Surprise! Here’s a new show on a Friday. (Work has been messy, listening has been sporadic, chances to write have been non-existent. This will be a pattern for the foreseeable future, unfortunately).
Thankfully, the first full Dead show I’ve listened to in a week and a half is a smoker from 1984, a year I’m starting to really enjoy (despite previously including it in the “mailing it in years” column).
Everything in the first set of the show is in the decent – to good category, especially My Brother Esau and Little Red Rooster. But the peak first set highlight is the massive, blistering Let It Grow that burns the house down at the end of the set. This is fourteen minutes of wild jamming, capped with Jerry and Phil completely dialed in and tearing things up.
The magic doesn’t end there, either. The second set opens with a masterful 80’s version of Scarlet Begonias>Fire on the Mountain, one of the better ones I’ve heard from this era. The transition, in particular, is amazing, with Jerry sounding clean as crystal wailing away into Fire on the Mountain. (Don’t be put off by the very low volume at the start of the song – it gets better right before the singing starts). The other major second set piece is Morning Dew, which appears after a fairly rousing post-Space I Need a Miracle. This is one great Dew that holds up in any era.
Last but not least – Day Job encore!
This audience recording makes listening a pleasure – other than the low volume at the start of the second set and a brief cut in Drums, it’s all good!
Listen here and remember to trust the process: https://archive.org/details/gd1984-04-20.132942.Nak300CP4.Hill.Keo.Flac2496/gd1984-04-20.Nak300.t09.flac