Today In Grateful Dead History: August 24, 1972 – Berkeley Community Theater, Berkeley, CA

dancing-bearI messed things up a little by listening to the Dead’s 8/27/72 Veneta performance over the weekend, so today’s show, while really really good, seems a little less powerful than it probably should since I’ve still got the 8/27 monster on my mind.  However, I wanted nothing to do with listening to what many consider the worst Grateful Dead show of them all, 8/24/85’s Boreal Ridge Ski Resort disaster, so here we are.

As I said, this is a really great show, with a mammoth Dark Star>Morning Dew cementing the second set.  This Dark Star never loses its momentum over 27 minutes until we arrive at Morning Dew, which is chock full of incredible playing.  I would hold this Dark Star up favorably against any other one from 1972 – it’s a perfect combination of incredible jams and tight, listenable playing.  If you throw in the mighty version of Truckin’ that precedes it and Morning Dew, you’ve got over 50 minutes of exceptional music without even having to partake in the first set’s bounty.

There are a couple of cool moments scattered throughout this show in songs that don’t usually get a lot of mention on this site.  For instance, at the end of Tennessee Jed we actually get to hear Donna Jean speak more than one sentence from the stage.  The beginning of Greatest Story Ever Told has some crazy Phil Lesh bass thumps that I’ve never heard before and the organ work on One More Saturday Night is not unique but it’s still rare.  Sugar Magnolia also comes with the good stuff tonight.

If you listen to this show without trying to compare it to its neighbors, you’re going to be delighted.  (Even if you do, it still sounds great).  Audio note – part of Sing Me Back Home is distorted – the rest of the song is fine.  Here you go:


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