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Grateful Dead

Downhill from Here

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This title includes a composite of two performances -- July 17 and 19, 1989, at the Alpine Valley Music Theater in East Troy, WI -- and is available on both the VHS and DVD home video formats. The somewhat cryptic title is a geographical reference to the distinct incline in the general admission [read: festival seating] section of the venue. The summer of 1989 saw the Grateful Dead commencing one of the final epic zeniths in terms of consistently brilliant performances. They were able to ride this wave through the summer of 1990 -- which was sadly capped by the untimely passing of Brent Mydland (keyboards). This era was equally notable for the incorporation of concurrently new material from their soon-to-be-released 21st and final studio effort, Built to Last. Included here are both the title track as well as "Standing on the Moon" -- two of the better Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter compositions from the album. A majority of the video is taken from the show on the 17th, with the exception of the last three tracks during the "first set": "West L.A. Fadeaway," "Desolation Row," and one of the undisputed highlights of the entire 1989 summer tour, "Deal," featuring a blistering guitar solo from Garcia. Other not-to-be-missed performances include a majority of the second set -- which begins with a uniformly inspiring "China Cat Sunflower"/"I Know You Rider" pairing. The DVD contains two unique interactive features: a Grateful Dead trivia game as well as a "lyrics option" which is accessible through the subtitles menu of the playback unit.

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