Thursday, May 12, 2016

Movie Meet Up 2016 (1989-07-02 Sullivan Stadium)

     Here's another Thursday review, this time it's of 2016's Meet Up At The Movies!  I've been going to these for the last three years, and each year it's a real good time.  My parents and I went down the the theater in Dedham, MA, stopping at the Yardhouse restaurant (we'll be stopping at another before the Fenway Dead & Comapny shows too) for great beers and food before the show.  I only spotted two other Dead Heads in the restaurant, but a lot of us were coming from work and couldn't be as decked-out in apparel as usual.

     I managed to stay relatively ignorant of the setlist, despite the best efforts of and Fathom Events.  I, like Blair Jackson, like to stay more-or-less in the dark about the setlist of a show when I can avoid it.  Obiovusly when it comes to downloading shows I have to look at the setlist to judge whether or not it's worth the effort to download it.  But when it comes to shows that I know I'll see or listen to either way, I think it's best to go in with an open mind.  I know it's not the same as actually being at the show, but it helps to try to recreate that experience of being at the whim of the band.

     One thing that set this year's Meet Up apart from the others is that a lot of the people in the theater (there were a cuple dozen of us in total) had actually been at this show from Foxboro, and it meant a lot to them to see it again.  The guy next to me was beaming the whole night!  The show was preceeded and followed by clips of Dead & Company (the same clip), but I'll write more about that at the bottom.  The sound was good all night, but there was some rumbling coming through the walls from the theater next to us, which was occasionally distracting.  Also, in "Friend of the Devil," Brent's piano crapped out, but I'm not sure if that's the recording, the theater, or if that actually happened.  So here's the setlist, with what will soon become my signature review style; it's too much work to make entire new sentences and paragraphs for each song when there's not always enough to say, and I'm lazy.

  • Playin' In The Band >
    • Cool as an opener, glad I didn't have it spoiled!
    • I knew at the time it wasn't a very long version, but the tape reveals that it was only about 5 minutes, which is way too short.
    • Still a great version, the whole band is really together.
    • They reprised it at the next show, which has been released as Truckin' Up to Buffalo.
      • Did they realize they were playing Buffalo next when they decided to do "Truckin'" this night?  Either they did and it's very clever, or they didn't and they totally blew a chance to make the crowd in Buffalo very happy.
  • Crazy Fingers >
    • Always a little rough, especially any version from after '76, but this is one of the best versions I've heard.
  • Wang Dang Doodle
    • WAY better than it ever was with Vince (sorry, Vince), and Jerry is emoting like a beast!
    • Everyone always cheers when Bobby forgets the words, but I think it's really just because he makes an even goofier face than normal when he does.
  • We Can Run
    • I keep thinking I'll have a breakthrough moment with this song, but I still can't get on board with it.  Love Brent, but this is not his best song.
  • Tennessee Jed
    • What a great version!
    • Jerry started emoting again, but I started to think some of his grimaces are just because of the heat; they all look like it's really hot there.
    • First time people started singing in the theater.
      • What movie rules apply at these, and what concert rules apply?  Someone should take charge and set forth movie theater conert rules, and it's not going to be me.
  • Queen Jane Approximately
    • Not my favorite Dylan-Dead song, but this might be the best version of it I've heard.
  • To Lay Me Down
    • Unfortunately the weakest part of the show.  I cheered when Jerry started it, but the band just could not agree one the tempo they were playing.
    • The look that Jerry gave the drummers when he started his solo would kill a lesser being.  The drummers seem to think Jerry's to blame, not them.
  • Cassidy
    • Again, the tape shows this as being much shorter than I thought it was at the time.
    • Definitely a highlight of the first set, very tight and far out.
  • Don't Ease Me In
    • Short but sweet, more incredibly tight playing.  Hard to believe these same guys just blew one of Jerry's best songs!
  • Friend Of The Devil
    • To open the second set??  Are you sure, Jerry?
    • Really good, they take two solo sections.
      • This may be because Brent's first solo got neutered when his piano shat the bed.
  • Truckin' >
    • Two American Beauty songs in a row, but they probably didn't know that.
    • They're all having too much fun on that stage!
    • The "ball of lightning jam" (that thing they started doing after the last verse where the jam builds higher and higher and then explodes back onto the theme.  You know what I mean) is really good and I think Jerry tricks the drummers into getting on a different downbeat, but it all works!
      • Jerry was pranking people all night.
  • He's Gone >
    • I knew this and "Truckin'" were coming, so I was glad they were back-to-back so I wouldn't keep expecting the next one.
    • Incredible, maybe the best part of the show!
    • The outro and jam show the Dead at their best.  They're all playing together and listening to each other, making eye contact, and looking like they enjoy what they're doing.
    • The Bobby/Brent dynamic during the outro could be called the first recorded bromance.
  • Eyes Of The World >
    • Jerry's pranking people again!
      • He lets the drummers think they're doing "Drums," and even tricks Bobby into leaving the stage as well...and then slams into "Eyes"!
    • Starts a little rough because of Jerry's shenanigans, but turns into the best 80's "Eyes" I can currently think of.
  • Drums/Space >
    • Exactly what you would expect.
    • Extended shot of Mickey's finger hovering above the Beam makes people laugh.
    • Very Midi-heavy "Space," but very well played.
  • The Wheel >
    • My third guess for what would come out of "Space," behind "I Need a Miracle" and "The Other One."
    • They nail it on this one, no confusion and everyone knows their parts.
  • Dear Mr. Fantasy/Hey Jude Reprise >
    • Definitely the best version of this pairing I've heard.
    • I could actually listen to this one again, and I would if there was a soundboard recording out there.
  • Sugar Magnolia
    • Surprised there wasn't a post-"Drums" ballad, but not a huge problem for me.
    • Very good, but Jerry pranks Bob by blowing the "Sunshine Daydream" beginning, which is funny, but messy.  It all works out in the end to close the hsow on a great note!
  • Encore:
  • The Mighty Quinn
    • Actually my least favorite Dylan-Dead song, but I guess this was a good version of it.

     That was the main event, and a lot of people got up to go, but then the Dead & Comapny logo filled the screen, and we were treated to an incredible "Slipknot! > Franklin's Tower"!  Interesting that they didnt include the "Help on the Way," maybe they blew it?  Maybe they only had a certain time-span?  John and Bobby traded lyrics, and spread them out a lot more, like Bobby's been doing with "The Other One" and "Estimated Prophet."  The hilarious thing is that even when Bobby has slowed the song down as much as possible, and spread the lyrics out as far as he can, he still blows the last verse!!  So much for his strategy of slowing songs down so he can get the words...

     The MOST IMPORTANT THING we should take from this, however, is not Bobby's troubles with lyrics.  It's the fact that Dead & Company have more video and soundboard recordings, and are willing to release them to the public!!  This is hopefully the beginning of some kind of agreement that will end in people being able to pay for soundboards of their shows!  Some of you may be saying, "But wait, 21st Century Dead, they already played a free show that was shown on youtube that included 'Help on the Way > Slipknot! > Franklin's Tower,' didn't they just show that version?"  No, they didn't!  It was from this show, which anyone who saw and heard the feature last night will agree on.  They'll also tell you that the band is wearing totally different clothing than in the free concert.

     So that's my spiel, hope you learned something!  Or at least enjoyed the read.  Tune in this Sunday to hear me rant about track listings and how they're never right and I'm always right, or something like that.  Maybe I'm wrong and you're right, but you'll only know if you tune in!  As always, follow the blog on Twitter and Facebook, and let me know what you want to read about next!

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