Grateful Dead

Grateful Dead Hour no. 605

By David Gans

Grateful Dead Hour by David Gans

Week of April 24 2012

Featuring the complete first set of 4/15/88 in Chicago, which opens with an unusual selection. Enjoy!

Grateful Dead 4/15/88 Rosemont Horizon, Chicago

Every Wednesday, we post a program from the Grateful Dead Hour archives for your enjoyment and enlightenment. You can browse or search the playlists at or on the GD Hour Search page, and let me know what program(s) you'd like to hear by emailing me at

Thank you for listening!

- David Gans

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Joined: Jun 4 2007

But who said you can't be excited all the time? :)

Let's face it - for the band, it was all about the money over the last four or five years. When they went back on the road a little more than a month after Brent died that's when it became evident. They can't stop. Too much easy money. They were willing to embarass themselves in 1995 and put people's life in jeopardy for the money. That was a terrible way for such a magnificient ride to end.

rdevil's picture
Joined: Nov 2 2007
some good points

You make some good points Double T. I am among those that prefer 72-74 Dead and the setlists were all over the place but even then there was some predictability. For long stretches you could expect either an extended jam on Dark Star or the Other One every other night. My comments, though, and presumably yours, were aimed more at the late era Dead (as featured in this week's Grateful Dead Hour) which was (obviously) much more formulaic than ever. While fans like you and me would have loved to see a lot more jamming and varied set lists, I'm not so sure they would have been selling out stadiums had they gone that route. By the time the 90s came around there was very much an expectation in the crowd: which cowboy song tonight? or, which Dylan cover tonight? But when they did do something a little different, like close a first set with Might As Well the buzz in the crowd was spectacular.
I'm not really disagreeing with you, Double T, just saying that I think there was a certain comfort level among fans in the last decade or so that made the big breakouts that much more exciting.
And I'm fine with that. If you're not fine with that...that's okay, I understand.

Joined: Jun 4 2007
Totally true

Compared to any other big name act the GD provided way more surprises night in and night out - no doubt about it -- even at their most "predictable."

But Weir's comment is a cop out, makes no sense. Even if 5 out of 20 shows on a tour they did some crazy stuff that would have been enough. And when it WAS the norm (72-74) how did that go? Most fans consider it their strongest period.

I can't understand when you have an audience that is totally amenable to almost anything why you can't take more chances. I would think, why even play that many songs? Why waste time playing a Bob Dylan cover? Why not just jam? As a musician myself, if I have an audience that's willing, I would much rather jam than play a bunch of songs that I've played forever that I am not that enthusiastic about - especially cover tunes! But who am I ...just a nobody!

rdevil's picture
Joined: Nov 2 2007
on the other hand

I remember reading an interview with Bobby where he said something to the effect that if they changed it up all the time it wouldn't stand out since that would be the norm.
Personally, I enjoyed the shows the way they played them. When they did something unusual it was a big deal but a "standard" show was still great. Remember, in those days virtually none of the big acts changed up their set lists, at least not to the extent the Dead did. Groups like the Rolling Stones changing their set lists during recent tours--that's a direct result of the Grateful Dead's late popularity.

Joined: Jun 4 2007
We'll never understand...

..why these guys were such utter and complete wusses about opening shows with the "big guns" like this like more than once every several years. Garcia especially complained during the second half of their career about how bored and burned out he was. I think for instance about the "Eyes" opening 6-17-91 - how great was that? And yet that wasn't something they ever seemed to follow up on. Let's see. You're constantly complaining about being bored. The audience loves it when you shake it up. You play better often times when the program got deliberately messed with. But then you never do it.

I remember reading an interview with Hornsby..he couldn't get it either. He said he asked one time something to the effect of "Why can't we open the second set with space?" And people just mumbled and walked away or something...

Lazy! That's what too much money and too much adulation does to people I guess.

I have zero interest in Furthur but god bless them (and other offshoots) for putting a fork in the "We can only close with Deal, Promised Land . . . " type thinking!

I can hear Garcia chuckling in my mind... "Yeah but if we open with Dark Star, everyone might leave when it's over!" Some smart ass remark like that.

Joined: Jun 13 2007

"more than... just ashes...
-when your dreams come true..."

Joined: Nov 1 2010

the candyman was indeed in town during this chicago gig ... louie louie


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