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Free The Dead Roseland Ballroom

Photo By Dave

Okay - I know I said in my last post that I didn't win tickets to The Dead at one of the three free shows, billed as "Free The Dead", they played at three different venues (Angel Orensanz Center, Gramercy Theatre, and Roseland Ballroom) throughout NYC on 3/30/09 - but when I got up Monday and read my email I got my confirmation from GDTSTOO early that morning. I won a pair of tix for the 11:00 PM Roseland Ballroom show, the last of four performances (if you count Lesh, Weir, and Warren Haynes' appearance on ABC's The View that morning) by members of the Grateful Dead in one day. These shows were like an extension of the old free Haight Ashbury shows the Grateful Dead put together in the Sixties, fourty some-odd years later, and it was my first time seeing The Dead for free; a wonderful gift from The Boys! I'm Grateful to have won these tix and can't wait to see The Dead on the upcoming Spring Tour after seeing this powerful set of music. Warren Haynes jumped out of the Allman Brothers Band frying pan into the Grateful Dead fire after his fifteen night stint at The Beacon Theatre with the ABB, seeming to switch styles seemlessly, and giving us a glimpse of things to come this Spring Tour.

Tom, Dave (me), Jeanette

I got there on time to pick up my free tickets and meet my friends for a few drinks at the Russian piano bar accross 52nd street. The cherry infused vodka got me in the right frame of mind and I headed in for the show. The Dead started off strong with Garcia's Althea - "this place is gettin' hot" - and really never let up through an hour and fifty minute set ending with Not Fade Away - "You know our love will Not Fade Away"! The full set looked like this:

Althea, Cassidy, Uncle Johns Band> Eyes Of The World> St. Stephen> Dark Star> Sugar Magnolia (E)Not Fade Away

Mickey, Billy, Phil, Bobby, Warren

Most of the Jerry songs were sung by the "singer by commitee" method - that is they swiched off on the lead vocals between Warren, Bobby, and Phil - much the same way they did at the Deadheads For Obama shows. They sounded like they're ready to play on this tour and after some rehearsals back in California they'll kick off strong on April 12th in Greensboro, NC. It's just such a big sound with the rhythm section of Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzman, and Phil Lesh. I've missed that! With the core four and Haynes and Jeff Chimenti it really sounds nice. These are guys who know this music and can play and improvise on it. They should make some magic happen on The Dead Spring Tour. It was great to see The Dead in such a small venue and the sponteneity of this gift show from the band made it even sweeter and remeniscent of my Grateful Dead past. How many times did I do one or two Grateful Dead shows and get the itch to do some more? Here are the setlists from the earlier appearances The Dead made that day:

ABC's The View
Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Warren Haynes Acoustic

Friend Of The Devil

Angel Orensanz Center for the Arts
Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Warren Haynes Acoustic

Dire Wolf, Bird Song, Cumberland Blues, Pride Of Cucumunga, Lazy River Road, Casey Jones, Ripple

Blender Theatre @ Gramercy

Playin' In The Band -> Good Lovin' -> The Wheel -> Franklin's Tower -> encore Touch Of Grey

After listening to Downloads of all of these sets I feel that the Roseland Ballroom set was the best sounding of the three. What do you think? Let me know by commenting.

Download Free The Dead shows Here


Zooomabooma said...

Hey Now, that's sooooo cool that you got to go to a show. Part of me needs to kick myself for never moving back to the NYC burbs where I grew up so close to The City. I may not've gotten tickets but at least I'd've been close enough to give it a whirl.

As far as sound, I'm not sure how different Shows 2 and 3 are. Personally, and I'm not sure why, I actually like Show 2 better. Maybe I need to listen to 'em again to better compare. Then again, I hate comparing show performances. All in all, a good day of music. Definitely an interesting one!

Unfortunately only lossless can be had at the download link you provided. I sure as heck know a great many people don't embrace torrenting yet so if any o' your readers would like the easier to manage mp3 files, I've got 'em at my blog (Shows 1 & 3 as of this comment, Middle show later today.) Feel free to stop and by and download to your heart's delight!

dave@davesjoint said...

Thanks for the comment Zoom...I agree the second show was a nice set too. Real long jam on the Playin'. No complaints on any of these Free The Dead sets! I was merely commenting that I was happy I caught the one I did. I'll visit your Blog soon and comment there. Keep in touch, Dave