Today In Grateful Dead History: August 21, 1980 – Uptown Theater, Chicago, IL

stealie I know that there are two epic shows on this date in history (Berkeley Community Theater ’72 & Fillmore West ’68) but I wanted to finish up this three day run of Chicago shows from 1980, so those other dates will have to wait for next year and the year after that.

Today we have a short but sweet capper to a fun run of performances at the Uptown Theater.  The second set is a keeper, and it starts off with Drums, so you know things are going to be interesting.  Once the rest of the band gets settled in behind Mickey and Billy, they launch into Uncle John’s Band, with some great guitar work from Jerry and cool Brent keyboard fills backing him up.  The drummers remain at the forefront in this mix and it’s interesting to hear them go back and forth during the transition into a standard upbeat version of Truckin’.  (Jerry’s pretty high in the mix and solos over almost all of Bob’s vocals).  Once we’ve explored that song, it’s off to The Other One, again upbeat, before more Drums lead us into a beautiful The Wheel.  The band brings us full circle with a return to Uncle John’s Band and everyone should be very happy with the results.  Sugar Magnolia ends the set in typical rockin’ fashion, and we get Alabama Get Away as an encore, which is as weird as choosing to end the second set with it like the band did on the 19th.  But what the hell, we started the set with Drums . . .

Oh yeah, the first set.  High Time was good – I love Brent’s harmonies on this song.  Shakedown Street was also ok.  Otherwise, nothing of note.

We’ve got a soundboard for this show – it’s not great, but it’s definitely the best recording out of the three shows that make up this run:  https://archive.org/details/gd1980-08-21.sbd.miller.99034.sbeok.flac16

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