Nightfall of Diamonds
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Nightfall of Diamonds Nightfall_of_Diamonds_Grateful_Dead

October 16, 1989 

East Rutherford, NJ

 

 
 
 
Order:   Amazon  

Nightfall of Diamonds review

Nightfall 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.” 

Disc 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.

The 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 set.  Noteworthy is that all of the Jerry Garcia’s songs in the second set were all penned by 1970.  

The 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. 

To 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 Small © 
Grade 

Track List

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Disc 1
 
1. Picasso Moon (Barlow/Bralove/Weir) - 7:05
 2. Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo (Garcia/Hunter) - 6:43
 3. Feel Like a Stranger (Barlow/Weir) - 7:34
 4. Never Trust a Woman (Mydland) - 7:31
 5. Built to Last (Garcia/Hunter) - 5:11
 6. Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis... (Dylan) - 10:43
 7. Let It Grow (Barlow/Weir) - 11:59
 8. Deal (Garcia/Hunter) - 8:41

Disc 2
 1. Dark Star 
    (Garcia/Hart/Hunter/Kreutzmann/Lesh/McKernan/Weir) - 12:02
 2. Playing in the Band (Hart/Hunter/Weir) - 8:02
 3. Uncle John's Band (Garcia/Hunter) - 9:25
 4. Jam (Grateful Dead) - 9:20
 5. Drums (Hart/Kreutzmann) - 6:08
 6. Space (Garcia/Lesh/Weir) - 5:49
 7. I Will Take You Home (Barlow/Mydland) - 4:48
 8. I Need a Miracle (Barlow/Weir) - 4:02
 9. Dark Star (Garcia/Hart/Hunter/Kreutzmann/Lesh/McKernan/Weir) - 5:18
10. Attics of My Life (Garcia/Hunter) - 4:52
11. Playing in the Band (Hart/Hunter/Weir) - 4:30
12. We Bid You Goodnight (Traditional) - 2:56

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 - September 2001
From twenty-four track multi source master tape.
Tape Archivist - David Lemieux
Label - Grateful Dead Records