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This Week In Grateful Dead History #20 (Week of 6/10)

Welcome to the weekly newsletter that brings you the most interesting and significant facts from Grateful Dead History, along with reviews of the music for the week ahead! The idea is to give all you Heads a "Heads up" on the interesting and cool stuff the Grateful Dead were up to on this week in history! So tell me what you think!

Sorry folks, no time to take pictures of the book this week, but here's the highlights for Issue 20, for the week of June 10th, 2024 so check it out:

  • First time played: "Wave That Flag", "It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry", "That's Alright Mama", "Masterpiece"

  • "Cryptical Envelopment" makes a comeback after 801 shows!


June 10th

  • 6/10/73 Robert F. Kennedy Stadium, Washington, DC - A 3-set monster show, officially released on Here Comes Sunshine 1973. This infamous show is one of the longest performances ever, and includes some truly incredible music and guest appearances. Highlights are the rare "Morning Dew" opener, "The Race Is On", "Row Jimmy", "Bird Song" and "Playing" to close the first set. The entire second set is incredible, kicking off with an intense "Eyes" and settling into a beautiful rendition of "Stella Blue". "Here Comes Sunshine" is perfect and includes an extended jam with Jerry having fun with his Crybaby wah pedal. Then they launch into a deep jam sequence with "Dark Star > He's Gone > Wharf Rat > Truckin'". A high energy "Sugar Magnolia" closes set 2. The 3rd set includes some epic jams with Dicky Bets, Butch Trucks and Meryl Saunders. They stroll out a mellow "It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry" to warm up, followed by a blistering "That's Alright Mama". Then you get one of my favorite versions of "NFA > GDTRFB > NFA" that's packed full of intense jamming.

  • 6/10/76 Music Hall, Boston, MA - Officially released on June 1976, this outstanding showcases the band in fine form. They are playing and singing perfectly. First set highlights include "Cassidy", "Music Never Stopped", a rare and beautiful "Mission In The Rain" (only played 5 times with the Grateful Dead, all in June 1976 and this was the second time), "Looks Like Rain", and a high energy "Might As Well". The entire second set is a highlight, but the peaks are "Help > Slipknot! > Franklin's Tower" and "Playing > Dancin'".

  • 6/10/84 Cal Expo, Sacramento, CA - An excellent show overall. Phil has a strong presence and the entire band is in sync, which means all the songs are well played. Highlights include a fun "Stranger", a hot "They Love Each Other", a jammy "Bird Song" and a ripping "Minglewood" and "Might As Well". Second set highlights are the smoking "China Cat > I Know You Rider" opener, "He's Gone > Don't Need Love" and the post-D/S "Truckin'". I like the Joni Walker/Paul Scotton tape SHNID 105967 for the massive Phil bombs.


June 11th

  • 6/11/76 Music Hall, Boston, MA - Officially released on June 1976, this entire show is a must-listen if you have never heard it. Kicking off with a mighty swell "Might As Well" to set the mood to "fun". We're going to have some fun! Every song is played well but other first set highlights include a funky "Scarlet Begonias" that flips right into a smooth "Looks Like Rain" and a gentle "Must Have Been The Roses". The real highlights of this show occur in the second set, however. Opening with one of the best "St. Stephen" renditions since the early versions. It's full of precise and powerful playing but maintains beautiful laid-back groove which transitions into a funky "Dancin'". That flows directly into a powerful "Music Never Stopped".

  • 6/11/91 Charlotte Stadium, Charlotte, NC - A top-notch show full of inspired and charged playing with Bruce Hornsby for the whole show. The entire first set is great but the highlights include a rousing "Iko" opener, and a jammy "Bird Song > Promised Land" set closer. The whole second set is great but highlights are the pre-D/S segment "Victim > Eyes > Looks Like Rain > Terrapin > Jam".

  • 6/11/93 Buckeye Lake, Hebron, OH - Buckeye Lake was one of my hometown venues, along with Richfield Coliseum to the north and I was lucky to see some shows at these great venues. I wish I had seen them all, including this one but I missed this one for some reason I can't recall. The band is dialed in and playing their hearts out for most of it. First set highlights include "Jack Straw ", Foolish Heart > Same Thing" and a stomping "Promised Land" to close the set. Second set highlights include a beautiful standalone "Eyes" opener which, after a brief pause lands on a classic "Playing > Uncle John's Band" combo. While not as jammed out as some versions they are perfectly executed. After D/S there's a decent "Wheel > Watchtower" but then a relatively rare (for the time) "Black Peter" followed by a strong and fun "Sugar Magnolia". I like SHNID 157038 which is the Tobin matrix.


June 12th

  • 6/12/76 Music Hall, Boston, MA - Officially released on June 1976, and is a continuation of the high quality Grateful Dead playing from the previous nights. Firs set highlights include "Music Never Stopped", "Mission In The Rain", "Looks Like Rain", "High Time". The second set kicks off with an epic "Wheel". Other highlights include "Let It Grow > Wharf Rat > Comes A Time" and "Dancin' > Around & Around".

  • 6/12/91 Charlotte Stadium, Charlotte, NC - A strong performance overall, with some great moments. Highlights include a funky "Stranger" opener, "Althea", "Desolation Row", "Loose Lucy" from the first set and all of the post D/S "Space > GDTRFB > Watchtower > Morning Dew" and the "Brokedown" encore.


June 13th

  • 6/13/80 Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle, WA - This entire show is excellent. They open with a rockin' "Minglewood" followed by a passionate "Sugaree" that showcases Jerry's vocals. The entire second set is a highlight but the peaks are "China Cat > I know You Rider", the jam in "Terrapin", "Other One" emerging from "Space", and a high-energy "Sugar Magnolia".

  • 6/13/87 County Fairgrounds, Ventura, CA - A solid show with some great moments and every song is played well. Highlights include a neat "Half Step > Walkin' Blues" opener, the first Bobby "Masterpiece", which charges up the crowd, "Friend Of The Devil", and a banging "Let It Grow" to close the first set. The second set highlights are the funky "Shakedown" opener, "Estimated > Eyes", and a soulful "Morning Dew".


June 14th

  • 6/14/68 Fillmore East, New York, NY - The Dead's first performance at the Fillmore East, also known as "The Church of Rock and Roll". The venue was short lived (3/8/68 - 6/27/71) but every major rock band from Hendrix to Led Zeppelin, Clapton, an so many more played there. Here's a great article from Relix about the venue: This entire performance is top-notch!

  • 6/14/80 Coliseum, Spokane, WA - This is an excellent high energy show! Every song is well played but the highlights include "Brown Eyed Women", "Stranger", "Estimated > Eyes". Check it out if you've already heard the other shows on this day a bunch of times and want something new that won't disappoint.

  • 6/14/84 Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO - Red Rocks is one of the most beautiful places to see a band, and the Dead rarely disappointed here. This was the final of 3 shows at the Amphitheatre and is the best of the bunch IMO. The show kicks off with one of the best versions of "Iko". It's got an extra groove to it. Other first set highlights include "Cassidy, "Roses", which is passionate, and a rocking "Minglewood". Second set highlights include "Shakedown > Playing > Mr. Fantasy ... Space > Playing" and a killer "U.S. Blues" encore.

  • 6/14/85 Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA - 1985 is one of my favorite years for the band. They just have a different sound. Maybe it's the recordings, but they just sound dialed in most of the time. This show is no exception. The band was celebrating their 20 year anniversary with these shows, and there was a lot of excitement in the air along with some renewed "fanfare" around these Berkeley shows. Highlights for the first set include "Dancin'", "Stagger Lee > Let It Grow > Deal". Second set highlights include a rare "Morning Dew" opener, followed up by "Playing > China Doll". The set ending "Sugar Magnolia" is excellent as well.

  • 6/14/91 Robert F. Kennedy Stadium, Washington, DC - Officially released on View from the Vault, Volume 2. I don't have these videos, but they're on my shopping list. Every now and then you can find them for a good price used. The show kicks off with a strong "Cold Rain & Snow". This is a 9 song first set, which is on the longer side for the time period. Other highlights include "Big River > Maggie's Farm", "Row Jimmy", and "Music Never Stopped". Second set highlights include a huge "Help > Slipknot! > Franklin's Tower", and of course "Estimated > Dark Star". This "Star" isn't the longest one but still manages to provide that "magic carpet ride" for the folks who were lucky enough to witness it, because as everyone knows "Dark Star" became pretty rare towards the end (although there was a resurgence peak in 1991).


June 15th

  • 6/15/76 Beacon Theatre, New York, NY - Officially released on June 1976, this is a very nice performance with a neat setlist to match. First set highlights are "Looks Like Rain", and a stunning "Let It Grow > Might As Well". The second set kicks off with "St. Stephen" which is as flowing and trippy as they come and leads straight into a long, jammy "NFA". "Dancin' > Wheel > Sugar Magnolia > Scarlet Begonias > Sunshine Daydream" is an outstanding sequence to end the set.

  • 6/15/90 Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA - This show is a shining example of the musical skill and excellence that the band could achieve, and the song selection is "bucket list" level for me anyways, minus an obvious "Dark Star" or a few other songs. This "Help > Slipknot! > Franklin's Tower" first set opener is a stunner. The band is tight and there is a high level of detail to the playing that you don't hear on every version. Other first set highlights include "Minglewood", "Desolation Row", and "Bucket". The second set is over 2 hours long, and kicks off with a super energized "Scarlet" which leads to a long jam intro to "Fire". They take their time with it and it transitions into a good version of Brent's "Blow Away". The rest of the set is very well played and they end the show with one of the finest "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" versions you'll ever hear.

  • 6/15/93 Freedom Hall, Louisville, KY - A very good show with above average playing and song selectin. They kick off the first set with a monster "Stranger". The whole set is well played but the other highlight is an epic "Desolation Row" which is given a more passionate treatment than usual. The second set highlights include a beautiful rendition of "Crazy Fingers", followed by a superb "Estimated Prophet > Spoonful > He's Gone". The "Morning Dew" to close the second set is perfect and full of emotional signing from Jerry. A rousing "Gloria" encore sends the crowd away smiling.


June 16th

  • 6/16/74 Des Moines State Fair Grandstand, Des Moines, IA - A portion of this show was officially released on Road Trips Volume 2 Number 3 Bonus Disc. This three-set Wall of Sound monster show is full of amazing moments. If you're a Phil fan, you'll love this show because he's front and center in most of the mixes that circulate. First set highlights include "Bertha", "BIODTL", "Scarlet Begonias", "China Cat > I Know You Rider" (which is also a Jam Anthem version). The second set highlights include "Eyes > Big River" and "Playing" (a 28+ minute journey to outer space!). The third set has a stand out "Truckin' > Nobody's Fault Jam > Mind Left Body Jam > Wharf Rat > GDTRFB" that will knock your socks off. I can't imagine how incredible it must have been to see the band do these incredible 3 set Wall of Sound shows... Legendary!

  • 6/16/85 Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA - This was the 3rd of 3 shows at the Greek Theatre, and this was by far the best of the three shows. The band finally gave the crowd what they'd been waiting for: something special to commemorate the the band's 20 year anniversary. The first set is kind of average in terms of performance but I like the "Midnight Hour > Bertha" opener and the "Half Step". The second set is where the magic is. "Scarlet > Fire" is excellent, and the big surprise is the "Cryptical > Other One > Cryptical". This would be the first time they played "Cryptical" since 9/23/72, 801 shows! "The Other One" is a Jam Anthem version.

  • 6/16/90 Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA - Officially released on View from the Vault, Volume 3. This is an excellent show with lots of great surprising moments. First set highlights include "Good Times Roll > Truckin' >Touch of Grey", "Cassidy" and a rare first set closer "Saturday Night". The second set highlights include a strong "China Cat > I Know You Rider" and "Estimated > Terrapin > Jam".


BTW, If you're not yet familiar with Jam Anthem versions of songs you can read all about it in Deadology II by Howard Weiner. Check it out here along with all his other great books.

And that's all for now! Of course, if you want to follow along in your very own copy of my book On This Day In Grateful Dead History: A Daily Listening Journal I still have some copies available here. Once they're sold out, I will have to decide whether or not I'm going to have more made. The costs of printing and shipping have gone way up in the last few years since I had them printed so I'm not sure if it's worth it or not. So get one now while you can!

Peace out my good people. Until next week!

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