Grateful Dead – Crimson, White & Indigo: July 7 1989, JFK Stadium, Philadelphia Rhino GRA2-6015 (2010)
The 1980s were not kind to the Dead. It was a time of one terrible album after another. This live set recorded in 1989 does something to improve the era’s reputation. First off, we get piano instead of synthesizer, and it it makes all the difference. Plus, selections from the 80s albums sound better than the studio counterparts generally. And although Bob Weir had long ago given up trying to sing well, he’s less annoying here than usual. This probably won’t win over a lot of new deadheads, but it’s a surprisingly decent offering for the era.