Grateful Dead

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Joined: Jun 23 2011
My favorite "modern day" versions....

While there are MANY great versions of Scarlet > Fire, and they change in overall sound from each "period". For example: the early '74 versions of Scarlet are generally shorter, non-jammy numbers. When Fire hit the scene, it originally wasn't a barn burner (but was more-so than the early Scarlets). When the boys hooked 'em together, they were on to one of their great song marriages. The mid-late '70's versions are VERY different from the early '80's versions, and these are VERY different from the late '80's versions. However, in early 1990 (I believe the Oakland Chinese New Year run 02-25 thru 02-27) the boys first started playing with MIDI. I may be a bit biased 'cuz this was my first show, but the Scarlet > Fire from 02.26.1990 is freekin' AMAZING!!! The segue jam goes all over the place, includes church bells at one point, Mickey makes a beast of himself, and the jam comes close (several times) to dissolving in to Space. Ok, Jerry forgets the lyrics more than once in Scarlet, and at least once in Fire, but musically it's monumental. Bobby also completely destroys the Bucket lyrics to open the show. Since it was my first show, I wasn't very familiar with the "natural order" of a Dead show, and the blue unicorns had me quite out-there, so I didn't realize what I had actually experienced until years later when I finally rec'd a tape. The show BLEW MY MIND, but everyone's first show does. It wasn't until much later when I listened to the tape (over and over and over) that I realized what a fun 1st set it was, and how AWESOME that Scarlet > Fire is. That is easily my all-time favorite Scarlet > Fire (but I'm biased ;) ). Of course, I have many other "2nd place" versions, but the version from Oakland 02.26.1990 is easily my favorite. The rest of the 2nd set includes a nice Playin > Terrapin > Drumz, and a somewhat rare Baby Blue encore. I discovered the boys a bit late in their careers together, but managed to see over 125 shows in 5 short years, and I feel VERY lucky to have even seen one. So many people missed out on a truly unique amazing and fascinating experience.

The entire second set from Brendan Byrne 04.01.88 is a beast. On paper, the set list almost looks like a "greatest hits" set (I've seen this set labeled as "generic 2nd set material" just because of the songs played, but it's HOW they were played that matters, right?). I know it from memory I've listened so many times: China > Rider; Estimated > Eyes > Drumz > Space > Other One > Wharf Rat > Throwing Stones > Not Fade Away; E: Brokedown Palace. The China > Rider is awesome, a tad short, but the power of it leaves you speechless. The post-Drums is where the true force of the set lies. The jam from Space into The Other One is amazing, and The Other One is one of the most truly mind blowing and experimental-yet-cohesive versions I've ever heard (from '85-'95); plus it has really cool "laser" sounds! While some people don't truly appreciate Throwing Stones, the version here doesn't stop building and jamming. The energy in it ebbs and flows, and at moments you don't think it can build anymore, then it explodes to a whole different ecstatic level - it ROCKS! I think this show was released as a Dick's Picks or Road Trips CD set, and it's is truly worthy of such a release.

Standing On The Moon from Eugene Oregon 08.21.1993. Amazing. Truly amazing. Brings me to tears every time. Jerry is so powerful and heart-felt... wow. I'm getting goosebumps and my eyes are tearing up just thinking about it.....

Help On The Way > Slipknot! > Franklin's Tower - Eugene Oregon 08.22.1993. Again - awesome. This was the 2nd set opener. It was excellent when I saw it at Autzen, and even better when it caught me surprise on the David Gans Grateful Dead hour . . . . uhhhh . . . . WOW!

Jack Straw - Eugene Oregon 08.22.1993 - this was the show opener, and Bobby's guitar was giving him some type of problem, so he walked off stage in mid-song. I was in the bleachers behind the stage and saw Bobby literally smash the guitar to the ground. While this was going on backstage, Jerry started jamming.... and jamming, and jamming, and he jammed a bit after that jam, and followed that with another jam. It rocked! There was also a microphone issue, at one point Jerry just comes in with "...change, ain't that Heaven sent...." instead of "...took my rings and four bucks in change, ain't that Heaven sent...". Again, I was there and I may be biased, and again, I didn't realize just how awesome this Jack Straw was until I heard it on tape a couple of weeks later. I was too wrapped up in watching Bobby backstage throwing the guitar around and getting all POed!

(yes - I was at this Eugene run, and the entire run will stay with me FOREVER! It wasn't only the music, it was everything- this was one of the few venues where there was still parking lot camping next to the stadium, and what a great spot: right next to the Willamette river in beautiful Oregon; naked folks swimming in the river, climbing the trees.... I did every Eugene run in the '90's and camped each time, and the '93 run was IMO by far the best; I'm getting all teary-eyed-and-goosebumpy again just thinking about it)

I didn't list anything before 1985 for a reason, there are already SO MANY great versions of great songs already listed here from what is generally recognized the Grateful Dead's "heyday": up to 1977/78, that I decided to list my favorites from the "modern age" of the Dead.'s picture
Joined: Nov 3 2007
After Midnight

Actually, Mission is on After Midnight Disc 3 song 7.

On the wall of the garden a legend did say: "No one may come here since no one may stay."

Gr8fulTed's picture
Joined: Jul 9 2007
Coulda been from the late show at Kean

The " After Midnight " cd doesn't have Mission on the 3 cd's: however, their was a late show from 2/28/80 with Mission in the setlist, and Ozzie Ahlers on the keyboard: SiskB could be right.

Gr8fulTed's picture
Joined: Jul 9 2007
Not Keane in 1980: Mission wasn't played

Try the 3 piece JGB from 8/9/80, in
Palo Alto, with John Kahn and Ozzie Ahlers.

lamagonzo (not verified)

SiskB is probably more right. There are a lot of "Mission" freaks out there but the clues this guy is giving sure point to a Jerry show, whether Kean or another. However, he doesn't specify GD or Jerry or both...

Buy the way, my last post here lists three shows. All were 76.

trailbird's picture
Joined: Jan 8 2011
I'd say...

Jerry Garcia Band, Kean College, 1980

lamagonzo (not verified)
Ohhh, A challenge!

Must be from 76.
6/4/76 Paramount, Portland OR
6/18/78 Passaic, NJ
6/29/76 Auditorium Theatre, Chicago

I haven't listened but my guess is the Paramount.

Joined: Jul 1 2011
mission in the rain

does anybody know what live show "mission in the rain" was done at where it's exclusively jerry singing and it sounds like a synthesizer in the middle of the song, or something he did with his guitar that made it sound like a synthesizer? i've been trying to find this version for a while now...anybody got any ideas?

Joined: Jun 21 2007
Jack Straw


Two come to mind - I like the latter day Jack Straw's better than the earlier years' because they were played at a faster tempo and because of the crowd frenzy the final jam often caused.

These two bring The Frenzy in a big way:

4/6/87 Brendan Byrne Arena, NJ
9/9/87 Providence Civic Center, Providence RI

Listen to audience copies.

Joined: Jul 26 2008
Some favorites

My first tape was 12-26-69 SMU. A great show and always special to listen to because it was the show that got the wheel turnin'. Of course, dont kill me for this, is Barton Hall 5-8-77. I love this show, I dont care how many times I have heard it, I would still like an official version remastered by the people at the vault. Then 2-18-71, the first Wharf Rat sandwiched between a killer Dark Star, very nice. I agree on the 10-26-89, that show is awesome, definately the best of the later versions of Dark Star, IMO

Some Days the Gails are Howling, Some Days the Sea is still as glass


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Best version EVER?