If you're on my friends list and see this in the next 90 minutes or so, you might really want to set your web browser to: http://www.tristudios.com/liveplayer/Footnote on the day after:
The video and audio quality of Weir's broadcast was the best I've ever seen over the Internet. He claimed that this was the first HDTV live Internet broadcast in history. Part of it included a studio tour, where he showed off amazing technology to instantly harden or soften the acoustics of the room. He demonstrated how he could make a studio room sound like a living room or a cathedral at the touch of a button. Something else he said that I liked: he would like to establish a new trend in bringing live music to Internet audiences. He envisions inviting people like Herbie Hancock to stage performances at his studio. This smacks of the keen inventive ambition of Jerry Garcia (and the rest of the band), when the band was in its formative days; when they had Augustus Stanley Owsley create the "wall of sound."
As for Weir's performance, itself -- I eventually found it to be fairly typical. I loved the introductory acoustic set that showed off his not-incosiderable acoustic guitar skills. But I started to zone out toward the end with the rambling "jam-for-its-own-sake" style of the electric set. This consisted primarily of extensions of melodies and themes that I've heard the Grateful Dead develop hundreds of times. Without the chemistry of improvisational genius that fueled this approach when the Grateful Dead was at its best, the arrangements and songs, with Weir-as-pilot, usually strike me as "tastefully tedious."
I'll be curious to listen to his adventure with the Marin Symphony
, if a good recording of that surfaces, to see if his collaborators on that were able to make arrangements of his familiar songs come alive. The "Jack Straw" performance
referenced in the link above has a certain boomy majesty, but it's a fairly low-bandwidth recording.