Today In Grateful Dead History: June 12, 1987 – Ventura County Fairgrounds, Ventura, CA

terrapinAfter a couple of sick days, I’m back!

1987 is a strange year for the Grateful Dead.  The band and Jerry are still recovering from the diabetic coma that almost ended it all in 1986 and the shows tend to be fairly short but often well played.

This show from the Ventura County Fairgrounds encapsulates everything good and bad about 1987.  It doesn’t have a lot of jamming, but, especially compared to the prior two years, its relatively mistake free and fun.  The Bird Song in the first set is pretty nice and Bob’s take on Desolation Row is also good.  The China Cat Sunflower>I Know You Rider is interesting, with the China Cat part differing a little bit in tempo than other versions.  He’s Gone really gives Brent a chance to shine and his upfront keys add a lot to the song.  The rest of the show doesn’t really do much for me, but the band pours a lot of effort into Good Lovin’ to close.

You can tell the band is having a good time at this show, and the crowd is really into it, despite the lack of serious jams.  It’s a fun show for an early summer afternoon.

Here’s a link to the soundboard, which actually sounds a lot like a Matrix:  https://archive.org/details/gd1987-06-12.sbd.walker-scotton.miller.83751.sbeok.flac16

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