I’m working on something about the Dylan and the Dead tour, but here’s the show that started me down this dark and out-of-tune path: 7/10/87 at JFK in Philadelphia.
TotD is in favor of the show; Psychic Bodyguard and enjoyer of drizzle and Volvos Mr. Completely has reasonably disagreed.
My arguments include, but are not limited to, the following:
- A nifty truncated show–a highlights version that manages, because it’s the Dead, to be longer than the actual thing–with a great “first set” full of little-played 80’s faves: Iko, Brother Esau, and When Push Comes to Shove: all played snappily and with the crisp energy that permeates this entire show.
- A short-but-sweet Drums (with copious Beam-banging by Mickey) is topped by a retro Garcia-solo Space, ’78-style.
- The Dylan set is just that: a Dylan set, just with a slightly-less deferential backing band than he’d ever worked with before (except The Band, of course.) Dylan had a lot in common with the Dead (for example, they both played a lot of Dylan tunes) but one massive discrepancy was the intent: while Dylan and, say, Phil were both capable of playing a song in a new key he’d just invented, Dylan was doing it on purpose to bother people.
- And there’s some great shit in the Dylan set! It roars out of the gate with a zippy Tangled Up in Blue and steams through Stuck Inside of Mobile>Chimes of Freedom, into an aborted stab at Queen Jane, then on to a truly killer Gotta Serve Somebody.
- Admittedly, Joey is longer than the actual gang war that inspired the song.
- Watchtower: all killer, no filler. MY POINT RHYMES.
His arguments include, and are limited to, the following:
- It sucks.
One might say we’re both right…from a certain point of view.
Oh my god, you’re the worst.