Live Dead 69 – Under the Bridge – 3 Feb 2017

Grateful Dead - live Dead 69This was my first visit to ‘Under the Bridge’ and WOW! What a great venue, shame about the beer though.

I can’t remember the name of the support but I was very underwhelmed by them. Their bland offerings couldn’t end soon enough. I was there for one thing, and one thing only. Well, two if you count drinking.

Live Dead is about 70 minutes at best so I was interested as to what they were going to do to stretch the concert to an acceptable length. I found out early on as Mr. Tom came on and played a nice keyboard instrumental of Mountains of the Moon and then the fun really started with ‘Not Fade Away’ and ‘Going Down the Road’ providing the banana and chocolate button filling between two slices of mellow Dark Star bread. Very tasty indeed.

The album version of St Stephen is my favourite version and I’ve heard a lot, Yes I know it’s messy and disjointed but it’s the one I grew up with and it has a charm all of its own. This version is polished and powerful as it drives on into The Eleven. This is the first time I have heard this live and it doesn’t disappoint with its wonderful guitars. I think there was a (mercifully) brief Feedback interlude then. Can it get any better. Well, yes of course it can, as the band go into ‘Lovelight’. It’s such a shame that the Dead didn’t play this more often following Pigpens death.I don’t do

I don’t do dancing. I really really don’t do dancing. Just ask my wife. But with the Dead and with this song (Lovelight) in particular, I can’t help myself. With its bouncy rhythm and driving guitars, this is a tune to die for. And don’t forget the rap; ‘Get Your Hands Out of Your Pockets’. You can’t dance for one thing. It was during this song that my mate Moose’s wife gave me a hug and said thank you. This was presumably for me being instrumental in getting her to listen to the Dead. Spread the word chaps, this band are so good they make women want to hug you. It definitely doesn’t get any better than that.

And so we go into the deep blues of ‘Death Don’t Have No Mercy’. This is so much better than the rather turgid album version and leads into the finale of a very good ‘I Know You Rider’.

A great evening with good company. An awesome gig and a fantastic venue. But please do something about the beer.

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