Archive for the ‘Dick’s Picks’ Tag

Grateful Dead – Dick’s Picks 29 (19 & 21 May 1977)   Leave a comment

The biggest DP release (at six discs) is a big dose of a big month in a big year. Less than two weeks before these shows, The Dead played two of the best shows of their career (and still not officially released). Perhaps the residual energy was still in play, as DP 29 gives us two more damn good ’77 shows.

And some uncredited filler. More of the October 11 show at University of Oklahoma shows up on discs 2 and 5. Combine those bits with what was released on the Second Road Trips, and you probably have about half the show… Back on the beam. Some jabber about each night:

19 May (Fox Theatre, Atlanta GA)

This night is so good, my complaints are perfectionist & trivial. What is considered one of the best Sugaree ever is marred when Jerry runs out of neck a couple of times.

The show closing Playing In The Band sandwich [Uncle John’s Band (reprise) > Uncle John’s Band > Drums > The Wheel > China Doll > Playing In The Band] is fantastic. What the boys do with Uncle John’s Band is amazing, and it more than offsets the (thankfully) brief Drums, and needless, obligatory freak-out part in Playing In The Band. Contrary to the packaging, there is a break between Terrapin Station and Playing In The Band.

Passenger is an occasionally interesting track for me. This night, The Boys slow it down quite a bit, making this take a Best Version.

21 May (Civic Center Arena, Lakeland FL)

It seems to me that when a show opens with Bertha, there is a better than usual chance the show is going to be better than usual. This date might just make my Top Ten for the year.

The Boys are _tight_. This night’s They Love Each Other and Cassidy are Best Versions, and the band is absolutely slammin’ on Tennessee Jed.

Jack-A-Roe’s debut was a week previous to this show. So, 21 May has a first set that includes the 5th ever performance, which happens to be the coolest, just exactly perfect electric version of  Jack-A-Roe I have ever heard.

The second set is a little rough in places. Estimated Prophet hits a few bumps before morphing into an outstanding He’s Gone.

During the jam at the end of He’s Gone, you can catch whiffs of The Other One, Spoonful, and Dark Star. Instead, we get a not just exactly perfect Drums. The move to The Other One is simply a stop on the beat.

The jam at the end of The Other One could almost pass for a Zabriski Point outtake, as it moves almost smoothly into an almost jazz version of Comes A Time. Donna is fantastic on this read.

An interesting move into a St. Stephen sandwhich (Not Fade Away) . Somewhere between jazz and country, this take isn’t the typical proto-metal read. The harmonies from Jerry, Bob, and Donna are just exactly perfect (just like the move from St. Stephen into Not Fade Away).

Not Fade Away is 11 or so minutes of slinky, funky, jammy bliss. None of the needless vocal caterwauling found on many takes. The brief return to St. Stephen is seamless.

Here, I’m at odds with what is listed on the packaging. There is a quick fade done by the band, with Weir counting in the show ending One More Saturday Night. In my book, that doesn’t qualify for a “>”.

The bottom line: This volume of Dick’s Picks is a must have.


Posted 2011/07/23 by MG Nagy in Uncategorized

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