Grateful Dead

Zenith (Paris, France)

Oct 28, 1990

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  1. 1 Uncle John's Band / Drums 18:41
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Jerry Garcia - vocals, guitars
Bob Weir - vocals, guitars
Phil Lesh - vocals, bass
Bill Kreutzmann - drums
Mickey Hart - drums
Vince Welnick - keyboards
Bruce Hornsby - keyboards

The last official line-up of the Grateful Dead is featured in this show, the first of two nights at the Zenith Theater in Paris, France. The Dead had not often performed in Paris, so when they came for their 1990 World Tour, it was a special event. This performance only contains one, albeit a very long, song: The 1971 classic "Uncle John's Band."

Originally recorded for the seminal Workingman's Dead album, the song is among the best examples of country rock from that era. Here it is merged with an extensive drum solo from Bill Kruetzmann and Mickey Hart. To get a better idea of the whole two-day affair, check out the next night's performance on October 28th, also available here at Concert Vault.

Made before the band disbanded in 1995 after the death of singer/guitarist Jerry Garcia, the track features ex-Tubes keyboard player, Vince Welnick, who died in 2006, and also Bruce Hornsby, who performed with the Dead a lot through the early '90s. By the time this version of the band assembled, they had already recorded their biggest commercial songs, especially 1987's "Touch of Grey," which brought the band to mainstream radio charts and introduced them to a whole new generation of younger fans.

The live Dead archive is massive but these two gigs at the Zenith in Paris are among the best from the final tours the band conducted. Although it is unclear how the French embraced the "social" experience of a Dead show, it is clear they loved the band and its musicianship.

For years after the death of Jerry Garcia, the members of the band focused on various solo projects. The Dead resurfaced in 2003, first as the Other Ones, and simply as the Dead, using guest vocalists and players such as Joan Osborne.