Today’s show is an unusual one because it’s a rare post-Brent, pre-1992 show with no Bruce Hornsby, so we get to hear a pretty healthy version of the Grateful Dead with just Vince. And he rises to the occasion.
The first set of this show is a pretty typical 1990 Dead show – the songs are fine, nothing to get too excited about. The easy highlight of the set is To Lay Me Down, which is a very good 90’s version – Jerry gets the words right, the guitar solo is golden, the harmonies are great, there’s a little something extra on Jerry’s vocals at the end and Vince (yes, Vince) sounds just like Bruce on the piano. Good times!
The second set suffers a little bit from poor song selection at the start (Foolish Heart works well), but by the time we get to He’s Gone, things are going swimmingly and we hear a dialed in band give the song all it has. Drums/Space breaks things up and proceeds into Dark Star, which is a continuation of an unfinished Dark Star from the 12th. The strange thing here is the staccato playing and Jerry and Phil’s back and forth guitar / bass duel, plus some interesting rhythmic choices from the drummers. This changes into a very energetic I Need a Miracle and Wharf Rat, both worth hearing, and a set closing Lovelight. All and all, a good but not exceptional, second set.
It’s nice to hear Vince here, on piano, playing his heart out and not being drowned out by Hornsby. It’s definitely a different Vince from the one you’ll frequently get annoyed at post 1992.
Listen to the audience recording here: https://archive.org/details/gd1990-12-14.AKG451.Darby.120165.Flac1644