|Road Trips Volume 4 Number 2|
|Live album by|
|Released||February 1, 2011|
|Recorded||March 31 - April 1, 1988|
|Producer||David Lemieux |
|Grateful Dead chronology|
Road Trips Volume 4 Number 2 is a live album by the rock band the Grateful Dead. The 14th of the Road Trips series of archival releases, it was recorded on March 31 and April 1, 1988, at the Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. It was released as a three disc CD on February 1, 2011.
Road Trips Volume 4 Number 2, subtitled April Fools' '88, includes the complete April 1 concert, along with the second set, encore, and two songs from the first set of the March 31 concert. It was only the second live Dead album that was recorded in 1988; the first was Grateful Dead Download Series Volume 5.
In Allmusic, Jeff Tamarkin gave Road Trips Volume 4 Number 2 three stars out of five, and wrote a somewhat unfavorable review, saying, "... it would seem that those newbies to the scene were witnessing a band that was offering diminishing returns. From the evidence present on this three-CD compendium of tracks recorded in East Rutherford, N.J., on March 31 and April 1, 1988, the Dead had become more or less predictable and somewhat frayed. That isn't to say there aren't moments of inspiration and near-brilliance here.... " He concluded, "This Road Trips volume is far from a disaster, and Grateful Dead loyalists who remember the era fondly are likely to overlook the flaws and enjoy it for what it is. But anyone just discovering this iconic American band would be far better off with one of the classic Dick's Picks sets dating from the early '70s."
In All About Jazz, Doug Collette was more positive, writing, "Near the end of the '80s, the Grateful Dead was ascending to a pinnacle of performing comparable to its best days in the previous two decades. On disc two, the ambitious interweaving of vintage original material, as well as covers including Traffic's "Dear Mr. Fantasy" (sung so emotively by keyboardist Brent Mydland), benefits tremendously from the excellent recording originally overseen by engineer Dan Healy. In addition, Jeffrey Norman's HDCD mastering brings out the detail in the septet's musicianship, including the snappy interaction between drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart -- and not just on [the] pithy "Rhythm Devils"/"Space" interval, but their locked in tandem work during "I Need a Miracle."
Writing in The Music Box, John Metzger was even more enthusiastic, saying, "Beautifully replicated on Road Trips, Vol. 4, No. 2 -- where the April Fools' Day gig is paired with material from the preceding night -- the group's performance at New Jersey's Brendan Byrne Arena was simply spectacular.... As Road Trips, Vol. 4, No. 2 attests, the Grateful Dead certainly was on an upswing in 1988, one which would last for several years. Whether navigating the hilly terrain that linked "China Cat Sunflower" with "I Know You Rider"; the intoxicated, funky jazz that connected "Estimated Prophet" to "Eyes of the World"; or the frenetically propulsive bluegrass of "Cumberland Blues", the members of the Grateful Dead were fully in synch. Fueled by sobriety, new material, and -- for the first time in its career -- a hit record, the outfit almost seemed to be making amends for the time it lost during the first half of the decade. Things were certainly good in the world of the Grateful Dead."
Following are the full set lists from the March 30, March 31, and April 1, 1988 concerts at the Brendan Byrne Arena.
Wednesday, March 30
Thursday, March 31
Friday, April 1
* Included in Road Trips Volume 4 Number 2