Grateful Dead

Road Trips Volume 2 Number 4

Cal Expo '93

If you were ever lucky enough to attend a Grateful Dead concert at Cal Expo Amphitheatre in Sacramento, you already know that it was one of the cooler places the band played in the ’80s and ’90s, as special in its own way as more celebrated venues. Cal Expo was essentially a big grass field with simple grandstands in the back—nothin’ fancy, but a truly wonderful place to hang with your friends and hear some great music. The Dead played 25 shows there from 1984 and 1994—most of them outstanding—and for our new Road Trips release we’ve dug into the vault and pulled out the best of the storied May 1993 run for your listening and partying pleasure.

The heart of the new release is the second set of the 5/26/93 show, which includes excellent versions of “Box of Rain” and “Crazy Fingers” before launching into a “Playing in the Band” for the ages—many Dead Heads agree that it’s one of the finest modern versions; certainly it is the last sextet firing on all cylinders, as they take the jam to all sorts of exciting realms over the course of nearly 19 minutes! The back side of the set features a triumphant reprise of the “Playing” and an emotional “China Doll,” among other delights. That show featured fine versions of a couple of the “new” songs of that era, too: “Corrina” and “Liberty.” Also from the 26th are first set gems such as “Samson and Delilah” and “Here Comes Sunshine,” and from the following (5/27) show we’ve plucked “Shakedown Street,” “High Time,” “When I Paint My Masterpiece” and a couple of others.

The limited edition Bonus Disc, sent gladly to all you early bird orderers, offers lots more from the 5/26-27/93 shows, including the cream of the 5/27 second set—the unusual (and very strong) opening pair of “Picasso Moon” and “Fire on the Mountain,” and then the unique sequence of “Cassidy” into “Uncle John’s Band” back into “Cassidy”; classic GD, never repeated! You’ll also find the dynamite “Gloria” encore from that show, as well as a beautifully rendered “Broken Arrow” and other tracks.

As always, engineer Jeffrey Norman has taken the master tapes and brought them up to impeccable HDCD specs, and the package includes a beautiful and informative booklet with photos and an essay about the shows. You can find the particulars of what’s on all three discs below. So order your copy today! Click here to accomplish that all-important task!

—Blair Jackson

Track List

CD 1: Cal Expo Amphitheatre, Sacramento, CA

1. Samson and Delilah (5/26/93)
2. Here Comes Sunshine (5/26/93)
3. Walkin' Blues (5/26/93)
4. Deal (5/26/93)
5. Box of Rain> (5/26/93)
6. Victim Or The Crime> (5/26/93)
7. Crazy Fingers> (5/26/93)
8. Playing In The Band> (5/26/93)
9. Rhythm Devils (5/26/93)

CD 2: Cal Expo Amphitheatre, Sacramento, CA

1. Corrina> (5/26/93)
2. Playing In The Band> (5/26/93)
3. China Doll> (5/26/93)
4. Around and Around (5/26/93)
5. Liberty (5/26/93)
6. Shakedown Street (5/27/93)
7. The Same Thing (5/27/93)
8. Dire Wolf (5/27/93)
9. High Time (5/27/93)
10. When I Paint My Masterpiece (5/27/93)

BONUS DISC: Cal Expo Amphitheatre, Sacramento, CA (while supplies last)

1. Picasso Moon> (5/27/93)
2. Fire On The Mountain (5/27/93)
3. Cassidy> (5/27/93)
4. Uncle John's Band> (5/27/93)
5. Cassidy (5/27/93)
6. Gloria (5/27/93)
7. Broken Arrow (5/26/93)
8. Ramble On Rose (5/26/93)
9. Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again (5/26/93)

Road Trips Volume 2 Number 4