Today in Grateful Dead History: August 11, 1987 – Red Rocks Amphitheater, Morrison, CO

Dancing Skeletons

Aaaah 1987.  This is the only show for this day in history and, based on the setlist, I was prepared to be underwhelmed.  How could I not be with a first set like this:  Cold Rain And Snow, Little Red Rooster, Tons Of Steel, High Time, When I Paint My Masterpiece, When Push Comes To Shove, Let It Grow?  By my count the first set runs about 45 minutes and I would have been happy if it consisted of just the last 20, from Masterpiece through Let It Grow.  Even that set-ender is messy, with Bob just slobbering all over everything for the last four minutes of mundane noodling.  Not a good beginning.

The second set is made up of a bizarre collection of tunes, but the pre-Drums section is actually pretty good.  The band starts off with a smooth version of Crazy Fingers which, for some reason, really resonated with me.  Instead of playing the longer version of the spanish-flavored ending jam to that tune the boys segue right into Samson and Delilah before a beautiful Ship of Fools.  They follow this with a very unimaginative, short Playin’ In The Band and then our second Jerry ballad of the set, China Doll.

You might as well cash in your chips right here, because after Drums/Space we’re treated to All Along The Watchtower>Goin’ Down The Road Feeling Bad>Around And Around>Sugar Magnolia.  Thank God for that Black Muddy River encore.   

This show is so short, I’ve listened to it twice, and I still don’t have anything else to say about it.  (The comments aren’t much better – basically just a collection of “it was my first show” or “is this really a soundboard?”)  I guess it’s just one of those days:  https://archive.org/details/gd1987-08-11.sbd.gans.miller.92056.sbeok.flac16

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