find the best versions of grateful dead songs

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Playin' In The Band
April 13, 1971
Catholic Youth Center

Lesh's rather electric bass drives the train. They're still learning the song, but still bring some heat & drama - even without the jam.
Cumberland Blues
Feb. 19, 1971
Capitol Theater

Stompin' matrix and Kreutzmann's debut as a free man!
Not Fade Away
June 23, 1976
Tower Theatre

A fucking great NFA with killer crowd support. Sometimes I love AUDs. & Garcia: looking for trouble. Aluminum Style.
July 22, 1972
Paramount Northwest Theatre

Runs on Kreutzmann adrenaline - set cruise control for serene.
Jan. 24, 1971
Seattle Center Arena

Easily overlooked show - the Truckin' opener is a giant tidal wave red carpet.


St. Stephen
Oct. 25, 1969
Winterland Arena

Lesh is in your face - and it works just fine thanks. Rich, chocolatey - this could have been his tone forever and I'd be like Yeah!
Mississippi Halfstep Uptown Toodeloo
May 7, 1977
Boston Garden

Top shelf Half-Step. Thx for reminding me!
China Cat Sunflower -> I Know You Rider
Sept. 15, 1972
Boston Music Hall

A very distinctive version that has plenty o' swagger. Garcia's guitar breaks in China Cat are innovative and full of soul & wit. Read: the guitar playing is nuts! Everyone is engaged - normal for this period. That's how a gem like this can be overlooked. Or looked over. Is it Tuesday?
China Cat Sunflower -> I Know You Rider
March 22, 1972
Academy of Music

It's sorta floppy & all over the place, but this one speaks. Slugging through at times, their musicality shuttles them through.
Ship of Fools
May 9, 1977
War Memorial

I do, too donutpie. Like so much May '77, it's got lots o' class.