Three shows this week in the Dick’s Picks series. Numbers 1,2 and 3. All was going well until I started with number 3. 5/22/77 at the Hollywood Sportatorium, this has to be a made up word. The horrors of disco Dead comes screaming out of my car speakers with Dancing In The Streets. This was in a pre-ironic hipster world so there is nothing humorous about this. It’s just plain awful to the point I had to stop listening. I am not ready for the Dead in ’77 and Jerry’s guitar tone is all wrong.
Scarred by this I retreated to my own space, a safe space and looked at Vol 1 of the Dick’s Picks series. Tampa Florida 1973 seemed like a good choice, so here we go. Lot’s of fun a nice track list, and they managed to wrestle Nobody’s Fault But Mine back from Zeppelin. The Dead are on form for this one, the bass is melodic and Jerry doesn’t ramble too much. Stella Blue is as great as it should be and the Weather Report Suite rocks along nicely.
Flushed with success on to Vol 2 In Ohio. This one leaves you feeling a little cheated as it is only half the show. Of course that may be a good thing. Dark Star is there with 24 minutes and I made it all the way so not too bad.
So my findings so far is that fear the later years, I am assured by my Deadhead friends that it is not all so scary out there. The utilitarian album covers are a little disappointing as the best part of the Dead at times is the artwork. I also realize that I am not really adding anything apart from tracking my own journey here. It is interesting to note that between shows while songs are the same they somehow have an intangible quality that manages to make them different. The kind of folksy amateur hour approach is also a lot of fun.