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thunder mtn



Big River
Oct. 21, 1973
Omaha Civic Auditorium

Blazing version, but I nominated it primarily for its placement within the context of the tasty Playin'->Half-Step->Big River->Playin' sandwich.
June 30, 1973
Universal Amphitheatre

Jerry's pipes never sounded sweeter, and Keith's barrel-house piano chops complements perfectly!
July 17, 1976
Orpheum Theatre

Deserves mention.
Oct. 10, 1976
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

The previous night's version was tasty, but this one is delicious. The nomination for this one is long overdue. The whole show is quintessential '76
Bird Song
Dec. 26, 1981
Oakland Auditorium

Whoa! This one somehow slipped through the cracks - A hidden gem for sure!


Dark Star
Sept. 21, 1972
The Spectrum

A few years ago, I remember there was a discussion board that featured a heated debate between two heavy-weight champions of the same era. In one corner was the mighty 9/21 Dark Star, and in the other was the defending champion, 8/27 Dark Star. The prizefight ensued as dead heads in droves were chiming in with impassioned persuasions, imbittered arguments, and desperate pleas as to which should be declared the winner. After much blood, sweat & tears (all in good spirit, of course) I think 8/27 won the fight by a nose, and I happened to be among the camp of 8/27 supporters. That said, I think the last six-odd minutes of this one – 9/21- might be the most satisfying segment from either of them. So while I gave the nod to 8/27 as the better Star as a whole, I still think the last six minutes of 9/21 is the most inspirational. It’s truly a unique piece of music, something of an electric-psychedelic-bluegrass-(new)grass jam that’s something to behold and marvel at.
Here Comes Sunshine
Dec. 6, 1973
Public Hall

^Grate news. Cheers for the heads up.
The Other One
Sept. 17, 1972
Baltimore Civic Center

I share an enthusiasm for this song and the period as well, although I’ve never placed that much importance on this particular version, especially when considering its length. Make no mistake -- I think it’s a good one (and the show as a whole is very good) -- but like the Dark Star of 5/11/72 or the Playin’ of 5/21/74, its “beast status” is surely marked in part by its length alone. This version is a magnum opus! But does the end justify the means? Does the payoff justify the investment of time? I should say so -- but with reservation -- especially when considering the siblings of the era that I think are more entrancing and exhilarating in far fewer minutes (9/3, 9/9, 9/15, 9/28, 10/19, 10/24, 11/17 come to mind). But that hardly matters, of course, if one loves this version, and has 40 minutes to lend an ear! I’m just saying there are better versions that offer higher dividends for lower investments (read: 9/28 & 11/17). But this is only one head’s opinion, and I love the fact we all can come on here and discuss – with passion – the merits of Grateful Dead music at large. With that, I’m going to brew another cup, and spin a long Other One (how about 11/17/72?) I’ve got forty minutes to spare, and a smile to go with it!
Oct. 9, 1976
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Stadium

It's tough to say, but 6/11, 7/17 & this version all burn nicely before the wildfires of '77. They're all worthy.
Oct. 10, 1976
Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum

^Very true. I'm encouraged to see that '76 has seemingly garnered more attention of late, though. Better late than never. I still can't say enough about this show, and the night (day) before. Dick was spot-on releasing both shows in their entirety together.