Among discerning Deadheads, 1989 is not generally considered one of the band's best years; in the wake of their massive success with 1987's IN THE DARK, torpor had begun to set in, and the band's legendary live
sparks seemed more elusive. Nevertheless, the Dead were famed for the anything-can-happen ethos of their live shows, and it just so happened that on Independence Day of '89 they were undeniably on fire.
Jerry Garcia is bursting with the energy of a man half his age, as he
belts out his vocals authoritatively and delivers stinging guitar bursts that are at once concise and expository. Bob Weir, notorious for showing more reckless gusto than precision, is as spot-on as he is emotive. Brent Mydland's organ, often relegated to the shadows, frequently emerges to provide biting commentary on the proceedings. The ensemble as a whole displays a kind of group-mind, the achievement of which was always the ultimate goal for both the band and their undyingly loyal followers. Whether delivering their newer material ("Touch of Grey"), covering Dylan ("When I Paint My Masterpiece") and Buddy Holly ("Not Fade Away"), or revisiting their own classic tunes ("Ship of Fools," "Playing in the Band"), the Dead are at the top of their game on TRUCKIN' UP TO BUFFALO.
- Format: Vinyl
- Genre: Pop