Grateful Dead

Road Trips Volume 3 Number 1

Oakland, 12/28/79

The latest installment in our Road Trips series, now entering its third big year (and ninth release overall) is bound to become a favorite. Road Trips Vol. 3, No. 1 is the complete show from December 28, 1979, part of the sparkling run that has already given us the excellent Dick’s Picks: Vol. 5 (from 12/26/79). You’ll recall that these year-end concerts, held at the Oakland Auditorium because Winterland had closed down for good the previous New Year’s Eve, were the first holiday shows featuring new keyboardist Brent Mydland, who joined the band in April 1979.

The new lineup had been gaining momentum with each passing tour since that spring, and by December was truly hitting its stride. It helped, too, that the band was in the midst of recording their Go To Heaven album, so they were really playing together a lot during this period. This 12/28/79 concert is a blast: a super high-energy rock and roll show that also has its share of spacey jams and exploratory passages. The first set includes standout versions of “Sugaree,” “High Time” (rare enough that it always felt like a treat!) and “The Music Never Stopped,” while the second set opens with the always potent pair of “Alabama Getaway” > “Greatest Story Ever Told,” turns deep and introspective with “Playing in the Band” and “Terrapin,” and then later turns into a non-stop party with “Uncle John’s Band,” “I Need A Miracle,” “Bertha” and Good Lovin’.” If you’re not wiped out after that, the double-encore will waste you—“Casey Jones” and “Saturday Night”!

The sound on both discs is spectacular (it’s hard to beat great reels as source tapes), and as always the CDs have been mastered to the exacting HDCD spec, because you would accept nothing less. The colorful accompanying booklet contains a number of excellent Jay Blakesberg photos from those Oakland Aud. shows, as well as a typically inspiring essay by the always poetic Dead scribe Steve Silberman.

So it’s a win-win. A slam-dunk. A no-brainer. For more info on all the goodness packed onto these discs, click here. And when you finally come to your senses and decide that you can longer live another day without Road Trips Vol. 3, No. 1, you can order it here.

—Blair Jackson

Track List

CD 1: Oakland Auditorium Arena, December 28, 1979

1. SUGAREE
2. MAMA TRIED>
3. MEXICALI BLUES
4. ROW JIMMY
5. IT’S ALL OVER NOW
6. HIGH TIME
7. THE MUSIC NEVER STOPPED
SET 2:
8. ALABAMA GETAWAY>
9. GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD

CD 2: Oakland Auditorium Arena, December 28, 1979

1. TERRAPIN STATION>
2. PLAYING IN THE BAND>
3. RHYTHM DEVILS>
4. SPACE>
5. UNCLE JOHN’S BAND>
6. I NEED A MIRACLE>
7. BERTHA>
8. GOOD LOVIN’
9. CASEY JONES
10. ONE MORE SATURDAY NIGHT



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Joined: Apr 28 2009
Kewl!

Well, I decided to order this set, along with the new JGB release. Lookin forward to it. It is an under-represented time in my collection, as is the JGB release. Decided to pass on the Winterland release. Glad to get these instead. I hope I don't have any customer service nightmares. Never had before, I will stay away from the phone operators in Bombay or wherever they are from. I also added the Pure Jerry from 1991, love that late era stuff.

Xmas came early for me.

marye's picture
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Joined: May 26 2007
wow

definitely my kind of setlist, and in my observation it's hard to go wrong with a December 28 show in general. Woohoo! And thanks for a release from the Brent era.

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Joined: Apr 2 2008
Sweet

Looks great...cant wait to hear it!

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Joined: Jun 4 2007
Greatest Show On Earth!

If I remember correctly there was a circus motif to the festivities during this New Year's run, but then again it was always like a circus...

These are incredible shows and I think 12/30 has never quite received it's kudos - the Scarlet > Let it Grow has some amazing moments!

Full Show, Great Run, Good Job!

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