Today In Grateful Dead History: February 2, 1969 – Labor Temple, Minneapolis, MN

skeleton&rosesIt’s a strange day for recordings of Grateful Dead shows – we’ve got two partial recordings and this basically full performance from Minneapolis in 1969.  So we’ll go with the full show.

I hesitate to use the word “standard” when describing any show from 1969, but if there was a standard performance from this era, this show would be it.  There are no unique songs, no weird combinations of songs and there is nothing exceptional (for 1969) about the playing.  From a recording standpoint, the sound is fine, but not transcendent, and we’re missing a little bit of the end of The Eleven (this is a nasty cut), a piece of the start of Death Don’t Have No Mercy and a small portion of Turn on Your Lovelight.

That’s a lot of negativity, so here’s the positive spin – it’s 1969, so even this “average” show sounds better than almost anything that any other band was putting out at the time.  How do you like that?

My favorite part of the performance is The Eleven, which is criminally truncated due to a tape flip, but what is recorded is magical.  The Other One does its usual rocking and rolling as well.  But after yesterday’s 40 minute Lovelight from New Orleans in 1970, I’m not really in the mood for this version, which seems perfunctory in comparison.  It’s just too soon for more Lovelight.

If you don’t know about other, better shows from 1969, this show will probably blow your mind.  As it stands, it’s still worth a listen – you’ll be bopping along with it in no time.

Take a gander here:


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