The Grateful Dead kicked off 1990 with this show in Oakland and the rust is definitely showing at the start, with a messy Touch of Grey to lead things off. Things pick up a little bit as the first set moves along, with a very nice, gentle version of Queen Jane Approximately to anchor things. Normally, the band would bust out all of the stops on the set ending Deal, but tonight the song really doesn’t go anywhere. So that’s the first set. Pretty low key.
The second set suffers from a similar lack of energy. China Cat Sunflower>I Know You Rider is perfunctory and Just a Little Light is Just a Little Light. Musically, Estimated Prophet>Eyes of the World is fair to good, but, again, the boys just don’t seem into it. After Drums / Space, there are bland versions of The Wheel and Give Me Some Lovin’ before my favorite song of the night, a out of nowhere, passionate performance of Wharf Rat. I guess everyone was saving up for that one moment, because once it passes, we’re right back to the basics to end things with Sugar Magnolia.
1990 definitely features some intense Dead shows. This is not one of them.
I listened to the Matrix here: https://archive.org/details/gd1990-02-25.mtx.tobin.82923.sbeok.flac16