find the best versions of grateful dead songs

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millennial head



China Cat Sunflower -> I Know You Rider
Dec. 5, 1969
Fillmore West

Exploratory transition jam! Very different from most early versions. Has that anarchic ’60s energy.
Black Peter
Dec. 5, 1969
Fillmore West

Practically flawless early version played with focus and intensity.
Dancin' in the Streets
Dec. 5, 1969
Fillmore West

High-velocity, high-power jamming magic, all packed into less than nine minutes. Intense. From a wonderful overlooked show.
Cosmic Charlie
Dec. 5, 1969
Fillmore West

Very well played and sung! Pity about the audience member humming along out of tune, but otherwise a fine ’69 AUD.
Ramble On Rose
Oct. 23, 1973
Metropolitan Sports Center

Sharp, delightful version. Supercharged Keith’s melodic lines will keep you guessing.


Playin' In The Band
Sept. 15, 1972
Boston Music Hall

Holy. Smokes. Wickedly psychedelic without ever losing precision, clarity, or focus. One of Keith’s most creative performances ever, maybe? Jerry is conversational and in total command. The ensemble playing is stunning. Don’t hesitate. Just listen.
Dark Star
Oct. 9, 1989
Hampton Coliseum

Fortunately I love Space and MIDI Dead. :-) Don’t get me wrong, this is not as good as the best versions from ’69–’74, but this is HEAVY. A complete mindmelt. In context, the climax of one of the best pre-Drums sequences of the decade. I love it.
Stella Blue
Oct. 25, 1973
Dane County Coliseum

This version is just about perfect. Not a note out of place.
Playin' In The Band
April 22, 1977
The Spectrum

There’s a delicate midjam digression in D major with Keith on Moog. Totally unlike any other version I’ve heard. Amazing.
April 29, 1972

Just devastating. Holy hell.