In Between Tours...
James P. Gallant | Boston, MA | 10/14/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Dead fans consider Jerry Garcia to be the de facto "leader of the band." The perceptions are unshakeable, even though Garcia shared singing and songwriting duties over the band's storied career with Bob Weir, Pig Pen, Phil Lesh, and Brent Mydland.
Enter the Jerry Garcia Band, an "in between tours" project for Garcia that enabled the singer and guitarist to abandon the weight of being the ringleader of rock's most prolific touring carnival.
A-list musicians like Melvin Seals (organ and piano), John Kahn (bass), and Jackie LaBranch and Gloria Jones (vocals) joined Garcia to barnstorm the U.S. with a repertoire that featured originals and covers culled from Motown, Stax/Volt, the Beatles, reggae pioneers, Dylan, and blues masters.
While the Dead filled football stadiums with tens of thousands, the Garcia Band played to smaller but no less enthusiatic crowds in hockey arenas. These shows seemed to relax and energize Garcia, and "Live at Shoreline" showcases the JGB at the top of its game.
First set highlights include an extended jam of Lennon's "Dear Prudence" and a slinky, bump and grind of Peter Tosh's "Stop That Train." The light show bathes the band in muted reds and oranges, replete with closeups of Garcia's fingers nimbly taming his custom Irwin axe. A rolliciking "Deal" closes the set with an authority that rivals any version played by the Dead.
Set two is no slouch either. "Think" burns with Memphis soul and Gospel-blues fervor courtesy of LaBranch and Jones. "Lucky Old Sun," a favorite of Ray Charles, is a perfect ballad for an emotive Garcia, punctuated by a B-3 break by Seals that threatens to cave the roof. "Tangled Up in Blue" is read faithfully by Garcia with guitar heroics that enhance Dylan's epic vision.
Even though about fifteen thousand witnessed this punchy show, this DVD seems like an intimate club show. Enjoy the JGB in your living room for the first, and hopefully not the last, time."
Andrew Clayton | Little Rock, AR | 01/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is in the ranks of the top 5 DVD releases starring Jerry. The show was obviously not recorded with a high profile release in mind, but there are more angle shots and the 'feeling of a concert' than previous reviews suggest. In fact, while I type this I see a bunch of bobbing heads and full stage setup on a shot from the soundboard. Great shots of Jerry. Kahn is a bit shadowed but there are still nice shots of him on each tune. The band just doesn't have a setup like, say, The Cure, which is contrived to be a show. This takes nothing from the DVD. The pictures are crisp, the sound is ALIVE, and Jerry is smiling the whole way through. What else can you ask for? The show is similiar to the self titled live CD that came out in the 90s that we've all listened to a billion times.
On a personal note, I've had this DVD for over a week now and still wake up and think of jamming that Dear Prudence. It has been years since I've done that, and I feel like I can truly rejoice in Jerry's performance rather than place a somber (or an overly historic) tone on it. His smile is just too big, and the confidence from the stage is enormous!!
Certainly the best release by the Jerry Estate to date, and the price is right."
gr8fuldno | Arizona, USA | 09/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Seven stars. I have a large number of concert dvds in my collection, and it is a rare thing when video can capture the magic of the performance. As a connoisseur of the live performance, this is one of those rare moments.
Jerry Garcia had many facets to his personality. He could take you to wondrous places....to the jazzy outskirts of the universe and back, down home to Appalachia, or to "church". It's that spiritual side that is revealed here...pure soul.
Void of technical disturbances and well balanced picture and sound allows you to get lost in the performance."
Not $13.99, Priceless!
NotTakenID | San Francisco, CA | 08/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"$13.99 to see JGB in all their glory while surrounded by 5.1 in the comfort of your home seems too good to be true. The show is amazing, as they all where, Jerry and Melvin being particularly "on". A friend stopped by and asked me how much I paid for the DVD, my response was does it matter? Those of you who were lucky enough to have seen this show now have a great memento, those of you who did not now can, and for less then the price of the ticket! My only wish is that DVD had been produced with a "visible lyrics" option... sure I know all the words, but reading them along with the show has always brought new incite for me... kick back and fire up the vaporizer, this one is a must have!"