We’re back, yet again, in May, 1977, because the heart of this show’s second set is Terrapin Station>Playin’ In The Band>Uncle John’s Band>Drums>The Wheel>China Doll>Playin’ In The Band, which I’ll get to in a minute.
But first, a brief discussion of the 16 minute Sugaree from the first set. Yes, it’s pretty good, but I won’t say that it’s a great version because there are several places where Jerry speeds up and the drummers slow down and the pace gets all garbled. I understand that it’s not easy to keep everything moving perfectly when you’re playing the same song for 16 minutes, but this fluctuating tempo takes away some of the magic for me. Jerry does do some serious shredding here, especially on the penultimate solo, and Bob’s rhythm guitar is high in the mix and very interesting to hear, but I can’t get away from the pacing issues. Also, lots of commentators on the Archive seem to think that this Peggy-O is incredible, but to me the versions from Boston and Buffalo earlier in the month easily outshine it.
Now, about the second set. This song sequence is pretty amazing, with a swirling lead into Uncle John’s Band and a great solo at the end of China Doll. The songs don’t get ahead of themselves and the band stays tight and in control without any “difficult” passages, making for a pretty darn great ride. There is no encore.
This show was released as Dick’s Picks Vol. 29, but here’s the soundboard: https://archive.org/details/gd77-05-19.sbd.direwolf.3120.sbeok.shnf