find the best versions of grateful dead songs

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Looks Like Rain
July 20, 1994
Deer Creek Music Center

Strong version from a very good '94 show. We all know Jerry's playing was in decline at this point but the magic could still be mustered at times
The Music Never Stopped
April 2, 1989
Civic Arena

Tight and energetic version from an oddly underrated show -- The whole show and the following night is available as Dowload Series Vol. 9.
Not Fade Away
May 11, 1978
Springfield Civic Center Arena

Like most everything else from this show, this one is raucous and passionate, like all great NFAs.
March 11, 1993
Rosemont Horizon

The space in the final solo is indeed getting hot.
Franklin's Tower
Dec. 11, 1994
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Stadium

Lively version, Jerry was clearly engaged and having fun, even if his chops weren't at 100%. Love the enthusiastic vocals at the end.


Jack Straw
July 9, 1989
Giants Stadium

Absolutely a fantastic full band effort. It doesn't get much better than this. Do yourself a favor and watch the YouTube link. If you're not smiling at the end I have questions for you.
Throwing Stones
July 9, 1989
Giants Stadium

Part of a hot Throwing Stones> NFA combo before that pairing got completely stale.
Not Fade Away
July 9, 1989
Giants Stadium

I know Throwing Stones> NFA could sound rote, but don't ignore this one. The intensity is dialed up a notch for the Giants Stadium crowd.
Uncle John's Band
Oct. 9, 1989
Hampton Coliseum

Overcomes a rough start to quickly gain its footing. There are some sublimely joyful moments here and although the transition in from Playin' is quite abrupt (barely any transition at all really), the transition back into Playin' Reprise is a treat. Not a "best ever" contender by any means but for those of us more generous with our upvotes, it's heady!
Scarlet Begonias -> Fire On The Mountain
Dec. 3, 1979
Uptown Theatre

For those bemoaning the audience patch, I suggest giving the Dusbourne matrix a listen, it's mixes in the audience splice very nicely, it's not too jarring at all. I have not heard the official DP release.