June 24, 1973
I usually agree with grendel and cgarces on things, but they're dead wrong about this being "just noise" or "crap" for the final half. Fine by me if you don't like or don't understand what they were going for in the deep meltdown weirdness jams from '73-'74 - there's enough Dead to go around for all tastes. But to dismiss it as crap or to edit it out just mutilates the musical/mental arc of the show. Nor is this anywhere near as freaky as they get. There are rhythmic and melodic 'insect themes' consistent throughout as someone called them, call and response between the players, and sensitive improvisational interplay between them all. It doesn't go so off the rails as to never come back, and finally it's poetically consistent with the content of what Dark Star tells you it's about: Shattering fragments of tattering reason turning back onto themselves from a nightfall of diamonds into formless reflections and back again. Musical fractals performed live and in person, but you've got to be turned on to it to get it: Shall we go, you and I while we can? Shall we go through darkness back into light? Can we approach the wild terror of chaos then find ourselves back in the 12-tone diatonic musical order known to us, familiar and soothing, with its recognizable harmonies, melodies, meters, and forms? For me the bliss of the Eyes afterwards is made stronger by the clouds of delusion before it. De gustibus non est disputatum, of course, but that's my take.