From the Vault IV review
the name Jerry Garcia is mentioned most people think first of the
Grateful Dead, and second of his Electric Band.
In 1987 there were two significant events to add. First, the
Grateful Dead serving as back-up to Bob
Dylan, and the introduction of the marvelous, short lived, Jerry
Garcia Acoustic Band. Also
significant is the Grateful Dead released In the Dark, their
first studio album since 1979's Go to Heaven. It proved to be
quite popular, and the song "Touch of Grey" hit number 9
on the charts.
View From the Vault IV
is taken from two of the
six concerts that the Grateful Dead shared the bill with Bob Dylan.
These concerts had them working overtime as they served as back-up to Bob
Dylan, in addition to performing their own sets. The first two Dylan
and the Dead shows on the East Coast the Grateful Dead didn't play two
full sets of their own music, rather one long set that contained elements
of both. Apparently they didn't like that structure as they
switched to their usual two set line up for the third show and
remaining four concerts. Unfortunately, perhaps even tragic, is that the Bob Dylan
sets are not included. I went to the first Dylan and the Dead concert
at Foxboro and enjoyed their set so much that I went to the other two
East Coast performances. Again, too bad the Dylan material is not
introductory comments and understanding of the setting is
important aspect as to how the music that was performed; generally
tight, perky, and focused. However, throughout all four sets you get
the feeling that the band is holding back.
During the instrumentals they hit the important sections that
you expect, and generally quite well. Though, they do not seem
willing to take the jamming any further than is necessary to get the
point and feeling of the songs across.
Perhaps, the band is conserving their energy for the
additional set, and it's certainly understandable.
the jamming on View From the Vault IV is tame, that is not to
say that there aren't highlights contained within. The first set of
the 7/26 show starts the show in party mood with the upbeat
"Iko Iko." Tight renditions of several songs follow till
the best part of the set, "Bird Song,"
which hits some outstanding moments. It's approach is more electrifying
rather than spacey, as the mood of the song often takes.
The next song, "Promised Land," hits
some peaks so powerful that the vibes they created were certainly
felt in the very far reaching sections of the stadium.
The post drums section of 7/24 has a great set list. The renditions
of "Bertha" and "Sugar Magnolia" prove to
be a great way to close the set.
approach that the band takes to their playing throughout View From
the Vault IV is direct and to the point. Brent fans will enjoy
his contributions in all four sets. As
this tour was during the release of their album In the Dark, you can
hear most of those songs performed throughout the two concerts.
Only "Black Muddy River," and “Touch of
Grey” are not included, and the latter was performed at both
concerts as the encore.
From the Vault IV is a
good value including two concerts for the price of one. If you want
to see the Grateful Dead execute four sets tightly and to the point
in a no frill manner, this fits the bill. If you are looking
to see the band stretch out into some jamming look to some of their
other highly rated releases. by
Barry Small ©
Grade B +