View from the Vault
Three Rivers Stadium - Pittsburgh
[July 8, 1990]
First Appeared at The Music Box, March 2001, Volume 8, #3
Written by John Metzger
If there was ever a band made for home theater systems, it was the Grateful Dead, and fortunately all three of their concert videos — Ticket to New Year's, Downhill from Here, and View from the Vault — have recently been released in DVD format. While all of these are also available in VHS, I strongly urge you to invest in a digital system with the requisite Dolby Digital/Surround audio package. Not only will movies like Yellow Submarine, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and The Wall simply blow you away, but the full-blown home theater experience also does wonders for well-executed music documentaries, such as those by the Grateful Dead.
View from the Vault is arguably the best of the three releases that the Grateful Dead currently has available. This package offers the complete concert from July 8, 1990 at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with additional footage from July 6, 1990 at Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, KY. In other words, there's more than 3 ½ hours of music here to wet your palate, and all of it features priceless live-action video of the band as well as gorgeous computer-generated imagery.
By mid-1990, digital graphics and video technology had truly come into their own as far as the Grateful Dead was concerned, and these factors joined the band's light show to become, under the masterful guidance of Candace Brightman, a 7th member of the group. The images are nothing short of spectacular, and are often breathtakingly beautiful as colors merge and swirl to form near-3D replications of the group. Furthermore, watching the best live band ever ply their trade and interact with one another — particularly guitarist Jerry Garcia and keyboard player Brent Mydland — is an absolute treat.
Musically, View from the Vault falls short of many of the albums in the esteemed Dick's Picks series. Yet, whenever the band shies away from their more interesting excursions — as they do during the first half of the opening set — the video footage more than makes up for it. When the band does find their groove, the digital imagery collides with their sonic explorations to yield a delightfully entertaining and visually stimulating experience. Eyes of the World, Estimated Prophet, Terrapin Station, Wang Dang Doodle, Black Peter, and Throwing Stones all fold around mesmerizing Drums and Space segments, and if you allow yourself to be carried away by the adventure, you'll come away from View from the Vault with the same feel-good, consciousness-raising sensation once achieved at the band's concerts. This one is a must for any fan of the Grateful Dead.
Of Further Interest...
View from the Vault is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!
View from the Vault is part of the View from the Vault boxed
set, which is available from Barnes & Noble.
To order, Click Here!
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2001 The Music Box