You notice the speed from the very first notes of Dark Star – the Grateful Dead are playing very fast today and there is no let up throughout this short performance from 1968.
It’s also immediately apparent that this is not a spectacular sounding recording. The snare drums are so loud, the entire show sounds like a military parade and the guitars are blaring, drowning out all hints of Phil and most of Pigpen. There are also a couple of horrible cuts and almost all of Death Don’t Have No Mercy is missing.
So be it. The Eleven, in particular, is very good, as is The Other One>Cryptical Envelopment>Alligator>Drums>Alligator>Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks), and since this is three quarters of the show, I’ve got nothing to complain about. I also haven’t found a lot to distinguish this show from a bunch of other ones from 1968, a year with a lot of very similar setlists. So if you’re in the mood for a guitar and drum heavy dose of primal Dead, turn this one up loud.
Here’s the soundboard, with all its imperfections: https://archive.org/details/gd1968-09-02.sbd.miller.115592.flac16