June 24, 1970
Attendees of this show
This is it, this is the show, this is THE ONE. After 20+ years of listening to the Dead damned near every day, I still have not found a performance that tops this night. I'm sure there must have been a lot of babies delivered in Port Chester hospitals in March '71, because the energy radiatiating from the Capitol Theatre on this night just had to infect the local populace. The audience was giving it to the band, the band was giving it right back, and untold muses and spirits were all gathered and giving everthying they had as well. You've heard the phrase "when the music plays the band?" Well, during the second part of Dark Star (after Attics) something really powerful grabbed the Dead by the scruff of their neck and BLASTED its message through them like water through a fire hose. Every song played this night is the reference standard for that piece. Attics is fully "Dark Starred" and has some wonderful moments, including a single bent note by Jerry as they approach the first verse and the delightful scream by a lady in the audience during the "When I had no wings to fly" line. The transition back into Dark Star is perfect, and the Feelin' Groovy jam that follows must be heard to be believed. This Sugar Mag - the second ever - springs effortlessly out of that jam, and its choral treatment is unique and wonderful. Then the St. Stephen: perfectly played, unbelievable energy, and the transition into the reprise is nailed to the millisecond. By this point the audience must have been melted into puddles on the floor, but the band cranks right into a rockin China > Rider which of course is note-for-note perfect and overflowing with energy. It's just all too much.
Play this show in your home, play it in your car, play it while you make love. When I die, drop this show into my casket and bury me with a smile on my face. This is the soundtrack of my life.
Unfortunately, I've never heard this show, the second set (most of it at least), goes like this:
Dark Star>Attics>Dark Star>Sugar Magnolia>Dark Star>St. Stephen>China>Rider
This is my personal favorites show. First off, the AUD recording is top notch quality. The acoustic set is very good. The electric set, however, is spectacular. Everyone talks about the Dark Star suite, but for me, the opening, where the band blows into Not Fade Away into Easy Wind, is 1970 Grateful Dead at it's hard bluesy best.