Grateful Dead

View from the Vault III

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The third installment in the Grateful Dead's View From the Vault series of archival audio/video releases is once again available in the DVD and VHS home video formats. The main performance consists of two complete sets and encore from June 16, 1990, and the DVD bonus footage is derived from October 3, 1987. Both capture the Dead practically in their own backyard at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, CA. This venue became a Mecca for Dead shows, as the band performed there a total of 39 times between 1987 and 1995. Commencing 1990 in much the same way it ended 1989, the group began to once again show signs of true innovation, spontaneity, and unpredictability on-stage. This reveals itself as the Dead take a few notable liberties with their performance repertoire. The inclusion of both "Truckin'" and "One More Saturday Night" during the first half of the show contrasts with their standard placement usually buried somewhere later in the concert. Visually, the band appears inspired and likewise motivated with the incorporation of newer material -- such as keyboardist Brent Mydland's ecological anthem, "We Can Run." As with the previous volumes in the View From the Vault series, during the second set -- especially during the extended instrumental sections -- the on-stage camera work has been substituted for some decidedly uninspired and dated computer-generated graphics. Although these visual distractions remain true to what attendees would have seen on the giant screens that adorned both sides of the Shoreline Amphitheatre stage, at times the effects are notably irritating. Likewise, by choosing to store over three hours of information onto a single-sided/double-layer DVD, there is a brief pause after "Terrapin Station" and prior to the extended instrumental section. This technical anomaly is not a defect, although it ultimately freezes both the audio and video.