Today In Grateful Dead History: November 2, 1984 – Berkeley Community Theatre, Berkeley, CA

dancing-bear Let’s get some history out of the way first.  Today is the first time that the Grateful Dead played Gimme Some Lovin’.  Unfortunately, it would not be the last time that the Grateful Dead played Gimme Some Lovin’.  But it’s a milestone none the less.  Tonight’s show also marks the last Casey Jones for almost eight years (it was only played four more times after this), so get it before it’s gone.

There is some interesting music here, but you have to wade through a lot of lyrical flubs in order to get to it.  It doesn’t seem like Jerry can get through a song without forgetting something, but for some reason, it doesn’t appear to detract too much from the atmosphere.  My favorite part of the first set is Bob Weir ripping out Smokestack Lightening and Spoonful back to back.  His voice is ragged, he’s feeling the tunes, and it sounds as close to Pigpen singing the blues as Bob Weir could ever get.

The second set opens with Help on the Way>Slipknot!>Franklin’s Tower, and while each song is well played on it’s own, the transitions between them are all pretty rough.  After a few more songs, one of those interesting Grateful Dead moments takes place.  The band comes out of Space into the reprise of Playin’ in the Band.  Of course, the band hadn’t played the first part of Playin’ in the Band earlier in the night.  It turns out, the Dead had started Playin’ in the Band five nights earlier at the October 28th show and never finished it, making this one of the longer Playin’ in the Band sandwiches you’ll ever hear.  God only knows if they actually knew this at the time, but it made for an interesting research project.  This is followed by a rare post-Drums performance of Bertha (which smokes) before a set-ending Good Lovin’ and the aforementioned Casey Jones encore.

This show isn’t great, but it’s not a train wreck either.  The shows at this venue always tend to have a little extra oomph, for better or for worse.  Here you go:  https://archive.org/details/gd1984-11-02.sbd.braverman.9753.sbeok.shnf

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