Today in Grateful Dead History: August 17, 1989 – Greek Theater, Berkeley, CA

dancing-bearThe setlist for today’s show at the Greek Theater does not inspire confidence, but the Dead deliver a punchy, fun show at one of their favorite venues none the less.

The first few songs of the first set get off to a slippery start with the drummers feeling their way blindly through an otherwise fun Sugaree.  The band sorts itself out with Jack-A-Roe and Queen Jane Approximately, and they really ramp up during The Music Never Stopped>Don’t Ease Me In.  The force of the jam in The Music Never Stopped builds until Bob and Brent are basically drowning out Jerry with wave after wave of sound, but it’s a great roller coaster ride while it lasts.

Now here comes the second set:  Touch Of Grey>Man Smart (Woman Smarter), Ship Of Fools, Estimated Prophet>Eyes Of The World>Drums>Space>The Wheel>Gimme Some Lovin’>Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad>Good Lovin’.  Hmm.  Not a great platform for sonic exploration, huh?  The good news is that these songs are all well played and the transition from Space into The Wheel is sweet.  If you like Ship of Fools (and who doesn’t?) then you’ll like this one, too.  Beyond that, I think it was probably great to be sitting outdoors at the Greek on a summer’s night in 1989, listening to the Dead rock out without excuses.  But if you came for the jamming, you came to the wrong place.

Here’s the Charlie Miller soundboard:  https://archive.org/details/gd1989-08-17.sbd.walker-scotton.miller.83773.sbeok.flac16

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