Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Review - The Dead - MSG, NY, NY - 4/25/09

This review of The Dead show in Madison Square Garden on 4/25/09 comes courtesy of my friend Jason in NYC.

"MSG 4/25/09

Hear it now at: http://www.archive.org/details/thedead2009-04-25.jwmod.akg.469.v2.sd722.suraci.sbeok.flac16

Great show. Fun energy. The singing of the entire crowd often dwarfed the vocals from the stage. People we happy to be at MSG with the band after so many years absent.

What a set list!?!? Interesting, with lots of psychedelic classics. Lots of nostalgia. I realized at the end that the “newest” song they played was Shakedown, which is over 30 years old now. (BTW I called Shakedown about two thirds of the way through China Cat; there must’ve been hints since I believe that that’s a relatively random combination… but I felt it in my soul as a “WWWPD” moment. By the way that’s “what would Weird People do?”) [Tony's note: Weird People was the band Jason played in at our college.]

Bobby’s vocals seemed weak. He often wasn’t singing, it was more like he was doing some sort of “I’m a little short of breath” scatting. But then again it was him or Phil…

Anytime Warren sang or played a lead it was a highlight and it felt like a sudden surge from an I.V. drip of energy for the band and audience alike. In terms of other new blood in the band, I really would have liked to hear a lot more of the keyboardist. His solo on Sugaree was good (the song was probably the night’s highlight) and lit up the crowd, but was ultimately a bit derivative. I’d love to see someone on keys to rival Warren in terms of energy and creativity… someone who can inject some new creative energy to the band, rather than play it safe and continue the status quo, which seems like it’s a little tired and lagging, in general, based on the MSG show and other recent Dead shows I’ve listened to online.

Sugaree was the highlight of the night.

He’s Gone was the unofficial “remember Jerry” moment of the first set for the audience.

I had never seen Born Cross Eyed, The Eleven, or Gimme Shelter live before. So that was some good icing on the cake of a solid evening. Gimme Shelter cooked and was pretty hard-hitting and bad-ass by mellow Dead standards.

Ultimately a really great show and I was inspired to see them on future return visits to the city.

Set list below:

--Set 1--
Cosmic Charlie
China Cat Sunflower>
Shakedown Street
Ship Of Fools
He's Gone

--Set 2--
Space/Cryptical Envelopment>
Other One>
Born Cross Eyed>
St Stephen>
The Eleven>
Uncle John's Band>
Unbroken Chain>
Gimme Shelter>
One More Saturday Night

Brokedown Palace

For another perspective, here is the review from Reuters news service: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090427/music_nm/us_music_dead_3.