After Thoughts and Thanks

•08/31/2012 • 2 Comments

Now that the tour has ended and I have deflated a bit….

I want to thank everyone who followed, interacted and volunteered their insight along the way. Especially Jay @ The Dead Blog, Tubs/Harvey Road, and my brother Dave. Many thanks go out to the folks who traveled around with the Grateful Dead and took the time to record each show, building a wealth of recorded history with which this project was possible. With the countless hours in the decades the band played, these dedicated fans worked to record each show, sometimes having to cut and splice from multiple sources to make an authentic replication of a performance. Thanks for passing these along to not only friends, but to generations of curious listeners. And of course many, many thanks to the artists themselves, the Grateful Dead, who overall created some wonderful music and a unique culture full of happy travelers. These fans came from many different places and walks of life to enjoy the moment, and many have never left.

I was eighteen years old when Jerry Garcia died. I had just graduated highschool in June and was working for the school district for the summer. I was driving back from my lunch break and had heard “Truckin’ ” playing on WEBN. I hadn’t thought to much about this until I pulled into the parking lot next to a co-worker, Carrie. She had her car door open and was listening to the radio for the last few remaining minutes of her break. She was crying. I got out of my car, walked around and stood by her for a moment. I didn’t have to ask what was wrong, the radio was informing me, and she listened again to the news with a heavy heart. I had no idea that Carrie was a fan, nor did I have any idea as to what the music of the Grateful Dead meant to her. But I remember waiting  by her car as she calmed herself down before getting back to work. I had only limited exposure to the band’s music and the culture that surrounded it at the time. So Jerry’s death didn’t derail my thoughts or emotions in any way.  I didn’t understand the significance of that moment till , really, this last year. His impact, and the bands impact on millions of people over multiple generations was immeasurable. It wasn’t just Jerry Garcia who died that day, it was the Grateful Dead that was gone. And for all those fans at the time, the seemingly endless roadshow had come to an end. They knew, Carrie knew, that the world had changed. The long strange trip would never be the same if it was to be at all.

I will leisurely keep on wondering down the road of Grateful Dead music, listening to shows I missed on this journey, and may or may not post my thoughts along the way.  I’m also looking forward to revisiting the ones that stood out the most for me. No timeline or pressure. From here on out its listening when the feelins’ right. I would love to hear any show recommendations, so tweet me the date or post it here on the blog. 

Thanks again to everyone who followed along,

Grateful Ted

7-9-1995 Chicago, IL – Soldier Field (#870)

•08/18/2012 • 1 Comment

Set list: Touch of Grey, Little Red Rooster, Lazy River Road, When I Paint My Masterpiece, Childhood’s End, Cumberland Blues, Promised Land, Shakedown Street>Samson & Delilah, So many Roads, Samba in the Rain>Corrina>Drums>Space>Unbroken Chain, Sugar Magnolia, Black Muddy River, Box of Rain

The second night at Soldier Field and at least I’ve got the full show here. The first set has pretty good energy, as the band kicks things off  with “Touch of Grey” . I always dug a nicely jammed “Little Red Rooster” and the band tosses this out but it doesn’t reach the heights I was hoping for today. “Lazy River Road” is decent, as is “When I Paint My Masterpiece”, but the “Cumberland Blues” was a great surprise and hit the spot. “Shakedown Street” opens the second half of the party, to my delight. Unfortunately this set starts to lose it’s good vibes after “Samson & Delilah” when the band ties a string of not so awesome tunes. Even after “Drums>Space” it doesn’t really pick up that much. “Unbroken Chain” is mediocre and I’m still not sure I like the vocals, it just sounds awkward to me. Hadn’t heard “Black Muddy River” in quite some time and some how it seems appropriate tonight, but they don’t carry on with this song for as long as they used to. No emotional guitar solo from Jerry this time. Thankfully they leave on a good note, encoring with a good “Box of Rain”. That’s it, that’s all the Grateful Dead shows I’ve got. Glad to have my brother Dave, who gave me this collection, here to listen to the last show with me today. Now for some drinks and a fire under a beautiful Colorado sky.

Highlight: Shakedown Street

Recommendation: One for the Heads

7-8-1995 Chicago, IL – Soldier Field (#869)

•08/17/2012 • Leave a Comment

Set List: Terrapin Station>Drums>Space>The Other One>Visions of Johanna, One More Saturday Night, U.S. Blues

Well shii-att! This is only a part of the second set of this second to last show that I have from the collection. The “Terrapin” isn’t all bad and actually the “Drums” was very upbeat, rather charging. They do resurrect some Bob Dylan this time around with a good “Visions of Johanna” that really takes the set on this tape. Though they do keep rock alive with “One More Saturday Night” and a “U.S. Blues” encore to tidy it up at the end.

Highlight: Visions of Johanna

Recommendation: One for the Heads

6-25-1995 Washington D.C. – RFK Stadium (#868)

•08/16/2012 • 1 Comment

Set List: Shakedown Street, Wang Dang Doodle, Jack-a-Roe, Mama Tried>Mexicali Blues, Loose Lucy, Picasso Moon, Box of Rain, Rain, Samson & Delilah>Ship of Fools>Truckin’>Rollin’ & Tumblin’>Samba in the Rain>Drums>Space>Wharf Rat>NFA, Brokedown Palace

I actually really enjoyed this show, and the band is sounding much better today than from the Shorline show I went through yesterday. “Shakedown Street” gets everyone moving right away and as always loosens me up like a tall glass of scotch, groovy.  The following set just keeps the flow feeling good.  A solid “Jack-a-Roe” and “Mama tried>Mexicali Blues” boost this set higher than most of the shows I’ve heard this year. The second set has an unusual duo, “Box of Rain>Rain” that gets a pretty mellow mood going, this has a nice “Samson>Ship of Fools” follow-up. I can’t remember the last time I heard a “Ship of Fools” that made me listen as astutely as this one. “Truckin'” gets the classic jam session and grooves on into an old school blues tune, “Rollin’ & Tumblin’ “. The band sounds great and doesn’t seem to reflect the sad state I’ve heard from them in this last year of shows, they’re just jammin’ tonight. After a decent “Drums>Space” break they get on with a good “Wharf Rat”, classic “NFA” follow-up, and an excellent “Brokedown Palace” encore. Besides some of the typical fodder songs thrown in, this show was fun. And again they make a good move by leaving the Bob Dylan out of it.

Highlight: Truckin’>Rollin’ & Tumblin’

Recommendation: A Good & Fun Show

6-2-1995 Mountain View, CA – Shorline Amphitheartre (#867)

•08/15/2012 • Leave a Comment


Set List: Alabama Getaway, Greatest Story Ever Told, Candyman, Good Morning Little Schoolgirl, Ramble on Rose, El Paso, Bird Song, Promised Land, New Speedway Boogie, That Would be Something, Way to Go Home, Saint of Circumstance>He’s Gone>Drums>Space>Easy Answers, Standing on the Moon, Around & Around, Lucy in the Sky



I recall this date very well, not for any reason surrounding the Grateful Dead, but for a bit of my own history. I was in Red River Gorge Kentucky, and this was the day I did my first lead climb, on-sighting “Creature Feature” at Phantasia Wall. Very life changing, zen moment. The band however is in California back at the Shoreline Amphitheatre performing a rather mediocre show. Most every song is decent, just not hot. The band tries to get the spark, but the energy is stagnant and makes for a dismal sound. In the first set the band plays the amped up version of “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl”, I can’t say I’m a fan of this newly remodeled sound, but whatever. The “Bird Song” at the end of the set is pretty well done, and gets off into it’s usual craziness, of course they have to squeeze in a “Promised Land” before taking a break. The second set starts out with a good “New Speedway Boogie” and then goes onto a drawn out “That Would be Something”.  The only thing I really found interesting was the gregorian chanting going on in “Drums>Space”. This is new and made for something very different, and the crowd really gets a kick out of it from what I can hear. Jerry musters up some belting vocal energy for a long “Standing on the Moon”. And before a lousy encore of “Lucy in the Sky” the band plays the slowest “Around & Around” I think I’ve ever heard. Fast or slow this song still sucks.

Highlight: Drums>Space

Recommendation: One for the Heads




4-7-1995 Tampa, FL – Tampa Stadium (#866)

•08/14/2012 • Leave a Comment

Set List: Eyes of the World>Saint of Circumstance>Samba in the Rain>Unbroken Chain>Corrina>Drums> Space>Easy Answers>Days Between>NFA, U.S. Blues

Just the second set here in Tampa, and if the first set was anything like this second set, then it was a pretty awful show. This set starts out with some potential in “Eyes of the World”, but the band doesn’t seem together tonight. This is very evident in “Saint of Circumstance”. Their energy just isn’t flowing together.  The set list isn’t all that exciting either. “Samba in the Rain”, “Corrina”, “Easy Answers”, just one bummer after another.  The last three songs are probably the best part of this tape. “Days Between” is affective with it’s melancholy nature. “NFA” does a decent job of waking up the crowd and getting them involved in the show again. A nice “U.S Blues” encores, but lacks the energy it once had to rock your face off.

Highlight: Days Between

Recommendation: One for the Heads

4-2-95 Memphis, TN – The Pyramid (#865)

•08/13/2012 • Leave a Comment

Set List: Shakedown Street, The Same Thing, Althea, Memphis Blues, Tennessee Jed, Promised Land, Here Comes Sunshine, Eternity>Crazy Fingers>Estimated Prophet>Drums>Space>The Last Time, Wharf Rat> NFA, Unbroken Chain

The crowd in Memphis is sure getting a good treatment with these two shows. This second night’s set list is fun and even though it isn’t all played that clean, I enjoyed it. They open with the instant party mix tune, “Shakedown Street”, I was happy to here this, an instant good mood, and it definitely added to the positive energy of the show. The band follows up with good versions of “The Same Thing” and “Althea” before getting to some songs specifically for the Memphis crowd. Dug this first set. A pretty decent “Here Comes Sunshine” opens up the second half of the show and is grouped nicely with a grooving “Eternity>Crazy Fingers> Estimated Prophet”. The “Drums>Space” is cut short on this tape, and what I did hear wasn’t impressive enough to make me feel like I missed out on anything special. The late “Wharf Rat” was really nice and added that extra kick of sweetness in what has been a pretty sugar free year. They put “Unbroken Chain” in the encore spot and it pans out nicely.

Highlight: Wharf Rat

Recommendation: Best of the year so far.

4-1-1995 Memphis, TN – The Pyramid (#864)

•08/12/2012 • Leave a Comment


Set List: Hell in a Bucket, Candyman, Take Me to the River, Lazy River Road, When I Paint My Masterpiece, Childhood’s End, Deal, Foolish Heart, Way to Go Home, Saint of Circumstance>Eyes of the World>Drums>Space>The Wheel, All Along the Watchtower, Standing on the Moon, One More Saturday Night


The band gets the crowd excited with a well over do “Candyman” that is pretty good. They follow this with one of the worst renditions of “Take Me to the River” most likely ever played. Sticking with the river theme, “Lazy River Road” flows a little more smoothly. They play “Childhood’s End” tonight to the dismay of everyone who’s ever heard this song. It actually took me awhile to remember that I’ve heard this song, obviously it’s not all that catchy. They end the set with a decent “Deal”. “Foolish Heart” in the second set is played well and really very enjoyable. This is a nice start to a set that doesn’t quite sizzle. “Eyes of the World” starts out rough and doesn’t really get as carried away as the last time I heard it. Kind of a bummer, but I figured the band would get back to playing the shortened jam version of this song. After a pretty wild “Space” a decent “Wheel” tries to turn things around, followed by a rockin’ “Watchtower”. “Standing on the Moon” sounds about as distant as it has ever sounded, not great, but full of feeling. They rock out “One More Saturday Night” to close the show.


Highlight: Foolish Heart

Recommendation: One for the Heads




3-30-1995 Atlanta, GA – The Omini (#863)

•08/11/2012 • Leave a Comment

Set List: Touch of Grey, Good Morning Little Schoolgirl, Friend of the Devil, Queen Jane, Loose Lucy, Broken Arrow, Easy Answers, Alabama Getaway, China>Rider, Looks Like Rain, Samba in the Rain, He’s Gone>That Would be Something>Drums>Space> Visions of Johanna>Throwin’ Stones>Turn on Your Lovelight, Lucy in the Sky

This last night at the Omni, the band puts on a more upbeat show starting out with a decent “Touch of Grey” and a very odd “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl”.  Not sure why they choose to redo this, kind of the same thing they did with “Minglewood Blues” when it became “New”. “Friend of the Devil” was pretty well done as was “Broken Arrow” but I think I dug the “Alabama Getaway” at the end of the set the most out of this mediocre set. A happy dance time “China>Rider” gets the second set rolling nicely. I guess I’ll just have to accept that there are going to be missed notes throughout every song now. Not a fan of Vince doing that weird “BBBRRRDUP ” stuttering sound in “Samba in the Rain”. What is he doing? He’s done this several times now, and it is funny as hell, but odd. They spend  a decent amount of time on an alright “He’s Gone”, before confusingly deciding to go on with a cover of Paul McCartney’s “That Would Be Something”. It sounded as if Billy and Mickey were moving into “Drums” before Jerry trumped them on the guitar. The later half of this second set is actually pretty good and better than the rest of the show. I dug the “Throwin’ Stones>Lovelight” that brings down the curtain. An okay “Lucy in the Sky” encores.

Highlight: Throwin’ Stones>Lovelight

Recommendation: One for the Heads


3-27-1995 Atlanta, GA – The Omni (#862)

•08/10/2012 • Leave a Comment

Set List: Picasso Moon, Sugaree,  All Over Now, So Many Roads, Let it Grow, Iko Iko, Way to Go Home, Playin’ in the Band>Uncle John’s Band>Drums>Space>Days Between, Sugar Magnolia, I Fought the Law.

 For some reason this show came off a little odd to me. “Picasso Moon” is a disappointment to hear right off the bat. But the following “Sugaree” is outstanding. Not the best version I’ve ever heard, but comparatively, pretty good. When the highlights of the show are “Sugaree”, “So Many Roads” and “Days Between” something feels wrong. Maybe it’s just the energy I’m picking up knowing the end is closing fast. It’s these three songs that this show is all about. They are really uneasy songs that have real, almost hard to understand, emotion ingrained in them and everything else surrounding these three tunes is simply forgettable.  “Playin’>Uncle John’s” is all over the place, and just not that grooving. “All Over Now” and “Let it Grow” weren’t that bad, but lacked the strong uplifting energy that can usually be found emanating from them. This was just a sad show.

Highlight: Sugaree

Recommendation: One for the Heads

3-26-1995 Atlanta, GA – The Omini (#861)

•08/09/2012 • Leave a Comment

Set List: Cold Rain & Snow, Little Red Rooster, Ramble on Rose, Me & My Uncle, Big River, Lazy River Road, Eternity, Don’t Ease Me  In, Samson & Delilah, It’s All Too Much>Crazy Fingers>Estimated Prophet>Terrapin Station>Drums>Space>The Other One>Morning Dew, Johnny B. Goode

  Well Jerry sounds much better on vocals tonight, but I can’t say the same for his guitar playing. Glad to hear “Little Red Rooster” turn up again and it really gets this first set going. They do a decent job with another long “Ramble on Rose” that follows. After quick hit of  “Me & My Uncle>Big River”, a good “Lazy River Road” boosts the mood. Every time I hear “Eternity”, I hear a voice in my head say ” This song would be way better if  Tom Waits sang it, don’t you think?” Typically I agree with myself, and think “Well, it seems well suited for him,  it really could be something awesome huh?”. The second set kicks off with a well played “Samson & Delilah” and the band takes another stab at the Beatles’ “It’s All Too Much”. Not a fan of this one either, I hope they drop it and get back to rockin’ some good tunes. They do move on to a fun “Crazy Fingers>Estimated>Terrapin Station”, even with the missed notes and some off timing. More of this please. “The Other One” isn’t all that bad, but the following “Morning Dew” has seen much better days. “Johnny B. Goode” calls it a night. Nine more shows to go.

Highlight: Crazy>Estimated>Terrapin

Recommendation: One for the Heads

3-23-1995 Charlotte, NC – Charlotte Coliseum (#860)

•08/08/2012 • 3 Comments

Set List: Mississippi Half Step, Wang Dang Doodle, Cold Rain & Snow, El Paso, Loser, Easy Answers, So Many Roads, Unbroken Chain, Scarlet>Fire, Corrina>Matilda>Drums>Space> Days Between, Good Lovin’, The Weight

The band is down South to roll in the Spring, and they kick things off alright with a decent “Mississippi Half Step”. For the most part the music is fine throughout the entire show, but when Jerry is on vocals a lot of it seems to be mumbled or just inaudible. This is a huge draw back from the enjoyment of this show. The last couple songs of the first set are pretty well done. The first song of the second set, “Unbroken Chain”, is new to me. Not the biggest fan of Phil’s singing, but the music is fun and played skillfully. They carry on with maybe the worst “Scarlet>Fire” I’ve ever heard. Jerry blows the lyrics for the first part of the song, but picks up the pieces before they get to far in. It is much better when they turn it over to “Fire on the Mountain”. The “Corrina” is actually not all that bad. It may be the best one I’ve heard, but this transitions into the laughable “Matilda”. The only thing that keeps the band respectable here is the excellent piano playing that just jams out till the “Drums>Space” break. Vince doesn’t play that way, so I looked this show up only to find out Bruce Hornsby joined them on the piano this night.”Days Between” Jerry’s voice  sounds really rough. I guess it adds to the ambience of the song, but man it sounds like he’s in pain and flat-out struggling. A solid encore of “The Weight” made the show. Thanks for sitting in Bruce.

Highlight: The Weight

Recommendation:One for the Heads

3-18-1994 Philadelphia, PA – The Spectrum (#859)

•08/07/2012 • Leave a Comment

Set List: Hell in a Bucket, West LA Fadeaway, El Paso, Ramble on Rose, Tom Thumb’s Blues, Jack-a-Roe, Promised Land, It’s all Too Much, Iko Iko, Playin’ in the Band>Uncle John’s Band>Drums>Space>The Last Time, Visions of Johanna, One More Saturday Night, Rain

The second night at The Spectrum and the band puts on a a slightly better show than yesterday’s performance. The first set has decent versions of “El Paso”, “Jack-a-Roe”, and crowd pleasing “Ramble on Rose”. They joke a bit after this about the how it’s both Bill and Mickey’s Birthday, oh and Bobby’s. They open the second set with a new Beatles cover, “It’ all too Much”. This really isn’t all that great. The band jams out on “Playin’>Uncle John’s” tonight, which seems to have the best odds for getting the jam position these days. “Drums>Space” is intact tonight, and is a long jam of synth noises that gets to be a little much. They pull out of this with a decent “The Last Time”. A second performance of  “Visions of Johanna” tonight is better than the first time I heard it. “One More Saturday Night” rocks it out before another Beatles song, “Rain”, encores.

Highlight: Visions of Johanna

Recommendation: One for the Heads

3-17-1995 Philadelphia, PA – The Spectrum (#858)

•08/06/2012 • Leave a Comment

Set List: Here Comes Sunshine, Wang Dang Doodle, Peggy-O, Queen Jane, Lazy River Road, Eternity, Loose Lucy, China>Rider, Samba in the Rain, Truckin’>New Speedway Boogie, Space, All Along the Watchtower, Standing on the Moon, Sugar Magnolia, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

The band is back out east at a frequented venue, The Spectrum, to put on, well, a show. The first set kicks off with a pretty horrible “Here Comes Sunshine>Wang Dang Doodle” starter. “Peggy-O” isn’t bad, and “Lazy river Road” is done well. A somewhat fun “Loose Lucy” closes the set. The second set starts out with “China>Rider”, getting everyone dancing in their happy place again. “Samba in the Rain” was pretty lame, and so was the “Truckin'” that followed. But the “New Speedway Boogie” was nice, and oddly faded out to only fade back into the end of “Space” as it readied the transition into ” All Along the Watchtower”. The show stays down the hill from here on out. The encore of “Lucy in the Sky” is somewhat baffling as they play half of the song without any vocals then confusingly come in on the chorus, and then start to sing the first verse as they come around. Happy Saint Patty’s Day!

Highlight: New Speedway Boogie

recommendation: One for the Heads

2-21-1995 Salt Lake City, UT – Delta Center (#857)

•08/05/2012 • 2 Comments

Set List: Salt Lake City, Friend of the Devil,Wang Dang Doodle, Tennessee Jed, Broken Arrow, Black Throated Wind, So Many Roads, The Music Never Stopped, Foolish Heart, Samba in the Rain, Truckin’, I Just Want to Make Love to You, That Would be Something>Drums> Space>Visions of Johanna, Sugar Magnolia, Liberty

It’s 1995 and I find the band in Salt Lake City where they kick things off with a song titled “Salt Lake City”. This is something unexpected and definitely welcomed. New music? Yes please. And this song doesn’t even down right suck, thanks to the Weir and Barlow song writing team. This first set is decent but nothing is outstanding, I did like “Tennessee Jed”, “So Many Roads”, and “The Music Never Stopped”. The second set has some surprises in it following a pretty good set starting “Foolish Heart”. They jump on Muddy Waters’ & Willie Dixon’s “I Just Want to Make Love to You” and follow it up with Paul McCartney’s “That Would Be Something”. This sounds like a good idea, but the songs sound limp and slow. After the “Drums>Space” they do another new one, well another new cover. Unsurprisingly it is another Bob Dylan tune, “Visions of Johanna”. This was okay. I never realized, or I guess expected, that the Grateful Dead played so much Bob Dylan. This is somewhat disappointing to me. This band has so many good songs of their own that they don’t even bother performing, and instead insist on playing, usually one of a handful of Willie Dixon or Bob Dylan songs. This is a annoying to me. They do return to some original material, a typical end of show “Sugar Magnolia” and “Liberty” finish things off.

Highlight: Salt Lake City

Recommendation: One for the Heads