When we arrived at Carroll Studios for another week of Deadstein on this very hot Wednesday evening, the guy in the studios said we were lucky because they almost had to cancel us because the air conditioning wasn't working, but since they got the repairman in at the last moment, we were okay to play. I guess the repairman left his "repair" portion of his moniker at home that day because there was no air conditioning so to speak and within minutes of all of us in the room with amps on, it turned into a mucky sweatfest.
It's not that we haven't played in un-air conditioned studios before. We have spent many years sweating while playing and in some respects it keeps you on your toes and keeps enables your hands to melt into your guitar neck, but as we age, it seems more and more difficult to sustain an effort through all the heat. Alan was our first and only causality as he left after the first set. During the second set Kevin was dying to take a little break for a little nap but we convinced him to sit instead and going horizontal and he made it through the whole night.
After a tough week for me and my family when we said good bye to both my Aunt Arlene and Uncle Stanley on the same day, they were weighing heavy in my heart. I decided to start with two "Uncle" songs, Uncle John's Band and Me and My Uncle with "Cause when life looks like Easy Street, there is danger at your door" being the key line in the whole thing. With Lee taking us into Big River out of the Uncle, it seemed to knock us onto track as the heat began to build. Althea to following, kept us on that path. The nice, easy Operator cooled us down a little but the Stranger turned the temperature way up. The "on-it-toes" Friend of the Devil was less thick than usual and also provided some cooling sensations. The stand-alone Truckin' to close the set was pretty good, hot and was the last song played before we all needed a much deserved hydration break.
This was all Alan could take and we proceeded thereafter with 5 and took on some Garcia Band tunes to begin the second set. Scott reminded us of the tremendous heat Jerry had to play through in 1983 at Roseland and 1984 at Good Skates, so if Jerry did it, there is no reason we couldn't sweat a bit for the privilege to jam on these tunes. After four JGB songs the Death Don't Have No Mercy was drawn up and brought me back to those we lost. We continued with a few songs from that era that also sings of life and loss with an Attics and Brokedown. The Wake Up Little Suzie and Till the Morning Comes seemed like little refreshing larks to get us prepared for the tiring drive home. It think it worked and we made it back from the Dead looking forward to resurrect another week of Deadstein as summer officially rolls in. Freak Out.