Saturday, June 30, 1984
Indianapolis Sports Center - Indianapolis, IN
Here’s another example of how there are so many gems lurking in the early 80’s. 1984 is full of great runs and stellar moments. Here, at a small outdoor venue (tennis court), on a hot summer day, smack dab in the middle of Indiana, the Grateful Dead delivered some fine moments indeed. There are so many inroads to great music in 1984. After being away from trading for a number of years, 06/30/84 was one of the first dates that my memory recommended to me as being aextra special from this year. Without a doubt there are a great many more shows from this year that are worthy of being featured here, and I plan to get to them in time. For now, this show feels right. Well recorded, the tape imparts just the right specialness that epitomized 1984.
The first set rolls along nicely, and features some very pronounced Bobby rhythm work in Saint of Circumstance. He is way up in the mix during the crescendo, and it gives you the ability to dial into his playing as much as he obviously has. But this doesn’t even prepare you for the monstrous Deal that closes the set. As the 80’s progressed, so did Jerry’s exploration in his Deal solos. They tended to contain ever-appearing peaks, like huge ocean waves of energy, pushing the song on and on. Just as one fades, another takes its place. He would punctuate these peaks in such a way that would blow your hair back. 06/30/84 delivers a Deal that scores on all of these points. And the energy carries directly into the next set.
Shakedown Street brings its wonderful high stepping funky prance, opening up the second set on a high note. The band seems to take their time with the entire song, letting things build slowly. By the time they finish up the final “Just gotta poke around” vocal improv, the entire venue is deep in the pocket. It’s a joyful delivery of very Grateful Dead-like music. Slowly, the jam pushes its borders, adding an element of quiet surprise here and there that hints at more spacey leanings. The band is stoking the fire. Our heads swell with a mystic heat. Finally, after traveling in wonderful directions, Shakedown dissipates into the mist of transition with Jerry eventually clearly indicating that Playin’ comes next. The crowd gets it amidst a waterfall of musical dewdrops. Held within a sliver of space between songs, they tickle the nerves, as the music takes its own breath between songs.
Playin’ rockets forward, always at a faster tempo in the 80’s. In no time the jam is upon us and the music blooms into its characteristic Playin’ flower – petals composed of starlight dappled wagon wheels ever opening, ever reaching. Without effort, the music expands your senses beyond the Self and into a deeply internal journey all at once. The jam goes in twisted directions, changing the landscape over and over. Storm clouds fill the sky and are replaced just as quickly with northern lights, and fire. Energy grows and erupts in snakelike tree trunks, appearing and receding before you. The band pushes the moment over the edge beautifully. With the theme of Playin’ In The Band nearly completely forgotten, the music ebbs back into that dewdrop waterfall filled sliver between songs again. It lingers a bit longer this time, enjoying the near still pools that cover the ground around you. On a whisper, the waters condense into Terrapin Station, and the music moves itself on to the next song.
Sure, Jerry’s going to forget a line here and there ( I think he did in Shakedown too), but the song can’t be altered from its hypnotic course. The early solo section of this version is sublime. That beauty held within the crevices of the last two song transitions steps forth and saturates the music completely. Gravity fades and the world is filled with gently floating precious jewels and flowers. The quiet between notes provides as much substance as the music itself, and nothing is missed from our field of experience. Followed thereafter with the dynamic rise and fall of the song’s end section, this Terrapin ranks up as one of the nicest of the year.
Drums and Space are nice, and the rest of the set satisfies, but the above mentioned passages are where the light really shines. Enjoy.
06/30/84 AUD etree source info
06/30/84 AUD Download