Road Trips Vol. 4 No. 4 - Philadelphia, PA
- 4/6/82 - 3CD
Trips Vol. 4 No. 4 April 6, 1982
It’s hard to believe that a year like 1982, which included so many excellent shows, has only been represented once on an authorized Grateful Dead release — Dick’s Picks 32 from the 8/7/82 Alpine Valley show. What gives? Who the hell knows? All we know is, that’s wrong and it’s time to make it right! Which brings us to the latest Road Trips selection — an indisputably fine show from that underrated year: the complete Philly Spectrum 4/6/82 concert, with a heapin’ helpin’ of the 4/5/82 Spectrum show to fill out this awesome three-disc set.
What, you may rightfully ask, is the big deal about this particular show? Oh, you’re full of questions, aren’t you? Well, let’s start with a rock-solid first set in which both Bob and Jerry are “on” from the get-go, singin’ their hearts out on a wide range of mostly uptempo tunes—“Cold Rain and Snow” > “Promised Land” is the pumped-up opening, and the set also contains sparkling versions of “Big Railroad Blues, “Jack-A-Roe,” “Might As Well,” “Mama Tried” > “Mexicali Blues,” “It’s All Over Now” and others. There’s barely time to take a breather. Those Philly fans always expected big things out of the boys when they came to town, so most Spectrum shows have some extra zip to them. Or maybe it’s because the band was fueled by cheesesteaks.
As is so often the case, however, the real fireworks come in the second set. It starts with a massively funky “Shakedown” that’s one of the best of this era, eases into a superb “Lost Sailor” > “Saint of Circumstance” (that combo was always a little richer in the second set), and then into an elegant “Terrapin” before the Rhythm Devils take over. Mickey and Bill have quite a duel, too, eventually ceding the stage for “space” and a rollicking “Truckin’” to start the back half of the set. A short but fiery “Other One” follows, and then that crashes into another stupendous “Morning Dew,” which totally lives up to the intense energy of the earlier proceedings. “Sugar Magnolia” is the joyous romp you always hope it will be, but then ol’ Jer leaves us on a note of dark mystery, with an inspired “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.”
Completing the discs are a few tunes from the previous night’s first set, including the rarely played “Deep Elem Blues” and Bob’s still-newish cover of “Man Smart, Woman Smarter,” plus a beautifully played chunk of the pre-“drums” second set from 4/5 that has “Bertha” rolling into “Playing in the Band,” which detours at “Ship of Fools,” before heading back to “Playing” territory; a very well done medley indeed.
All in all, it’s a
lively and powerful dose of Dead from one of the band’s all-time favorite
venues. So order your copy of the 3-CD Road Trips Vol. 4, No. 4 today!
Needless to say, the sound is pristine, and mastered to HDCD specs. A
colorful booklet with an essay and photos is part of the deal, too. But
you already knew that.