Sunday, April 8, 2012

Grateful Dead Live at the Swing Auditorium, 1980



Note: More bread to come next week. I am celebrating Passover this week, so no bread for me! But I will be baking with a vengeance next week, you just wait......

I have not listened to this show for a long time, so I thought I would give it a listen and post it for this weeks Grateful Dead show. I really love it when the Dead start off a show with a fast paced song such as Bertha or Promised Land or Alabama Get Away. Especially when they play two quick short tunes in a Chuck Berry-esque Style. I love to listen to Jerry on these tunes because he is so versatile. The first line of Alabama Getaway always puts a smile on my face and Friend of the Devil is pretty sweet. It's nothing really outstanding, but it's a nice mellow rendition of a classic tune. 

I know the song Cassidy is not actually in this show, but I feel like talking about it so here goes nothing. There are a few lines from this song that I really like and they are coming from the chorus. I quote Robert Hunter all the time in casual conversations. He truly has a gift for using words magically.


"Flight of the seabirds,
Scattered like lost words,
Wheel to the storm and fly" 

On one hand, these words are poetic, but they also remind us to take control of our lives and to pursue our dreams. Who cares if its raining, just get going! Take one step, then another and then another. 

The second part of the chorus that I absolutely love is:

"Fare thee well now, let your life proceed by it's own design.
Nothing to tell now, let the words be yours, Im done with mine."

I really try to live my life by these words. I read so much into these words and on so many different levels. Most importantly I think it embodies compassion and acceptance. I have said my piece and now I want to hear what you have to say. It really sends a wonderful and peaceful message to me, especially after it follows the seabird simile. 
I feel that our goals and dreams often becomes clouded or foggy and that our actions become scattered. When you put these two quotes together you get a very interesting effect. You get a combination of darkness and light; of connectedness and ambivalence.  

In the second set, they start off with Scarlet Begonia> Fire on the Mountain, and I love this as a set opener. The jam is so fluid and free and Bobby's rhythm work in Fire on the Mountain is just so moving to me. Check out Bobby at about 8:30 into Fire.  Man, he goes crazy and I love it! The organ also adds a nice edge to the tune. Check out the drumming from about 10:45 till the end! The amazing thing about Fire on the Mountain is that it only contains two Chords: B and A, yet it goes on for a very interesting ten plus minutes. That is what a player like Weir can do to just about any song!

It gets even better because these two tunes are followed by Estimated Prophet into Eyes of the World. Four of the Dead's greatest open and jammy songs. 

The drums are just dancing in the second set.  The two drummers work so tightly with one another, almost as if they are bartering in rhythm. It is a lesson of rhetoric through toms and symbols; a blur of triplets, rim shots and syncopation. 

And to fit a Nice Wharf Rat in there! Hell Yes! This is a very lyrical song, I like Robert Hunter's more lyrical songs such as Wharf Rat, and Terrapin Station. 

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