The night before is a classic show and sometimes that makes us curious about the whole venue run (if there is one) or the two shoulder shows on the tour. Though this was never as high profile as the next night either, it's the best show of this tour. This was their return to Nashville after six years, but they came back to the same venue just 8mos later (there must've been a savvy promoter in the area). I love how in typical Dead fashion they played just one song from their current album, surely baffling newbies. The big shows from this era were 2/3, 4/21 & 5/14, but the Walker AUD for this night was previously spoken of as a hidden gem, often for it's hushed-tone-revered first set or it's Estimated. I used to have an AUD of this, but it wasn't high qual/low gen enough to get much play, and turns out it was incomplete. I'm sure some of you were like me and once skipped over collecting tapes from places like Nashville or Texas. "Nashville?! Why would they sound good there? There's no Heads there!". The trading network focused on current shows and the strongholds. Places like The Spectrum or The Frost/Greeks or Nassau. Well the magic could happen any night, any place. And we are everywhere.
First Set. Bertha is solid enough, but it's a warmup for this scintillating Good Lovin'. Yes, the next night has possibly the year's best, but this is close and has the better tempo. Get a pad and pen, because you will write home about this Candyman. And don't text – this needs flowing cursive as ornate as Jer's lines. Note "I see you know me well", and listen to what Bobby plays. It's incredible. After Looks Like Rain Bobby plays a brief Teddy Bear's Picnic, leading to a Tennessee Jed that's more powerful than usual. Then the back bisect boots all brands of butt. Jack Straw has a swinging pulse, and Peggy-O goes technicolor with a big solo [the first four seconds of the track are cut on the official]. Jer plays a very brief Tico-Tico No Fubá [also not on the OFF], then the set could have ended with this ace Minglewood and it would still be great. Deal goes full-on, but they get stuck on repeat so it's a you-had-to-be-there, not designed for repeat listening.
Second Set. It takes a ways into Supplication to relight the sparks. Jer then briefly plays Gounod's Funeral March of a Marionette [cut from the OFF]. This is a resplendent Must Have Been Roses, elevated by great Donna. The Estimated from this show is justly adored and excellent. Eyes of the World doesn't match 2/3, 5/10 or 7/5, but it's good – after some rhythm confusion at the beginning. The OFF cuts these 9secs @31secs. '78 is not a good year for Drums, and this otiose version is among the dregs (edited on the OFF w/ a 24sec cut @53secs). The fun returns with Not Fade Away – a loosely swung beat and a Billy Preston/clavinet-like funk section, then it gets pretty out there for an NFA. Wharf Rat rewards by the end. Sugar Mag sounds like a '74. I dig this one, even if I admit it's ragged on the edges. It has a nonplussed quality that adds the right amount of uncertainty, a certain punch and a one-off tone. Likewise, One More Saturday comes out just a bit different this night.
1st Set: A 2nd Set: B
Overall = 4¾ stars
First set - great the whole way; landmark Candyman
It Must Have Been the Roses - Donna punctuates
Estimated Prophet - peak Bobby and great assists under the basket
SOURCES: The 133786_sbd_miller is the full version, repitched and with tunings [the tuning at the end of Deal should be in front of One More Saturday]. It sounds clearer than 133792_sbd_miller, which does have a few more-complete tunings. The channels are switched on both. Dave's 15 has the whole show except for edits in Eyes and Drums and a short edit in Peggy-O [it made zero sense to leave half of a disc blank instead of including more from 4/21].
Reviewer:Evan S. Hunt
July 5, 2019 Subject:
"We Quit. See Ya Later"
At the end of a stunning "Deal" Bobby steps to the mike and exhales heavily, "We quit. See ya later!" This may give you an idea about how radically mindblowing this particular version of Deal was. I had never heard the GD repeat the hook line at the end of a song so many times. It must be some sort of all time record in the annals of pop music. I guess.
But all guessing aside this entire show is, as they say in the modern day vernacular, AWE$$OME. Almost every song is right on the money. From the opening chords of Bertha you can hear Jerry's rich and frothy tone. I just love it!!!!
Late 77, early 78 is my favorite era. Jerry had his squawky Wolf growl. Rrrrrowwwwrrrr! To my mind that guitar was like a hybrid cross between a Strat and a Les Paul. Coupled with the fact that Garcia had just gotten it back from the luthier in November -- all souped-up. This era featured a stoked Jerry and I believe that his Wolf may have had something to do with it. I had never heard anything like it up until then, nor have I ever heard anything like it since. People rave about the Spring of 1977 -- and it was a great time and all, and the Travis Bean was a hot guitar, but, for me, nothing compares in tone to his newly refurbished Wolf. Sadly, once he began using his Tiger exclusively (in 1979) it just didn't emit the same flare. IMHO.
I'm no longer a big fan of NFA and Sugar Mags but these versions are rocking exceptional. Listen to Jerry's intro chords alla Bo Diddley on NFA. It sounded like they were moving into "Mona" -- a song the GD played a few times a long time ago. Sugar Mags is over the top.
Then, of course, is the raging Wharf Rat. 'Nuff said.
August 30, 2018 Subject:
"Scorcher" isn't a word I'd use to describe WR, but it fits this version. Great sounding recording. Band in sync. Donna sounds great. Jerry riffs and fills like a jazz cat.
July 24, 2015 Subject:
I have had this show in my car for years and it is off the charts . If it is possible it gets better every time I listen to it. I know the 12 16 78 show at same place is a better set list and maybe a better show yet this one is full on 5 star show because of when it was held and when jerry had his voice back completely . Love every thing about it.
July 23, 2015 Subject:
Charlie Miller is God