Box of Rain

Formerly The Warlocks (2010) [16-44] / [24-44] HDCD

When the first few dates of the October ’89 East Coast tour were announced, the Hampton (Virginia) Coliseum, long one of the band’s favorite places (and the site of many a fine Dead show) was not included on the list. You see, there had been some problems outside the last shows the band had played there – too many ticketless folks, too crazy a scene – and the powers-that-be in Hampton weren’t sure they wanted the Dead back at all. This is a problem the Dead encountered a lot during their post “Touch of Grey” renaissance, so the band got creative: Just ten days before the tour was to begin, the Dead suddenly announced a pair of “stealth” shows at Hampton set for October 8 and 9, 1989. There were no mail-order tickets sold for these gigs (as was common in those days); in fact, ducats were only sold in Southern Virginia through local ticket outlets, as a way to keep out the inevitable Dead Head invasion that followed the band everywhere. Instead of “Grateful Dead,” the tickets said “Formerly The Warlocks” on them, and when fans arrived at the gig those nights, the marquee read “The Warlocks.” Non-Deadheads passing the Coliseum must have been very confused seeing a band they’d probably never heard of headlining the arena. That, of course, was the point.

The folks who were lucky enough to score tickets for the “Warlocks” shows in Hampton were treated to two of the most exciting shows of the year. Because not only was the group playing great, they had also taken the time to rehearse some old favorites they hadn’t tackled in a number of years, including “Dark Star,” the glorious triumvirate of “Help on the Way” > “Slipknot!” > “Franklin’s Tower,” “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” (played just once at Shoreline 11 days earlier), and perhaps most surprising of all, “Attics of My Life” (unplayed since 1972!). Not surprisingly, the crowd greeted these “revivals” with ecstasy bordering on hysteria. Can I get a “Woo-hooooo!”?

The Formerly The Warlocks box collects every note of the band’s two nights there, spread over six CDs. The concerts were originally recorded by Grateful Dead sound wizard John Cutler in the Le Mobile remote truck, and mixed recently by longtime Grateful Dead-associate and Bob Weir/RatDog studio engineer and front-of-house mixer Mike McGinn. As always, the discs have been mastered to HDCD specifications, so needless to say, it sounds like you’re there, in the best seats in the house.

For the 1989 Hampton Coliseum shows, the band wanted to maintain a low profile, so the venue was not included as part of the regular ticket sale for the East Coast fall tour. Instead, tickets went on sale at local outlets ten days before the concerts, with the band billed as “Formerly the Warlocks” instead of the Grateful Dead. When the band came to town, the marquee of the Coliseum read “The Warlocks”, which had been the Grateful Dead’s original name for a few months in 1965.

The two concerts featured several songs that the band had not played live for some time. They had not performed “Help on the Way” since 1985, “Dark Star” since 1984, and “Attics of My Life” since 1972.

The 1989 Hampton concerts were recorded on 24-track analog tapes.

John Cutler – Recording
Michael McGinn – Mixing
Brad Dollar – Mixing
David Glasser – Mastering
Jamie Howarth – 24-track tape transfer and restoration
John K. Chester – 24-track tape transfer and restoration

Release Date: September 7, 2010

Track Listings:
Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, VA October 8, 1989
Set 1

  1. Foolish Heart 8:00
  2. Walkin’ Blues 7:41
  3. Candyman 7:29
  4. Me and My Uncle > 3:11
  5. Big River 6:47
  6. Stagger Lee 5:58
  7. Queen Jane Approximately 6:53
  8. Bird Song > 13:24
  9. Promised Land 4:57

Set 2

  1. Help On The Way > 4:44
  2. Slipknot! > 4:54
  3. Franklin’s Tower 8:26
  4. Victim Or The Crime > 8:30
  5. Eyes Of The World > 9:08
  6. Drums > 10:44
  7. Space > 8:44
  8. I Need A Miracle > 5:01
  9. The Wheel > 4:13
  10. Gimme Some Lovin’ > 4:31
  11. Morning Dew 13:24
  12. We Bid You Goodnight 3:55

Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, VA October 9, 1989
Set 1

  1. Feel Like A Stranger 8:16
  2. Built To Last 5:03
  3. Little Red Rooster 9:09
  4. Ramble On Rose 7:53
  5. We Can Run 6:31
  6. Jack-A-Roe 4:37
  7. Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again 10:10
  8. Row Jimmy 11:08
  9. The Music Never Stopped 8:15

Set 2

  1. Playing In The Band > 11:23
  2. Uncle John’s Band > 11:58
  3. Playing In The Band > 2:20
  4. Dark Star > 19:22
  5. Drums > 9:55
  6. Space > 7:26
  7. Death Don’t Have No Mercy > 8:47
  8. Dear Mr. Fantasy > 5:14
  9. Hey Jude > 3:12
  10. Throwing Stones > 10:17
  11. Good Lovin’ 9:21
  12. Attics Of My Life 6:32


HDCD Decoded [24-44] Seemless & Speed Corrected [NEW]

Jerry Garcia – lead guitar, vocals
Mickey Hart – drums
Bill Kreutzmann – drums
Phil Lesh – electric bass, vocals
Brent Mydland – keyboards, vocals
Bob Weir – rhythm guitar, vocals

5 thoughts on “Formerly The Warlocks (2010) [16-44] / [24-44] HDCD

  1. Camphor

    Nightfall, Anthem, and now the Hampton shows? You bless us with riches BTJ. I probably have 5 copies of each, but not in HDCD. Thanks!

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