Jesse Jarnow

psyche pscene, 1967-1972

Psyche Pscene, 1967-1972

A stash of 15 issues of the Chicago-based Psyche Pscene appeared recently on Internet Archive. The extra “e” in “Psyche” should perhaps have been the tip-off that its intended audience was more the Chicagoland teenage garage/R&B/soul cliques than the burgeoning head set, it still seemed like a fun browse. So, inspired by the totally diggable Fanzine Hemorrhage blog, I did, and it was.

While consenting to blow my mind, Psyche Pscene didn’t quite get me where I wanted to go. It’s pretty square. For underground history, the Chicago Seed (archived at the easier-to-search-before-it-was-on-JSTOR Independent Voices) is surely the way to go. But for scholars and fans of Midwest garage sounds from the Nuggets-bordering-on-Grand-Funk-proto-metal era, there are surely delights aplenty, and (perhaps at the expense of my SEO) reports on too many regional bands to list here. None of it inspired me to go much deeper into Psyche Pscene‘s history, but (according to this similar highlights reel), it was associated with the local club Elysian Fields. From what I can tell, it was lasted through 1972, at least.

One representative highlight are the regional charts that give a good sense of the era, like this one from Summer 1968, click to enlarge. And, of course, swingin’ photos of local soirees, with local bands mixed with touring groups. I did find some pieces to enjoy, though…

National Acts

Around Town from Winter 1968, including Cannonball Adderley, recently ex-Monkee Mike Nesmith, Earth Opera (featuring David Grisman, Peter Rowan, and Richard Greene), and a listening party for Music From Pig Pink. On the right, an early tour by the Flying Burrito Brothers, plus lotsa local news, June 1969.


Zal Yanovsky, recently departed from the Lovin’ Spoonful, August 1969.

The Beach Boys’ Bruce Johnston interviewed, December 1967.

Alex Chilton and the Box Tops, December 1967.

Parallel reports on the Stooges and Alice Cooper, May 24, 1971, a perfect compare/contrast straight outta Steve Waksman’s epic This Ain’t The Summer of Love.

Alice Coltrane appears in Chicago at Auditorium Hall with the Swami Satchidanda, Peter Max, the New Rascals, and more, a few weeks before the recently-released Carnegie Hall performance, July 1971, from the August 31st, 1971 issue.

Most mindblowing to me (in a wee cozy way) was news of a live appearance by Doug Dillard and Gene Clark in the November 1969 issue. I’d recently wondered if they’d ever gigged publicly and guessed they hadn’t, but seems like they did (on a bill with the Jefferson Airplane and the Ventures, no less, not that this photo exactly counts as proof of Gene Clark’s presence).

The Bay Area in the Second City

No coverage of my sweet Grateful Dead, but lots of scene reports on other Bay Area bands passing through, including Country Joe and the Fish (September 1968), Janis Joplin with Big Brother (Winter 1968), the Jefferson Airplane (September 1968 & August 1969), It’s A Beautiful Day (August 1969), and Santana (June 21, 1971).

Sweet Radio Ads

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a great selection of ads for radio stations and individual shows, including Triad (airing on WXFM 106.5 from 9pm-12am & WEBH 93.9 from 12am-4am), WTLD 102.2, WGLD 102.7, Daniels Den on WSFM, and an installment of Gawor’s The Live Adventures of Arlo comic strip, about a freeform DJ.

#deadfreaksunite 1983

#deadfreaksunite 1983
tape-by-tape notes

An extended listening project tracking the Grateful Dead’s evolution, recording by recording. Originally posted on Twitter on each show’s 40th/50th anniversary and edited here for readability and occasional revision/correction and minor expansion. Many shows streamable via Expanded notes for many shows (with press, scene reports, and images) can be found on Twitter by searching for my username (bourgwick) and the show date. Please consult JerryBase for the latest data, Dead Sources for original articles (1965-1975), and LostLiveDead/Hootrollin for deep dives.

[1965] [1966] [1967] [1968] [1969] [1970] [1971] [1972] [1973] [1974] [1975] [1976] [1977] [1978] [1979] [1980] [1981] [1982] [1983]

1/24/83 stone house:
a songwriting/rehearsal session at the stone house in fairfax, the 1st of 4 likely-misdated tapes that document a few of the dead’s lost futures. today seems to include everybody but garcia working on 2 new weir songs, 1 of which makes it to the dead. the dates range from 1/24-2/6 but weir was on tour in europe with pickup bands from 1/26-2/4, so i wonder if these are mixdown dates. 1st piece is labeled “jam” but weir is explaining chord changes. without garcia, lesh’s leads are extra-prominent & almost HELP ON THE WAY adjacent. there’s a voice on the tape i don’t recognize & electric piano is more conversational/aggressive than mydland usually is, so i wonder a little if it’s him. early version of HELL IN A BUCKET has a few different chords & alternate lyrics. can hear drummers start to figure out their spots.

1/31/83 stone house: bob weir & mickey hart playing with a song called MOLLY DEE. but, beyond their voices on the tape, it’s actually pretty confusing what’s happening. the song’s background reveals a fascinating window into intra-dead collaboration/experimentation circa 1983. weir overdubs 2 guitars on drum machine, including leads. polyrhythmic fun with ready-for-the-dead feel that makes me sad it didn’t get further. then, weir explains the changes to hart. much of the tape seems to feature a combination of pitched beats (programmed by hart?) mapped to weir’s changes, a mix of 8-bit grooves, live synth percussion/bass, maybe a few analog drums. my fave takes (tracks 11-16) are 2-3 overdubbed weirs plus synth bass. robert hunter included MOLLY DEE in his “a box of rain” lyrics collection with a note about its origins in a late ‘70s jam at hart’s ranch that also yielded the “shakedown street” song FRANCE.

2/1/83 stone house: the 3rd of 4 intriguing work tapes from early ’83 at the stone house in fairfax & maybe the most fun. not coincidentally, the only one with garcia. full band plays over a drum machine & works on 2 unfinished bob weir songs in unusual time signatures that recall the ‘70s & roads not taken in the ‘80s.for 45 minutes, band plays over weir’s programmed 5-beat pattern, which i think might be titled NORTH BY NORTHEAST, NORTHEAST BY WEST, with unsung lyrics by robert hunter ( ). while the drummer(s?) & lesh struggle, garcia just slides right in, playing through a few different ideas, most of which sound natural, eventually coloring with mu-tron. mydland shows up a few tracks in, just as garcia seems to be losing interest or getting distracted. the 2nd piece on the tape is apparently titled UFO, with only a pair of fragments, one of which features an even shorter fragment of (i think) weir’s demo playing through the studio speakers. weir attempts to establish a groove similar to the keyboard loop, but doesn’t get very far before the recording cuts. another fascinating lost direction.

2/6/83 stone house: i think it’s probably just a solo bob weir instrumental demo without anybody else, but hard to say if it’s even weir, except there’s nobody else in the dead that would probably make this. 8 incomplete & 1 maybe-complete instrumental takes of a song titled VICTORY that (to my ears) sound like a drum machine & lone musician overdubbing synth & guitar. the keyboards are halting & minimal, the guitar feels a little more natural. song’s odd turnaround feels weir-ish. without vocals, almost sounds like new agey japanese pop. of the 6 songs on these 4 tapes, hardest to imagine the dead engaging with this. dig the tape rewind sounds.

3/4/83 san francisco civic auditorium: garcia & weir play a 15-minute acoustic set at the bay area music awards in san francisco, end of the line for some of the garcia/ace acoustic songbook. 1st WAKE UP LITTLE SUSIE since 2/70, loose, perfect, & gone forever. last OH BOY, played once in ’71 but semi-regularly in ’80-’81. when weir introduces MEXICALI BLUES it’s clear it’s not a deadhead crowd, making it all funnier. a small stat: garcia’s last MEXICALI outside the day job. sweet extended solo! only DEEP ELEM BLUES has any security in the repertoire.

3/14/83 front street: rehearsal tape from their front street warehouse headquarters in san rafael, relearning how to play a mid-‘70s classic, working out a new bob weir tune, & hanging out with bob weir’s dog otis. fun to hear the band tap back into HELP ON THE WAY/SLIPKNOT! (perhaps due to lesh’s new 6-string bass), unplayed live since ’77. they seem to remember the shape, but pause a few times to work out details & dynamics & talk through the transitions with mydland, who’s never performed it. garcia makes suggestions about how to find his own space. after a few takes, they sound pretty comfy with the drop into FRANKLIN’S TOWER, which they don’t practice. most charming part of this #gratefuldead rehearsal tape is a bit of garcia & lesh goofing on otis, weir’s german shepherd, who is apparently also hanging out. “he has remarkably good taste for a dumb fuckin’ mutt,” observes garcia before they all tease the dog through the speakers. “where’s @dgans when there’s a real story around?” weir asks, possibly referring to their impending work on MY BROTHER ESAU. tape closes with 30 minutes of the band looping through weir’s MY BROTHER ESAU without stopping. weir sings the whole thing through a few times as everybody finds parts to play. probably their not 1st run-through. both weir & garcia are using slides on the 1st 2 passes. garcia puts his down, but then has to hold down the song parts while weir sort of plays slide. otis barks a few times near the end, far enough into the stereo field that it was quite startling on headphones.

3/25/83 tempe: wet 1st set with apropos weather songs, including COLD RAIN & SNOW opener. garcia stumbles on words in most of his tunes. lesh’s new 6-string announces itself frequently, basically soloing over garcia at end of NEW MINGLEWOOD BLUES. debut of weir/barlow’s cryptic & tres ‘80s MY BROTHER ESAU with more drafts yet to come. unhinged 11-minute set-closing LET IT GROW almost falls apart a few times, but they sort of get through it & exciting territory grows from the chaos. 1st half of set 2 is short but happening. 18-minute HELP ON THE WAY > SLIPKNOT! > FRANKLIN’S TOWER, 1st since 10/77 & mydland’s debut. only bit rough around edges, charged & ready, slightly faster than before. 52-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND > DRUMZ > SPACE > THROWING STONES > NOT FADE AWAY > BLACK PETER > SUGAR MAGNOLIA. mydland drives short PLAYING to density. after garcia splits, spiky weir/lesh jam. garcia/lesh dialogue starts SPACE, rare since mid-‘70s. you love to see* it. (* hear.)

3/26/83 las vegas: weir apologizes for playing MY BROTHER ESAU at 2 shows in a row (300 miles apart). semi-officially acknowledging that the band are no longer repeating songs night to night. needs work. perfunctory 23-minute SCARLET BEGONIAS > FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN. 48-minute ESTIMATED PROPHET > EYES OF THE WORLD > OTHER ONE > DRUMZ > SPACE > OTHER ONE > WHARF RAT > AROUND & AROUND > ONE MORE SATURDAY NIGHT. crowd echoes weir’s ESTIMATED “NA!”s. glad it didn’t stick. midtempo EYES has little coherence, nice to have lesh in chat. only 2nd of 2 OTHER ONEs split by DRUMZ/SPACE.

3/27/83 irvine: little shaking on SHAKEDOWN STREET. classic @dgans photo sums up situation. MY BROTHER ESAU relaxes slightly & feels more dead-like, getting a very brief coda jam. besides peaks in 2nd set opening CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER & THROWING STONES, little drama. 56-minute HE’S GONE > TRUCKIN’ > DRUMZ > SPACE > THROWING STONES > WHARF RAT has garcia bailing early in TRUCKIN’. few don martin-like DWOM!s in SPACE. garcia can’t seem to figure out how to start WHARF RAT.

3/29/83 warfield theater: benefits that establish the rex foundation & the 1st internally-run mail order. arrival of brent mydland’s new yamaha gs-1 #synth marks start of not-too-subtle new era, a sonic dividing line, but also the 1st lively dead music of the year. debut of mydland’s yamaha GS-1 (being played in this shot), tones stored on magnetic card reader. new digital colors in 8-minute BIRD SONG, 1st too-short jams of the year to feel like they reach equilibrium, like garcia flipping on the lights. GS-1 quite present during big 20-minute set-opening HELP ON THE WAY > SLIPKNOT! > FRANKLIN’S TOWER, shimmering vibraphone on HELP, ’83-defining marimba tone on SLIP & synthy organ on lyric-scrambled FRANKLIN’S. 59-minute ESTIMATED PROPHET > DRUMZ > SPACE > THE WHEEL > THROWING STONES > NOT FADE AWAY > GOIN’ DOWN THE ROAD FEELING BAD > JOHNNY B. GOODE. the synth organ returns for ESTIMATED & when garcia splits, mydland flips to flute sound for short coda with weir, a new flavor. hart’s prayer bowl floats into deep SPACE, part buried by guitars/synths but a few moments of pure drone/bliss/chaos, one of the furthest-out & patient SPACE jams in a while, even as unchill melons start yelling requests.

3/30/83 warfield theater: lively DIRE WOLF. mydland cycles through GS-1 tones, flirting with strings on CASSIDY before rolling back. blown-out digi-barrelhouse briefly appears in MAMA TRIED, going back to piano, then to laser-tone. can sort of appreciate its ridiculousness with the polka of MEXICALI BLUES, which garcia seems to, as well. slightly extended solo, dancing between synth plops. tropical organ on CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER. MY BROTHER ESAU slightly fuller with woozy GS-1 ending. 51-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND > DRUMZ > SPACE > MAN SMART/WOMAN SMARTER > CHINA DOLL > PLAYING IN THE BAND. PLAYING brightens when mydland gets conversational with marimba-tone, engaging garcia. return of the beam, melting into long SPACE with developed prayer bowl/synth/guitar jam, garcia eventually stating quiet subtle version of MAN SMART melody. nifty coda too, before 1st CHINA DOLL since 7/81, with GS-1 harpiscord. a song so delicate it ages with garcia.

3/31/83 warfield theater: rough night, garcia slipping into blown lyrics & general absenteeism. FEEL LIKE A STRANGER opener feels looser & few bpm slower than usual. garcia remembers WEST LA FADEAWAY, though, 1st of the year. not even much GS-1 newness (though good GS-1 photos). 62-minute TERRAPIN STATION > DRUMZ > SPACE > THE OTHER ONE > THROWING STONES > WHARF RAT > AROUND & AROUND > GOOD LOVIN’. prayer bowl SPACE with flute chaos. marimba keys in OTHER ONE.

4/9/83 hampton: crazy hyped energy results in fairly shaggy BERTHA / PROMISED LAND combo opener but serves MY BROTHER ESAU well, starting to feel like a coherent song with a unified groove. mydland’s new GS-1 comes for LOOKS LIKE RAIN, though he pulls back midway through. set 2 opens with 18-minute HELP ON THE WAY > SLIPKNOT! > FRANKLIN’S TOWER, making its east coast return. great SLIPKNOT!, lotsa marimba-tone, sometimes a bit tentative during the thornier parts. 51-minute TRUCKIN’ > DRUMZ > SPACE > THROWING STONES > BLACK PETER > GOIN’ DOWN THE ROAD FEELING BAD > ONE MORE SATURDAY NIGHT. TRUCKIN’ falls into SMOKESTACK LIGHTNING jam, 1st since pigpen’s death. sad that hart seems to left new SPACE toys back west. off-mic, weir recites his LITTLE STAR poem. a very non-committal “debut.” garcia repeats something like BLACK THROATED WIND riff before BLACK PETER. with lesh’s 6-string riff thrompage, SATISFACTION almost back to peak ridiculousness.

4/10/83 morgantown: GS-1 version of barrelhouse piano is icky, deployed on MEXICALI BLUES & TENNESSEE JED & FRIEND OF THE DEVIL. too-econo 47-minute UNCLE JOHN’S BAND > PLAYING IN THE BAND > DRUMZ > SPACE > THE WHEEL > PLAYING IN THE BAND > CHINA DOLL. PLAYING lights up briefly when mydland goes to marimba-tone plus a few accidental seconds of alien-synth. rough approximation of CHINA DOLL. weir dedicates US BLUES encore to “the girl with lobotomy eyes.”

4/12/83 binghamton: 8-minute BIRD SONG, garcia bounding in happy arcs.1st with GS-1 synth, unobtrusive but unfortunate. severe tropical-lounge-core synth-tone would be a lot funnier if not used on PEGGY-O (though the parts would be kinda lovely on a rhodes). and people say MIDI was cheesy. nice dynamics, though. even dinkier-sounding on the more staccato parts of CASSIDY, indistinct keyboard attack just sort of fading into mushy air during 12-minute LET IT GROW. 22-minute HELP ON THE WAY > SLIPKNOT! > FRANKLIN’S TOWER has longest SLIPKNOT! since the return, garcia hanging in thrilling conversational shred-space. GS-1 feels a bit laser-clav on FRANKLIN’S, ala the later DANCING IN THE STREET. 48-minute TERRAPIN STATION > DRUMZ > SPACE > THE OTHER ONE > WHARF RAT. SPACE is a typical hand-DRUMZ-to-garcialogue pass. long OTHER ONE for the era, nearly 10 minutes, but a self-contained wave that never quite breaks. big night in deadhead lore: previously, the audience has started clapping the NOT FADE AWAY rhythm & the band has started playing the song (in ’70, ’72, ’79). for 1st time, audience keeps clapping/chanting between set & encore, with band picking back up. the clap/chant is just the song’s title repeated over the clapping, not yet alternating with the full “you know our love…” phrase.

4/13/83 burlington: though none attend the show, an important tape for members of #phish when they enroll at UVM that fall. otherwise snappy CUMBERLAND BLUES is another case where new GS-1 turns mydland’s conversational detailing into something mushier & more indistinct. the digital barrelhouse has come to twinkle-plop on RAMBLE ON ROSE. on the other hand, mydland’s FAR FROM ME seems to have been waiting for it. 27-minute SCARLET BEGONIAS > FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN is a bit messy & sometimes glorious, 1st of the GS-1 era, marimba & softer tones making mini scene changes for garcia during transition. 49-minute ESTIMATED PROPHET > EYES OF THE WORLD > MAYBE YOU KNOW > DRUMZ > SPACE > MORNING DEW. ESTIMATED unwinds slowly to midtempo EYES with the ’81 groove, faux-rhodes sounding decent. after EYES, the guitarists abruptly bail for the debut of mydland’s MAYBE YOU KNOW, just keys/drums. not for me. deep SPACE. prayer bowls return alongside synth blurps & train whistles & garciaing, unfolding into spectacular, howling DEW. THROWING STONES jam starting to get more subdued, still raging. [

4/15/83 rochester: 14-minute SHAKEDOWN STREET bops around a late corner into a dark, happening place. garcia’s mic breaks down during BROWN EYED WOMEN. 10-minute LAZY LIGHTNING > SUPPLICATION is 1st of year, transition feeling nicely loosened. pretty burning DEAL closer. unusual weir double-shot to open 2nd set, FEEL LIKE A STRANGER activating slo-mo laser-boogie between garcia & GS-1. proper full-band debut of mydland’s angry synth-blues MAYBE YOU KNOW, radio-ready chorus, full force GS-1 excursion with very little room for blowing. 67-minute HE’S GONE > LITTLE STAR > DRUMZ > SPACE > THROWING STONES > NOT FADE AWAY > GOIN’ DOWN THE ROAD FEELING BAD > JOHNNY B. GOODE. debut of weir’s LITTLE STAR (aka BOB STAR), barely a song. a musical thought over blues murk (& prototype for later weir) churning into more question marks. super ace BABY BLUE encore, garcia in fully.

4/16/83 east rutherford: complete-feeling 1st set. 10-minute BIRD SONG has lots of great twining bass playing off garcia, arriving at great place before final climb, but also GS-1-ified, keyboards disappearing into the muck except at their most piercing. set closes with nice block where 4 of the 5 last songs are new & unrecorded, including weir’s increasingly confident MY BROTHER ESAU, mydland’s blustery MAYBE YOU KNOW, & garcia’s WEST LA FADEAWAY & hyper-speed set-closing TOUCH OF GREY. 45-minute UNCLE JOHN’S BAND > TRUCKIN’ > DRUMZ > SPACE > BLACK QUEEN > IKO IKO. weir repeating “what a long strange trip it’s been” over TRUCKIN’ outro. stephen stills blows out for BLACK QUEEN, written for the dead & played once with them in 12/69. uh, high energy. stills takes well-emoted verse in IKO, mostly syllable-salad but a few words in there, too. IKO is way more appealing/ridiculous to me with lesh’s absurdist 6-string. after stills departs, garcia signals band into THE OTHER ONE, weir singing LITTLE STAR on top of the groove. not quite a song, not quite a rap, probably most accurately, 19-minute LITTLE STAR/THE OTHER ONE > THE OTHER ONE > BLACK PETER > ONE MORE SATURDAY MIGHT. doesn’t go far or long, but OTHER ONE conversation feels real for a flash. stills returns midway through BLACK PETER, adding appropriately scuzzed blooze-weave.

4/17/83 east rutherford: energetic & longish 1st set (by ’83 standards) with no cowboy tunes & only LITTLE RED ROOSTER to meh it up. garcia & weir bring out their new songs for 2nd night in a row. mydland finds soft calliope tone on GS-1 for DUPREE’S DIAMOND BLUES, less so on PEGGY-O, sounding almost 8-bit. would love a chillwave mix of *just* the keys & garcia’s voice. aggressive lesh bass from very first notes of CASSIDY, not quite cracking the song open but finding new dimensions. way fun 2nd set with 3 big jams. 21-minute HELP ON THE WAY > SLIPKNOT! > FRANKLIN’S TOWER, thrilling as designed. 44-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND > DRUMZ > SPACE > LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH. PLAYING webs out with GS-1 synth-harp weaving with guitar before marimba zones, fun even after garcia leaves. heavy SPACE, hart & co. apparently dragging around amplified garbage cans while garcia garcias. wolf eyes vibes. then, another visit from stephen stills for a CSN classic, gnarly but delightful. 33-minute THE WHEEL > PLAYING IN THE BAND > THROWING STONES > NOT FADE AWAY is just alright. stills comes back for more jammage during NOT FADE AWAY. if you’d trekked ass out to bleakest jersey to boogie, though, an excellent extended dance party in an era when the shows were getting shorter & shorter.

4/19/83 orono: only SHE’S ON THE ROAD AGAIN of ’83 & 2nd-to-last ever, always a fave, here with mydland’s GS-1 trying to drag the jug/garage/folk tune into the #synth era. IT’S ALL OVER NOW always seems endless to me & yet is almost 10 minutes here. 2nd set opens with 1st SUGAREE of the year, stretching lazily over 17 minutes. as i just learned from @InstituteJerry, the garcia band started playing it more than the dead in ’80, but this is the 1st year they *really* beat ‘em, 17-to-4. 63-minute HE’S GONE > DRUMZ > SPACE > SPANISH JAM > TRUCKIN’ > WHARF RAT > AROUND & AROUND > GOOD LOVIN’. very little happening in HE’S GONE besides a poof of synth-harp as all exit. SPACE has prayer bowls & garcia & something that sounds like vacuum, before they move in/out/around SPANISH JAM, nice combo of synth bells & gongs (i think) as they drop into TRUCKIN’.

4/20/83 providence: garcia’s vocals moving towards the kermit-zone on RAMBLE ON ROSE. lovely solo. nice to hear the GS-1 sparkle dialed back slightly. fun & unusual ME & MY UNCLE > CUMBERLAND BLUES pairing, mydland still too neutralized, lesh thankfully not. LOOKS LIKE RAIN has pretty completely evolved its power ending now. nice ’n’ spritely 12-minute CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER, though garcia manages to forget the “northbound train” verse after he’s already starting singing. unusual mid-set BERTHA bounces into 62-minute ESTIMATED PROPHET > EYES OF THE WORLD > DRUMZ > SPACE > THROWING STONES > MORNING DEW. both ESTIMATED & EYES expand gently, EYES landing at “traditional” tempo/groove. short but effective outro with GS-1 marimba amid crashing DRUMZ. well-developed SPACE, kreutzmann (i think) joining early & free-drumming with the garcialogue, gradually frothing. ace segue into jammin’ THROWING STONES. speedy DEW, though.

4/22/83 new haven: weir gets into some vocal ad-libbing early in FEEL LIKE A STRANGER, stretching a little. 11-minute BIRD SONG climbs joyously, floating down while lesh flaps about, nice moment of quiet before reprise. mid-set sags a bit, but COLD RAIN & SNOW is at the right tempo/density/shape to become a 6-string showcase, entertaining (to me) given its folk origins. DEAL is extra-shredded/distorted blow-out. weir has taken to announcing the set break in some weirish patois. 20-minute HELP ON THE WAY > SLIPKNOT! > FRANKLIN’S TOWER, followed by weird grab bag. after MAN SMART WOMAN SMARTER ends, weir & garcia churn up, vaguely GOIN’ DOWN THE ROAD-ish, 43-minute JAM > DRUMZ > SPACE > TRUCKIN’ > SPOONFUL > STELLA BLUE. long SPACE, garcialogue joined by bowls, then weir feedback. 1st SPOONFUL since 10/81, now entering weir’s bl00z repertoire. weir does his spiel in GOOD LOVIN’, but adds “and leave it on!”, 1st time callback back to live/dead.

4/23/83 new haven: PEGGY-O solo that i wish would go forever. adventurous, lush 26-minute SCARLET BEGONIAS > FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN, garcia turning corners, dancing in air, flashing to little peaks. groovy weir shapes. bopping bass-led entrance to FIRE, losing some focus but sparking big. 59-minute LOST SAILOR > SAINT OF CIRCUMSTANCE > DRUMZ > SPACE > OTHER ONE > WHARF RAT. garcia jams with hart’s SPACE bowls, dripping into extra-long latter-day OTHER ONE. nothin’ wild, way diggable pockets.

4/25/83 philadelphia: quite snappy BROWN EYED WOMEN, also revealing that the GS-1 actually has serviceable regular piano tone. wtf? icky sparkle is back for CASSIDY, but a totally happening version, in part because of occasional dissonances from mydland. 13-minute CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER is pretty top speed, but groove is laser-focused by RIDER. crowd cheers TOUCH OF GREY’s “we will get by…” switch. haven’t heard that before, but don’t always listen to audience tapes. 57-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND > TERRAPIN STATION > DRUMZ > SPACE > THE WHEEL > PLAYING IN THE BAND. PLAYING hovers, but stirs up dust. lurchy TERRAPIN. jerrybase needs a tag for when garcia sings “inspiration sue me brightly.” SPACE gets hep with gnarly garcia/lesh conversation. during WHEEL outro, magical turn that stopped me in my tracks, band rolling thru moody improvised changes 4x & dissolving back to PLAYING. super-charged GOIN’ DOWN THE ROAD FEELING BAD.

4/26/83 philadelphia: 14-minute SHAKEDOWN STREET ripe with GS-1 synth lasers, locking into garcia patterns. lesh behaves, though nearly gets weird near end. THEY LOVE EACH OTHER finds sweetness, another space for 6-string. last MAYBE YOU KNOW save one-off in ’86, a song i find uncomfortably catchy, despite (or cuz of?) its almost comically ‘80s “there’s only one way to make it today/and i’m doing all i can for me” ‘tude. 12-minute set-closing LET IT GROW briefly hits full ecstatic tumble. off-mic before set, weir goes over sequence with drummers, making sure they go right into DRUMZ after MAN SMART, trying to avert what happened in new haven… but also any chance of a jam. perfectly sturdy HELP ON THE WAY > SLIPKNOT! > FRANKLIN’S TOWER. 48-minute MAN SMART WOMAN SMARTER > DRUMZ > SPACE > TRUCKIN’ > MORNING DEW. motionless SPACE almost finds mood near end with synth padding. hawt middle in THROWING STONES, now with locked-in jump to NOT FADE AWAY.

5/13/83 greek theatre: plenty of big lesh, distorting through COLD RAIN & SNOW on the soundboard. debut of weir & barlow’s new HELL IN A BUCKET, pretty coherent & fun already, cracking dynamics TBD. 1st set closes with double-jam of 10-minute BIRD SONG filled with bright brushstrokes & shredding 12-minute LET IT GROW. 2nd set is mostly 93-minute ESTIMATED PROPHET > EYES OF THE WORLD > DRUMZ > SPACE > THROWING STONES > OTHER ONE > WHARF RAT > AROUND & AROUND > GOOD LOVIN’. whole lotta weir. the longest post-‘70s EYES, i think, just around 20 minutes. doesn’t go far, but has nice slow pre-hiatus tempo with garcia sticking around & painting sky ’til nearly end. hot mic during prayer bowl section, apparently making it into PA.

5/14/83 greek theatre: ultra-econo 1st set, not even 50 minutes. weir/mydland/lesh lock into nifty pattern under FRIEND OF THE DEVIL solos. crisp SHAKEDOWN STREET has excitable vocal yamming by weir/mydland. generally tasty 58-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND > CHINA DOLL > DRUMZ > SPACE > THE WHEEL > PLAYING IN THE BAND > MORNING DEW. PLAYING finds 2nd gear before shifting back to theme, bigger thrills when CHINA DOLL upshifts. white-hot DEW crescendo. mega-falsetto weir in SUNSHINE DAYDREAM.

5/15/83 greek theatre: sunday afternoon dance music in the 1st set, give or take. HELL IN A BUCKET iffier on 2nd pass. garcia’s early ‘70s standards especially sunshine-y, RAMBLE ON ROSE & BROWN EYED WOMEN & set-closing DEAL (well, clangy ‘80s sunshine). at start of 2nd set, weir encourages crowd to sing happy birthday to sound engineer dan healy as healy cranks up the efx, which weir notices & laughs. 22-minute HELP ON THE WAY > SLIPKNOT! > FRANKLIN’S TOWER, big color-surfing FRANKLIN’S. 55-minute HE’S GONE > DRUMZ > SPACE > TRUCKIN’ > STELLA BLUE. no HE’S GONE jam, but flora purim, airto moreira, & billy cobham join for DRUMZ, etc. purim vocalizes during long/fun/weird SPACE that escapes garcialogues for participatory zonkscapes & coalescin’ TRUCKIN’ with chill GS-1 vibes. garcia has hard time starting STELLA BLUE but wrenching finish. john cipollina joins for NOT FADE AWAY, mostly inaudible. crowd keeps chanting/clapping (still just the title, though) until band returns.

6/18/83 saratoga springs: start of 1st “modern” east coast summer tour with familiar outdoor spots from the ‘80s/‘90s. long-deferred SPAC debut, originally scheduled for ’72. several layers of odd lurching energy throughout generally fun show, garcia in good voice & sounding confident, but also frequently scrambling lyrics. 10-minute BIRD SONG feels little rushed at first, like floating on gusts from an oncoming storm, but settles & sparkles. big crowd peak during ALTHEA & garcia fireworks during DEAL, extending into jam territory that could pass for a fast bright DARK STAR (post-BEAUTIFUL JAM, maybe) before final reprise. weir watch – HELL IN A BUCKET lyric flips from “you imagine me kissing the toe of your boot…” to the @dgans-contributed “you imagine me sipping champagne from your boot…” 2nd set opens with 24-minute SCARLET BEGONIAS > FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN has lots to like, mydland using GS-1 to sweetly quote I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW during intro (big cheer when crowd realizes), but also more weirdness. after marimba-synth section, jam slows into disconcerting but wide-open tempo, almost falling off-track, weir feeling extra-subdued. FIRE a little uneasy, too, weir singing chorus over the verse at one point. gnarly peak, though. brief noncommittal jam (garcia MIA?) before 52-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND > DRUMZ > SPACE > THE WHEEL > PLAYING IN THE BAND > THE WHEEL. after usual high-speed dives, jam turns corner into quiet conversation before weir/drummers cavort. subdued 22-minute THROWING STONES > NOT FADE AWAY > TOUCH OF GREY, general mood seeming to feed into gorgeous languid THROWING STONES solo. something is way off with DON’T EASE ME IN encore, maybe garcia himself, can’t seem to find singin’ key.

6/20/83 columbia, MD: weir watch – census-designated locale makes weir’s brain grind & invent good generic shout-out in NEW MINGLEWOOD BLUES, “and it’s t for right here wherever we are.” again addresses tourheads before repeated song, “for you folks who are following us around, we’re gonna badger you with some new tunes until we get ‘em right.” HELL IN A BUCKET not quite right, but provides spark, along with WEST LA FADEAWAY. big MUSIC NEVER STOPPED. first rain. then no rain. then rain. 53-minute HE’S GONE > TRUCKIN’ > DRUMZ > SPACE > LITTLE STAR > OTHER ONE > WHARF RAT, storm thickening. on-point peaks in TRUCKIN’ (where power flickers) & OTHER ONE, not always a given in this era. final version of weir’s LITTLE STAR poem. big moment is lightning striking pavilion (!!?) before “i’ll get up & fly away” in WHARF RAT, bass bombs & cheers & sound zap. weir spiels about aboriginal dream-time in SUGAR MAGNOLIA (“they think dreams are the real side of life”) then screams a lot.

6/21/83 columbia, MD: spritely spots in 1st set, including DIRE WOLF & big flows on CUMBERLAND BLUES (a surprise out of ME & MY UNCLE), BIG RAILROAD BLUES, & CASSIDY. LOOKS LIKE RAIN gets some cheers, calling back previous night’s storm. important pet update: TOUCH OF GREY, garcia substitutes “the cat has not been fed in years…” poor kitty. 2nd set keeps ball in the air 91-minute for TERRAPIN STATION > ESTIMATED PROPHET > EYES OF THE WORLD > DRUMZ > SPACE > THROWING STONES > BLACK PETER > AROUND & AROUND > GOOD LOVIN’, all sounding pretty together compared to the spring shows. EYES at a brisk but not-too-fast tempo. highlight jam is engaged garcia SPACE-crossing with the DRUMZ, linking into a too-brief jam before hart switches to tinkling things & momentum dissipates. [3/4]

6/22/83 harrisburg: FEEL LIKE A STRANGER opener brushes into the zone & DEAL shreds hard. weir shouts out anti-3-mile island petitioners before 2nd set. 59-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND > DRUMZ > SPACE > SPANISH JAM > I NEED A MIRACLE > STELLA BLUE > GOIN’ DOWN THE ROAD FEELING BAD > NOT FADE AWAY. PLAYING jam gets extra-interesting for a few after garcia splits, synth creating good drone-bed for weirdnesses. weir channels garcialogue into 1st SPANISH JAM of the year. another big night for deadhead lore: the 1st version of the modernized NOT FADE AWAY audience chant emerges, “you know our love not fade away…” followed by the NOT FADE AWAY beat. there’d been audience clapping/chanting around the song previously, including the binghamton version in april that connected the set to the encore, but this version locks it in, though here the dead encore with BROKEDOWN PALACE instead of going back into NOT FADE AWAY.

6/24/83 madison: 14-minute SHAKEDOWN STREET opener floats into bopping neons. FAR FROM ME is rare mydland song in the 2nd slot. extra-noxious LITTLE RED ROOSTER slide. the DEAL outro is a place where ’83 dead really have it together. healy slathers efx on weir’s voice during “take a step back.” 24-minute HELP ON THE WAY > SLIPKNOT! > FRANKLIN’S TOWER, especially percolating 1st half of FRANKLIN’S. emphatic stop after LOST SAILOR > SAINT OF CIRCUMSTANCE before 41-minute JAM > DRUMZ > SPACE > TRUCKIN’ > MORNING DEW. besides drummers, everybody leaves & weir hammers at descending chords not dissimilar to MIND LEFT BODY. drumzers apparently wearing masks? audience tapes are getting better in this era, but missing soundboards during SPACE. train whistle? nicely spiky garcia/weir SPACE duo. solidly gnarly DEW peak.

6/25/83 st. paul: fun 1st set by my standards, but not much goes deep. tape-distorting lesh bombz in show-opening JACK STRAW & encore BABY BLUE. 10-minute LAZY LIGHTNIN’ > SUPPLICATION feels shaky but makes sparks by end. 54-minute UNCLE JOHN’S BAND > DRUMZ > SPACE > THROWING STONES > BLACK PETER. UNCLE JOHN’S skates briefly at density, thins, & disappears. weir’s SPACE shapes look for momentum with synth marimba. patient build into THROWING STONES with a few surprise turns.

6/27/83 hoffman estates: 11-minute BIRD SONG rides currents over quick-moving drummerly gusts. MEXICALI BLUES finds vivaciousness. rare set-closing SUGAREE has lyric scramble & colorful peak. 26-minute SCARLET BEGONIAS > FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN features h3tty blend of questing & exuberance. 58-minute ESTIMATED PROPHET > TRUCKIN’ > DRUMZ > SPACE > OTHER ONE > THE WHEEL > GOOD LOVIN’. super-tight TRUCKIN’ hits but no jam. weir drives motion under garcialogue SPACE, xylophone & synth bells.

6/28/83 hoffman estates: short 1st set with crisp playing on uptempo tunes, entering good bounce-trance in FEEL LIKE A STRANGER, but nothing doin’ really. 23-minute HELP ON THE WAY > SLIPKNOT! > FRANKLIN’S TOWER, garcia hitting deep place during SLIPKNOT. 54-minute HE’S GONE > DRUMZ > SPACE > THROWING STONES > NOT FADE AWAY > STELLA BLUE. HE’S GONE breaks have fresh feeling phrasing. big tank-emptying SUGAR MAGNOLIA. rare IKO IKO encore.

7/30/83 ventura: always-rare CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER show opener, 1st since ’79, surely perfect for a breezy afternoon on the ocean, messy with sparkling bass/synth rain during the transition. much of 1st set continues at similar balance. weir spaces a bunch of lyrics in set-closing MUSIC NEVER STOPPED. 57-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND > CHINA DOLL > DRUMZ > SPACE > TRUCKIN’ > BLACK PETER. fast-chattering jam. ugly near-collapse at the tempo shift in CHINA DOLL, churning back into PLAYINGish jam. long static DRUMZ, but fun jagged SPACE with thumping roto-toms & plonked 6-string bass that keep it moving like a real jam. “let phil sing!” chant before encore, 1st time i’ve caught one of those. careful there!

7/31/83 ventura: band is either hotter tonight or it’s just a great soundboard mix. everything firing in 1st set & especially lesh’s absurdist lead bass. surprising JACK STRAW peaks, bubbling FRIEND OF THE DEVIL, even weir’s cowboy medley seems conversational. WEST LA FADEAWAY feeling extra-together. 67-minute HELL IN A BUCKET > SCARLET BEGONIAS > FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN > DRUMZ > SPACE > THE OTHER ONE > WHARF RAT. after slight expansion inside BUCKET, mydland & drummers tag on tiny coda & garcia upshifts not-totally-smoothly into SCARLET. pensive FIRE transition with swaying synth-marimba. plain DRUMZ again, no extra toys. long OTHER ONE doesn’t do much. weir throwing cool & unusual shapes in fun NOT FADE AWAY. TOUCH OF GREY switches “say your piece & piss off” for “& get out.”

8/20/83 frost amphitheatre: 9-minute BIRD SONG flies into storm of slashing guitar, pounding synth, bubbling bass. long SHAKEDOWN STREET percolates, turns corner before reprise. 58-minute ESTIMATED PROPHET > EYES OF THE WORLD > DRUMZ > SPACE > OTHER ONE > BLACK PETER, common-seeming sequence only run once before, in reno ’82. ESTIMATED relaxes into conversation. fast-but-not-ludicrous EYES with weir-led outro. rare jam after 2nd OTHER ONE verse. weir riffs on “pocket pool” in GOOD LOVIN’.

8/21/83 frost amphitheatre: gentle afternoon 1st set. only CASSIDY show (or set) opener. reports of garcia controlling weather at “this space is getting hot” in ALTHEA. bombastic-in-a-good-way LET IT GROW. 52-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND > DRUMZ > SPACE > THE WHEEL > THROWING STONES > NOT FADE AWAY. pause between WHEEL & THROWING STONES feels like continuous thought. as at ventura, weir seems to find new dimensions late in often-automatic NOT FADE AWAY jam. lovely & disconcerting musique concrète SPACE features excerpts from “the digital domain: a demonstration,” a then-new hi-fi CD produced by a bay area consortium including meyer sound & stanford researchers, featuring the THX sound (composed by stanford dead freak andy moorer), an airplane taking off (john meyer told us about this sound on the deadcast) & other waviness. too bad there’s no soundboard.

8/26/83 portland, OR: gs-1 synth clouds under PEGGY-O, like ambient production sheen. 12-minute LET IT GROW almost rages free. 23-minute SCARLET BEGONIAS > FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN, garcia finding sweet assertive melody in FIRE outro, feel carrying over into extra-mellow MAN SMART/WOMAN SMARTER intro. 57-minute HE’S GONE > DRUMZ > SPACE > TRUCKIN’ > WANG DANG DOODLE > STELLA BLUE > SUGAR MAGNOLIA. 1st full WANG DANG DOODLE by willie dixon. meh on multiple levels.

8/27/83 seattle: lively JACK STRAW opener with 1-is-where-lesh-thinks-it-is bass bombs. 1st dead DEEP ELEM BLUES since 3/82, when garcia started playing acoustic shows. dig the lope. blown lyrics all night for garcia/weir. fiery, lesh-y DEAL outro. 69-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND > UNCLE JOHN’S BAND > DRUMZ > SPACE > THROWING STONES > BLACK PETER > ONE MORE SATURDAY NIGHT. PLAYING widens to good transition. BLACK PETER’s outro finds newest turf in little big groove that holds for 30 seconds.

8/29/83 eugene: 13-minute SHAKEDOWN STREET opener with lotsa assertive weir in the mix, making it feel extra-fresh. 10-minute BIRD SONG goes on a perfectly swell float-around but doesn’t quite break through the clouds. garcia shows up for 14-minute CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER, just a font of ideas & turns during the transition. 66-minute ESTIMATED PROPHET > EYES OF THE WORLD > DRUMZ > SPACE > THE WHEEL > THE OTHER ONE > GOIN’ DOWN THE ROAD FEELING BAD > JOHNNY B. GOODE feels mostly coherent. really enjoyed the long, thoughtful ESTIMATED with unfurling martian-reggae bassline & surprisingly organic move into one of the more ludicrous-speed EYES (~135 bpm), which manages to sound natural in context, & has its own fireworks. everything else just fine.

8/30/83 eugene: ken kesey does half-effective crowd control on behalf of venue. “about the smoking…” [whispers] “make it into tea, fools! you can do it about half-hour beforehand & it comes on just right! you don’t need to sneak anything!” [stops whispering] “don’t smoke.” points out that there’s a “dance hall” downstairs where the show is being shown on closed-circuit video so people can “get frenzied.” for a finale, tells crowd a secret: garcia’s black t-shirt is tattooed on. neither the tightest nor jammiest night. weir immediately faceplants the lyrics for multiple verses of opening FEEL LIKE A STRANGER. spark-raising 12-minute LAZY LIGHTNING > SUPPLICATION. 53-minute TERRAPIN STATION > DRUMZ > SPACE > THROWING STONES > NOT FADE AWAY. end of TERRAPIN blooms into rare 3-minute coda jam that carries the energy into dramatic starshine improv & back. NOT FADE AWAY tails into clapping, creating a full ending before WHARF RAT > SUGAR MAGNOLIA.

8/31/83 eugene: ken kesey’s intro & time-killing joke are exclusive to the audience tape. mydland’s era-defining GS-1 synth is prevalent, playing “calliope” on DUPREE’S DIAMOND BLUES & featuring on nearly everything in 1st set except openers & closers. in some ways, a culmination of starting to get keith godchaux to experiment 10 summers earlier. i know ‘80s synths have come back, but this model still sounds chintzy to this late-cusp gen x’r. 67-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND > CHINA DOLL > DRUMZ > SPACE > TRUCKIN’ > STELLA BLUE > AROUND & AROUND > GOOD LOVIN’ with a few minutes of PLAYING-like territory-questing after CHINA DOLL (featuring “harpsichord”). kesey toodles harmonica during SPACE. kesey returns to stage between 1st & 2nd encore for long list of thanks/credits for the dead’s 3 days at the hult, brings out sis-in-law sue.

9/2/83 boise: rare lesh banter to start, “citizens of boise, submit or perish, you are are a conquered people.” rather low-energy opener for that intro with weir’s WANG DANG DOODLE, though a slinkier & more double-drummer-ready groove than his other “blues.” hitches it to JACK STRAW for double-weir to start show, a keynote for a low stakes 1st set, which immediately takes another double-weir turn with a pair of C&W tunes. crisp BROWN EYED WOMEN. fun extended BIG RAILROAD BLUES solos. 26-minute HELP ON THE WAY > SLIPKNOT! > FRANKLIN’S TOWER has some missed HELP lyrics/transitions, heating up during SLIPKNOT! in part thanks to dense mydland comping. solid FRANKLIN’S filled with currents & tidal pools. 77-minute ESTIMATED PROPHET > EYES OF THE WORLD > DRUMZ > SPACE > THROWING STONES > GOIN’ DOWN THE ROAD FEELING BAD > BLACK PETER > SUGAR MAGNOLIA. on-point midtempo EYES with tight weir/mydland thrills after garcia splits. roto-tom DRUMZ, garcia/weir SPACE.

9/4/83 park west: cheers, obviously, for “spent the night in utah…” in FRIEND OF THE DEVIL. 27-minute SCARLET BEGONIAS > FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN, transition lately feeling more psychedelic/democratic, blurrier, less dramatic. hard to quantify! 61-minute MAN SMART/WOMAN SMARTER > DRUMZ > SPACE > SPANISH JAM > THE WHEEL > THE OTHER ONE > WHARF RAT > AROUND & AROUND > ONE MORE SATURDAY NIGHT. tight SPANISH JAM, weirdness at edges via lesh’s 6-string. big WHARF RAT build, almost faceplanting.

9/6/83 red rocks: pretty satisfying show, even more so when listening to an audience tape & projecting to red rocks on a late summer’s night. way-committed garcia on opening ALABAMA GETAWAY, only muffing a few syllables, & extra-present across the set. sweet PEGGY-O. 11-minute BIRD SONG overcomes sickly GS-1 synth tone, patiently climbing before dramatic half-time peak. joyful 26-minute HELP ON THE WAY > SLIPKNOT! > FRANKLIN’S TOWER is blurry on many details but garcia finds deep turns in vibed SLIPKNOT! middle. 60-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND > DRUMZ > SPACE > UNCLE JOHN’S BAND > PLAYING IN THE BAND > THROWING STONES > NOT FADE AWAY. PLAYING tethered by hi-hat until last moments. weir tosses SPACE shapes to garcia, a breath from coalescing into a theme. graceful suite-ish linkage from PLAYING reprise into THROWING STONES, though that’s a lotta weir.

9/7/83 red rocks: not many jams but garcia having fairly together night, present vocals & not too many lyric scrambles. short 1st set picks up with crisp LOSER, new tunes (MY BROTHER ESAU & WEST LA FADEAWAY), burning CASSIDY, & 13-minute CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER. set 2 opens with still-rare I NEED A MIRACLE. 64-minute HE’S GONE > DRUMZ > SPACE > TRUCKIN’ > STELLA BLUE > SUGAR MAGNOLIA. long SPACE, drumzers sticking around a bit, several sub-themes. on-point STELLA BLUE.

9/8/83 red rocks: strong RAMBLE ON ROSE for era, cheers for #nyc lyric in colorado, tape-distorting lesh rumbles at last peak. 27-minute SCARLET BEGONIAS > FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN with synth cloudburst during transition that seems to push garcia. unfocused but peaking FIRE. 80-minute ESTIMATED PROPHET > TERRAPIN STATION > DRUMZ > SPACE > OTHER ONE JAM > THROWING STONES > BLACK PETER > AROUND & AROUND > GOOD LOVIN’. brief & rich gong-SPACE by garcia/weir/hart settles around OTHER ONE triplets.

9/10/83 santa fe: really fun night, lotta bass. micro-jams in 9-minute MUSIC NEVER STOPPED opener that just won’t… stop, tho weir drops words. garcia looking icky, sounding present, his tunes especially uptempo in rain-shortened 1st set (also maybe why weir skips cowboy & blues). extra solo chorus in BIG RAILROAD BLUES finds neat place. 11-minute CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER with exuberant garcia shreds before transition, a few speed bumps agreeing on that tempo through RIDER. everything clicking in 2nd set, even MAN SMART/WOMAN SMARTER gets little interesting at tempo. fire CUMBERLAND BLUES. 61-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND > CHINA DOLL > DRUMZ > SPACE > THE OTHER ONE > GOIN’ DOWN THE ROAD FEELING BAD > ONE MORE SATURDAY NIGHT. PLAYING takes a moment to widen. from CHINA DOLL, churning jam minus garcia, shifting a few times. double-rainbow during DRUMZ. in SPACE, garcia & weir hit a pair of cool themes (bright, then moody) that the ’72-’74 band would’ve surfed, but rhythm section is MIA & they dissolve, though jam stays quizzical with comical stereo-panned bicycle horn. OTHER ONE gets fierce, continuing after 2nd verse with lesh/garcia pocket. rare COLD RAIN & SNOW encore, rarer lesh vocals.

9/11/83 santa fe: solid WEST LA FADEAWAY & HELL IN A BUCKET but 1st set drags with weir country/blues covers. mostly-together 21-minute HELP ON THE WAY > SLIPKNOT! > FRANKLIN’S TOWER is ultra-compact. long LET IT GROW storms in place but doesn’t expand. except for powerful MORNING DEW, 72-minute HE’S GONE > DRUMZ > SPACE > TRUCKIN’ > WANG DANG DOODLE > MORNING DEW > AROUND & AROUND > SUGAR MAGNOLIA doesn’t carry much oomph for me, weir blues songs even more groany in 2nd set.

9/13/83 austin: not much 1st set action. MUSIC NEVER STOPPED tamer than santa fe. low-energy 29-minute SCARLET BEGONIAS > FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN. 60-minute TRUCKIN’ > DRUMZ > SPANISH JAM > THE WHEEL > THROWING STONES > NOT FADE AWAY, TRUCKIN’ gets weird for era, partly ‘cuz garcia sticks around. collective SPANISH JAM with duck calls, marching clomp, roto-tom boings, bass splatter. after NOT FADE AWAY, crowd chants/claps, but not so band can pick up, though hart drums along when they return.

9/18/83 grass valley: need a term for when a 1st set escapes unscathed by weir’s slow blues & cowboy tunes. tight FRIEND OF THE DEVIL, near enough to reno that grass valley would’ve been on narrator’s path if they’d headed west. 13-minute LET IT GROW turns 3D near end. 71-minute TERRAPIN STATION > DRUMZ > SPACE > THE OTHER ONE > WHARF RAT > AROUND & AROUND > SUGAR MAGNOLIA. good starlight jam in TERRAPIN, more notable for confident garcia-less coda improv by weir/mydland/drummers.

9/24/83 santa cruz: garcia leaning into vocals, though not always remembering words. already rare, last dead version of DEEP ELEM BLUES, a classic from the folkie days. stays in garcia’s side acoustic repertoire after, including gigs with weir. 1st DAY JOB since new year’s, garcia charged, back in rotation for the next few years. pleasant 9-minute BIRD SONG with sweet climb & too-brief garcia/lesh jams. goofy off-mic chatter, “we’re getting our space together,” weir announces with lisp. there’s a wasps’ nest under the stage, per weir. peachy 14-minute CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER but uneven set. TRUCKIN’ reaches tight peak but garcia departs with jam still going, weir leads some, but thread dies entirely. 53-minute DRUMZ > SPACE > UNCLE JOHN’S BAND > THROWING STONES > NOT FADE AWAY. somewhat bleak garcialogue SPACE. NOT FADE AWAY locks in, though. new move, too, continued from austin, with long drum outro, setting up crowd to chant/clap.

10/8/83 richmond: healy cranks mydland’s keys during FEEL LIKE A STRANGER opener, shifting perspective, dialing it back down as band stretches lightly. songs feel looser & more ornamented without being jammier. debut of weir’s whammy bar & hanging chords, changing his sound permanently (not always in a great way, to my ears, rarely doing as much as when he just plays). reports of onstage garcia/weir tension. shrill weir slide abuse on NEW MINGLEWOOD BLUES. big garcia/mydland DEAL outro. 69-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND > CRAZY FINGERS > DRUMZ > SPACE > TRUCKIN’ > SPOONFUL > WHARF RAT > GOOD LOVIN’. PLAYING fierce near end, weir on new whammy bar. 1st CRAZY FINGERS since 10/82, last ’til 4/85, pretty together. balafon adds melodious DRUMZ swirl, crossing to SPACE. garcia allegedly quotes 007 THEME but i don’t hear it? SUGAR MAGNOLIA, briefly, pre-GOOD LOVIN’, fun ambiguity when they modulate. weir watch: “let’s just look at the world today, what can anybody say? IT’S FUCKED.”

10/9/83 greensboro: 12-minute SHAKEDOWN STREET opener whips up brief froth. totally shrill slide guitar in LITTLE RED ROOSTER, so much so that engineer dan healy adds echo & it sounds some dude with a laptop layering in bird calls. as a listener more astute than me observes, this is the 1st version of MY BROTHER ESAU where they nail new crisp ending they’ve been working on since late summer. 15-minute LET IT GROW blows through jam transitions but has chattering keys & ecstatic pay-off. 64-minute ESTIMATED PROPHET > EYES OF THE WORLD > MAN SMART/WOMAN SMARTER > DRUMZ > SPACE > NOT FADE AWAY > SUGAR MAGNOLIA. weir-involved ESTIMATED shriek-&-response, colorful blossoming into coo-coo uptempo EYES, almost a different song. garcia maybe doesn’t notice weir’s MAN SMART hijack ’til vocals start. brief balafon SPACE, great quiet transition. garcia leads band into SUGAR MAGNOLIA (continuation of 2-show passive-aggressive mini-battle between him & weir?). big whammy bar finale.

10/11/83 madison square garden: another WANG DANG DOODLE opener, which seems like the opposite of how to tap into #nyc energy? still, a fresh feeling show with 5 new-to-repertoire songs, a big bust-out, & variety of unusual moves. 12-minute BIRD SONG, the age of weir’s whammy bar now fully upon us. not as icky as attempted slide guitar (but not not-icky), adds space but removes weir’s voicings/movement from the weave. nice co-leads in later part, though, with elegant landing. a very jerry 2nd set, starting with 15-minute CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER. swaggering RIDER groove, big “northbound train” verse. hart (i assume) is playing some hard-tapped rim-thing that’s very loud in mix. most unusual 70-minute I NEED A MIRACLE > BERTHA > CHINA DOLL > DRUMZ > SPACE > ST. STEPHEN > THROWING STONES > TOUCH OF GREY. all 3 pre-DRUMZ songs have jams where they usually don’t; MIRACLE melting outward, BERTHA flipping to quest mode, CHINA DOLL unfurling some. 1st soundboard with balafon DRUMZ, sounding lush, though not crossing into SPACE. 1st ST. STEPHEN since 1/79, beginning its brief final return. huge thrills/chills on audience tapes. even has a bit of a jam, though shaky in parts. lesh sings (though not for 1st time in years, as sometimes reported, just a few weeks). THROWING STONES has big moments, too, and garcia engineers a clever segue into SUGAR MAGNOLIA out of the final singalong but fakes into TOUCH OF GREY.

10/12/83 madison square garden: always a hoot at a garden party. big COLD RAIN & SNOW intro bass & more lesh vocals. especially embarrassing weir slide during NEW MINGLEWOOD BLUES. some deeper garcia cuts, including semi-rare CUMBERLAND BLUES (can feel the garden bounce) & IT MUST HAVE BEEN THE ROSES (& sway). enjoying MY BROTHER ESAU’s newer tighter swagger, upping its voltage a bit. dramatic LOOKS LIKE RAIN garciaing. gonna have to lose some DRUMZ & move encore to 1st tape to even fit 2nd set on a 100-minute blank. 28-minute HELP ON THE WAY > SLIPKNOT! > FRANKLIN’S TOWER; ultra-messy in written parts of SLIPKNOT! but good dense jam. not many sparks in 64-minute HE’S GONE > DRUMZ > SPACE > TRUCKIN’ > BLACK PETER > NOT FADE AWAY, not even SPACE marimba. debut of garcia-sung REVOLUTION is fun & he gets more syllables than it sounds like at first! weir keeps attempting to shoo-bee-doo, ala REVOLUTION 1.

10/14/83 hartford: as a newly-minted teenage dead freak when this “dick’s picks” came out in 1996, the 1st set was so unappealingly bland/middle-of-the-road to teenage-me that, even though i could tell there was good stuff on the other discs, it took me another two decades to take ‘80s dead seriously. with the 1st set included, it’s a souvenir for (some) deadheads & (to my ears) even detracts from their legacy. delete the 1st set & it presents the still-adventurous part of the ‘80s dead. prominent synth-marimba intro to 31-minute SCARLET BEGONIAS > FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN, which i can now embrace. both jams emit wild sparks. 74-minute ESTIMATED PROPHET > EYES OF THE WORLD > DRUMZ > SPACE > SPANISH JAM > OTHER ONE > STELLA BLUE > SUGAR MAGNOLIA. ESTIMATED unfolds to free drone-swells & long, chill, & rare adventurous EYES. assertive mydland & mega-engaged garcia turn corners all the way to end. only SPANISH wisp. powerful STELLA BLUE, besides metronomic drums in quiet parts.

10/15/83 new haven: weir channels aspiring thereminist on NEW MINGLEWOOD BLUES “slide” “guitar.” garcia’s righteous BIG RAILROAD BLUES solo keeps rippin’ & snortin’. 14-minute CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER with acrobatic transition, RIDER’s kinda messy. cloudiness before 64-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND > CHINA DOLL > DRUMZ > SPACE > ST. STEPHEN > THROWING STONES > ONE MORE SATURDAY NIGHT. long PLAYING landing. fun multi-theme SPACE cycles loveliness & peaks before tight(er) STEPHEN.

10/17/83 lake placid: 16-minute SUGAREE opens, righteous twirling, weir digging his new whammy bar. it’s long? back of 1st set feels fresh with MY BROTHER ESAU & HELL IN A BUCKET, 13-minute BIRD SONG with dense sky crescents & DEAL that just keeps DEALing. 1st TO LAY ME DOWN since 8/82 (& last ’til mid-’84), l’il rusty. 61-minute TERRAPIN STATION > DRUMZ > SPACE > THE WHEEL > I NEED A MIRACLE > GOIN’ DOWN THE ROAD FEELING BAD > GOOD LOVIN’. weir goes environmental in GOOD LOVIN’ rap.

10/18/83 portland, ME: tour rarity LAZY LIGHTNING > SUPPLICATION opens up with weir whammies. bumpin’ 14-minute CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER, lesh hits FEELIN’ GROOVY descent 1x at synth-pool transition. 73-minute ESTIMATED PROPHET > HE’S GONE > DRUMZ > SPACE > NOT FADE AWAY > BLACK PETER > AROUND & AROUND > SUGAR MAGNOLIA. luxurious bass-y ESTIMATED. fun SPACE: balafon efx, duck calls, scream-outs, music box (?!), weir shapes, lesh chatter, & inventive resolve to NOT FADE AWAY.

10/20/83 worcester: fairly scuzz-vibed 1st set, worcester appropriate. 20-minute HELP ON THE WAY > SLIPKNOT! > FRANKLIN’S TOWER with especially snarling SLIPKNOT! & surprising weir shapes under FRANKLIN’S outro. SAMSON & DELILAH almost collapses during intro before 58-minute EYES OF THE WORLD > DRUMZ > SPACE > SPANISH JAM > THE OTHER ONE > STELLA BLUE > AROUND & AROUND. brisk re-grooved EYES, uneventful SPACE. distressing STELLA BLUE, garcia cycling through chords, unable to start.

10/21/83 worcester: bass-dotted near-jams in MUSIC NEVER STOPPED, CUMBERLAND BLUES, & CASSIDY. sweet, gradual transition in 29-minute SCARLET BEGONIAS > FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN, garcia’s guitar wrapped around solid kick-drum amid synth sparkles. low-energy FIRE, though. 62-minute UNCLE JOHN’S BAND > PLAYING IN THE BAND > DRUMZ > SPACE > TRUCKIN’ > WHARF RAT. fun, chaotic PLAYING melts via warm, insistent electronic drum. long ambient-ish SPACE, weir hints at SAGE & SPIRIT. weir watch: in TRUCKIN’, lyric change to “ever since she went & got her frontal lobes rearranged,” slightly less icky than the trans-shame-y variation about a sex change.

10/22/83 syracuse: bass makes fun left turn just before vocal reprise in 14-minute SHAKEDOWN STREET opener. 11-minute BIRD SONG is subtle sky-dome ballet for indoor stadium. propulsive HELL IN A BUCKET, all rhythmic parts firing, tied together by lesh. 69-minute TERRAPIN STATION > DRUMZ > SPACE > THE WHEEL > THROWING STONES > NOT FADE AWAY > ONE MORE SATURDAY NIGHT. weir-led post-TERRAPIN jams don’t catch. fantastic crazed SPACE with engaged garcia/drumzers, twisting WHEEL outro.

10/30/83 marin county veterans memorial theatre: to my ears, a ho-hum night. striking overdriven B3 intro to 2nd set opening BERTHA, the kind of part that might be iconic if it was the album version. 39-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND > DRUMZ > SPACE > TRUCKIN’ > SPOONFUL. a few fun grooves/variations while they dally en route to TRUCKIN’. powerful SPOONFUL if you accept that concept, but a buzzkilling move for me (& sort of fizzles as they fold into BLACK PETER).

10/31/83 marin county veterans auditorium: airto moreira adds percussion for most of show. oddly graceful WANG DANG DOODLE > MY BROTHER ESAU but extra-short super-meh 1st set with 2 weir blooze, though nice moves in PEGGY-O (gorgeous garcia tone) & crisp BROWN EYED WOMEN (with unrelenting double-drummer backbeat). crisp 22-minute HELP ON THE WAY > SLIPKNOT! > FRANKLIN’S TOWER & 79-minute ESTIMATED PROPHET > EYES OF THE WORLD > DRUMZ > SPACE > ST. STEPHEN > THROWING STONES > NOT FADE AWAY. extra-shrieky ESTIMATED. stage-front DRUMZ vocalizing by hart/kreutzmann/moreira. less SPACE, more chaotic improv. a few sustained & enthralling flows/climbs/peaks, brief marching edge of SPANISH JAM, maybe some proto-VICTIM shapes by weir, punctuated by final ST. STEPHEN, meaningful but sluggish.

12/27/83 san francisco civic auditorium: CC RIDER ~10bpm zippier than fall takes with animated garcia riffs. 31-minute SCARLET BEGONIAS > FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN intensifies when weir stops whammying & gets aggressive, spurring garcia, before neat thin-out & big FIRE. 60-minute HE’S GONE > DRUMZ > SPACE > THROWING STONES > BLACK PETER > SUGAR MAGNOLIA. early in long SPACE, weir develops choppy MIND LEFT BODY variant. when lesh arrives, jam floats/builds around near-SPANISH JAM.

12/28/83 san francisco civic auditorium: sounding like the ‘90s with all weir’s fuzzed whammying, his vocabulary diverging from consensus rock. jagged splatter on 12-minute BIRD SONG. weir disappeared from mix in set 2. 62-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND > DRUMZ > SPACE > THE WHEEL > THE OTHER ONE > STELLA BLUE > AROUND & AROUND. long, sleepy PLAYING. fun SPACE shapes by garcia/weir/hart(?), though they drop thread. already rough STELLA BLUE kinda chintzy with whammy & cycling synth tones.

12/30/83 san francisco civic auditorium: over-the-top BERTHA/GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD, feeling more like new year’s energy. 14-minute SHAKEDOWN STREET hits lumbering glide. 56-minute TERRAPIN STATION > DRUMZ > SPACE > MIND LEFT BODY JAM > TRUCKIN’ > WHARF RAT > GOOD LOVIN’. uneven TERRAPIN, an “inspiration sue me brightly” night. stereophonic DRUMZ. cued by garcia for once, 1st real MIND LEFT BODY since 10/78 is way fun, lesh joining midway. smooth move into TRUCKIN’ but weir doubles back.

12/31/83 san francisco civic auditorium: opening set by The Band is new model 8-piece version, with extra keys/bass/drums/guitar, sounding beefed-up for the ‘80s, with MYSTERY TRAIN & some of the other double-drummer grooves sounding more like the ‘80s dead. mostly, danko on guitar and/or helm on mandolin. not enough songs with them together as rhythm section. CHEST FEVER smokes. manuel’s voice especially is a bit gruffer, but could listen to him sing ray charles songs from any era. garcia’s in a mellow mood in 1st set, but weir punching out rockers. nice HELL IN A BUCKET shreds. on tape, there’s only a very mellow new year’s countdown, but i like this description from a newspaper report about the screens displaying “a video image of the fabled Big Brother of ‘1984’ fame. a caption underneath his fearsome image gave the fans the message that Big Brother had been watching us for years, that he was tired, and that, in 1984, we would all have to take care of ourselves.” 64-minute ESTIMATED PROPHET > EYES OF THE WORLD > DRUMZ > SPACE > THROWING STONES. from a long floating ESTIMATED, garcia lands in EYES at a chill tempo (if scattered feel), but almost immediately the drummers (or *a* drummer) start implying a very unchill double-time, & things liven significantly, though still scattered. SPACE finds cool near-electro pulse. dense NOT FADE AWAY jamming with audience clap coda. “3rd set” is plenty o’ fun, though barely 20 minutes. including garcia’s 1st BIG BOSS MAN since 12/31/81, with sadly inaudible rick danko on acoustic/vocals & maria muldaur on tambourine. 1st MIDNIGHT HOUR since 12/31/82. closes with the only dead version of leadbelly’s GOODNIGHT IRENE, muldaur finally getting a verse (the former JGB member’s final time singing with garcia) & joined by john cippolina, his last time with the dead.

[1965] [1966] [1967] [1968] [1969] [1970] [1971] [1972] [1973] [1974] [1975] [1976] [1977] [1978] [1979] [1980] [1981] [1982] [1983]

#deadfreaksunite 1973 (revisited)

#deadfreaksunite 1973 (revisited)
tape-by-tape notes

An extended listening project tracking the Grateful Dead’s evolution, recording by recording. Originally posted on Twitter on each show’s 40th/50th anniversary and edited here for readability and occasional revision/correction and minor expansion. Many shows streamable via Expanded notes for many shows (with press, scene reports, and images) can be found on Twitter by searching for my username (bourgwick) and the show date. Please consult JerryBase for the latest data, Dead Sources for original articles (1965-1975), and LostLiveDead/Hootrollin for deep dives. My notes on my first full pass through 1973. Grateful Deadcast transcripts for May-June 1973, Watkins Glen, & Wake of the Flood are here.

[1965] [1966] [1967] [1968] [1969] [1970] [1971] [1972] [1973] [1974] [1975] [1976] [1977] [1978] [1979] [1980] [1981] [1982] [1983]

2/9/73 palo alto: a classic tape with 7 garcia/hunter debuts & introduction of new monitor-free sound system with noise-cancelling double-microphones, forerunner to wall of sound. garcia & lesh switch sides on stage, too, making it like the ’80s/‘90s l-to-r configuration through june. 1st hometown show since the ’67 palo alto be-in. big bounce is way palpable from 1st notes of PROMISED LAND opener. allegedly, all the tweeters blew out on 1st note, but not exactly audible. credible scene reports involve gym floor (including stage & speakers) rising/falling in waves. garcia immediately debuts ROW JIMMY, at a much brisker tempo than where it will land, no garcia slide guitar yet. 1st LOOKS LIKE RAIN since 7/72, now without lesh’s backing vocal. boo! hiss! think weir has new guitar compression? debut of LOOSE LUCY. unlike MONEY MONEY at least musically appealing. love the bounce of the early versions. @corry342 thinks it was written for pigpen to sing & i can totally hear it. 1st HERE COMES SUNSHINE, almost 10 minutes, already in glorious bloom with ragged/effective 4-part harmonies & rainbow guitaring. hearty 19-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND. i am now firmly in the camp that blames the new monitor-less system & noise-cancelling microphones for why donna jean’s singing is less-than-great in this era. after singing pretty well throughout ’72, suddenly with the switch to the new system, something’s not right with her vocals. wavy gravy speechifies before 2nd set, raising money for bach mai hospital in hanoi, bombed by americans over christmas, before a great intro, “polish your rainbows… and here they are, the rainbow makers, right?” & tremendous CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER. 1st dead version of the sweet THEY LOVE EACH OTHER, song #1 in the deadhead wedding band fakebook, performed previous fall by garcia/saunders, per credible witness & in early uptempo form. sweeping & remarkably compact 32-minute TRUCKIN’ > EYES OF THE WORLD > CHINA DOLL, debut for the latter 2, the dual centerpiece of the new batch of garcia/hunter songs. paired together throughout ’73, i think EYES & CHINA DOLL were intended to be a mini-suite. a new swingin’ vibe & instantly a major new jam, EYES transforms 2nd sets, here dancing between ambling & rambling, losing steam & re-forming several times (minus the yet-unwritten 7/8 coda) & melting into the delicate CHINA DOLL. then, nearly another hour of boogie, including a scorching BIG RIVER & the debut of WAVE THAT FLAG, the 1st draft of U.S. BLUES. somewhat disposable, but some fun alternate lyrics that hunter keeps rewriting over the course of the year. “eat at dave’s / sleep in caves / read the raves / walk on waves.”

2/15/73 madison: tape begins with rare bit of soundcheck (JACK STRAW & BOX OF RAIN). 2nd ever LOOSE LUCY is only ever show-opening version & 2nd HERE COMES SUNSHINE opens 2nd set (big & bold), really sellin’ the new tunes, playing them all except for the iffy WAVE THAT FLAG. in their early uptempo versions, ROW JIMMY & THEY LOVE EACH OTHER feel like groovier extensions of the “europe ’72” bounce. garcia briefly (maybe) half-quotes FIRST THERE A MOUNTAIN in between CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER. 15-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND, compact & bright, garcia moving slightly to background for opaque conversation. donna jean godchaux gets her 1st lead vocal, debuting loretta lynn’s YOU AIN’T WOMAN ENOUGH. not the keeper, but fun addition. 45-minute DARK STAR > EYES OF THE WORLD > CHINA DOLL. 1st ’73 DARK STAR is gentle & cymbal-heavy, lotsa volume-knob swells, sustained kreutzmann dance. post-verse, a bass solo (not the PHILO STOMP) & transition some say sounds like garcia’s LOVE SCENE from “zabriskie point.” don’t hear it. in EYES, garcia & lesh sketch new 7/8 ending.

2/17/73 st. paul: don’t know if it’s that the band has graduated to giant indoor venues or if their new monitor-less sound system isn’t quite giving them the monitoring they need & they’re shouting, or if it’s that the weird noise-cancelling vocal mics are extra-unsympathetic, but nobody’s singing is at its finest. choice of material doesn’t help, with drowsy early evening combo of HE’S GONE & LOOKS LIKE RAIN, the former featuring scatting by multiple suspects. 1st ’73 BIRD SONG, 11 minutes & quietly overflowing, garcia floating on little melody gusts & drifting off again. stark, luminous STELLA BLUE, entering year as standalone song. 15 minutes of soft-hued PLAYING IN THE BAND dances. ROW JIMMY a few bpm slower than 1st 2 versions. almost jamless 2nd set save buoyant 20-minute HERE COMES SUNSHINE > CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER, not so much a transition as sleight-of-hand revealing how similar the grooves are.

2/19/73 chicago: in their nudie suits. the new riders of the purple sage open. lots missing, but the jammy heart of the show survives on a great recording by owsley stanley. scene reports indicate weird vibes, but surviving tape is fantastic. magical soft-snared mix of 69 (nice!) minutes of HE’S GONE > TRUCKIN’ > THE OTHER ONE > EYES OF THE WORLD > CHINA DOLL. bass-led TRUCKIN’ exit. most of the 1-verse OTHER ONE is lesh-led, with dreamy post-verse bridge into 1st essential EYES. all dance/dart lazily, getting wider, disintegrating, returning to theme & finally to now-articulated 7/8 coda, itself disintegrating & recombobulating.

2/21/73 champaign-urbana: garcia playing new tunes in his 1st slot nearly every night. this evening, the only ever show-opening WAVE THAT FLAG. lesh’s vocal returns for the final chorus of LOOKS LIKE RAIN. gang harmonies sound nice on ROW JIMMY. 12-minute CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER doesn’t exactly go minor in the middle, but there’s moody ambiguity occurring. 38-minute TRUCKIN’ > EYES OF THE WORLD > STELLA BLUE, the band still mapping passages to EYES. tonight, it almost starts 2x before they get there. after a breakneck bass solo, kreutzmann hits a reset, they drop into space, & build up at proper tempo. still finding passages out, too, the gearwork loosening but never fully stating the 7/8 coda, & folding a little clumsily into a magnificent STELLA BLUE.

2/22/73 champaign-urbana: many vocals are again a bit meh, combo of harsh recording texture, off harmonies, & occasional weird mixing. 11-minute BIRD SONG & 14-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND provide ether access. end of 1st set is missing, though. 37-minute DARK STAR > EYES OF THE WORLD > CHINA DOLL. patient floating-apart post-verse, kretuzmann briefly deploying comic, martian flexatone. brief meltdown triggers EYES. dense thrills but 7/8 coda is iffy.

2/24/73 iowa city: 46 minutes of soundboard are fantastic quality, including 21-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND, kreutzmann riding the crash like a demon, plus excellent lead bass where lesh does that thing playing rapid upper-register double-time over everybody else (or something?) before jam shimmers into wateriness. then, big fun 18-minute excerpt from the post-EYES sequence, bass solo developing into bright FEELIN’ GROOVY jam & detailed coda, landin’ gently before SUGAR MAGNOLIA. grungy audience tape shows off new system, can really hear everybody pretty well. the taper nopes YOU AIN’T WOMAN ENOUGH, stops after 30 seconds. the full 42-minute TRUCKIN’ > EYES OF THE WORLD > SUGAR MAGNOLIA puts soundboard excerpt in context. TRUCKIN’ moves into NOBODY’S FAULT jam, opens outward, & turns into a gorgeous garcia/lesh EYES prelude. no 7/8 coda, feinting towards OTHER ONE before thromping into aforementioned bass solo sequence.

2/26/73 pershing: excellent 12-minute CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER left off “dick’s picks” is 1st to contain hint of the FEELIN’ GROOVY transition, lesh briefly hitting the bassline. follows the jam’s return to rotation at the previous show. the new songs sound especially boss, “woo!”-filled LOOSE LUCY with an exuberant spring, carrying over into BIG RAILROAD BLUES, though several songs edited out between them. THEY LOVE EACH OTHER works nicely as set opener, a boogie overture. 52-minute DARK STAR > EYES OF THE WORLD > MISSISSIPPI HALF-STEP. bright DARK STAR themes loosen until lesh urges band into his jazzy 6/8 diversion before hitting verse around 17 minutes. gnarly noise erupts under post-verse semi-PHILO STOMP bass solo & lesh eventually slows into 1st great EYES segue. similarly, maybe 1st time band all hits EYES coda together. mostly. love hearing kreutzmann & keith jump on garcia’s move into powerful HALF-STEP.

2/28/73 salt lake city: featuring an increasingly rare appearance by the heavy water light show (maybe their last with the dead?), then in residence at nearby planetarium. weirdly short, maybe some tuning shaved out? 12-minute HE’S GONE gets pretty crackling after the extended vocal outro. quiet garcia songs sound lovely, ROW JIMMY jewel-like after one tour. 13-minute CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER opens 2nd set, luxuriating in the joyous shred-space beyond weir’s transition riff before dropping fully into RIDER (where lesh is still lead vocalist, per tonight’s mix). heavy water lights visible behind garcia. 56-minute TRUCKIN’ > THE OTHER ONE > EYES OF THE WORLD > MORNING DEW. TRUCKIN’ takes the NOBODY’S FAULT BUT MINE & bass solo route into THE OTHER ONE. post-verse jam gets dense & beautiful, lesh/kreutzmann/godchaux making weird jazz pockets. long sweet EYES (nice lyric swap: “lazy country home”), exploring the spaces in the coda before settling into perfectly titanic DEW. 1st BID YOU GOODNIGHT since 8/71 closes show/tour, with original trio vocals for last time.

3/15/73 nassau coliseum: phil lesh’s 33rd birthday & the 1st show since pigpen’s death. sons of champlin open. bill graham introduces the band members one by one, nothin’ fancy. garcia leans into his new material, playing only 4 then-released songs. the audience portions of the tape really capture the lawnguyland energy, especially the singalong TENNESSEE JED, which seems to acquire an extra l’il pep in the jam. HERE COMES SUNSHINE happily returns after getting semi-shelved for last part of early winter tour, a new 1st set jammer for the year. 54-minute TRUCKIN’ > THE OTHER ONE > EYES OF THE WORLD > CHINA DOLL. not much happening in TRUCKIN’, but swings into jazz mode as they switch into OTHER ONE, lesh attempting to derail them again just before 1st verse. post-verse freak scene settles into EYES, which hits a cool expansive pocket before reaching the coda, which is tentative but open/jammy.

3/16/73 nassau coliseum: in their nudie suits for the last time i believe. the new riders of the purple sage open, replacing sons of champlin after the sons have to cancel their tour due to deaths in the family.  lesh introduces bill graham & graham once again introduces the band. “for new and old members of the fan club, we’d like to introduce some of the boys individually.” weir (i think) cheers for garcia. dandy of a 13-minute CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER, 1st to feature fully developed & fuckin’ exuberant FEELIN’ GROOVY jam, migrated from DARK STAR & a transition feature until the road hiatus in late ’74. fun to hear everybody circle & then jump in full force. last show with all the big late ’72 jams (DARK STAR, PLAYING IN THE BAND, CHINA/RIDER, & BIRD SONG) & rare ’73 show without EYES OF THE WORLD. 1st local cheer for “just like new york city” in RAMBLE ON ROSE. garcia’s WAVE THAT FLAG vocals still tentative, but rest of band (especially k. godchaux) sinking teeth into it. elegant BIRD SONG variation by garcia in 1st jam, lesh pushing band higher in 2nd. 20-minute PLAYING with nice bass stomp that sends jam in slightly different direction. ironic, given the harsh police presence at these shows…
garcia: all you people throwing joints on the stage, why don’t you light them up…
lesh: …& pass them to your neighbor. we’re *already high*!
weir: & if you’re throwing anything heavy out there, just make sure you’re throwing it at someone you don’t like.
lesh (genuinely pondering it): i guess that’s right?
51-minute DARK STAR > TRUCKIN’ > MORNING DEW starts with confused harmonies, establishing 5+ minutes of dreaminess. threatening to space out, kreutzmann snaps into a beat & turns into a detailed swing-shuffle weird-out, garcia playing slide for a bit. post-verse freakouts lead to short minor space that feels headed for DAYS BETWEEN 20 years early. instead, short TRUCKIN’ gets within breath of the big not-yet-worked-out peak & lands in DEW. props to weir for not forcing anything after it.

3/19/73 nassau coliseum: a folkloric event – the night that HE’S GONE becomes “about” pigpen, the 1st version since his death, with many slightly exaggerated memories. there’s no audible dedication to him. probably some of the story sources from an ambiguous reference in a review of the show by the hero lenny kaye in rolling stone, his last time reviewing the dead before becoming a full-time musician, i believe. weir watch: a new lyric sets up MEXICALI BLUES to achieve title, “made me trade the gallows for the…” switches to “now i spend my lifetime running with the…” 1st dead version of george jones’s THE RACE IS ON since 5/70 after weir brings it back with the new riders the night before & 1st time electric. also makes me wonder if weir saw christgau’s very positive newsday review of 3/15 where he suggests the band introduce some new covers. 15-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND eschews freakout for lovely mellow jam bubbling with piano/bass colors, which i just looped 3 times. band takes time even in 2nd set, standalone songs setting up 22-minute MISSISSIPPI HALF-STEP > STELLA BLUE > JACK STRAW. slight but effective linkages with sweet energy flow, though garcia’s fully occupied STELLA BLUE & nice soundboard both help a lot. weir’s JACK STRAW vocals getting microscopically more histrionic. 51-minute TRUCKIN’ > DRUMZ > THE OTHER ONE > EYES OF THE WORLD > CHINA DOLL. i believe this is the 1st time they all hit the big peak in the TRUCKIN’ jam, collectively written gradually over previous 2+ years. comes pretty early here, settling into one of the more-developed NOBODY’S FAULT BUT MINE themes. OTHER ONE floats down to similar mellow bubbling as 1st set PLAYING.

3/21/73 utica: appreciating ROW JIMMY’s cryptic americana & its particular sway that’s slightly more western than country, but not really either.
lesh [almost snarling]: for all you ST. STEPHEN fans out there [big cheers] *we don’t do that song anymore*
weir: yeah, we had to quit doing it cuz you liked it too much.
15-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND is both more up & more static than other recent versions. 2nd set features lesh’s more militaristic take on the “take a step back” routine. shouts to naked god dude mentioned in article. 1st BROKEDOWN PALACE of the year has ace piano & subtle 1-drummer swing. 50-minute WEATHER REPORT SUITE PRELUDE > DARK STAR > EYES OF THE WORLD > WHARF RAT. tried a few times in ’72, this is 1st time whole band clicks with the not-yet-titled PRELUDE, excellent set-up to DARK STAR. 1st jam stays in gentle orbit; noisier 2nd with kreutzmann tracing beats inside pick-scrape clouds. EYES builds to dense intricacies coalescing into glorious coda & 1st ’73 WHARF RAT.

3/22/73 utica: weir & garcia finally find a pleasing guitar texture for LOOKS LIKE RAIN. still nothin’ on the pedal steel versions, but back to a nice softness. really fantastic 11-minute BIRD SONG with assertive 1st jam & equally assertive but much quieter 2nd jam where godchaux/weir/lesh/kreutzmann find a quiet, vibrant weave that sounds like #ECM #jazz underneath garcia’s high pinched harmonics. apparently the pigs are in the house & most amusingly (on tape, but also in general) lesh becomes the band’s onstage representative. “the man is hassling our people at the booth, so we’ve gotta make this announcement about the fire aisle…” just utter chaos as lesh tries to explain with dripping sarcasm. “is that alright sir, now?” garcia: “try to keep your fires in the fire aisle.” weir: “who’s that lighting up back there?” lesh: “last & not least, the narcs are among you in force.” primo example of the the era’s one-two 1st set-closing jam combo. another glorious CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER, patiently jamming through the usual peak & (everybody now being ready for it) turning decisively on a dime into the FEELIN’ GROOVY jam, getting big cheers & hanging for a few minutes before gliding into RIDER. super-fine 15-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND, lesh dotting & chattering & dancing & pushing band to weird a little, garcia shading in flickering arpeggios. 9-minute HERE COMES SUNSHINE feels more confident in 2nd set, band finally getting inside dynamics (or maybe its the tape), cheers for transitions. great set-up for substantial 56-minute TRUCKIN’ > OTHER ONE > EYES OF THE WORLD > CHINA DOLL. another especially developed NOBODY’S FAULT BUT MINE theme. long OTHER ONE denouement, garcialogue & noisy bass pluckings. sleek & soaring EYES shifts nearly imperceptibly into thrilling coda jam. fragile perfect CHINA DOLL.

3/24/73 philadelphia: mammoth show starts with nearly half-hour of uptempo tunes & takes a while to unfold. nearly 2-hour 1st set has modest HERE COMES SUNSHINE & sparkling 19-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND, slipping into democratic space-swing. garcia’s soft wah-wah guitar makes excellent bed for driving lead bass, weir adding leads, too. another delightful CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER with FEELIN’ GROOVY transition, made better by exquisite mix. marquee event is 59-minute HE’S GONE > TRUCKIN’ > DARK STAR > SING ME BACK HOME. long vocal jam in HE’S GONE sets up rip-snortin’ TRUCKIN’, patiently hitting new mega-peak & disintegrating. garcia signals DARK STAR but, before anyone can state the theme, band gallops off for 20 A+ thematic minutes, left-turning into 1st SPANISH JAM since 2/70 (& 2nd since ’68) & developing it pretty fully before melting/floating into a verse of DARK STAR before 1st lush SING ME BACK HOME of the year.

3/26/73 baltimore: big americana feels leading off, weir’s chuck berry & george jones covers balancing with (& enhanced by) garcia/hunter’s weirder take via MISSISSIPPI HALF-STEP & WAVE THAT FLAG. garcia’s WAVE THAT FLAG delivery finally starting to sound more confident & charming & punchline-like. 12-minute CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER is pretty happening & lit even before the peak & the FEELIN’ GROOVY transition. wolfman jack hisself comes out before the 2nd set & growls an introduction, encourages crowd to light matches for the dead; “everybody love one another right now.” band clicks into RAMBLE ON ROSE behind him with its reference to him, which gets solid cheers. (the release of the WJ-canonizing “american graffiti” is still a few months away.) assured HERE COMES SUNSHINE dynamics working in lovely focus & detail. 1st CANDYMAN of year is rusty, but nice solo. 48-minute HE’S GONE > TRUCKIN’ > WEATHER REPORT SUITE PRELUDE > WHARF RAT. nice blend in the HE’S GONE vocal outro, sweet night for donna. elegant garcia slide guitar TRUCKIN’ outro leads to most fully-formed version yet of weir’s instrumental, articulating into a rich, moody jam it’ll sadly lose when formalized. 27-minute EYES OF THE WORLD > MORNING DEW. EYES purposefully & inventively climbs towards tight group execution of the coda, dynamics carrying into detailed group build in DEW.

3/28/73 springfield, MA: 1st ever CUMBERLAND BLUES show opener (of 2) is tip-top, garcia’s banjo-freshened phrasing pretty audibly carrying over from recent old & in the way gigs. garcia plays 8 of his 9 new songs, everything besides CHINA DOLL. for reasons i can’t quite understand, AROUND & AROUND is extra hopped-up, with lit-sounding weir ad-libbing lyrics & over-emphasized chords. lesh announces interstate smoke-in on 4/19 at hartford capitol, 12 noon, gets big cheers. “bring your own.” 48-minute WEATHER REPORT SUITE PRELUDE > DARK STAR > EYES OF THE WORLD. DARK STAR abstracts before garcia pops a string or has to take a leak. awkward garcia-less break briefly sounds like an ‘80s pre-DRUMZ. when garcia gets back, jam instantly de-scatters. post-verse, drums disappear for sustained insect dread, lesh leading charge into visceral noise. sleepy & on-point EYES lands cleanly before 15-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND, rare for 2nd set, a gentle late-show space-dance comedown.

3/30/73 rochester: crackling CUMBERLAND BLUES cuts through cruddy audience tape, but BIRD SONG kinda lost in the muck, besides a dense & slightly unusual outro. high-fidelity flips on just in time for 14-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND set closer, decent low-key conversation. virtually every CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER of the FEELIN’ GROOVY era is a highlight. still baffled as to why somebody (weir?) clearly says “BEEP!” at the 1:10 mark of RIDER. 46-minute TRUCKIN’ > EYES OF THE WORLD > NOT FADE AWAY > GOIN’ DOWN THE ROAD FEELING BAD > NOT FADE AWAY. long TRUCKIN’ epilogue, garcia switching to slide & laying back, godchaux (kinda) stepping to the front for cool jazz/blues hang that almost turns into EYES but dissipates to nearly-empty garcialessness for a moment before the song starts. rare NOT FADE AWAY sequence feels misplaced in the post-EYES gloaming.

3/31/73 buffalo: “short” 86-minute 1st set, with only 17-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND. feels a bit like an ‘80s version, floating in place & accelerating a little bit. 2nd set opens with another turn going between PROMISED LAND/BERTHA/GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD via next-beat bops. 48-minute HE’S GONE > TRUCKIN’ > THE OTHER ONE > I KNOW YOU RIDER. apeshit cheer for local TRUCKIN’ reference. can hear band working on big peak, hitting it quickly & doubling back more deliberately & half-missing. lots of sub-themes: NOBODY’S FAULT BUT MINE before wee drum break opens into fairly developed pre-verse multi-flare SPANISH JAM. after the verse, nothingness & reformation. lesh suggests FEELIN’ GROOVY & they do, leading naturally to only CHINA CAT-less RIDER between ’70 & ’85.

4/2/73 boston garden: a tour closer that sounded pretty fried ’n’ frayed on 1st listen, but slightly better on revisit. they don’t skimp on stage-time, despite having the new riders opening, with 3.5 hours of music, including more than a new album’s worth of material, apparently ending close to 2 in the morning. 17-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND wastes no time, typically devastating, crackling dynamics/interplay. weir watch – new method of crowd control. “you folks that are crushing to the front will be alarmed & dismayed to know that we just let loose a bushel of spiders, big fat tarantulas, up front here,” he sez. “and hotttt ssssnakes.” after the slightly manic AROUND & AROUND in springfield, it feels like dialed down, closer to the sluggish later versions. conversely, weir’s SUNSHINE DAYDREAM scream-out seems slightly dialed up, as it has past few versions. if feeling generous, 52-minute HERE COMES SUNSHINE > ME & BOBBY McGEE > WEATHER REPORT SUITE PRELUDE > EYES OF THE WORLD > CHINA DOLL is almost a continuous musical thought. a fun 1-time sequence anchored by only “out” HERE COMES SUNSHINE (wish it’d happened more often), zapping into noise & cross-fading to BOBBY McGEE. last PRELUDE before full suite is written, love it as a modular piece. rippin’ EYES. CHINA DOLL especially hushed despite cavernous venue, gorgeous bass counterpoint.

5/13/73 des moines: the dead really take their time. 1st time for ROW JIMMY & THEY LOVE EACH OTHER & others in their natural daylight habitat, though not quite a sunny afternoon. garcia tests drives his new (& never again played) eagle guitar, made by doug irwin, & guessing it’s during 12-minute CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER, with typically ace FEELIN’ GROOVY interlude but also a bit out of tune. weir tags AROUND & AROUND to the end of DON’T EASE ME IN & it sorta works. mellowness of the day definitely underscored by the TENNESSEE JED 2nd set opener. in 2nd set, some threat of rain during LOOKS LIKE RAIN & one of the first dead-control-the-weather moments when the sun comes out during HERE COMES SUNSHINE (though rain apparently arrives later). jam star of the 2nd set is 28-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND, getting right down to the conversation, a few moments of frenzy but settling into more bubbling mellowness. a rainbow at some point, too, possibly double. 67-minute HE’S GONE > TRUCKIN’ > THE OTHER ONE > EYES OF THE WORLD > CHINA DOLL. weir substitutes “des moines” for “detroit” in TRUCKIN’, 1st time with regional variant, i believe. big peak is messy fun, exiting into a lesh/kreutzmann bridge. OTHER ONE hovers in mellowness, floating into brief not-quite SPANISH theme. after verse, squonk & good crossfade into EYES with squalls & resolutions. think weir is also soloing in SUNSHINE DAYDREAM.

5/20/73 santa barbara: garcia has a cold, apparently treated with pharmaceutical cocaine. his voice is a bit scratchy & getting scratchier throughout. sounds uncomfortable, though still sweeter & more listenable than the “laryngitis” shows of ’78. longish 13-minute CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER finds some tiny melancholic places just beyond the FEELIN’ GROOVY jam before RIDER. exquisite 19-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND with all 5 musicians weaving in percolating hyper-detail, sharp sense of group movement & clarity of purpose. 2nd set is filled with afternoon dance numbers but largely jam-free besides 10-minute HERE COMES SUNSHINE, in spring splendor. pretty happening GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD, the ST. STEPHEN-esque wah-wah licks still pretty tasty & pronounced. 52-minute TRUCKIN’ > DRUMZ > THE OTHER ONE > EYES OF THE WORLD > STELLA BLUE. nifty garcia licks under “you’re sick of hangin’ around” verse of TRUCKIN’, which dazzles through the newish peak, moves through the semi-usual NOBODY’S FAULT BUT MINE theme, & turns inside-out into glorious swing-space. short OTHER ONE dispenses with verse quickly. after the freakout, kreutzmann drives more quiet, detailed swing that flips into EYES with thoughtful spiraling down into STELLA BLUE.

5/26/73 kezar stadium: with waylon jennings & the new riders of the purple sage. a go-to tape, largely due to betty cantor jackson’s magical mix. prototype runs for bill graham’s day on the green(s), alembic’s delay towers, & rock med tent. 1st show in the haight since ’68. show really takes its time getting going, but once the mix settles, the garcia tunes are just blissful spring dead. lotsa piano, but they forget to turn up the rhodes until the very end of the 17-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND, which has A+ stereo spread otherwise. sounds much fuller when godchaux switches to rhodes during jams in 2nd set opening HERE COMES SUNSHINE, a nice texture change, though not sounding totally comfortable just yet. healthy 12-minute CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER is another bit of uncut spring, especially hitting during the FEELIN’ GROOVY transition. 60-minute HE’S GONE > TRUCKIN’ > THE OTHER ONE > EYES OF THE WORLD > CHINA DOLL, very ’73, last of 4 versions. TRUCKIN’ murks gradually into a drums/bass transition with lesh mega-stomp. post-verse OTHER ONE jam takes scattered, mellow route to EYES. more switching back & forth to electric keys during incremental climbing to 7/8 coda.

6/9/73 RFK stadium: “only” 2 sets & 3.5 hours! great summer vibes from garcia in 1st set. more testy in real life, apparently. weir asks people to stop climbing onto the stage. LOOSE LUCY is a snappy ~10bpm faster & makes room for more of a jam, instead of just trading solos. only a minute longer than earlier versions, but different feel. great gang vocals. bunch of jams in 2nd set. sparkling piano through FEELIN’ GROOVY transition in 13-minute CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER. nice group vocals continue on 49-minute HE’S GONE > TRUCKIN’ > PLAYING IN THE BAND. post-vocals, HE’S GONE bends upwards into TRUCKIN’. which disintegrates into semi-aimlessness. garcia winks at MORNING DEW & HERE COMES SUNSHINE, clear they’re going for something besides the OTHER ONE, but PLAYING wins out. fascinating conversation, godchaux’s electric keys almost entirely missing from mix. compact/direct 18-minute EYES OF THE WORLD > CHINA DOLL.

6/10/73 RFK stadium: rare MORNING DEW opener signals biz. surprising intimacy & almost effortless dynamics for a football stadium. all the garcia tunes are sparkling delights, even WAVE THAT FLAG, locale appropriate & last version before it’s retooled as US BLUES. 12-minute BIRD SONG with wonderful conversation on both sides of drum break, some thrilling piano. 18-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND gets swoopy & intricate, brilliant fast-moving counterpoint by weir, godchaux floating by on rhodes. 30-minute EYES OF THE WORLD > STELLA BLUE opens 2-hour 2nd set, 1st (& always rare) EYES set opener. might be more dynamic on audience tape, stretching the build to the 7/8 coda. can really hear lesh driving jam in 1st sections, weir’s minimalist slashing coming to front, & then lesh moving up again. garcia accidentally (?) loses melody in STELLA BLUE, finds new one. sparkling 11-minute full-color HERE COMES SUNSHINE comes with big bolts of bass. 48-minute DARK STAR > HE’S GONE > WHARF RAT. satisfying fully-formed 15-minute pre-verse jam with high-speed maneuvers, sub-themes, PHILO STOMP bass solo, & landing. after the verse, gentle electric keys & guitar colors go sideways into a gradual but quite full bass zorp-out. a good zorp-out. and thorough. WHARF RAT’s a little rusty but kreutzmann lays out entirely during the bridge. wonderfully quiet music in big, big stadium. TRUCKIN’ & SUGAR MAGNOLIA appropriately big. hour-long 3rd set superjam features dickey betts, butch trucks, & merl saunders or chuck leavell (or both). mega-hippie bullshit but also great, owing to the righteousness of the betts/garcia & kreutzmann/trucks combos. sweet vibe melding. lurvely GD debut of bob dylan’s TRAIN TO CRY & then moldies: 1 elvis, 1 buddy holly, 2 chuck berry. 31-minute NOT FADE AWAY > GOIN’ DOWN THE ROAD FEELING BAD > DRUMZ > NOT FADE AWAY overflows with harmony leads; lesh, too. even JOHNNY B. GOODE rocks.

6/22/73 vancouver: all 3 NW shows rescheduled from earlier in the spring. final 1st set to feature the big jamming BIRD SONG, PLAYING IN THE BAND, & CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER. standard ’73 sunshined CHINA/RIDER with the FEELIN’ GROOVY transition. shimmering 14-minute BIRD SONG with godchaux’s rhodes back in lush & gentle conversation & adding unexpected peaks in finale. splendid 19-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND, shimmering bright & traveling far with rhodes & bass interjections, semi-phish-like before easing back. set-opening 12-minute HERE COMES SUNSHINE has self-propelling feel with co-leads by weir. PROMISED LAND feels extra-speedy. 1st BLACK PETER since 10/72. 61-minute HE’S GONE > TRUCKIN’ > THE OTHER ONE > WHARF RAT with much substance. TRUCKIN’ jam segments include non-minimal drums/bass (with fun garcia harmonization at one point), super-minimal/ambient guitar/bass/rhodes, & patient ramble towards OTHER ONE, which has a more compact move from abstraction to shattering anthropoidal zap sesh.

6/24/73 portland, OR: stellar, but save CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER/I KNOW YOU RIDER with the FEELIN’ GROOVY transition, no real lift-off ’til 50-minute DARK STAR > EYES OF THE WORLD > CHINA DOLL. DARK STAR floats a bit until lesh upshifts, garcia & weir harmonizing figures, & band locks for 10 captivating minutes before 1st verse. keith is absent, his rhodes not captured by this sub-mix. he/it finally turns up quietly in deep space, boosted in time for fully realized EYES & prominent in outro.

6/26/73 seattle: increasingly rare CASEY JONES opener, 1st since ’71, last ’til ’77. 16-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND moves through rhodes dances & glorious bass storms. 65-minute HE’S GONE > TRUCKIN’ > THE OTHER ONE > ME & BOBBY McGEE > THE OTHER ONE > SUGAR MAGNOLIA. last BOBBY McGEE inside OTHER ONE, fairly mild until extended final immolation. transition saved by kreutzmann, keeping the space cymbals going until weir’s safely into the SUGAR MAG intro.

6/29/73 universal amphitheatre: 18-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND (with some cuts) ascends into cloud-space with sky-toned rhodes & soft-hued garcia. 56-minute HE’S GONE > TRUCKIN’ > THE OTHER ONE > MORNING DEW. working out the TRUCKIN’ peak. OTHER ONE runs on semi-automatic, through excellent garcia self-immolation into DEW.

6/30/73 universal amphitheatre: rough vocal night. hawt piano in THEY LOVE EACH OTHER. last show to feature BIRD SONG, PLAYING IN THE BAND, & DARK STAR. 10-minute BIRD SONG, 1st jam gently bobbing in the air & moving into quiet lesh-led space, 2nd blending buttery rhodes & soft-hued almost attackless guitar leads. small electrical fire breaks out. “don’t panic, folks,” garcia says, “this is the movies, remember?” (weir: “wait ’til ya see the volcano.”) modest 15-minute PLAYING with democratic jazz dancing, an era of peak weir. 44-minute DARK STAR > EYES OF THE WORLD > STELLA BLUE is nice all-garcia full-suite statement. lots of rhodes mist/shimmer on both sides of DARK STAR verse. 1st jam has group flowing together like water, 2nd jam is more like falling together like martian rain. EYES is almost 20 minutes, a perfect balance between open-feeling mellifluousness & dramatic movements, great piano in coda jam.

7/1/73 universal amphitheatre: wild 26-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND closes 1st set, moving through usual drama & sounding like its going to end but melting over edge into democratic rhodes-heavy hippie jazz. 1st slowed-down/de-pepped LOOSE LUCY, which takes much of the fun out of it for me. 46-minute TRUCKIN’ > THE OTHER ONE > WHARF RAT > ME & BOBBY McGEE. pre-verse, lesh leads OTHER ONE into more hippie jazz, shimmering garcia threads. full 10-minute post-verse space zonk.

7/27/73 watkins glen: clarifies phil, “this whole thing is a fraud, we’re really clever androids.” joyous 15-minute BIRD SONG (more dynamic but cut on cooper’s tape), catches quiet sunshine & overflows with kreutzmann & godchaux flourishes, big leap into final segment. classic 30-minute JAM > WHARF RAT, conversation climbing through casual knottiness, big weir slashes, gentle space, & rhodes bubbles, resolving to 2-chord proto-FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN bliss. open-feeling WHARF RAT.

7/28/73 watkins glen: not much intimacy, but solid dead. enjoying godchaux’s BROWN EYED WOMEN piano. last BOX OF RAIN until the 1986 revival. weir repeats a few songs from the soundcheck on previous day. a small thing, maybe, but the last outdoor HERE COMES SUNSHINE until returning in the ‘90s, weir setting off a few dramatic solar flares. 1st set closes with wide-ranging 24-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND that sails some big waves. slightly meh 28-minute HE’S GONE > TRUCKIN’ > EL PASO. TRUCKIN’ rolls through NOBODY’S FAULT BUT MINE jam & dissolves towards THE OTHER ONE but weir chooses violence, or at least a gunslinger ballad. 29-minute EYES OF THE WORLD > SUGAR MAGNOLIA. EYES never quite rises above mellowness, having a hard time rolling into the outro drama. another unusual weir pairing that only seems to happen because the coda jams lose momentum, or maybe cuz garcia had just played STELLA BLUE. the band’s set is their 1st full show since new year’s ’71. love this picture of lesh, godchaux, bill graham, & others crowding around richard manuel’s piano. also albert grossman hanging out backstage. skydivers make their jump during the band’s set & one of them accidentally lights himself on fire (& dies). “looks like the second coming,” says someone onstage. the band will create a fake watkins glen album & shelve it, rediscovered & reissued in the ‘90s. superjam after allmans’ set is messy on multiple levels, even figuring out who’s playing. rick danko ring-leads. he & garcia duet on LET ME WRAP YOU IN MY WARM & TENDER LOVE. danko is slurring on-mic at start & during of 14-minute NOT FADE AWAY. in wrong place on board tape, AROUND & AROUND has extra B3, maybe hudson? 23-minute MOUNTAIN JAM gets deep, love the conversation by (i think) c. leavell on piano, g. hudson on B3, j.r. robertson on weird guitar. FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN-like peak.

7/31/73 roosevelt stadium: the Band’s set is more together than watkins glen, though a few songs shorter. only real change is that GENETIC METHOD > CHEST FEVER is pushed later with a weirder (though briefer) garth hudson solo (teasing LA BAMBA/GOOD LOVIN’) & bigger feeling outro. this time, rain during NIGHT THEY DROVE OL’ DIXIE DOWN. dead’s sets are summer fun, but almost feel like a watkins glen hangover. not much stirring. a few crowd attempts to sing early “happy birthday” to garcia. set-closing 23-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND is show’s only deep jam. bunch of fun scene changes, including foreground rhodes, long drumless field with brief unexpected chimes by kreutzmann (?), guitar meltdown, etc. fireworks show during finale, apparently. exciting 15-minute CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER with extended ramps in/out of FEELIN’ GROOVY transition. 25-minute TRUCKIN’ > GOIN’ DOWN THE ROAD FEELING BAD > JOHNNY B. GOODE is like a superjam minus the super & the jam.

8/1/73 roosevelt stadium: slightly more subdued GENETIC METHOD by garth hudson during The Band’s otherwise static (but fun) set, their last crossing with the dead ’til everybody but robbie reunites a decade later, phil lesh hanging off the sound booth to watch. the dead find the gentle glow & jams that were mostly missing at watkins glen. 11-minute BIRD SONG has spare garcia guitar in middle, especially cool phrasing on final verse. exuberant final peak. wondrous & classic 62-minute DARK STAR > EL PASO > EYES OF THE WORLD > MORNING DEW. sparkling lunar rain as prelude to spacedust curlicues from weir & kreutzmann’s new chimes. even EL PASO is fire, the last time DARK STAR goes into any of weir’s cowboy tunes. extra-long EYES floats/ambles, allowing itself to get slightly lost. finds new territory in outro with garcia/rhodes duet. huge DEW, garcia soloing in joyous, apocalyptic paragraphs.

9/7/73 nassau coliseum: A+ tour opener. 6 big jams & debut. weir mixed warmly, especially on on 13-minute BIRD SONG, sparkles increasing through outro. keith on undermixed B3 on parts of LOSER & TRUCKIN’. lots of ambient rhodes, too. good era for LOOKS LIKE RAIN, last with lesh harmony. debut of weir/barlow’s LET IT GROW, premiered apart from full WEATHER REPORT SUITE, giddy with aero-flips as band explores new space. no organ on ROW JIMMY or HERE COMES SUNSHINE, despite being on the LP. 11-minute HERE COMES SUNSHINE, shortened in studio but now with more complete jam. 18-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND, garcia/lesh/weir-involved bounce, probably keith too. on audience tape, guy yells incessantly for ME & MY UNCLE. finally, irritated dude replies, “YOU & YOUR SISTER!”, before chris bell by 5 years. 48-minute TRUCKIN’ > DRUMZ > OTHER ONE JAM > EYES OF THE WORLD > SUGAR MAGNOLIA. someone splats OTHER ONE intro but powerful jam. generous, inventive EYES.

9/8/73 nassau coliseum: debut of weir’s full WEATHER REPORT SUITE, long time coming, PRELUDE chords turning up as early as ’69. autumnal & beautiful, a big new piece. 21-minute EYES OF THE WORLD > CHINA DOLL, weir throwing shapes & pushing EYES jam in new directions, everybody loco in outro, great rhodes solos. 1st of 6 versions of keith godchaux & robert hunter’s LET ME SING YOUR BLUES AWAY & only one without horns. both song & keith’s thin-but-sweet voice have grown on me over the years. even counting CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER, 2nd set is a bit short on jams. 48-minute HE’S GONE > TRUCKIN’ > NOT FADE AWAY > GOIN’ DOWN THE ROAD FEELING BAD > NOT FADE AWAY. gorgeous HE’S GONE outro shimmers briefly (on what would’ve been pig’s 28th). rare era in which NOT FADE AWAY is rare. big & colorful, godchaux playing only B3 of the night, though pretty much dies entirely before GOIN’ DOWN THE ROAD. STELLA BLUE should work as encore, but feels awkward.

9/11/73 williamsburg: lots of the fall ’73 treats, including a wonderful LOOKS LIKE RAIN (as called out by @mountain_goats) with intricate quiet garcia detailing. sweet garciaing in JACK STRAW, too, presaging the ‘80s shredfests. solid 15-minute CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER with full righteous FEELIN’ GROOVY transition, but mostly just hangin’. full-fire gang-of-one drumming in deep 17-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND, in constant motion as the jam slowly widens. crowd work, when a request comes in:
lesh: beg your pardon, ma’am?
weir: if you’re gonna shout stuff, you better bring a bullhorn or something, because otherwise it’s really indistinguishable out there.
lesh: believe me, we’re louder than you are.
weir: really work on your diction.
garcia: (kinda agro) and if you wanna shout, shout in YOUR NEIGHBOR’S EAR. (long pause) or better yet, don’t shout at all.
saxophonist martin fierro (from sahm’s band) joins for set-opening LET ME SING YOUR BLUES AWAY for LET IT GROW. not sure i need the horns, but it cooks pretty hard, using the PRELUDE as ending tag. 36-minute DARK STAR > MORNING DEW, a few bright themes before the DARK STAR verse, & imploding post-verse into wild noisy bass solo, PHILO STOMP adjacent. didn’t glance at the setlist in advance & gasped at the drop into DEW. the band originally had 9/12 at william & mary on the newsletter, but the info didn’t get to william & mary apparently, so at the end of the night lesh announces (on the audience tape), “we were thinking that we’d kinda like to come on in here tomorrow, a sort of unscheduled event & play here, same thing, like tonight, but for $3 & take all the chairs out, everybody have a good time.” crowd predictably goes apeshit & they make some h3ads 4 lyfe, including bruce hornsby.

9/12/73 williamsburg: a bonus night that was somehow originally on the schedule. lesh: “it just goes to show that spontaneous emission of energy can happen anywhere at anytime, entropy notwithstanding.” 1st show with horn section, which i suspect i like more than most. wonderful 13-minute BIRD SONG opens into soaring cathedral space, keith’s electric keys undermixed but twinkling like a celeste. big energy fun in general. grown-on-me lite-prog LET ME SING YOUR BLUES AWAY features martin fierro on sax, plus joe ellis joins on trumpet for LET IT GROW. digging how garcia/lesh find high-velocity weaves under the free squonk & the space they land. 22-minute EYES OF THE WORLD > STELLA BLUE with proto-SLIPKNOT.

9/15/73 providence: another glorious BIRD SONG with typical quizzical garcia lyricism & atypical assertive electric piano, but for reasons i utterly can’t fathom, the last until ’80, making it the last with keith godchaux. yugh, why?! 16-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND surfs into some neat places, the audience tape translating keith’s rhodes into otherwordly sounds for garcia waterfalls. martin fierro (sax) & joe ellis (trumpet) on much of 2nd set & actually sound pretty integrated. pair of 30-minute suites: TRUCKIN’ > DRUMZ > EYES OF THE WORLD. horns are big sunshiny mess on TRUCKIN’ & SUGAR MAGNOLIA, but they push EYES to thrilling new downshifted groove. then, WEATHER REPORT SUITE > STELLA BLUE. PRELUDE flute is a little lol, but both horns go full squonk in LET IT GROW & jam turns surprising corners. garcialogue bridge to STELLA BLUE.

9/17/73 syracuse: keith godchaux plays some kind of quiet monophonic synth (sometimes mistaken for theremin), audible on LOOKS LIKE RAIN, WEATHER REPORT SUITE PRELUDE, & TRUCKIN’, possibly an SH-1000. the horns slightly more worked-out: LET ME SING YOUR BLUES AWAY, then 55-minute TRUCKIN’ > EYES OF THE WORLD > WEATHER REPORT SUITE > STELLA BLUE. horns more reined-in & pro, but band is less-unhinged, too. EYES & LET IT GROW don’t find the next levels, as at previous show.

9/20/73 philadelphia: short by ’73 standards, or even ’83. platonic blissed 14-minute CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER with FEELIN’ GROOVY transition. 38-minute TRUCKIN’ > EYES OF THE WORLD > STELLA BLUE with martin fierro (sax) & joe ellis (trumpet), skipping 2 of their usual songs. TRUCKIN’ veers into detailed/varied NOBODY’S FAULT BUT MINE theme. EYES hits ecstasy, digging horns on 7/8 ending break & how band/horns sail beyond. SUGAR MAGNOLIA kinda schmaltzy with horns, though.

9/21/73 philadelphia: solid 1st set jams with 11-minute HERE COMES SUNSHINE (finding a neat final gear) & 16-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND (cut slightly on soundboard) filled with kreutzmann/garcia chatter. some confusion over proper 2nd set order, but seems to have opened with 44-minute HE’S GONE > TRUCKIN’ > THE OTHER ONE > WHARF RAT, not counting apparently big OTHER ONE cut. TRUCKIN’ jettisoned from the mini-set with horns. great HE’S GONE with cool between-verse colors & especially from garcia in jam. fun PHILO STOMP bass intro to OTHER ONE, long jazzy diversions & sly kreutzmann heroics & subgrooves with MIND LEFT BODY descent into 2nd verse. thoughtful WHARF RAT with lovely piano in outro. then, well-placed ROW JIMMY breather & a short set with the horns, including final LET ME SING YOUR BLUES AWAY (with bad cuts), a song i’ve now come to love. another wild LET IT GROW blowing onto the far shore.

9/24/73 pittsburgh: few jams. garcia plays 3 recent album leftovers, THEY LOVE EACH OTHER, LOOSE LUCY, & CHINA DOLL (in odd standalone spot). 27-minute TRUCKIN’ > NOBODY’S FAULT BUT MINE > EYES OF THE WORLD. after flirting with NOBODY’S FAULT since previous fall, garcia finally sings it for 1st known time since ’66. okay, i guess? horns don’t come out ’til EYES. both that & WEATHER REPORT SUITE are slightly more hinged than recent shows, but could be mix. rare pic of keith with B3.

9/26/73 buffalo: HERE COMES SUNSHINE opens show for 1st time, an ace mood-setter to my ears. 19-beat BEAT IT ON DOWN THE LINE intro. “typical” ’73 pleasures, including cloud-hopping 13-minute CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER & star-scraping 19-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND. last dead SING ME BACK HOME, le sigh, done acoustic by garcia in the ‘80s. final mini-set with horns starts midway through satisfying 62-minute HE’S GONE > TRUCKIN’ > EYES OF THE WORLD > WEATHER REPORT SUITE followed by weir’s rawkers. lovely HE’S GONE denouement. lesh inserts “right up here to” before “buffalo” in TRUCKIN’ to big cheers. after peak, jam veers towards OTHER ONE but dissolves to sweeping EYES. horns arrive & squonk away, driving band further, even to some unexpected quiet in LET IT GROW. on the whole, i kinda dig them?

10/19/73 oklahoma city: driving THEY LOVE EACH OTHER, ebullient ornamentations. well-weirded 18-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND. 39-minute DARK STAR > MIND LEFT BODY JAM > MORNING DEW. odd DARK STAR thing starting this version: slower intro establishes even moodier/sparser feel, though tempo is usual ~60bpm, somehow more confident in its abstract freeness. MIND LEFT BODY creates post-verse solidity in the space-void. crisp 22-minute EYES OF THE WORLD > STELLA BLUE encore, bass solo fun.

10/21/73 omaha: mess of a 1st set with lots of random tape noises. weir announces the A’s world series victory (“another baseball year endeth”), which means garcia’s responding LOSER is for the mets. appropriately, it almost crashes. 1st BLACK THROATED WIND since february. final YOU AIN’T WOMAN ENOUGH, donna’s last lead vocal ’til ’77. great piano throughout. WEATHER REPORT SUITE coming into its own without horns but loses ending where it reprises PRELUDE. casually pro 2nd set with 2 extended suites. 32-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND > MISSISSIPPI HALF-STEP > BIG RIVER > PLAYING IN THE BAND, each transition feeling deliberate. especially far out & baroque PLAYING reprise, usually short-handed. 42-minute HE’S GONE > TRUCKIN’ > WHARF RAT > SUGAR MAGNOLIA, all firing dramatically, nice transitions. a few scene reports about glowsticks going back ’71, but 1st time i’ve seen a band member pissed about ‘em.

10/23/73 bloomington, MN: soundcheck sliver of WANG DANG DOODLE with garcia on vocals, 10 years ahead of weir’s dead debut. k. godchaux plays wurlitzer on soundcheck, as well as BLACK THROATED WIND & TRUCKIN’ during proper show (& ignores it on ROW JIMMY & other “wake of the flood” songs where he used organ), sounding more natural than his keyboard explorations earlier in fall. notes say it belonged to the venue, but it turns up on the next 2 shows, too. 43-minute TRUCKIN’ > THE OTHER ONE > WEATHER REPORT SUITE has fun organ & brief NOBODY’S FAULT theme in TRUCKIN’. raging LET IT GROW with big piano & PRELUDE ending. scene report: CASEY JONES aborted when security roughs up a fan & billy kreutzmann (at least in some accounts) abandons his drums & roughs up security. the abandoning-drums part is certainly audible.

10/25/73 madison: snappin’ 11-minute HERE COMES SUNSHINE. godchaux again playing underamplified wurlitzer (or B3?) on BLACK THROATED WIND. 48-minute DARK STAR > EYES OF THE WORLD > STELLA BLUE followed by WEATHER REPORT SUITE is wonderfully autumnal “wake of the flood” centerpiece. another sparse DARK STAR falls quickly into deep MIND LEFT BODY, extended post-verse freakout held together by crazed kreutzmann swing. maybe more organ blurts. hot full-band weave through EYES, big bass solo.

10/27/73 indianapolis: 3rd/last(?) show with godchaux on wurlitzer(?) for BLACK THROATED WIND. after unsuccessful 23-beat intro on 10/23, BEAT IT ON DOWN THE LINE gets 27. pair of suites: another 32-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND > MISSISSIPPI HALF-STEP > BIG RIVER > PLAYING IN THE BAND (wee too clever but dark reprise jam) & 33-minute HE’S GONE > TRUCKIN’ > WHARF RAT (powerful HE’S GONE solos, more TRUCKIN’ organ, NOBODY’S FAULT BUT MINE theme, & bad cut in jam).

10/29/73 st. louis: 1st COLD RAIN & SNOW since 2/28. 1st set 21-minute EYES OF THE WORLD > CHINA DOLL with big bass solo. getting pro at the next-beat drops between PROMISED LAND/BERTHA/GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD. sweet BROKEDOWN PALACE sets up 53-minute TRUCKIN’ > DRUMZ > THE OTHER ONE > WHARF RAT, dropping quickly into low-flying jazz (with more big bass) before some long, dread-edging post-verse sparseness. weir watch: a.) weir finally articulates the alternate BLACK THROATED WIND lyric: “but i can’t deny the time that’s gone by / full of babies and bottles and mountains of debt.” b.) double-berry in chuck’s hometown with AROUND & AROUND 1st set closer & PROMISED LAND 2nd set opener.

10/30/73 st. louis: lesh, “at least don’t throw [stuff] towards the stage, we’ve lost 200 speakers this year already.” 7/8 of “wake of the flood,” all luxurious. bass light-beam break in opening HERE COMES SUNSHINE. low-fat 2nd set with autumnal 68-minute DARK STAR > STELLA BLUE > EYES OF THE WORLD > WEATHER REPORT SUITE centerpiece. bright extended DARK STAR glide lands in pre-verse MIND LEFT BODY, kreutzmann keeps order in post-verse space. nifty descending godchaux piano in EYES outro.

11/1/73 evanston: 43-minute MORNING DEW > PLAYING IN THE BAND > UNCLE JOHN’S BAND > PLAYING IN THE BAND is pretty wonderful set opener/anchor. deft melt from DEW into the PLAYING. the 1st of many moves from PLAYING into UNCLE JOHN’S (& back), later well-worn transitions played on/off through ’90, but feeling like fresh snow here, with some nice questing in the back half. 38-minute MISSISSIPPI HALF-STEP > HE’S GONE > TRUCKIN’ > WHARF RAT, graceful one-time drop from HALF-STEP to HE’S GONE.

11/9/73 winterland: just absolutely alive & lush & bouncing, weir & godchaux perfectly up in mix. great dynamics on THEY LOVE EACH OTHER & ROW JIMMY, etc. powerful 20-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND with subtly renewing kreutzmann richness & great donna screams. 1st (live) TO LAY ME DOWN since 9/70, only played a few times in its 1st incarnation, inspired choice for elegant quintet dead. centerpiece is 38-minute WEATHER REPORT SUITE > EYES OF THE WORLD > CHINA DOLL, all thoughtful & fresh. a small thing, but the last time the big jams in CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER & PLAYING IN THE BAND go back-to-back to finish a 1st set.

11/10/73 winterland: a fascinating day/night at winterland. doors open around noon for people who lined up early, getting a soundcheck performance by the roadies’ band sparky & the ass-bites from hell, an airing of robert hunter’s “prelude” tape, & a slate of roadrunner cartoons. when the dead hit the stage, lesh welcomes the crowd, “it’s the electronic spiders, folk, they’ve struck again. we’ll have to trim their antenna…” lesh’s LOOKS LIKE RAIN vocal is gone. oh well. show mainly remembered for 43-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND > UNCLE JOHN’S BAND > MORNING DEW > UNCLE JOHN’S BAND > PLAYING IN THE BAND, 1st of 3 versions of the sequence. all the pieces are powerful, the jam pathways feeling open despite the band clearly having a plan. sparkling godchaux piano during drive back into PLAYING. 30-minute TRUCKIN’ > WHARF RAT > SUGAR MAGNOLIA surely gets the winterland disco ball spinning.

11/11/73 winterland: mix doesn’t glow as much as earlier nights, but a loose sunday with fun, flowing 1st set, keynote by butter-segued PROMISED LAND > BERTHA > GREATEST STORY EVER TOLD. great playing everywhere (EL PASO!). 55-minute DARK STAR > EYES OF THE WORLD > CHINA DOLL. DARK STAR floats gorgeously until post-verse space-out when kreutzmann drops into beat & shit gets real. major key drama, ricochet crosstalk, dissolution, & doubletime MIND LEFT BODY as near-perfect bridge into EYES.

11/14/73 san diego: spiffy HERE COMES SUNSHINE & effortless CUMBERLAND BLUES (in a lesh slot). playful era continues with delightful 70-minute 2nd set-opening TRUCKIN’ > THE OTHER ONE > BIG RIVER > THE OTHER ONE > EYES OF THE WORLD > THE OTHER ONE > WHARF RAT. patient dissolve into OTHER ONE, never fully spacing-out on either side of the verse, especially thoughtful weirdness surrounding BIG RIVER. EYES bass solo folds into brief but not-totally-necessary reprise.

11/17/73 pauley pavilion: deep HERE COMES SUNSHINE jam seems a breath from MIND LEFT BODY. rock scully (i think) asks crowd to return to seats. lesh: “fire marshal’s chicken to come up here & talk to us himself, huh?” 49-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND > UNCLE JOHN’S BAND > MORNING DEW > UNCLE JOHN’S BAND > PLAYING IN THE BAND. masterful but less crackling than winterland, bubbling reprise. 23-minute EYES OF THE WORLD > SUGAR MAGNOLIA. packed, precise EYES. garcia ready for CHINA DOLL but nope.

11/20/73 denver: LET IT GROW finding room to breathe, but still lands before everybody’s ready. easy left turn from MISSISSIPPI HALF-STEP > DIRE WOLF seems to catch all by surprise, 1st DIRE WOLF since 10/72, ~10bpm slower. 39-minute TRUCKIN’ > THE OTHER ONE > STELLA BLUE has PHILO STOMP-ish bass zone at 1st transition, high-stepping pre-verse jams. post-verse, after resetting to space, peppiness twists into another well-executed MIND LEFT BODY as thrilling bridge to quiet garcia song.

11/21/73 denver: surprise opening set by *the* #bluegrass #banjo legend earl scruggs & revue playing through the proto-wall of sound. HALF-STEP now a jump-off, tonight a 62-minute MISSISSIPPI HALF-STEP > PLAYING IN THE BAND > EL PASO > PLAYING IN THE BAND > WHARF RAT > PLAYING IN THE BAND > MORNING DEW. kreutzmann fire in 1st PLAYING jam, ace planned transitions. DARK STAR-like turn pre-WHARF RAT & wild starstuff before reprise. 27-minute boogie-suite TRUCKIN’ > NOBODY’S FAULT BUT MINE > GOIN’ DOWN THE ROAD FEELING BAD > ONE MORE SATURDAY NIGHT.

11/23/73 el paso: great belting by garcia on opening BERTHA & TENNESSEE JED. crowd goes repeatedly ape for EL PASO, even “the badlands of new mexico” line. 52-minute HE’S GONE > TRUCKIN’ > THE OTHER ONE > ME & BOBBY McGEE. endless waves of high-velocity drums in high-energy OTHER ONE pre-verse, low-frequency post-verse abstractions, the long drift into deeper weirdnesses continuing apace. rare standalone 15-minute EYES OF THE WORLD before late-show boogie suite.

11/25/73 tempe: fun 15-minute CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER with bass solo intro. not much outside jamming. short 2nd set anchored by tight & dramatic 31-minute EYES OF THE WORLD > WEATHER REPORT SUITE, with EYES bass solo & landing, followed by ritual boogie. encore is rare BID YOU GOODNIGHT with rarer 2nd verse & sweet donna jean counterpoint, her last singin’ before she goes on maternity leave for the rest of the year.

11/30/73 boston music hall: the sound system arrives later after one of the equipment trucks gets stuck in the snow on the mass pike & has to be rescued with a helicopter. but they can’t set it up in the usual array with speaker stacks on either side of the band so, for the first time, everything is behind the band. perhaps to make up for late start, last ever MORNING DEW show opener & they mean it. even slower DIRE WOLF. big bouncing bass on BLACK THROATED WIND & throughout. donna jean on maternity leave, giving harmonies austere winterly feel. almost-abstracting bass break in HERE COMES SUNSHINE, cool piano leads in outro. effortless, dynamic kreutzmann jazz dances in 24-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND. lesh signals BERTHA with ’71 motown-style groove he sometimes plays. 43-minute WEATHER REPORT SUITE > DARK STAR JAM > EYES OF THE WORLD. lesh, i think, pulls the LET IT GROW jam down to speed before all fold into DARK STAR together. before they get to the verse, brief spidering DARK STARring dissolves (maybe accidentally) into a short garcia/weir bridge to long patient EYES. laidback bass solo enters into jam, finding a cool low-riding groove on far side of 7/8 outro before dissolving.

12/1/73 boston music hall: rare soundcheck jams, including garcia singing bits of BLUE SUEDE SHOES & (more alluringly) merle haggard’s WORKINGMAN’S BLUES. maybe a semi-full performance in there. WEATHER REPORT SUITE lands on big cool outro pulse, garcia pushing against, lesh getting jaunty, but weir lands quickly. unusually mojo-less crowd control by weir/lesh in 2nd set. “besides, all those cops are from heaven!” garcia interjects & can’t tell if he’s being sarcastic or having bad trip. until these great recently-surfaced front row photos credited to chad inver’s father, i didn’t notice that kreutzmann has been rocking a cut-out horse’s head on his kick-drum since the fall tour started in september. it last through early ’74. somebody’s got a ST. STEPHEN sign & weir starts to promise they’ll relearn it. lesh cuts him off, “don’t promise nothin’, man.” 38-minute MISSISSIPPI HALF-STEP > PLAYING IN THE BAND > UNCLE JOHN’S BAND > PLAYING IN THE BAND, garcia’s phrasing pushing jam down triumphant abstract paths in/out of UNCLE JOHN. rare ’73 NOT FADE AWAY to lead off a late-show boogie, only 7th of the year, garcia re-brightening the corners. after the show, weir & kreutzmann & probably at least one godchaux hang out on the air at WBCN.

12/2/73 boston music hall: lively LET IT GROW, garcia & godchaux dancing around. like, wow: 80-minute WHARF RAT > MISSISSIPPI HALF-STEP > PLAYING IN THE BAND > HE’S GONE > TRUCKIN’ > STELLA BLUE. gorgeous drumless WHARF RAT bridge. PLAYING rumbles into nonlinear spacedust whiteouts, lesh & garcia finding next-level galactic notelessness before gentle MIND LEFT BODY. NOBODY’S FAULT jam floats into STELLA BUE. enjoying the rare small room, encore is 2nd MORNING DEW in 3 days & even bigger.

12/4/73 cincinnati: show is delayed, lesh apparently tells crowd to take it up with promoters. still line-checking when tape starts. not the tightest gig, but lotsa big bass. 17-minute TRUCKIN’ > STELLA BLUE linked by short blooze deconstruction, STELLA BLUE starting in whispered fragments. deep 24-minute EYES OF THE WORLD stretches 10 minutes past the 7/8 outro, another extended turn by lesh into concrète silver-clouds, plus brief coda freak. curious what new gear/settings got him there.

12/6/73 cleveland: lesh checks & asks if anybody’s seen the comet (see also sun ra’s “concert for the comet kohoutek” & other musical events). weir watch: “we’re fortunate enough tonight to have a recruiting station for the venusian red cross. it’s the gentleman over here with the big red blinking eye.” ecstatic 17-minute HERE COMES SUNSHINE is almost the longest, peak of the 2nd jam almost sounding like a slow-motion VIOLA LEE BLUES. it seems like these ohio shows were the debut of the vocal cluster at the center of the growing wall of sound. usually, that date is given as march, but it’s clearly visible in these photos. what’s more, brian anderson (who is writing a book about the wall of sound!) turned up some alembic blueprints for the cincinnati show, suggesting ron wickersham turned around the design within days of the boston music hall gigs. classic 68-minute DARK STAR > EYES OF THE WORLD > STELLA BLUE. slow, unsettling coalescence from tuning to theme & mellow mood with patient, rich de/re-constructions & assertive electric keys throughout. 25 minutes before singing, now-rare pre-verse drumlessness & bass drone. great singing, too! post-verse melt into fuzz-bass nebulae & more top-speed ultra-melodic inventions. aces EYES with fun semi-implosion just before 7/8 jam. dreamy STELLA BLUE comedown & final bass feedback punchline.

12/8/73 durham: chaotic crowd control by weir/lesh. 69-minute HE’S GONE > TRUCKIN’ > NOBODY’S FAULT BUT MINE > THE OTHER ONE > WHARF RAT > STELLA BLUE. lulling weave-waves in HE’S GONE outro jam. long in/out of focus OTHER ONE with jazzed sub-group dialogues & half-time adventures before verse & glorious lesh blastage after. these bass episodes from 12/2-12/19 could totally be gathered into the dead equivalent of neil young’s “arc” (cc @4cp). unusual back-to-back slow garcia tunes.

12/10/73 charlotte: lesh calls out the bolos on the equipment crew. 1st PEGGY-O! traditional sung in lovely quiet by garcia. brisk compared to how they’d do it later but still feeling timeless from the start, both as folk song & in band’s repertoire, like it’s been there forever. somebody sets off fireworks mid-song. (weir: “have a safe & sane 4th.”) 21-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND hints at bass canyon & thromps towards peak, but no total fuzz envelopment tonight. 34-minute TRUCKIN’ > NOBODY’S FAULT BUT MINE > EYES OF THE WORLD > BROKEDOWN PALACE is condensed but wonderful. NOBODY’S FAULT abstracts a bit before incredible EYES with hyper-tonal (almost smooth!) bass throughout & full band precision. ace coda with BROKEDOWN, leaning into donna-lessness. plus, rare late-show CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER with extra-sweet transition & 1st (accidentally?) split SUGAR MAGNOLIA, GOIN’ DOWN THE ROAD FEELING BAD in middle.

12/12/73 atlanta: another half-hour of soundcheck, the music is less interesting than just hearing what they were fooling around with. tonight, almost-forgettable noodles on SLEIGH RIDE, little richard’s RIP IT UP, carl perkins’ BLUE SUEDE SHOES, & chuck berry’s THIRTY DAYS, plus working on PEGGY-O & running through a few tunes. slowly unfolding show. another jaunty PEGGY-O. TENNESSEE JED has fun little charge in jam. weir: “for all you folks that came late, we’re the warm-up band.” besides 22-minute PLAYING IN THE BAND that pulls itself almost totally apart, no real out jamming. pretty evolved TICO TICO “tuning.” 2nd set anchored by extra-sweet CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER (almost allmans-y enough to be a nod to dickey betts on his 30th, garcia wishes a happy birthday to later), WEATHER REPORT SUITE, & 29-minute EYES OF THE WORLD > MORNING DEW. even the EYES outro feels mellow with soft collapse into DEW, an uncommonly gentle swirl.

12/18/73 tampa: last fast version of THEY LOVE EACH OTHER. already in its golden era, a sweet mini-period for CHINA CAT SUNFLOWER > I KNOW YOU RIDER with extra-sweet twists in transition. much ‘73ness with ROW JIMMY & crackling WEATHER REPORT SUITE setting up 58-minute DARK STAR > DRUMZ > EYES OF THE WORLD > WHARF RAT > SUGAR MAGNOLIA. labyrinthine 1st DARK STAR jam unfolds into mellow, slow-motion MIND LEFT BODY. widescreen post-verse DARK STAR brain blastage driven by lesh’s feedback/overtone waves & garcia’s wah-noise tiger attack. “we’ve got a blown speaker,” garcia yells off mic. short gliding EYES. “go ahead!” lesh prompts weir off-mic before SUGAR MAGNOLIA. weir making up for donna jean’s absence by ratcheting up his SUNSHINE DAYDREAM screams. in my college house, we’d cue up the ending to this whenever we needed unstoppable laughter.

12/19/73 tampa: generally down with the “dick’s picks 1” edit, but fun to hear the full version. audience tape also has a great pre-show warning by the band about security. garcia: “remember your hippie training, folks: be cool!” weir sneezes during 1st line of PROMISED LAND opener. penultimate HERE COMES SUNSHINE that opens “dick’s picks” is midway through 1st set & one of the best. 14 minutes of curling lightbeam solos. PLAYING IN THE BAND somersaults into the spectral wah-wah void. really on-point MISSISSIPPI HALF-STEP, melting again into ME & BOBBY McGEE. 52-minute HE’S GONE > TRUCKIN’ > NOBODY’S FAULT BUT MINE > THE OTHER ONE > STELLA BLUE, every aspect firing perfectly. mournful HE’S GONE outro. NOBODY’S FAULT dancing into jazzishness. bass solo bridge excised for album is only on audience tape. last few minutes of OTHER ONE are the most sustained fszszszzt-out so far, dripping with absolute grace into STELLA BLUE.

[1965] [1966] [1967] [1968] [1969] [1970] [1971] [1972] [1973] [1974] [1975] [1976] [1977] [1978] [1979] [1980] [1981] [1982] [1983]

yo la tengo, hanukkah 2023, night #8 setlist

Yo La Tengo at Bowery Ballroom
14 December 2023
*(Hanukkah, night 8)*

opening act: The Aislers Set
comedian: David Cross
mix CD: Gruff Rhys
benefiting: Freedom For Immigrants

It’s Hanukkah Time (Al Johnson) (with CJ Camerieri on trumpet/French horn & Mike McGinnis on saxophone/clarinet)
Before We Run (with CC & MM)
Moby Octopad (with CC & MM)
Mr. Tough (with CC & MM)
Eight Candles (Sam Elwitt) (with CC & MM)
Let’s Do It Wrong
The Crying of Lot G
Shades of Blue
Apology Letter (with CC & MM)
Black Flowers (with CC & MM)
Patty Baby (Freddie Cannon) (with CC & MM)
86-Second Blowout
Blue Line Swinger
Earth Anthem (The Turtles) (with CC, MM, & the Aislers Set)

The Kid with the Replaceable Head (Richard Hell)
I’m Into Something Good (Carole King & Gerry Goffin) (with Vicki Peterson on guitar/vocals & John Cowsill on vocals)
I Can Hear Music (Jeff Barry/Ellie Greenwich/Phil Spector) (with VP & JC)
My Little Corner of the World (Bob Hilliard & Lee Pockriss) (with Marilyn Kaplan on vocals)

[ If reposting, kindly credit Frank & Earthy: / @bourgwick ]

yo la tengo, hanukkah 2023, night #7 setlist

Yo La Tengo at Bowery Ballroom
13 December 2023
*(Hanukkah, night 7)*

opening act: Foggy Notion
comedian: David Sedaris
mix CD: James
benefiting: Trust Women Foundation & Abortion Care Network)

Foggy Notion:
European Son >
Waiting For the Man
Venus In Furs
Femme Fatale
Run Run Run
I’ll Be Your Mirror
Foggy Notion

whole set (minus “Miles Away” & “Alyda”) with Ryan Sawyer on drums.

Miles Away
Tiny Birds
Evanescent Psychic Pez Drop (with Steve Gunn on guitar)
Ballad of Red Buckets (with Gunn)
One PM Again (with Gunn)
Can’t Forget (with Gunn & Sue Garner on vocals guitar)
Rose Colored Glue (Sue Garner) (with Gunn, Garner, & Alan Licht on guitar)
Other You (Steve Gunn) (with Gunn, Garner, & Licht)
Last Days of Disco (with Licht)
Double Dare (with Licht)
I Was the Fool Beside You For Too Long (with Licht)
Styles of the Times (with Licht)
We’re An American Band (with Licht)
Mushroom Cloud of Hiss (with Licht)

Take A Giant Step (Carole King & Gerry Goffin)
The Boxer (Paul Simon) (with Damon Krukowski on guitar/vocals & Naomi Yang on vocals)
(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!) (Beastie Boys) (with Damon & Naomi)
Don’t Let Our Youth Go To Waste (Jonathan Richman) (with Damon & Naomi)

[ If reposting, kindly credit Frank & Earthy: / @bourgwick ]

yo la tengo, hanukkah 2023, night #6 setlist

Yo La Tengo at Bowery Ballroom
12 December 2023
*(Hanukkah, night 6)*

opening act: Beach House
comedian: Todd Barry
mix CD: Georgia
benefiting: Callen-Lorde Community Health Center

“Our Way To Fall” through “Everybody Loves A Clown” with Danny Tunick (vibraphone) & Joe McGinty (keyboards), except as noted.

Our Way To Fall
Flying Lesson (Hot Chicken #1)
Tears Are In Your Eyes
Is That Enough
Coffee House (The Poets) (minus DT)
If It’s True
Did I Tell You
Count Me In (Gary Lewis)
Everybody Loves A Clown (Gary Lewis)
Here To Fall
Cherry Chapstick >
The Story of Jazz >
Little Honda (The Hondells) (with JM)

We’re Gonna Have A Real Good Time Together (Velvet Underground) (with Todd Barry on drums)
She’s My Best Friend (Velvet Underground)
I Heard Her Call My Name (Velvet Underground)
Pale Blue Eyes (Velvet Underground) (with Victoria Legrand on vocals)

[ If reposting, kindly credit Frank & Earthy: / @bourgwick ]

yo la tengo, hanukkah 2023, night #5 setlist

Yo La Tengo at Bowery Ballroom
11 December 2023
*(Hanukkah, night 5)*

opening act: Meg Baird
comedian: Mia Jackson
mix CD: Ira
benefiting: Violence Policy Center

Big Day Coming (fast)
My Heart’s Reflection
I’m On My Way
From A Motel 6
Beanbag Chair
The Point of It (with Charlie Saufley on guitar)
Sorrow (The McCoys) (with CS & Meg Baird on vocals/percussion)
Goin’ Back (Carole King & Gerry Goffin) (with CS, MB, Damon Krukowski on drums, Naomi Yang on keyboards/vocals)
Two Trains (with CS & MB)
Damage (with CS & MB)
This Stupid World (with CS & MB)
Nothing To Hide (with CS)
Tom Courtenay (with CS)
Pass the Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind (with CS)

Bus Stop (The Hollies) (with CS & MB)
Drug Train (The Cramps) (with Ben Gibbard on guitar/vocals)
You Make My Dreams Come True (Hall & Oates) (with BG)
The Ghosts of Beverly Drive (Death Cab For Cutie) (with BG)

[ If reposting, kindly credit Frank & Earthy: / @bourgwick ]

yo la tengo, hanukkah 2023, night #4 setlist

Yo La Tengo at Bowery Ballroom
10 December 2023
*(Hanukkah, night 4)*

opening act: The Feelies (acoustic)
comedian: Ronny Chieng
mix CD: Kelly Reichardt
benefiting: Groundwork USA

The Feelies (acoustic):
When Company Comes
Sunday Morning (Velvet Underrgound)
Egyptian Reggae (Jonathan Richman)
In Between
Everyday (Buddy Holly)
The Undertow
Let’s Go
Nobody Knows
Find A Way
Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright (Bob Dylan)
Everybody’s Got Something To Hide (Except Me & My Monkey) (Beatles)
Original Love
Crazy Rhythms

whole set & encore (minus last 2 songs) with Stan Demeski (drums) & Dave Weckerman (percussion)

Center of Gravity
You Are Here
Tonight’s Episode
Until It Happens
The Summer
A Worrying Thing
Nowhere Near
Song For Mahlia (with Bill Million on guitar)
Barnaby, Hardly Working (with BM)
False Alarm
Five-Cornered Drone (Crispy Duck)
Deeper Into Movies
Sister Ray (Velvet Underground) (with BM & Brenda Sauter on organ)

The Empty Pool (Yung Wu) (with BM, BS, & Glenn Mercer on guitar)
You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere (Bob Dylan) (with BS & GM)
Good Shepherd (traditional, arr. Jorma Kaukonen) (with GM)
Pretty In Pink (Psychedelic Furs) (with GM)

[ If reposting, kindly credit Frank & Earthy: / @bourgwick ]

yo la tengo, hanukkah 2023, night #3 setlist

Yo La Tengo at Bowery Ballroom
9 December 2023
*(Hanukkah, night 3)*

opening act: Lambchop
comedian: Dina Hashem
mix CD: DJ King Joe
benefiting: Advocates For Children

Lambchop (with Ira on saxophone):
Your Fucking Sunny Day
The Theme From the Neil Miller Show
My Face Your Ass
All Smiles & Mariachi
I Sucked My Boss’s Dick
Soaky In the Pooper
For Which We Are Truly Thankful
The Man Who Loved Beer
Alumni Lawn
It’s Not Alright
Up With People
The Pack-Up Song

“Night Falls on Hoboken” through “Slow Learner” & “I Heard You Looking” with Lambchop; whole set with Matt McCaughan on drums.

Night Falls on Hoboken >
This Stupid World (drone) > (with Kurt Wagner on vocals)
Always Something
Green Arrow
Group Grope (The Fugs) (with KW)
Readymades (Bonzo Dog Band) (with KW)
Slow Learner
Shadows (with Jonathan Marx on trumpet)
Wasn’t Born To Follow (Carole King & Gerry Goffin) (with William Tyler on guitar & Paul Niehaus on pedal steel)
The Race Is On Again (with WT & PN)
I Should Have Known Better (with Matt Swanson on bass)
Drug Test
Today Is The Day (fast)
I Heard You Looking

20th Century Boy (T. Rex) (with Dina Hashem on drums)
Next Big Thing (The Dictators) (with Andy Shernoff on bass/vocals)
Loyola (The Dictators) (with AS)
Slow Death (Flamin’ Groovies) (with AS)

[ If reposting, kindly credit Frank & Earthy: / @bourgwick ]

yo la tengo, hanukkah 2023, night #2 setlist

Yo La Tengo at Bowery Ballroom
8 December 2023
*(Hanukkah, night 2)*

opening act: Jimmy Flemion
comedian: Janeane Garofalo
mix CD: Howie Rose
benefiting: Doctors Without Borders

Stupid Things
Let’s Save Tony Orlando’s House
Here You Are
The Cone of Silence
Periodically Double or Triple
Winter A Go Go
I Threw It All Away (Bob Dylan)
I Feel Like Going Home
I’ll Be Around
Sudden Organ
Stockholm Syndrome
Some Kinda Fatigue
The Story of Yo La Tango

Weird On The Avenue (The Frogs) (with Jimmy Flemion on guitar/vocals)
Life’s A Gas (T. Rex) (with JF)
Tapioca Tundra (Michael Nesmith) (with JF)
Lord Grunge > (The Frogs) (with JF)
Imagine (John Lennon/Yoko Ono) (with JF)

[ If reposting, kindly credit Frank & Earthy: / @bourgwick ]