Tuesday, O tob6r 5, 1976
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Tuesday, October 5, 1976 THE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Five
The Grate ful Dead '76:
Bridging a musical gap
By JIM SHALIN
THE GRATEFUL DEAD is an,
endurance test. Survivors of
a decade that scathed nearly
everyone, the Dead still play
four hour concerts with deter-
mined clear - eyed sensibilities.
Just like the goodoldedays.
Detroit's Cobo Hall on Sunday
night wasn't the Fillmore--East
or West-on any night, but -the
Dead managed to pull off an
impressive masquerade w i t h a
modicum of suspended disbelief.
They generated none of the hys-
teria which characterized their
concerts in the Sixties. It was a
generally calm, albeit apprecia-
tive crowd which came to wit-
ness the Dead. They didn't even
fill the house, let alone tear it
down-which leaves one to won-
der what the Renaissance Cen-
ter could possibly attract to De-
troit, when the venerable Grate-
ful Dead couldn't lure enough
people to fill Cobo.
FOREVER YOUNG, the cheru-
bic-faced Jerry Garcia is a hip-
ster's best friend. Looking the
same as he has for the last fif-
teen years, no foppy coiffure, no
silk purse, this is the real thing.
And his guitar playing is as con-
voluted as ever. Who says hip-
pies don't age gracefully.
Although their ' Sunday con-
cert was not quintess.ential Dead,
it was nonetheless adequate.
And adequate Dead is still better
than most anything around.
Even in a basketball arena
with the vacuousness of Cobo,
the Dead can make their mate-
rial resonate with conviction.
Theirs is-not a songlist. Rather,
they generate a principled spon-
t<: . If it feels good, they
take time to find out w.why-
weaving webs that hypnotically
entangle everyone, until Garcia
finally peer's up from his guitar
neck, looking up from the bot-
tom of a hole he has dug himself
into, before executing the long
OPENING the s h o w with a-
credible, if relatively lifeless ver-
sion of "Bertha," the first set
was a sporadic mix of deliver-
ing - the - professional - big -
time-rock-show goods and get-
ting comfortable with their sur-
After tossing out a couple of
c r o w d warming favorites like
"Mama Tried". and "Sugaree,"
the Dead loosened up a bit. Gar-
cia's lead breaks stretched out
m o r e, relaxing and tightening
like flexing muscles.
The mixing of K e i t h God-
chaux's keyboard work was poor
throughout most of the concert,
however. The piano work that
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