iko Iko," a perfect way to get the crowds attention. Garcia's other songs are slower in nature and frankly Jerry's voice really struggles, but he has no trouble leading the band through the musical passages. Bobby offers up a better selection of songs than Jerry, with strong readings of his four tracks including the infrequently performed "It's All Over Now," and "The Music Never Stopped." On the latter the closing instrumental allows the band to do their own thing, before Jerry leads them back to earth to end the set. A strong rendition, even if the conclusion isn't as explosive as many "Music's" are.

The second set begins with one of my favorite Grateful Dead songs, "Shakedown Street," and 1989 is an excellent year for it. Jerry fronts the band through two solid instrumentals. Or was it the band egging Jerry on? Whatever the answer, it is some fantastic music that can only be delivered by the Grateful Dead. The goods continue to be served up with a more than satisfactory "Man Smart Woman Smarter," where the band seems to be in no hurry, yet are concise in their statements, with brilliant passage handoffs, and an overall tightness to the delivery. "Foolish Heart" is still young in 1989. The post space stays away from the slow numbers and is very much in party mode with a large number of songs, even if none stretch out.

The third disc begins the April 3, 1989, show. The set is generally predicable in that it includes the standard blues number, a country cover, and a Dylan impersonation, not to mention a familiar closer. It begins on an upbeat tone with "Greatest Story Ever Told" > "Bertha."  A good opening no doubt, with Phil getting behind Jerry's lines nicely on "Bertha." What is not so typical is the material from 1989's album "Built to Last," and Phil singing the Dylan cover instead of Bobby. How big of a fan of the Built to Last material will dictate how well you rank this set. This disc also does include the set two opener, "Blow Away," as well as the two song encore. On "Johnny B. Goode," Jerry's solo is a bit electronic gadget heavy with Brent having the better musical statement to convey.

The second set is much more interesting than the first. Jerry's vocals are off on a few places, but otherwise some good 1989 Grateful Dead music. A solid set list starting with a loose "Estimated Prophet" that merges into an always welcome duo of Jerry tunes, "Crazy Fingers" > "Uncle John's Band." A lengthier jam out of "UJB" would have been nice.

The "Space" segment offers a hint of "I Need a Miracle," but the band decides on "Gimme Some Lovin'" instead; always a crowd pleaser. Keeping the mood upbeat this transitions into the hinted at  "Miracle." The ending jam sounds a bit "Truckin'" like for a few bars before slipping nicely into "Stella Blue." 

Throughout the two shows Phil is aggressive, which is a big plus. The sound quality is good for a non-multi-track recording.  Download Series Volume 9 does not include anything that makes it a must have show, but it does have its share of high points.
Barry Small ©
Grade B

 
Grateful Dead Download Series 9 review
Track List

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Disc One
4/2/1989
1 Iko Iko 5:58 (Crawford, B. Hawkins, R. Hawkins, Johnson)
2 Little Red Rooster 9:27 (Dixon)
3 Dire Wolf 3:55 (Garcia, Hunter)
4 It's All Over Now 8:40 (B. Womack, S. Womack)
5 We Can Run 5:11 (Mydland, Barlow)
6 Brown-Eyed Woman 5:17 (Garcia, Hunter)
7 Queen Jane Approximately 6:49 (Dylan)
8 Tennessee Jed 7:39 (Garcia, Hunter)
9 The Music Never Stopped 8:04 (Weir, Barlow)
encore:
10 It's All Over Now, Baby Blue 7:45 (Dylan)

Disc Two
1 Shakedown Street > 12:05 (Garcia, Hunter)
2 Man Smart, Woman Smarter > 8:18 (Span)
3 Foolish Heart > 7:52 (Garcia, Hunter)
4 Rhythm Devils > 10:54 (Hart, Kreutzmann)
5 Space > 8:58 (Garcia, Lesh, Hunter)
6 The Wheel > 4:28 (Garcia, Hunter)
7 Dear Mr. Fantasy > 5:09 (Winwood, Capaldi, Wood)
8 Hey Jude > 2:39 (Lennon, McCartney)
9 Around and Around > 3:51 (Berry)
10 Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad > 5:45 (Trad. Arr. By Grateful Dead)
11 Turn On Your Lovelight 5:44 (Scott, Malone)

Disc Three
4/3/1989
1 Greatest Story Ever Told > 4:13 (Weir, Barlow)
2 Bertha > 7:19 (Garcia, Hunter)
3 Walking Blues 6:48 (Johnson)
4 Jack-A-Roe 5:43 (Trad. Arr. By Grateful Dead)
5 El Paso 5:31 (Robbins)
6 Built To Last 5:26 (Garcia, Hunter)
7 Victim Or The Crime 7:39 (Weir, Graham)
8 Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues 5:06 (Dylan)
9 Don't Ease Me In 3:26 (Trad. Arr. By Grateful Dead)
start set 2:
10 Blow Away 8:12 (Mydland, Barlow)
encore:
11 Johnny B. Goode> 4:31 (Berry)
12 Black Muddy River 6:44 (Garcia, Hunter)

Disc Four
1 Estimated Prophet > 10:46 (Weir, Barlow)
2 Crazy Fingers > 8:15 (Garcia, Hunter)
3 Uncle John's Band > 111:57:00 (Garcia, Hunter)
4 Rhythm Devils > 7:24 (Hart, Kreutzmann)
5 Space > 9:38 (Garcia, Lesh, Weir)
6 Gimme Some Lovin' > 5:12 (S. Winwood, M. Winwood, Davis)
7 I Need A Miracle > 4:16 (Weir, Barlow)
8 Stella Blue > 8:03 (Garcia, Hunter)
9 Sugar Magnolia 8:54 (Weir, Hunter)

Grateful Dead Download Series 9 review
Musicians:       

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Grateful Dead
Jerry Garcia: Lead Guitar, Vocals
Mickey Hart: Drums
Bill Kreutzmann: Drums
Phil Lesh: Electric Bass, Vocals
Brent Mydland: Keyboards, Vocals
Bob Weir: Rhythm Guitar, Vocals

Grateful Dead Download Series 9 review
Notes:

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Released - Jan. 3, 2006
Grateful Dead Download Series

Recording by Dan Healy
Mastering by Jeffrey Norman

From the Grateful Dead website
Download Series Vol. 9 features two complete performances from the much lauded 1989 Spring Tour at the Civic Arena, or as itís more affectionately known, the Igloo, in Pittsburgh, PA. These two shows present typically hot 1989 performances, filled with high-octane energy; interesting set lists, and inspired playing. Brent, in standard 1989 form, steps forth with scene-stealing moments throughout both shows.

Grateful Dead Download Series 9 review