Today In Grateful Dead History: August 5, 1974 – Philadelphia Civic Arena, Philadelphia, PA

stealie This show is a pretty standard 1974 Wall of Sound show, which is to say that it’s very very good.  Most of your standard songs are here and they are all played well, with that signature ’74 funkiness and swing that you don’t here in any other year.

The two major highlights here are China Cat Sunflower>I Know You Rider, which features one of the cleaner transition jams you’ll here on these tunes, and Truckin’ , which takes off for thirty minutes of fun, especially the middle third where the band bounces ideas of each other with reckless abandon.  (The second set opening Scarlet Begonias is also stellar).

In addition, I just want to give a quick acknowledgement to Around and Around, which gets almost no love from anyone.  On this particular day, the Dead get through that smokin’ version of China>Rider and, instead of simply ending the first set there, take two minutes to encourage the audience to back up from the stage and then launch into Around and Around to close things out.   Despite all of this, they really push the envelop on the song.  Jerry’s guitar solos, in particular, are very aggressive for a tune that’s typically a throw away.

I picked the Matrix version of this show but the AUD that it comes from is also really great.  Here you go:


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