Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A short run and then DSO (mostly Deadhead rambling)

I ran an easy 4 miles with my lazy dogs last night. Then, I headed to Burlington, Vermont's Higher Ground club to see Dark Star Orchestra. I've seen many shows by DSO and other bands at Higher Ground, but last night may have been the first time I didn't have any beer while at a show there. For the past few months, I've been staying away from alcohol completely during the work week and usually only having any alcohol on Saturdays.

It's amazing how drunk and out of control everyone else seems when I'm completely sober. Of course, that leads me to wonder how I might appear to others who are sober when I'm not...

Anyway, the show by DSO, as usual, was fantastic. I mentioned yesterday that I try to guess when the show that's being re-created was originally played. The first set seemed to put the show in 1973 or 1974, although it turned out that some songs in that set weren't played until 1976 - something that I didn't realize.

The second set opened with Samson and Delilah. I knew that song, from the Terrapin Station album, hadn't been played live before 1976. Thanks to DeadBase, an online searchable database for Deadheads, I found out that 6/3/1976 was the first time Samson and Delilah was played live. That show featured 5 new songs that the Dead had never played live before, including two others that were in last night's first set - Supplication and Lazy Lightning. If I really knew my Dead history, those songs would have put the show in 1976 or later early on.

My favorite Grateful Dead set lists are from their tours in 1976 and 1977, although the quality of the music didn't always match the quality of the set lists. I've read that part of the reason for the shows being less than spectacular in that era had to do with the use of alcohol by one of the band members and that Jerry wasn't happy about it. There is a certain irony in that, given how poorly Jerry played under the influence of heroin and other drugs at times.

By the end of the show, I was guessing that the show had been in late 1976, but it turned out to be from 6/4/1977 in California (setlist from Deadbase):

06-04-77 The Forum, Inglewood, Ca. (Sat)
1: Promised, Tennessee Jed, El Paso, Peggy-O, Jack Straw, FOTD, Lazy Lightning> Supplication, Candyman, Minglewood, B. E. Women, Music
2: Samson, Ship Of Fools, Estimated> Eyes> Drums> Good Lovin, Terrapin> Playin> Franklin's> China Doll> NFA> Playin E: Saturday Night

Deadbase's mnemonics for certain songs are easily deciphered by Deadheads, but not by everyone else. For example, Promised is "Promised Land". Pretty straightforward. FOTD is "Friend of the Devil". B.E. Women is "Brown Eyed Women". Etc.

After they announced the date of the show, I was going to head home for some sleep, and skip the last song or two that they usually play. But, before I could head for the door, the band introduced Mike Gordon, the bass player from Phish, who would sit in for the next song. They played U.S. Blues and Mike really seemed to have fun with it. I had seem him play with Phil Lesh and Friends a couple years ago, where he and Phil did a free jam, while Mike was standing on a Seqway. Seeing him up close last night made me think he may have used that Segway because he's so short.

I got home just before 2:30 a.m. and got about 5.5 hours of sleep last night. If I was younger, I'd go see DSO again tonight, but I'm old and I've got more important things to do with my spare time these days.

Tonight, I'll run about 8 miles after work, including 6 x 2 minute repeats at about 6:30 pace. Then, I'll have dinner and get to bed early.


Jamie said...

Sounds like a good time. Wish I would have seen the Dead play (or Phish) when I was younger, but my musical tastes were much different back then.

Thanks also for the kind words about my friend Chris. That meant a lot, and I have a feeling what you said will apply to me as well.

Damon said...

I only saw the Dead once before Jerry died and I saw Phish once. I've seen the post-Jerry versions of the Dead and their various splinter bands at least 15 times, maybe more. Not the same, but still a great show.

One of the readers of my blog was almost late for his wedding in Chicago because of traffic problems caused by what turned out to be the very last Grateful Dead show.