Thoughts On The Free Show

by thoughtsonthedead

  • I’m glad everyone in the room had a good time, because it is a cold world and there are small comforts to be had in joining together with your comrades in the fight against time and gravity and loss; in the end, all that matters is that music was played loudly and people danced freely, and with joy.
  • However, I will now dickishly mock things.
  • Twenty bucks says that’s a fancy bandana; no way that sucker’s a truck stop $4.99 deal: Tom Ford had something to do with that bandana’s conception.
  • Although, if we’re honest, Oteil had me the most confused by his fashion choices: he was wearing a shirt with a lace-up front, but the garment was cut in such in a way that the laces were just there for show.
  • If you cast Mickey as the protagonist of this story, it’s a redemption tale: he starts with those wussy mallets, gets demoted to brushes and then gets one of those taken away from him, only to shake the building up and down during Drums.
  • You knew it was Drums because the chyron read “Drums” when it started, and that was helpful of Brett Ratner.
  • Bobby’s coolest (custom) guitar, Cowboy Fancy, was there but he never played it.
  • Is it a backup, or is it just nostalgic set dressing?
  • Also, Cowboy Fancy sounds like the gayest Kung Fu style.
  • Dead & Company is like baseball: it something that white people enjoy that needs to go faster.
  • Not a lot faster, but it definitely absolutely positively resoundingly inarguably must go a little bit faster.
  • Remember when Jeff Goldblum said “Must go faster,” in those movies?
  • Remember how happy everyone was when they did go faster?
  • Yeah.
  • There were very few good shots of Billy laying into his kit and that is because Brett Ratner is useless to everyone but Brett Ratner.
  • Billy sounds good because whatever Billy’s failings away from the drums, when he sits at them he is a saint and a motherfucker.
  • Oteil came up for Drums, which means that–along with the guy who came up in Santa Clara–all of the guests for Drums this year have been black.
  • That’s reverse-racism.
  • Jeff Chimenti is not being allowed show his power and we all know this.
  • The breezes do not whisper the name of Jeff Chimenti, the gales shout it!
  • JEFF CHIMENTI!
  • Put your head down and refuse to make eye contact with anyone and just keep soloing, Jeff Chimenti.
  • That’s what Garcia would have wanted: Garcia always thought “keep soloing” was good advice.
  • Devastate them with your power, Jeff Chimenti.
  • I have very little knowledge of the technical aspects of a webcast of this nature and magnitude, but it seemed like far too many people were listed in the credits.
  • It took less people to make the last Star Trek film than it did to stream a fully functioning semi-choogly-type band over YouTube.
  • Young John Mayer plays that guitar like it was a hot buttered asshole, but I don’t enjoy watching him do it.
  • There are faces made.
  • And John Mayer–in addition to being a motherfucker on the guitar–is undeniably a handsome dude, but then he does these terrible things with his face.
  • It’s like in ’77 when Bobby grew a beard and everyone was like, “No, Bobby. No beard you face. You so pretty, Bobby. Pretty face you, Bobby.”
  • Everyone Bobby met in ’77 spoke English poorly, don’t ask me why.
  • Maybe John Mayer is giving himself a challenge, seeing if he can still get laid if he makes those faces.
  • (He can, apparently.)
  • Bobby did not retreat to Red Metal Stool for the entire show, which is good for Bobby, but bad for Red Metal Stool, who hasn’t been featured on the site in a while and is not really in danger of becoming a Wally or Big-Dicked Sheila-type “breakout character.”
  • Bobby has been singing I Need A Miracle for 37 years (I checked) and he has the lyrics in front of him on an iPad and he still whiffs them: it is adorable.
  • Although: they had a shot from behind him that had the screen in focus and there’s no way Bobby could read it: the words were in 16-pt type or something.
  • Ridiculously obsessive Dead nerd bullshit: at Santa Clara and Chicago, Mickey’s ear monitors had Stealies on them; they no longer have Stealies on them.
  • Speaking of Mickey, this was the least amount of Grateful Deads wearing Dead shirts possible.
  • It is impossible for the Grateful Dead (or whatever incarnation claiming moral/legal authority to the name and iconography) to perform unless at least one Grateful Dead is wearing a Dead shirt.
  • They tried it once in ’83, but a whole row of kids’ heads exploded like in Scanners so that was that.
  • Someone may or may not have made some sort of deal with an Abandoned God and the Dead shirt thing was just a weird proviso; I cannot be expected to keep track of all the details of various Grateful Dead’s various dealings with various Abandoned Gods.
  • John Mayer was dressed as an American flag in a Calvin Klein ad.
  • There was also music played.
  • The Help>Slip>Frank’s was phenomenal, once it got a little faster, and it showed the difference between this band and the band that played the Farewell Shoes: this one rehearsed.
  • Which is polite of them, I think.
  • St. Stephen, played here for the first time by this band, was markedly better than a great deal of the Actual Dead’s renditions of it; it featured no trainwrecks started by four or more musicians waiting for the others to play the next part because they had forgotten what the next part was.
  • He’s Gone is at this point about a dozen or so people and I guarantee you that projecting a picture of Garcia during the song was pushed for in the meetings: I cannot stress enough how sure I am that this happened without any evidence or inside information whatsoever.
  • Six song first set with a Jack Straw closer.
  • That’s not how it goes.
  • Grateful Dead the way I want you to Grateful Dead, dammit.
  • The encore was Brokedown Palace, which is a song no incarnation of the Dead has ever truly learned.
  • They played it on the record real pretty.
  • After that was hit-or-miss.
  • This remains the case.
  • We end with money, and the concept of charity.
  • The seats were raffled off, 10,000 of them.
  • The seats.
  • The floor, on the other hand, was given away to Amex big-shots and their friends and the other sponsors.
  • Anyway, the seats weren’t free on paper: they had a legal worth of $750,000.
  • Which is, of course, a promotional expense for American Express and therefore tax-decutible.
  • The whole thing–hiring the band, renting the Garden, parking John Mayer’s Earthroamer–is a promotional expense and therefore, in a corporate sense, free.
  • Hell, if you were clever, then here’s what you’d do:
  • Let’s say the band gets half-a-mil for the gig and it’s another $250 grand for MSG (I am making these numbers up.)
  • The tickets that you’re giving away are valued at $750 thousand, so you take a loan on the tickets and pay off the group and the house: you just bought yourself a party with the Dead as the band with someone else’s money, but you get the publicity and the tax benefit.
  • Thaddeus Americanexpress wins again.
  • We got to watch, though, which is nice.
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