Spaced In | Earth | 09/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was at this show, which was excellent. The quality of the DVD is also excellent. So what is missing?
Well, you know, you really had to be there. Once you've seen the Dead enough times the recordings are awesome because you can extrapolate what it really sounded like. I feel for those who've never seen them. They'll never really know.
The sound by then was incredible. I don't think it can be reproduced in someone's home. You'd have to turn up a really clean sound system extremely loud and listen from another room. I mean shaking the neighbors pictures off the wall loud. And maybe sit in the neighbors yard. In a live show the dynamics are so wide you'll just never get that at home. I recall a crescendo so powerful the crowd began cheering. On the DVD you can barely hear the cheering and you wonder why they are.
So I have mixed feelings about this. The quality of the DVD is about the best you can get, but after being there it reminds me we only have tape of Jerry now. The show is good, but they had so many great shows, it's too bad more of those weren't captured. 1982 is still my favorite Alpine show. Everybody was dancing. I mean you had to dance through the aisles just to stop bumping into people.
I initially hated the Dead and thought they were awful. But after seeing them the first couple of times, even those old CD's are incredible. Most musicians are talented but play predictably. A few have a knack for finding these awesome grooves. But Jerry played from so many places you don't know how he thought to put a bluegrass riff here or a gorgeous accent there. Switching style, key signatures, rhythms like a technician, yet putting it all together into this wonderful cohesive whole, what at first listen sounds like ramblings gradually blossoms into a symphonic adventure. The 100th time you continue to find new subtexts, and as you delve into the music he learned from, you just marvel at how he kept all that in his head and wove it into his art.
So here is a little glimpse of one of those rare characters that make life so fascinating. Each point in his career is interesting. Lacking a bit of the youthful unpredictability, here is an experienced musician, playing extremely well. Surrounded by one of the top rhythm guitarists in the business, one of the most original bass players, and extraordinary keyboards and percussion, this one is a no-brainer."