One of the things I love most about the Grateful Dead is when non-fans ask, “How can you listen to the same song so many times?” My answer varies, but most often, it’s a variation of, “It’s NOT the same song.” Depending on which version of any given song you listen to, you may get a psychedelic exploration, a hard rocker, or a country-bluegrass kicker, all under the veneer of that song’s title. The Dead varied by era, as well: The same guys sounded vastly different in ’69 than they did in ’77, ’82, ’91, and so on. So your mood may determine exactly WHICH version of “Dark Star” you feel like hearing.
Today felt like a 1969’ish kinda mood, so we featured the third of a three-night run at The Ark in Boston. a legendary club known in other eras as the Boston Tea Party, Citi, Avalon, and other names. The first set was part of this week’s DZ installment on JEMP Radio. We started with the aforementioned “Dark Star, and ran straight through the rest of the first set, winding up with the typically raucous “Turn on Your Lovelight.” The show is riddled with era-appropriate staples, including “The Eleven,” “Morning Dew,” and “Hard to Handle,” omitted from our hour of Dead Zone weirdness, but included with the rest of this killer Boston show below.