Today in Grateful Dead History: January 8, 1978 – Golden Hall Community Concourse, San Diego, CA

Dancing Skeletons

The Grateful Dead decided to stay put in sunny San Diego for this third and final night of Jerry’s Garcia’s beginning of 1978 laryngitis tour. (I know that the 1979 MSG show that took place today is a good one, but for the sake of wrapping up the laryngitis tour, I stayed here in 1978.  We’ll do MSG next year).

As I’ve discussed previously, Jerry’s voice gave out in the middle of the January 6th show in San Bernardino and he didn’t sing any songs at all during last night’s affair here in San Diego.  Jerry doesn’t do any singing tonight either, giving us a second night in a row of the Bob Weir Experience featuring Jerry Garcia on lead guitar.

I don’t know if it’s just the better (for the most part) recording quality, but, on the shorter numbers (not the jams), the Dead seem sharper tonight than last night.  You can hear a good example of this on Jack Straw, which they played on both nights.  Tonight’s version just has more oomph.   Supplication also rocks out hard, Truckin’ has got a boost to it and Sugar Magnolia seems to go on forever.

The problem, if you want to compare this night to last night, is the aforementioned jamming, which was being pulled off in high style yesterday but tonight seems to just kind of meander along.  The Other One does go to some interesting places during the last third of the song, but we don’t get the same weirdness we heard yesterday.  All things considered, this is ok – compared to later on in 1978, this show kicks ass, even without Jerry singing.

Check out the soundboard recording here:  https://archive.org/details/gd78-01-08.sbd.weiner.14670.sbeok.shnf

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