Guest Reviewer Fumo Verde
On September 1, 1990, the Grateful Dead were scheduled to perform at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California, but couldn’t due to the recent death of keyboardist Brent Mydland less than two months earlier. Instead of canceling the show, Jerry decided the best solution was to have the Jerry Garcia Band step in and perform.
This show wasn't an homage to an old friend or a played-out patronizing tribute for the fans; it was about the music and the soul inside the band. The members of the JGB are its namesake on guitar and lead vocals, Melvin Seals on keyboards, John Kahn on bass, David Kemper on drums, and Gloria Jones and Jackie Labranch providing backing vocals.
Opening up the first song of set one was "How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You," written by Lamont Dozier and Brian and Eddie Holland for the Motown label. The JGB plays it different than any of Motown’s artists who have performed it, coming out with bluesy-essence, almost ragtimesque in spirit. This gets the crowd involved, although since this is recorded right through the soundboard, you can barely hear the crowd at all, yet you can see it in the face of the band.
From that, they go into "Stop that Train" and for all of us natty-dreads we feel the roots of this one. Written by Peter Tosh and preformed by Bob Marley & the Wailers on their debut album, Catch A Fire, Fumo's favorite, Jerry's voice is so different than Marley's or Tosh’s as it catches the vibe and roots of tale being told. Next up, "Dear Prudence" taken from The Beatles, and then into Dylan's "I Shall Be Released." Each of these songs is not played as a cover, but as new sounds being experimented on by a highly talented team of professionals. The first set ends with the Hunter/Garcia original, "Deal," which captures the glory of the old west