Nightfall of Diamonds

( 4 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Grateful Dead live albums are kind of like salt-and-vinegar-flavored potato chips: If you're fond of the distinctive flavor, there's no way to stop at just one. Well, this double-disc set -- recorded on October 16, 1989, at the Meadowlands Sports Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey -- is a particularly tangy one, rife with hidden pockets of wonder. The first disc kicks off in unusually aggressive mode, with Bob Weir pushing his bandmates through a wired version of "Picasso Moon" that's veined with raw soloing and underscored by Brent Mydland's skittish piano runs. By mid-set, the band has settled down some, offering up languid, back-porch takes on "Never Trust a ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
Grateful Dead live albums are kind of like salt-and-vinegar-flavored potato chips: If you're fond of the distinctive flavor, there's no way to stop at just one. Well, this double-disc set -- recorded on October 16, 1989, at the Meadowlands Sports Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey -- is a particularly tangy one, rife with hidden pockets of wonder. The first disc kicks off in unusually aggressive mode, with Bob Weir pushing his bandmates through a wired version of "Picasso Moon" that's veined with raw soloing and underscored by Brent Mydland's skittish piano runs. By mid-set, the band has settled down some, offering up languid, back-porch takes on "Never Trust a Woman" and "Built to Last," but an 11-minute rendition of Bob Dylan's "Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again," propelled by some insistently sinewy Garcia solos, finds them taking off for the ether. Disc 2 finds the band still in orbit, with an opening salvo of "Dark Star" -- the ever-changing concert staple that, on this evening, took on a jazzy, faintly Zappa-esque tenor in its initial 12-minute presentation interestingly, a shorter second version turns up at set's end, tacked onto a vibrant "I Need a Miracle". As ever, the mood shifts restlessly, from joyous a celebratory skip uniting "Playing in the Band" and "Uncle John's Band" to the tranquil "I Will Take You Home", before closing out with the lullaby farewell "I Bid You Goodnight."
All Music Guide - Lindsay Planer
This double-disc release highlights the Grateful Dead's final performance of a five show run at the Meadowlands Arena. Deadheads unanimously herald October 16, 1989 -- guitarist/vocalist Bob Weir's 42nd birthday -- as one of the best shows not only of the band's fall tour, or even of the year, but of the decade. Nightfall of Diamonds presents this landmark concert replete with one of the most accurate soundstages of any Grateful Dead vintage release. If you couldn't get a floor seat then, you can now. The Dead's fall tour of 1989 coincided with the release of Built to Last -- their 13th studio release. The loosely structured and perpetually evolving set lists allowed for the integration of newer tunes such as "Picasso Moon" -- the up-tempo rocker that opens this set -- with more established works from their 200-plus song canon. "Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodleoo," coupled here with the funky "Feel Like a Stranger," reveals some excellent ensemble playing. Jerry Garcia's lead guitar lines are precise and well developed as he maneuvers the band into territories considered unattainable in the late '80s by skeptical enthusiasts. Another first set highlight is the overtly bluesy "Never Trust a Woman" -- featuring the first of two lead vocals from the Dead's '80s keyboardist, Brent Mydland. The pairing of "Let It Grow" to an exceptionally engaging performance of "Deal" conclude the first set with the same high energy with which it began. Set two/disc two continues to exhibit the Dead's imposing strength. From the opening strains of the psychedelically acquiescent "Dark Star" -- which envelopes a majority of the second set -- to the a cappella encore "We Bid You Goodnight," the Dead morph their entire quarter-century history into the space of less than 80 minutes. Every genre and stylistic approach is uncovered, including nearly half an hour of premier instrumentation which links "Uncle John's Band" to the second Brent Mydland vocal, "I Will Take You Home." Nightfall of Diamonds disengages the misnomer that the Grateful Dead were outmoded and strung out in their final years of performance. Additionally, the set is offered as the quintessence of everything musically addictive to Deadheads during this era.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/31/2004
  • Label: Grateful Dead / Wea
  • UPC: 081227894320
  • Catalog Number: 78943
  • Sales rank: 5,509

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Grateful Dead Primary Artist
Mickey Hart Drums
Jerry Garcia Guitar, Vocals
Bob Weir Guitar, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Bill Kreutzmann Drums
Phil Lesh Bass, Electric Bass, Vocals
Brent Mydland Keyboards, Vocals
Technical Credits
Mickey Hart Composer
Jerry Garcia Composer
Grateful Dead Arranger, Composer
Bob Weir Composer
Robert Hunter Composer
John Perry Barlow Composer
Bob Bralove Composer
John Cutler Engineer
Dan Healy Contributor
Bill Kreutzmann Composer
Phil Lesh Composer
Ron "Pigpen" McKernan Composer
Brent Mydland Composer
Dick Latvala Contributor
Willy Legate Contributor
Randy Tuten Cover Design
Sue Stephens Contributor
Traditional Composer
Cameron Sears Contributor
David Lemieux Tape Archivist
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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(4)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One Of The Dead's best!

    An excellent set from start to finish! Jerry & co. prove here that getting older doesn't mean losing your spark. Fantastic playing and improv throughout Has the best versions of "Playing In The Band" "Mobile" and "Deal" ever. Better than Without A Net.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    wow

    Unbelievable takes you away and back for some more love

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Garcia and the boys are SMOKIN'!!

    This is an excellent release from the Dead on Arista Records. The sound is superb, and the music respectively deserves it. This show also happens to be Bob Weir's birthday. The execution and the innovation on this album is second to none. Words are not enough, check it out. If you're looking for a quick taste of the action, check out Deal on the end of Disc 1. The band and Jerry climb up, up, up and away over the highest mountain tops. Beautiful indeed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Get this disc

    Very hot show. Dripping with energy. Sound is a plus. Garcia is on big time.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews