Nightfall of Diamonds review
of Diamonds represents a complete concert performed October 16,
1989, at the Meadowlands Sports Arena in East Rutherford, New
Jersey. This was part of a very successful tour that began in
Hampton Virginia on October 8 and 9 with the surprise concerts that
were billed as “Formerly The Warlocks.”
one is the complete first set. It is a high powered affair with a
fantastic opening trio, “Picasso Moon” setting things off and
blending into “Mississippi Half Step” > “Feel Like a
Stranger.” While “Mississippi Half Step” saw it’s best days
in the 1970’s this one is certainly worth a listen.
Also, impressive, are the set closers. “Let it Grow” is
tight and well executed. This version is heavily laced with MIDI
sound effects. The rendition of “Deal” is blazing with the whole
band building a rhythmic frenzy that sets the stage for Garcia to
peal lightning fast solo after solo off of his fret board.
second set track list of Nightfall of Diamonds is certainly
impressive, but we know that song lists can be deceiving. For sure,
this set does not disappoint. Its theme is certainly exploratory and
based upon the band beginning songs only to finish them later in the
Noteworthy is that all of the Jerry Garcia’s songs in the
second set were all penned by 1970.
beginning of the set emphasizes jamming rather than singing. The
transitions from song to song flow in unison. The second part of the
set is less intense as they perform more song-oriented material with
Brent, Bobby, and Jerry each selecting a song. It is masterful how
between their songs they blend back into “Dark Star” and
“Playing in the Band” to finish what they began earlier in the
evening. I was impressed with the way the band closed the set. They
brought intense power to the “Playin’ Reprise,” a fine way to
close the show.
my surprise many have negative views of Nightfall of Diamonds.
Some are sincere, while others are either a complaint that the
October Hampton shows were not released or a preference for early
“Dark Stars.” My opinion is that this is a superb show from
start to finish. I saw the band perform several concerts in 1989 and
many were great, but not as good as this. by Barry