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Rabelais Freak



The Wheel
May 25, 1977
The Mosque

I love this lush performance. Donna is at her best.


The Music Never Stopped
May 9, 1977
War Memorial

Great performance of one of Bob's greatest songs on one of the band's greatest nights. No contest!
Not Fade Away
May 26, 1972
Strand Lyceum

What makes this one so great is that it follows an also great China Cat - I Know You Rider! That must have been a very euphoric half-hour to have been there.
Row Jimmy
June 30, 1973
Universal Amphitheatre

This is a great performance, with a great backing vocal from Donna. I prefer the earlier, somewhat more upbeat pre-hiatus Row Jimmys to the later ones, which frequently get sluggish or are marred by off-vocals from Donna.
Turn On Your Love Light
Aug. 6, 1971
Hollywood Palladium

If I had to choose a "greatest Dead show of all time," I just might pick this one over Cornell '77, Winterland 1977-06-09, and Kezar 1973. Almost each performance is among the band's most perfect of that song...except for Jerry's massively flubbed lyric on St. Stephen.
Dark Star
Feb. 18, 1971
Capitol Theater

This will probably seem like sacrilege to some Beautiful Jam fans, but...I don't see how this can rank with the top Dark Stars. It's the first time they're performing Wharf Rat. The Dark Star is quite short, and they find a novel but tentative road into the new song and a novel but tentative road out of it. The result is very nice...but hardly to compare with Old Renaissance, 2/27/69, the Dick's Pick 4 Dark Star, etc.