Saturday, May 2, 2009
The Dead - Philadelphia, PA (5/1)
The Bird and I got through Baltimore and Philly traffic on Friday to make it time to the Philadelphia Spectrum (or "Rectum" as the locals call it). They're going to tear down this building soon, so these 2 shows will be the first and last shows here for me.
We got to our seats just as the band kicked in with the first number "Playing in the Band", a great way to start the show! That morphed into a long nice jam, then they played "Mississippi Half Step Uptown Toodleloo". Then a slow and easy "Lazy River" with Warren taking a nice guitar solo. The next two tunes got the crowd energized again, "New Speedway Boogie" and "Shakedown Street". "Shakedown Street" finished acapella/funky soul style "Shake it down, shake it down now". Then a long jam that morphed into "Dupree's Diamonds" and they got the crowd jumping again with "Hard to Handle". On that one Warren took the lead vocals and it was more of a "Warren Haynes song" with the Dead backing (which was fine). Warren and Bobby did some guitar solo's back and forth, then they did "Friend of the Devil". Just like their television appearance on the The View, Phil sang the little extra verse at the end that Jerry never did for some reason.
You can borrow from the Devil
You can borrow from a friend
But the Devil give you twenty
When your friend got only ten
Then they reprised a really nice jazzy "Playing in the Band" to complete the circle and finish the set.
The Bird and I were in a section that was crowded (there was no security so guys would just stand in the aisles) so we decided to use the Intermission time to walk around and check out the view from behind the stage where one our tickets for tonight is located. Just like Madison Square Garden sitting behind the stage is pretty cool. It wasn't crowded at all, we were much closer and the sound was way better, and you get a great view of the drummers, which I really like. So we stayed there for the entire second set, which started with a slow jam of cascading notes that turned into "Jack Straw". Then "Alligator" and "Caution" with Warren handling the vocals. He plays the Pigpen role well in these types of tunes. Then a really long (again "jazzy" in my notes) with Phil playing a fast "walking bass" rhythm that kept it moving at a good pace. Space Jam and Drumz, always entertaining for me, if I haven't mentioned it before Jeff C. has been joining Billy and Mickey on Drumz providing some additional psychedelic sounds. The band came back out for "Loose Lucy" and "Comes A Time" which was played ballad style with Warren singing. Lots of Warren vocals in this show. Then they rocked to the finish line with "Cold Rain and Snow" and "Sugar Magnolia/Sunshine Daydream".
"Box of Rain" for the encore and it was over.
Going over it all again this morning, this description of the show reads much better than it felt last night to both us. We both felt like it was just a little "lackluster" although I can't point to any specific issues. On the ride up to Philly I pointed out that this was the first Dead show that the Bird and I have attended just as a couple, without a bunch of other folks. She reminded me of 2004 at Nissan (we met Wayne there), but I don't think that had anything to do with it. Though we did miss Davis.
Anyway, Jack the Wad will be joining us tonight and we'll do it all again! Stay tuned...