Jack Straw, Bertha, We Can Run But We Can't Hide, Ramble On Rose, When I Paint My Masterpiece, Bird Song*, Promised Land* Eyes Of The World-> Estimated Prophet-> Dark Star-> Drums-> Dark Star-> The Wheel-> Throwing Stones-> Turn On Your Love Light, E: Knockin' On Heaven's Door
SBD>DAT>CDR; fixed copy of SHNid=3389; encoded by Darryl Hinko
- Many pops and clicks removed throughout the show, I would estimate about 100.
- There are still some cuts in the first set mostly in the tuning.
- I recut the show as well. There were some tracks that started just slightly after the song started.
- d1t03 We Can Run: Light Static at 3:58 - 3:59
- d1t05 Masterpiece: Dropout removed at 0:03. Maybe half a note is missing.
- d1t06 Bird Song: Dropout cut out at 0:02 during the tuning.
- d3t01 Space: Crossfades performed at 2000 ms from 0:00 - 0:09 and 4:19 - 4:39
- d3t06 Knockin' on Heaven's Door: Crossfade performed at 2000 ms from 0:00 - 0:07.
That there are 10 uploads from almost as many sources for this show in the Archive attests to its popularity (or to the number of Long Island tapers!). The show was highly regarded even at the time - tapes quickly made it around: "dude you gotta hear the Branford show!". Songs from the three shows of this Nassau run were used for Without a Net; in its day the best-sounding live album yet released. This show is well known for having Branford Marsalis on soprano sax, a 16-minute Eyes and a 13-minute Bird Song. Even if it's not the best show from '90 (or even this tour), it's canonical status makes it a must-hear. This show is represented on five official releases.
Nassau was one of those trad Dead venues, like the Spectrum, Omni, Alpine or Red Rocks; perhaps by '90 more so than the other NYC-area venues. When that happens you know it's because of either a laid-back community, good camping, crew fave, overall vibe, a track record of above-average shows, preferred promoter or some combo. Shit man, did the community college you went to host the Dead? (OK, it's adjacent to the campus & is actually the home of NHL's Islanders). The Dead played there 42 times starting in '73 (back when NHL had only 16 teams!). I dunno, are there are any other out-of-state venues the band played that many times over 22 years?
First Set. Starts solid enough (sans flubs in Bertha & We Can Run) but really takes off with Ramble. Of the 12 other times it was played in '90, I'm thinking none surpass this one. There's lots of room made for guest Branford, who starts playing in Bird Song, but he sounds tentative with the arrangement. It's a fun listen, but it's not until the 2nd set that they really gel with him as a unit. Jer really fights to save Promised Land. (Review updated because my opinion of the first set has softened.)
Second Set. The 1st half is not particularly outstanding; average '90, but with the addition of sax. The Eyes is well known (and good, if vampy) though there are better ones in '90 [on this tour: 3/25]. Things heat up though during the jam out of Estimated, into an 18-minute Dark Star (which most people there hadn't heard yet - this was only the 4th one since the '89 return), a format Branford could really exploit. It only makes sense they would bust it out. I don't have a lot of Dark Star faves from this era but I'm giving this one props. Drums is the type that made you afraid of what Space was going to be. "Shit man, I might have to go on a bathroom adventure. See you monkeys when I get back. Keep it all grounded for me". Check out Branford's gameness. Bobby pulls a perfect Throwin' Stones (no sing-spitting drama or falsetto shrieking). The matrices show that Lovelight was a real party-down version (it's rendered tamer on the mixed releases). Knockin' is, simply, a candidate for best-ever.
1st Set: C+ 2nd set: A
Overall = 4¼ Stars
Ramble On Rose - stadium-big
Dark Star through encore - a well known and regarded second set sequence
SOURCES: The hinko_24996 is the best source overall. Darryl did a great job. The unknown_1317 is a wonderful matrix (it's not the full show so you'll also need part of hansokolow_97118). If you prefer it out in the stalls, the best AUD is the nawrocki_29191. There are two official releases of the whole show, one in a box plus a stand-alone. Eyes was innovatively mastered on Without a Net (though the newer mix brings Jer forward). Bird Song is on So Many Roads, and Space is on Infrared Roses.
CAVEAT: Out of over 2000 shows most, by definition, are 2 & 3-star shows. The sidereal scorecard would be made valueless if you rated every show 5 Stars - it wouldn't serve the purpose of letting us know which shows deserve our listening time.
September 16, 2013 Subject:
"And the band kept playin' on..."
This is definitely my favorite '90s show. The magic was thick in the air that night. Perfect tempo, perfect vocals, and a Dead-friendly musical guest (Accordion Bruce was sometimes good, but always cheesy). They Dead were at their best when they had a jazzy element to their sound. Branford certainly brought that out of them. I can get lost in the Eyes the same way I would with a version from '73 or '74. The Estimated is freaking amazing.
Jerry on MIDI oboe and Branford on sax at the end of the 18:00 Dark Star as absolutely mind-blowing.
This is the best source for this show.
April 16, 2010 Subject:
Great show! Glad I was there!
I remember calling the Dark Star during Estimated because I could hear hints of it being pushed back and forth in the licks.
This show was more exciting than the relatively tamer 1990 summer shows on the East Coast.
April 8, 2009 Subject:
My 25th show, and only 17 at the time!
This was just an amazin show. I heard Dark Star only one other time, 10-16-89 at Bryne Arena in East Rutherford, NJ, on Bobby's Birthday. This, however, was too the moon and beyond. Branford showing up in Birdsong was phenominal, but coming out for the entire second set...wow! This show has it all, and is a muxt have for any collector
April 19, 2008 Subject:
Special From The Get Go.....
The energy displayed on the Jack Straw>Bertha is cracklin'. As strong an opening duo of tunes as I can remember. If you can still feel it 18 years later, you know it's good.
I don't feel I can add anything to the Birdsong that hasn't already been said. It is pretty astounding though.
Set 2 starts out with more excellent playing. The sax playing is just epic. Perfectly played, Branford fits in with the band well.
I especially enjoyed the Dark Star. A monster that will just devour your mind. A Jazz Star at it's finest, especially the stellar world class jazz fusion meltdown. Branford really added a lot to this show. Every aspiring horn player should listen to his phrasing in Knockin' On Heaven's Door. It really is a thing of beauty. Every one is on this night.
This is top 10 for any era.
Hang loose. Jesus loves you.
March 13, 2008 Subject:
1st show on 2 feet
This was my 2nd show....1st was 5/8/77 in my mothers womb! Any help w/dl's would be much obliged. Ho, ho, email@example.com peace
August 13, 2005 Subject:
Definitely 90's Dead. Weir was awesome in the 15 min Estimated Prophet. If you want to jam out to some dead this is the one. Sax is key too. Don't know of a better "Knockin' on Heavens Door". Get this. Keep Jammin...
April 25, 2005 Subject:
Best 1990 show?
Boy 1990 was a good year. The previous reviewer says this and MSG 9/20 are the best modern Dark Stars. Good observation, but don't forget Miami 1989, RFK 1990 along with the New Years 90>1991 version, also with Branford. The 9/10/91 Dark Star also with Branford at MSG is a goody.
As for the Eyes of the World here, it is the pimp daddy but is also joined by other great 1990 versions such as Cal Expo 6/10 (Same tempo and brilliant Garcia) and the great New Years 1990>1991 version. 1990 was the peak for Eyes of the World, Dark Star (modern era) and the band itself.
March 12, 2005 Subject:
This and the version from 09-20-1990 are the two best Dark Stars post retirement (throw in 12-31-78 too)...the band and Brandford glide through Dark Star with ease, melting minds along the way...the first set is tight...Bird Song is a showcase version...
February 27, 2005 Subject:
this is just pure bliss! are there any more like this???
February 27, 2005 Subject:
This show is a must have. I love when he Dead played w/ Branford. In my opinion he ads allot of flair to many of the songs. Bird Song is down right disgusting. This is one of my favorite performances of this song. The second set should be made illegal. The boys and Branford were on fire!!!!!! The Wheel>Throwing>Turn On Your Lovelight especially. The Knockin' on Heavens door is my favorite version. It will make you cry. Jerry is sounds soooooooo emotional and his voice sounds excellent. This is a must DL. I am a huge 70's fan but this is one of my favorites. A must DL!!! Peace.
February 20, 2005 Subject:
Just exactly perfect
This is how the Grateful Dead should sound.
this show is fluid and flowing with life and intensity, it is not rushed or slow but is a nice grove which leaves alot of room for improvisation....absolutly beautiful....
throwing stones is the best version iv'e heard...the whole show drips with fealing...and the tape is darling, 5 star rock-n-roll show..thank u and long live The Grateful Dead
February 3, 2005 Subject:
it must be noted, this copy of 3-29-90, vs teh other two on this, the best website to ever hit the WWW, is superior in quality. who is in charge of this site, and do they accept donations? i almost feel like im stealing. yeah, i know, free trading of dead music, but this is too easy. at least when i was dubbing cassettes it took effort.
Oh, and not that this show needs another review, but it oozes with pure musical excellence. Jerry climbs up and down the strings as fluidly as he ever did. Lots of peaks throughout. and yeah, the eyes is.....well, its perfect. The Jack Straw has very nice crescendos-a top version imo, although if you are looking for the best version of JS, you best go check out 6-6-91 (teh sbd not the audience version). Bruce and Jerry wage war against each other in that version. its truly magnificent.
December 8, 2004 Subject:
Great show. The addition of Marsalis in the second set is definately a plus. The Knockin on Heavens Door might be the best version ever. Marsalis definately adds an abstract edge to the song. I highly recommend downloading this.