find the best versions of grateful dead songs

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George Matters



Oct. 15, 1989
Meadowlands Arena

Melodic and intense, by far my favorite space melts into Stella. Very underrated show.
Stella Blue
Oct. 15, 1989
Meadowlands Arena

Highlight of an underrated show.
Black Peter
Dec. 1, 1979
Stanley Theater

Slow and intense.
Wang Dang Doodle
July 8, 1990
Three Rivers Stadium

Very intense version in a bluesy second set.


Far From Me
July 14, 1990
Foxboro Stadium

This is the one I always come back to for this song. My last show with Brent and him singing "this could be my last song for you" (although, technically, it wasn't since there was I Will Take You Home in the 2nd set). Then the encore was This Could Be The Last Time > And We Bid You Goodnight. Just one of those cosmic spooky Grateful Dead things.
Good Lovin'
Oct. 12, 1984
Augusta Civic Center

This is the gold standard of the Brent-era versions. Encore of a legendary set.
Good Lovin'
May 26, 1995
Memorial Stadium

One vote is probably generous for a 1995 Good Lovin', LOL. To be fair, I listened to it, and, yeah, that's about right. I suppose you could describe it as "surprisingly lucid for 1995", but that doesn't mean there aren't at least 300 better versions.
Desolation Row
July 19, 1989
Alpine Valley Music Theatre

Desolation was often 12 minutes of Bobby fumbling to remember the song's 600 verses over Jerry playing the same riff on repeat. In this one, Bobby nails the vocals, Jerry wails out his background lines, and the solos are just crackling with energy. There is no better, and it's not even close.
Eyes Of The World
Nov. 30, 1973
Boston Music Hall

I totally agree. This is one I come back to a lot. The whole DP14 disc 2 from HCS to Sugar Mag gets heavy rotation for me. This was a little before my time, but I can't imagine how fantastic it would have been to see all that brand new material featured so prominently like that (contrast to the Built To Last material that was mostly just a couple throw away first set songs in fall 89...). I definitely would have immediately bought Wake after that show if I didn't have it already.