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Dead of the Day: April 7, 1988

The Centrum
Worcester, Massachusetts
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For our Dead of the Day we head to what is arguably the best show of spring 1988 at The Centrum in Worcester, Massachusetts. Touch of Grey opens the show and is greeted by a huge cheer from what is undoubtedly a Touch-head heavy audience. From there, a Stranger> Franklin’s sets the stage with some tremendous playing and beautiful jams, especially in the latter tune. Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again provides another first set highlight, with Jerry, Phil, and Brent providing some great riffs and backing jams for Bobby’s vocals, which are spectacular throughout the entire night. The first Around and Around of the year provides a welcome surprise to close out the set and really never stops rocking. Bobby is fired up throughout and Brent delivers some incredible keys. The second set continues the momentum with a high energy Sugar Mags into a nicely jammed out Scarlet. Though it is more of a stumble than a transition into Estimated, the Bobby tune delivers and then sends us into a solid but shorter Eyes. Coming out of Space there is some interesting noodling before they roll into The Wheel. But it is the Watchtower in the last portion of the show that really dominates, again with Bobby providing some inspired vocals. The Box of Rain encore seals the night perfectly, surely sending everyone home smiling.

Jerry’s vocals are a little off all night, and he cannot quite rise up to deliver his best on songs like Black Peter. Apparently, he had a cold that affected his voice, though not his playing. One commentator who had been at the show – the last of a little senior year of high school spring break tour – explained that the weather had been cold and rainy for most of the previous week and that a lot of people on tour had colds. This night in Worcester was also dreary and, together with ever-present cops and divided parking areas, contributed to a subdued lot scene. Things obviously brightened up once everyone entered the venue and the Dead took the stage.

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