Today In Grateful Dead History: July 21, 1984 – Ventura County Fairgrounds, Ventura, CA

dancing-bear Some 1984 shows have that X factor that we’re all looking for, but in my opinion you have to dig pretty deep to find truly transcendent material in this year.  This is what makes exploring these shows so interesting – you never know what you’ll find.

Unfortunately, this performance from the Ventura County Fairgrounds doesn’t have much going for it.  I wanted to have positive things to say so we don’t have two negative days in a row, but that wasn’t in the cards.  I guess if you want to look on the bright side, it’s much better to have Brent around than Vince, which makes today an improvement over yesterday.  (Sorry Vince).

China Cat Sunflower>I Know You Rider is definitely the highlight of the first set, but there really isn’t much to talk about there.  The 2nd set Truckin’ is a lyrical and rhythmic mess and Eyes of the World doesn’t improve things.  After hearing this, I found myself seriously looking forward to Drums.  Post-Space we get a whole lot of not much, with Jerry eventually sliding woozily into a poor rendition of Stella Blue that sees him blow the opening lines of the first two verses and slurring most of the rest.  The guitar solo is the instrumental version of his lyrical performance.  Yikes.

Here you go if you want it:


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