Today In Grateful Dead History: September 9, 1982 – Saenger Performing Arts Center, New Orleans, LA

stealie This is a hot show from the first notes of Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo through the final verse of Johnny B. Goode.  The band never loses momentum and almost goes off the rails entirely during a lunatic second set version of Samson and Delilah that crams ten minutes of song into six minutes of pure pounding bliss.

This audience recording needs a little work with the EQ to sound good, but once you get dialed in, you’re in for a treat.  Everything in the first set smokes, with the whole band grooving out on Feel Like a Stranger and West L.A. Fadeaway.  The drummers, in particular, are on fire here, setting down a brutal pace that forces everyone to bring their A games to stay on top of the material.  Althea ends the very short first set.  According to the comments, Bob walked off stage near the end (maybe due to equipment issues), leaving us with a rare recording of Jerry telling the audience that the band will be back in a bit.

When the Dead do come back, they come back, with a dynamic second set:  Uncle John’s Band>Samson and Delilah>Uncle John’s Band>Estimated Prophet>Eyes Of The World>Drums>The Wheel>The Other One>Wharf Rat>Good Lovin’.  As I said before, this Samson and Delilah is nuts (Brent’s organ, dear lord . . . ), but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  The Estimated Prophet is very good (if you don’t like Bob Weir scat singing, you might want to skip it, but for the rest of us, pure gold . . . ) and Eyes of the World had me ramming my foot through the floor.  The transition from The Wheel into The Other One is pitch perfect for this night – it’s not a drawn out build up, but rather a pretty quick shot right into a pulsating seven minute blow out.  After a couple more tunes, we get a two song Day Job>Johnny B. Goode encore, probably to apologize for the short first set.  Who knows?

As you can tell from my tone, I was delighted by this hidden gem.  Explore it here:


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