CD077 - 3 CD
View from the Vault (Vol. 1)
RFK Stadium Washington,
DC ~ 7/12/90
The Grateful Dead's meteoric rise in popularity during the 1980s and 90s is one of the more unusual success stories in rock history. The band eschewed the usual music industry method for building a mass audience, which was to make hit records and tour primarily in support of those records. Prior to 1987, when In the Dark finally broke through, the Dead most certainly did not make hit records. In fact, there was a seven-year stretch where they didn't make records at all (not studio albums, anyway), spending most of their time on the road instead. And still, the band's following increased dramatically rather than diminished, to the point that the Grateful Dead became one of the biggest live draws of all time. This phenomenal audience growth spurred a trend toward ever-larger venues, taking the band from theaters to arenas and amphitheatres, and then to huge stadiums. Needless to say, as the venues got bigger, the shows became less cozy, and the stage was farther and farther away for increasing numbers of audience members. To compensate for this loss of intimacy, the band and its technicians made with some solutions. Primary among these, of course, was to make sure that the P.A. system was capable of delivering clear and powerful sound to every spot in even the largest venues. And for the visually deprived, there was the installation of gigantic video screens, which allowed patrons way up there in the most vertigo-inducing seats to see the band as something more than tiny specks in the far distance. The Dead also hired a top-notch, multi-camera video crew, led by director Len Dell'Amico, to give everyone at the show a close-up view of the action. From the mid-80s to the end of the Dead's touring career in 1995, the big video screens were a feature of most of the band's large-venue appearances.
To our great fortune, someone had the bright idea of capturing these real-time video shoots on tape, and preserving them in the Grateful Dead Vault, alongside all those audio-only treasures. Now, after years of bringing you the greatest sounds from our archives, we're happy to add some of the sights, with View from the Vault, the first in what we hope will be a long series of video releases.
View from the Vault documents the aural and visual wonders of one hot night (musically and meteorologically speaking) at Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium during the Summer tour of 1990. It was a scorcher that day in Pittsburgh, but the Dead were undaunted. The opening medley of "Touch of Grey" and "Greatest Story Ever Told" sets a torrid standard, and the band only turns up the heat from there, with superb renditions of "Let It Grow," "Estimated Prophet," "Terrapin Station" "I Need A Miracle," "Black Peter" and many more.
View from the Vault is available in a variety of configurations for your viewing and listening pleasure: DVD, VHS (US standard) and PAL (for European viewers). For those who like to conjure up their own visuals, there's even a 3-CD set featuring the soundtrack only. The DVD and CD versions contain six songs not featured on the videocassettes (three from the Pittsburgh show, plus another three from a show two nights earlier, at Louisville's Cardinal Stadium.
The video was produced using the master tapes from the original in-house video screen feed, utilizing the 2-track stereo soundboard audio mix. What you hear and see is what the audience experienced in real time. It's all been digitally mastered to produce a work of stunning visual and sonic clarity.