I got this email from State of Mind contributor Matt Iselin this morning and thought I'd share. He hit the first - acoustic at Angel Orensanz Center - of the three free shows The Dead played in NYC yesterday‚ and his thoughts on it go something like this:
Very surprised that it wasn't as packed as i thought it might be. But then again‚ i would imagine people up and down the east coast entered the raffle and some people just couldn't get there for a 5pm show...although the dude next to me drove up from W Virginia that am.
That space is amazing... seriously beautiful. phil‚ bobby and warren get up on stage and everyone in the room was stoked. And then Bobby forgot when to start singing in Dire Wolf‚ and that pretty much was par for the course for the rest of the night. That's not to say it wasn't great to see this show...it truly was (bobby's forgetfulness notwithstanding) . It made me remember how impressive the grateful dead's catalog is in respect to songwriting. Even when the 2nd tune in‚ birdsong‚ started to meander into some lifeless acoustic jamming‚ POW... the 3 part harmony of the bridge just slays you. The show picked up some steam from there‚ when after Cumberland‚ someone screamed out "We Miss Jerry!"...to which phil responds‚ "what‚ you think we don't?" Big cheers and laughs led right into a seriously fun version of Pride of Cucamonga. Then Bobby's shining moment happened to come in a beautiful version of Lazy River Rd. He hit all the lyrics and they truly nailed this one. Warren's soloing was really inspired and nice to hear over the quiet acoustic vibe. Casey Jones and Ripple ended the set.
And then it was 6:15pm and i was home by 6:45 after a dead show (set). Truly surreal.