Yesterday we joined the Dead in 1983 for the first night of a three night stand in Ken Kesey’s backyard – Eugene, Oregon. Tonight we’re back for seconds, with a pretty good audience recording of another rollicking show in this intimate venue.
This tape shows off what a fair-good audience recording can do in place of a bad soundboard, namely capture the feel of the performance and the ebbs and flows of the energy that usually got sapped out of the Dead’s early 80’s soundboards. While this recording isn’t a pristine audience tape, it’s definitely a lot more fun to listen to than yesterday’s mess of a soundboard.
Recording issues aside, tonight’s show doesn’t have much of a second set, so the first set has to do most of the heavy lifting, with spirited versions of Feel Like a Stranger, Candyman, My Brother Esau and Dire Wolf as the first four songs of the night. (Yes, Bob Weir completely flubs the first line of the first song of the show – that’s the Grateful Dead way).
Terrapin Station anchors the second set and it features an unexpected light and airy jam, labeled a “reprise”, after the main ending has passed. Throwing Stones (seriously) is a jammer tonight as well, with an extended middle instrumental passage that unfortunately ends with a whimper and Wharf Rat is owed a listen. You know it’s an interesting night when these are the second set highlights, but the band sounds interested and engaged with the material, for the most part.
Check back tomorrow for night three.
For now, here’s the audience recording of tonight’s show: https://archive.org/details/gd83-08-30.senn421.nfagdtrfbyahoo.29342.sbefail.flac16