Today in Grateful Dead History: May 5, 1991 – Cal Expo, Sacramento, CA

stealie NOTE: This material was originally published in 2015 on my previous site. It has been updated and edited, sometimes heavily, and was posted in several batches in August, 2016.

It would have been easy to just pick the all-time great 1977 New Haven Coliseum show and be done with it, but where’s the fun in that? So instead, we’re headed to Sacramento in 1991 for a very different experience.

This show starts with Help on the Way>Slipknot>Franklin’s Tower and while this version isn’t going to win any awards, it’s a nice way to start the show and Vince does some interesting things in Slipknot. Brown Eyed Women is another highlight from the first set.

Vince blows whatever goodwill he accrued in the first set by trashing Eyes of the World in the second, playing all over everyone else and not contributing anything. This version of Eyes features some very heavy Midi effects from Jerry, who sounds like a less-talented version of Ian Anderson during some parts of the song. I’ve never liked the band’s use of unnatural sound effects during anything other than Space and if you listen to this particular Eyes you’ll see what I mean.

After perfunctory versions of Man Smart Woman Smarter and Ship of Fools, we hear a very good Truckin’ with a fun breakdown into Terrapin Station. If you’re going to listen to anything from this show, listen to that. The Other One follows Drums/Space and is also good.

Listen to the soundboard here:


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