It’s a special Saturday edition of the Daily Dose of the Dead!
The Grateful Dead only played Ripple, one of their most beloved songs, 41 times live; 11 times in 1970-71, 25 times during the acoustic / electric shows in 1980 and at five other shows during the 80’s. Tonight’s performance of this tune, as the 2nd encore (apparently as a Make a Wish request for a sick fan, although this hasn’t been verified), would be its last. So even though Ripple is a rarely played tune, its retirement tonight makes this show special. You should listen to Ripple.
You don’t, however, need to listen to the rest of this show unless you enjoy 1988, because this is a pretty blase night with few highs or lows. There are several items of note. First, Jerry has the giggles throughout this show – they’re there from the start and he’s still laughing during the second-set-ending Morning Dew, one of the only really good songs of the night, and in no way a funny tune. Second, vocal effects are applied in strange places throughout the show and this is one of the only times I can remember hearing them applied to Jerry’s vocals – they seem to always be added to Bob. Maybe I haven’t listened to enough 1988 shows? Third, don’t let the terrible Let the Good Times Roll that starts this show fool you – things aren’t as bad as the opening number suggests.
In short, come for the Ripple, stay for the party if you want, but you’re not going to miss much if you jet out early.
Listen to the adequate soundboard here: https://archive.org/details/gd88-09-03.sbd.miller.27749.sbeok.flacf