Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Dead - Charlottesville, Va

So the day after seeing the Dead in DC, we journeyed back down Rt. 29 to Charlottesville to see them at the relatively new John Paul Jones Arena at UVA. Cousin John and his lovely wife Sandy hosted us, and despite the damp weather, we were able to have some drinks (Bubba!!!) and food on the tailgate before the show. FA and some of the guys from the Eastern Shore were there and they always make the scene fun.

The JPJ arena is a great place for concerts, small venue with very good sound, easy to get in and out, all in all a very nice experience. And the Dead rose again to the occasion, dipping into their extensive catalog and thus far they have not duplicated any songs. They started off with "New Speedway Boogie", "Bertha", and "High Time", then a song that I was not familiar with "Masons Children". Davis tells me this was never released on an album, but only as a single in the '60's. Then a very bluesy "Big Boss Man" and "Doing that Rag". The entire first set, except for the final song "Standing on the Moon" were originally recorded before 1971. Warren's slide guitar work really fits in nicely with these old tunes.

After the break, a very jammed out version of "Playing in the Band", a space jam that led into "St. Stephen", then more extended jamming. At several points both Bobby and Warren are playing slide guitar and I noted that the music had a very Allman Brothers like sound. I also think they did about 10 seconds of "Foxy Lady" in there, but that might have been Bubba talking to me. After "Half Step Mississippi" and "Lazy River" they reprised back into "Playing in the Band". I really like it when they bring you back to where they started with a reprise like that, they also did it in DC with "Dark Star". I should also complement these guys for obviously rehearsing their vocals/harmonies, there are spots in these shows when the preparation really shows. A rocking encore with "G-L-O-R-I-A". We retreated to the parking lot for more drinks and snacks until security kicked us out (politely I might add, checking that we had a designated driver). Thanks again to John and Sandy for letting us crash at their house. Now a week off before we head up to Madison Square Garden and the Big Apple!!!

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