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Saturday, November 19

One of the Weirdest Setlists ever for Tonight's 30 Days of Dead Shows: 8-16-91 Shoreline

Last night I posted a show that was the first of the nineties. This show is heavy on one of the best parts of the nineties. This show Bruce was absolutely on fire. The setlist is an anomaly and it works because of Bruce. Shall we go back to 8-16-91  

The band kicks off this quirky Bruce-fest with a hot pairing of "Jack Straw" and "Bertha" and after Phil shakes off some bass weirdness they are all on board for the rest of the show. It's a fairly short first set and the band is firing on all cylinders with Bruce really pushing Jerry and Jerry pushing back to lift the whole band up. One of the thing about the nineties that I've found was that Jerry was the x-factor. The rest of the band were generally "on" and kicked it up when the real "Jerry" was there to join them. After the epic Dylan poetry of "Desolation Row" that has Bobby picking up the acoustic, they break into a surprise first set "Dark Star". This isn't the greatest of versions and I've even seen it on some "worst" lists but this is the first time they played it in the first set since 71' and you can feel why. There was some method to the madness and they played it because poster artist Rick Griffiths had just had a motorcycle accident and was there. So they played it just for him, which must be an amazing feeling. Jerry busts out the MIDI and plays horn for a while and it doesn't really go anywhere but it's always nice to hear. I guess this mess of a "Dark Star" had to end up in "The Promised Land" to close the set. 
The second set is where this show really heats up and I remember wearing out my copy of this show back when I just had the second set on tape. This set was led by Bruce and was the only "Scarlet>Victim>Fire" that I have ever heard of them playing. Jerry blew a verse in Scarlet but Bruce led them down the tunnel towards on of the scariest sounding renditions of "Victim or the Crime" that I have ever heard. Bruce was teasing the melody so hard that Bobby grabbed on and said okay and finally Jerry jumped in and the drummers put the beat down and Vince came in and it was full bore. I don't think they ever played this combo again and this set was cooking all the way through afterwards. After the opening trio the band swung into "Truckin'" and after a great "Drums>Space" where Mickey gets deep in the beam, There's a nice "Playin reprise" to come out of space and go into the wonderful Garcia/Hunter ballad "Standing on the Moon"that despite fumbling some lyrics at the beginning makes up for at the end by pouring on what he still had. The outro guitar solo for the song is a wonderful bit of Garcia. Following the spacious, anthemic anti-war song, Weir turned up the volume for a "Good Lovin'" that the whole band got into. It sounds like Jerry almost lost his voice singing "doctor,doctor" and the band ends the night with a solid "U.S. Blues". 
 There are all-around better shows in 91' and they are coming up but I wanted to post this one to show that they still had the creative juices flowing and 90-91 were some pretty fertile years for the band. This is a Bruce show. This is for all of those that enjoy hearing weird setlists and the band reaching for it and even if they don't make it, feel good that they were still trying to grab the gold ring in a dark time.

Greg Heffelfinger

Grateful Dead
Shoreline Amp. Mountain View,CA

First Set:

Jack Straw
It's All Over Now
Ramble On Rose
Desolation Row
Dark Star >
The Promised Land 

Second Set:

Scarlet Begonias >
Victim Or The Crime >
Fire On The Mountain 
Drums >
Space >
Playing In The Band >
Standing On The Moon >
Good Lovin'


U.S. Blues

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