Hanging out in the 1990’s again . . . Once you get settled into these shows, you realize that, in general, the Grateful Dead weren’t sucking as bad as you thought they did in 93, 94 and 95. There just aren’t as many highlights as in other years.
This show from the L.A. Sports Arena proves the point. There aren’t a lot of major musical errors and the band sounds engaged. But nothing really achieves warp speed. I’m listening to Crazy Fingers for the third time today, and I’m enjoying it, so I probably shouldn’t complain, since, going into this, I would have been shocked to hear them even get through that song in 1994 without problems. UPDATE: The Playin’ in the Band is surprisingly jazzy and deep for a short version of the song. Similarly, Let It Grow at the end of the first set is good, but nothing amazing. It follows on the heels of a very loose Loose Lucy that really gets to the heart of the song. And if you were in the audience, I bet that you were cheering hard every time you got to “thank you for a real good time”, because you were having one.
The audience recording of this show resides here: https://archive.org/details/gd94-12-18.akg.ladner.13530.sbeok.shnf