Phil and one of the drummers get things going before the rest of the band sidles into the mix. But they all quickly coalesce around Bertha and are off on a jaunty romp, ending in just eleven anymores. From there, the boys kick the energy up a notch further with a ripping Minglewood (“these upstate fillies” for the Albany crowd). On the mellow Row Jimmy that comes out next, Jerry’s vocals are splendid, and his solos are filled knee-high with unbridled melancholy. Soaring in on Row Jimmy’s heels, a delightful Queen Jane has Vince leading the charge on some flighty jams. There is also a nice Dire Wolf and upbeat BIODTL and Loose Lucy before we arrive at the set-closing Music Never Stopped. And while it is not a fiery late-70s version, the Dead rock the socks off of the Knickerbocker.
Foolish Heart opens up the second set, and is one of the highlights of the evening with Jerry’s joyous solos and the fervid energy of the choruses. At the end, the band takes a momentary pause before heading into Playin’, which winds through other dimensions in the spacey, Martian-like ether of the latter half before the band enters the portal into a bright Uncle John’s. At the tail end of UJB, the boys noodle on Playin’ again while Mickey and Billy take command, wending through the hedgerows before setting out together on a devastating, nearly twenty-minute drum trip. An inventive, dissociative Space follows, ending as the boys surge into I Need a Miracle. Wharf Rat comes next, shipping everyone to the chilly docks of San Francisco for some ripe storytelling from Captain Trips himself. And the playing there is as rich and luscious as Hunter’s tale. On the back end, Around and Around takes out the set on a bright note. Finally, a Mighty Quinn encore caps the night in New York’s capital.
The Dead lost no time in playing the Knick, making a three-night stand there - released as Dozin’ at the Knick - in March 1990, less than two months after the arena opened. The Dead went on to play thirteen shows at the venue over the next six years. And, though the 1990 run were the best of the lot, the band always delivered the goods up in Albany, including on this night in 1992.