This whole show is played at a pretty slow tempo, which is not bad in and of itself, but it's also pretty sloppy. On the plus side is an I Didn't Know opener with Fish introduced as "J. Edgar Hoover" (add yet another Fishman nickname to the list) and a Take the A Train that has really nice Page and Mike solos and a Frankenstein tease (which I found hilarious). But even in A Train, Trey stops to tune a string at the beginning, which sounds bad. The Golgi is terrible, and in The Curtain, at one point, I swear I hear Trey groan in dismay. GTBT, McGrupp, Lizards...all shaky at best, bordering on sloppy. I do approve of the McGrupp > Who Do, We Do! > PYITE transitions, but beyond that and the A Train, I don't find much to get excited about. Almost all of the YEM jam is missing, cutting from tramps section to vocal jam, but it would have had to have been one the great all-time YEMs in order to pull another star out of me. I'm going to go two stars, and I think that may be generous.
Last, but not least, I am constantly reminded when listening to these shows that People for a Louder Mike should receive a Nobel prize. Mike is almost inaudible on his opening Weekapaug solo! Grrr!
I agree with everything said here so far, except I would like to add, in the band's defense, the tape that was loaded here has gone through one too many generations and is at least a quarter tone to a half tone flat. That's how slowed down the tape speed has fallen over the years. So the band didn't play that bad overall, just nothing too stellar either. Gin stretches out a little more at its end. The solo section in A-Train is nice. The band is very patient with one another. Bag is starting to really gel and rock at the end. Punch is still new, but fun to hear. Mike's groove was a solid way to close up the show.
Not bad for fall '89... I thought it was worth the listen even though it does sound very slow.
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