Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Truckin' Up To Buffalo

The most recent release from the video vault of the Grateful Dead takes us up to Rich Stadium in Orchard Park, NY. This 4th of July show has the band igniting their own brand of fireworks, magic, and comedy routines on stage as the cameras roll. Top to bottom the performance by the band is flawless. The weather was hot(as indicated by the beads of sweat) and so was the band.
I won't break it down song by song since each is a masterpiece in its own right, but I am gonna point out a few of the highlights...

Speaking of masterpiece, during their first set performance of 'When I Paint My Masterpiece' the first comedy routine takes place. Ya see, Bob Weir can't help but play the part of "rock star" since no one else in the band will. As he sings the line "ran on a hilltop following a pack of wild geese", Jerry joins in for a harmony with his eyes closed. At the conclusion of the line, Bob points out toward the sky to a flock of imaginary wild geese(or not depending on how high he was). Jerry opens his eyes just in time to see Bobs gesture and quickly looks to see what the hell he is pointing out. Nothing Jer. It's all in the mind. Bob gets a laugh and Jerry just keeps on rockin'.
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The next bit is pure Grateful Dead magic. In Bobby next song, 'Looks Like Rain', the lyric reads "I'll still sing you love songs written in the letters of your name. Brave the storm that comes, for it surely looks like rain." Just as he finishes the word "name" a crash of thunder, loud enough to be caught on the soundtrack, shakes the whole stadium. The rain would soon follow and the cosmic ballet begins.

The final bit of comedy presented on the dvd comes just as the band is walking on stage for their second set. Jerry can be see looking around in all directions as if he doesn't know what's going on or where he is. Ole Jer scratches the top of his head in a bewildered state. Brent sees the confusion on his buddies face and does what any friend would do in front of 60, 000 tripping Dead Heads...he mocks him and laughs aloud. Silly Jerry, trips are for kids! Jerry laughs it off and tears in to a raging set opener 'Touch Of Grey".
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This performance is killer any way you look at it. The only let down is, unlike the previous video vault releases, there are no filler tracks. However, the show does run over 2hrs and 40min. Plus you get to see Jerry playing his "midi-sized" Stratocaster during the Space segment of the show, a real rarity. In the words of Ted Knight, "Top Notch! Top Notch!"

iPod Song of the Day: 'Silver Train' performed by the Rolling Stones on Don Kirshners Rock Show 9.29.73


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