Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Third Set

  • This is where we were sitting.
  • IMG_1839
  • Now I am sitting on my couch.
  • Holy Roman Emperors couldn’t do this type of thing
  • Shakedown Street had to be the opener because it was the Fourth of July and the Dead don’t have any songs that usually open shows that also mention the holiday.
  • Maybe in 37 more years, Deadheads will come to a consensus about what beat the WOO in Shakedown is on.
  • Killin’ It Now: Bobby, who is a sea-captain.
  • Things we now know about Jeff Chimenti: he is married.
  • Things we can now speculate about Jeff Chimenti: he prefers to make love to his wife in tandem with Bruce, as well.
  • Mickey is not–I repeat, NOT–wearing a Dead shirt.
  • But he puts one on for the second set, and it’s still a drumming shirt he’s got on, and Billy’s wearing a Dead shirt, so you know: don’t worry.
  • Not only is Billy covering the “guy wearing the shirt of the band he’s currently in” base, but it’s a bitchin’ shirt.
  • This is the shirt, but this is not Billy.
  • “Hey, guys: what do you like best about America?”
  • “Freedom.”
  • “Liberty.”
  • “Being left alone.”
  • “Well, that song’s written.”
  • ‘Wait, don’t put your pen down: does the chorus have a chord that’s wrong?”
  • “It does now!”
  • Out of all the songs from Chicago, this was the one that got in my head.
  • That wasn’t funny.
  • Killin’ It Now: Bruce.
  • I’ve never claimed to be Deadier-than-thou and this song is no exception: I do not know it very well.
  • It’s not a particularly good song
  • I guess that Hunter thought freedom and liberty were self-explanatorily good things, but I prefer a reasoned argument for rugged individualism in my choogly-type songs.
  • Oh, by the way: next motherfucker that steals “choogly” is getting bitten.
  • I will give you human bites on your torso.
  • Mickey just reached out for the towel that was not there and gave his Benjy a look of withering death.
  • Ah.
  • Right.
  • Dammit.
  • We come, Enthusiasts, to the first hiccup of the night: Standing on the Moon.
  • No problem with the tune: it’s a strong, if a bit underdone, addition to the roster of Garcia Weepers.
  • No problem with the performance: Troubadour Arglebargle’s untrained wisp of a voice has a lot in common with Garcia’s reedy tenor and he sings and plays well.
  • Also, he does not update the lyrics and change El Salvador to Afghanistan or some bullshit like that.
  • No, the problem is that it’s still light out, man.
  • Maaaaaan.
  • It’s not really even a metaphor: the narrator’s literally standing on the moon looking down at Earth.
  • However, the temptation to project, like, Garcia faces all over the place when the line about being with you came around was avoided and that is a good thing.
  • Killin’ It Now: Fuckin’ Treyvon, broham.
  • Do not question; back the fuck up; let the man and his rock and roll balls go through.
  • blimp view saturday
  • It’s about this dark now.
  • How do you blow the moon thing?
  • Anyway, I love Me and My Uncle and sang along with it at the top of my lungs, and so did a lot of other folks.
  • Billy continues to hate Bobby’s cowboy songs and have an awful poker face.
  • Bobby is now singing Tennessee Jed, but now Bruce is singing Tennessee Jed.
  • Has Bruce always sounded like a mystical hobo from New Orleans?
  • When Bobby sings the line about the law coming to getcha, he mimes a cop pulling his collar.
  • Did he always want to do that?
  • Like, every time Garcia sang the line, he was thinking, “If I ever get my shot, this is how Bobby’d do it.”
  • Sure, the tempo could be faster.
  • Lots of things could be lots of things, man.
  • Phil’s having the time of his crazy life.
  • Just smiling and grinning and happy to be out of the restaurant.
  • Trey and Bruce should do stuff together: their voices blend and they seem to be always trying to catch each other’s eye onstage, except there’s 80 feet in between
  • Music stuff.
  • Gay stuff if they want, and they’re upfront with their wives and families about their desires, and each other with their boundaries.
  • Fun fact: Both of their safe words is “Benjy.”
  • This Jed is being rampaged upon.
  • Bite the curb, Jed.
  • I told you to bite the fucking curb, Jed.
  • Seriously: why?
  • I mean, I love Cumberland as much as the next guy, as long as the next guy is mostly all right with Cumberland.
  • Plus, they did it in Santa Clara.
  • Oh, God, are they trying to do an Americana set?
  • Godammit, Grateful Dead: you are outrunning your coverage.
  • Millionaires in a stadium dedicated to soldiers singing a song about impoverished miners to PTA members.
  • There are great shots of the crowd taken by the Wallenda-Cam.
  • That’s not its real name; I don’t know what the thing is called; I mean the robot camera suspended from the parapets of the stadium by four cables.
  • You saw them at football games starting five years ago or so and now I guess they’re for everything and they ZIIIIIP and zzzzzzOOOOM around the playing field, but forty feet up or so, which in some intangible way now extends the playing field upwards and makes the whole shebang a much more dramatic deal.
  • It is not, though, a drone.
  • Robot, sure, but not a drone.
  • They’re coming, though: give it five years before those jabberwhatnots are flitting around the stadium getting every possible angle.
  • Until the fans in Philadelphia start throwing D batteries at them, knocking them from the sky, and amputating the faces of several innocent children and Phanatics.
  • In Oakland, several unemployed crystal meth dealers hurled themselves off the mezzanine at the drones, bringing them down in the ways of the Sky People, and lighting revel fires where the technofucks crashed and died.
  • In Arlington, when the drones launched at the first Cowboy game of the year, the fans began to worship the drones, thinking them to be many small Jesuses.
  • Little Red Rooster would have been a lot tougher to get through if I didn’t have my friend Imagination.
  • Friend of the Devil was always one of my favorite Phil songs, and Truffleoil shoves a pen in the ear of the solo.
  • I like the fast version of this song, and I also like the slow one.
  • I might like Lyle Lovett’s the best, but don’t tell anyone.
  • This version always reminded me of the suits men wore in the Old West.
  • Starched collars and wool and formality while the land got stolen and the rivers started to die.
  • Plus cello.
  • Cellos make anything seem solemn and ethereal.
  • I may or may not have muted Phil of the Devil to listen to Lyle Lovett, but I’m back now for the set-ending Deal.
  • Singers have certain keys they like – it’s not that they can;t hit the notes in some keys, but their voices don’t sound right.
  • Deal is in the right key for Treyvon and Bruce.
  • I would like to see those two in a a reality show.
  • Trustfund has several faces that he enjoys making at crowds: we’ll get to the others, but his Rocking Face is passable.
  • Oh, but now he’s doing some sort of thing with his mouth that is quite unsettling.
  • He is also Garcianating all over the stage
  • Adorable Dead Nonsense #3,911: if you’re a classical musician–in the symphony, orchestra, any of that shit–and you turn your head at a fellow musician’s mistake, you might as well pack your oboe case.
  • Firable offense and one of the most massive breaches of etiquette you can make.
  • It’s up there with fucking a guy’s tuba.
  • You don’t turn around when someone clams, and you don’t fuck strangers’ brass instruments.
  • No matter how bad that slutty tuba is asking for it.
  • Bobby, on the other hand, stares at people and throws up his hands, which is both adorable and nonsense.
  • Dude, set ended ten minutes ago.
  • I was on a roll.


  1. Yeeeessss. I’m with you on the Lyle.

  2. Truffleoil

    I literally threw my fucking phone onto my bed and just walked away for a sec

  3. A material reason I bought my house was finding a pic of Lyle and the former owner in it (the picture and the house) during one visit.

    I also like my eggs over easy, with flour tortillas.

  4. Not enough disdain for Bobby choosing to do Rooster.

  5. Re turning your head at another musician’s mistake, Nick Mason (Pink Floyd) recently said in an interview:

    “Certainly the first rule of drumming is that if you make a mistake, turn round and look angrily at the bass player.”

  6. hugh.c.mcbride

    July 17, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    If I ever decide to take my clothes off for money, I’m going with “Troubadour Arglebargle” for my stage name. I will, of course, tithe an appropriate amount of my earnings to ToTD as a royalty payment.

    If I were ToTD, I would not anticipate a windfall from this endeavor, should it ever happen, which it won’t.

    Unless, of course, it does.

  7. Little Red Rooster was perfectly timed to let those of us on the East Coast go outside and watch the fireworks going off.

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