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Dead of the Day: July 12, 1990

Robert F. Kennedy Stadium
Washington, DC

For our Dead of the Day, we return to the 1990 summer stadium tour, this time for a rocker of a show at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in DC. Let The Good Times Roll ushers in the show with Jerry providing some tremendous vocals. Musically, the band is on from the start too, bringing that solid, perfectly timed playing into Feel Like A Stranger. A well-played, though not exceptional, Bertha rolls out next, followed up by Just A Little Light. Whether you dig Brent tunes or not, the Just A Little Light is tremendous, with the keys turned up, Jerry offering up some beautiful runs in the background, and Brent just giving his all on the vocals. Jerry continues his reserved, cool riffs on Queen Jane before launching off with Brent and Bobby in the middle of the song. A Stagger Lee comes next, followed by a ridiculously rich and textured Cassidy. The vocals are so crisp, and the playing is like a walk in a summer rain shower, refreshing, transcendent, and full of possibility. Following up on that sweet tune, the band heads out of the set with a very good Tennessee Jed into a fun, rocking Music Never Stopped. After failing to get everyone to take a step back and open up some space up front, the boys come out of the break with a luscious Box Of Rain, set off by Jerry’s reserved yet tasty licks and Phil’s heavy-handed bass. From there, a Victim Or The Crime provides the segue into the meat of the second set, beginning with a Foolish Heart. The Foolish Heart reaches and teases, playing with the theme and chomping at the bit, but never really lighting off for the territory. Instead, that comes in the mind-bending, face-melting Dark Star that follows. It is infused with jazz, but also has a classical orchestral quality, driven apart completely by the eerie, haunted house spectacle that ensues. Eventually, the jam gives way to Drums and Space. The Space continues to explore some of the pieces unearthed in Dark Star, amongst which the boys find a little gem, forming around it and then amplifying the theme into All Along The Watchtower. They then rip Dear. Mr. Fantasy and meld it into a Hey Jude reprise, something that they had done twenty-some times before, but never again. Afterwards, a startling Touch Of Grey closes out the set, rather standard in form – though Brent’s keys are really exceptional throughout – it makes for a refreshing and unexpected close to the set. A ragged – in all the good ways – The Weight serves as the encore, with everyone coming in on the vocals and a special effort by Brent. 

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