Grateful Dead Go To Nassau DECD084 - 2 CD
Grateful Dead Go To Nassau
This cd set is compiled from the May 15 & 16, 1980 shows at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
While the title of the latest release from the Grateful Dead's famed tape vault, Go To Nassau, might conjure up visions of a cruise to the island capital of the Bahamas, the name actually refers to the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, on another island entirely - the long one just off the coast of New York. But although the latter Nassau may have been just a bit less tropically idyllic than its Caribbean namesake, when the Grateful Dead came to the Coliseum, it was always a bit of paradise for Deadheads.
Such was the case when the Dead returned to Nassau in May of 1980, just after the release of the album Go To Heaven. The famous and raucous enthusiasm of East Coast Deadheads was very much in the house, and the Dead were pretty fired up themselves, both by an infusion of new material into the repertoire and the presence of still-fresh blood in the ensemble - Brent Mydland had just completed his freshman year with the band, and his keyboard playing and vocals had helped to energize things considerably. The fire and focus with which the Dead played during this Coliseum stand can be readily heard on Go To Nassau, which features some of the highlights from the last two dates of the three-night run.
A good many of those peak moments center around the then-new material from Go To Heaven, which the Dead had been breaking in live for several months, and which were just attaining full ripeness. Six of that album's seven original songs are heard here, including the first-ever release on a live album of Brent's "Far From Me", as well as a breakneck-quick romp through "Alabama Getaway" and a majestic version of the "Lost Sailor > Saint of Circumstance" pairing. The attention lavished on the new tunes notwithstanding, the Dead did not neglect the old standbys: Such favorites as "Jack Straw" (segued nicely into "Franklin's Tower"), the too-seldom-heard "High Time", "Lazy Lightnin > Supplication" and "China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider" stand out on the first disc, while the second set is dominated by the marathon medley beginning with "Playing In The Band", moving through a splendidly-played version of "Uncle John's Band", continuing into exceptional "Drums" and "Space" segments and rocking on home with the powerhouse triptych of "Not Fade Away", "Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad" and "Good Lovin".
Grateful Dead Vault
archivist David Lemieux has chosen the highlights of the two nights wisely
and well, and audio wizard Jeffrey Norman has done his usual superb job
of mixing it all down from the analog multitrack source tapes, bringing
the music into the digital domain in full HDCD splendor.