Listen to the Grateful Dead open this show at Cameron Indoor Stadium at Duke University with Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo. Go ahead. I’ll wait. Ok? We’re good? Great. Now, if there is a slower version of Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo out there, I would like one of my two regular readers to point it out for me. Otherwise, I am going to assert that this performance features the absolute slowest version of Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo that I’ve ever heard.
There. That’s out of the way.
This is another one of those pretty darn good shows that gets lost in the shuffle, and I’m going to blame the recording quality, which is “muddy” to say the least. But put that aside and there are a bunch of great things going on here.
For instance, all of my kidding about the speed aside, the aforementioned Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo is really good. Crazy Fingers, marred by even worse sound than most of this show, is another first set highlight. UPDATE: Upon 2nd listen, this might be one of the greatest Crazy Fingers of all time – it’s a monster, with an 8 minute closing jam. Holy crap! But the real goods come during Slipknot!, a nine minute fusion experience that will knock your socks off. The band is so fired up after this that the Franklin’s Tower actually sounds like it’s picking up speed.
After Franklin’s Tower, we’ve got a few take it or leave it songs, and then the Dead shift it to another level for a masterful and unusual sequence to close the show: Dancin’ In The Streets>Wharf Rat>Drums>The Other One>Morning Dew. NO ENCORE. And who needs it with this tour de force at the end? Morning Dew is the perfect punctuation mark here – a solid, thrashing version with everyone just wailing away . . . slowly. Seriously, this one is worth your while. And it proves that, in 1976, when the Dead wanted to, they could really turn on the jets, even if they were moving slowly.
Here is the soundboard, in all its ragged glory: https://archive.org/details/gd1976-09-23.117651.pa-restoration.dan.flac16