Our earliest date-appropriate jam this week is from 8/13/79 at McNichols Arena in Denver. As we mentioned last week, this date was meant to be the second night of a three night run at Red Rocks, but Mother Nature had other ideas and they were forced to play the second and third shows indoors at McNichols. From this night, we have the second set opening trio of I Need A Miracle>Bertha>Good Lovin’, drawn from the master reels running at 15 ips.
Exactly eight years later, 8/13/87, the band found themselves back at Red Rocks for the third night of their three night run, opening the show with this rare opener, Big Boss Man. From later in that first set, we have a rocking Far From Me. These two tracks were recorded from the Beta PCM digital masters.
Our final mid-August piece of music this week is from Portland, Oregon on 8/15/81, and demonstrates the not-exactly-great mix on many cassettes from the era. The performance, though, shines through, making this show opener worth hearing: Shakedown Street, Me and My Uncle>Big River.
Speaking of cassette masters from 1981, our next trio of tracks is made up of the second set openers of three consecutive nights on the outstanding May, 1981 tour. First, from Rutgers University on 5/15/81, is this dense Scarlet Begonias>Fire On The Mountain. The middle night of our journey stops at the magical Barton Hall at Cornell University in Ithaca on 5/16/81, and features Shakedown Street>Bertha>Lost Sailor>Saint of Circumstance (we hope you don’t mind two versions of Shakedown Street and Bertha this week…). We end our mini-tour of the east coast in Syracuse on 5/17/81 with this classic set opener of Cold Rain and Snow>Samson and Delilah, which always had such a smooth segue.
Because we had such a great time putting together these 1981 moments for you, we’ll continue with the mid-first set Friend of the Devil>C.C. Rider from 7/2/81 at the Summit in Houston. As rare as Grateful Dead concerts were in Texas, they sure did play well there. Also from Texas, on 7/4/81 at Manor Downs in Austin, we have several moments from that great show: From the first set is this rowdy Minglewood Blues and the set closing China Cat Sunflower>I Know You Rider. And, from the second set is the opening Feel Like A Stranger and the double-dose jam of Bird Song>Playing In The Band, featuring a very rare second set Bird Song.
Lastly this week, a little taste of 1972, specifically the opening night of the European tour, 4/7/72 in London. From the middle of the first set is this nice Loser, always good to hear in its early form.
Stop back in next week for some exceptional 1972 material, as well as a 1976 studio jam, plus loads of other great music. As always, we encourage you to write with questions or comments, suggestions or requests.
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