Today in Grateful Dead History: November 30, 1980 – Fox Theater, Hotlanta, GA

Dancing Skeletons

I’ve been away for a week – hope all two of you had a great Thanksgiving.

We return to this show from the Fox Theater in 1980.  The soundboard portion of the recording is not going to blow anyone’s socks off, but when it switches over to the audience recording you’re treated to a very interesting mix.

The first set of this show kind of rambles along, with a short but sweet Bird Song that catches your attention mid way through.  The highlight of the set is Lost Sailor>Saint Of Circumstance>Deal, with some honest vocal work from Bob Weir and a thrashing Deal to end the set.

The second set begins with Scarlet Begonias>Fire on the Mountain.  From reading the comments on the Archive, you’ll find that people are divided into two camps over this sequence – some think it’s the best Scarlet>Fire ever, others think it’s overrated.  I’m in the second group, but the transition does sparkle and there is a depth to the playing that is not easily heard the first time because the tone of the music is very light and airy.  I think that Playin’ in the Band, on the other hand, is a top-notch killer version from 1980, certainly one of the best of the year that I can remember.

The rest of the show is what it is – a good Wheel>China Doll and some party songs.  The Uncle John’s Band encore is a nice touch.

This is a pretty decent show in a fun year.  Check out Playin’ for sure and weigh in on Scarlet>Fire.  The rest is not essential.

You can find the soundboard/audience composite here:


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