For our Dead of the Day we go to another one of the excellent fall shows at Madison Square Garden, in this case from 1993. The Help> Slip> Franklin’s opener is really sweet with the Franklin’s rising above the rest from the very first hint of it coming out of Slipknot!. In the middle of the tune, Vince starts in on a few beautiful fills to which Jerry responds with a scintillating jam before coming back for another verse. But really the entire song is just out of sight with a mellow, but amazingly special feel about it. The Minglewood that comes out next confirms that the Dead were on this evening, as they kill it with Phil bringing it on bass, Vince going nuts on the keyboard, and Jerry and Bobby putting in their turns on the guitar. After a long tuning break, the boys then turn to Ramble On Rose, on which Jerry plays some fantastic guitar, unleashing a MIDI-fueled jam in the middle. They then go into Masterpiece before serving up an incredible Bird Song into the break. The tune rambles along in regular fashion until about the four minute mark when David Murray, sitting in on tenor sax, suddenly makes his appearance in force. He sets off on a transcendent jazz exploration with the rest of the band as fellow conspirators, Jerry especially. Out of the break the Dead go into Easy Answers, a bit of a disappointing selection after the pure headiness of the early going, but not a bad version. Fortunately, David Murray stays out for the second set, and Easy Answers makes way for a lovely Lazy River Road, opening so sweetly and continuing its magical meandering through the lyrical vignettes with incredible relaxed jams in between. After that, we get a monster Estimated. At one point, Murray goes off, first parroting, then extending, and finally completely reimagining Bobby’s howling vocals. Jerry and Vince, in turn, then follow up with their own take on Murray’s runs, making for a fantastic jam. Eventually, a short Dark Star rolls out, which is quite good, especially with Murray’s sax providing an extra layer of noodling awesomeness. The Dark Star brings it to Drums and Space, the former of which is especially noteworthy, or maybe it is just the headphones we are listening to it on. Regardless, the Space brings us to a brooding and dark Wharf Rat with the extra texture of the tenor sax adding another layer to the familiar tune. A powerful Throwing Stones then takes it into a short, but rocking Lovelight that sees the set out before the I Fought The Law encore.
Madison Square Garden
New York, New York