Uploaded on Mar 21, 2011
(WITH MY ADDED VISUALS) At the time, this show didn't rattle any of our bells. Oh, sure, it was fun to see them "on TV" ... but shit, we hadn't been used to hearing this new s--t like "Passenger", "Need a Miracle", let alone this fucked up, disco-crap "Shakedown Street" ... To boot, Jerry had laryngitis this night which even caused the cancellation of the last shows in November and notably the 25th in New Haven for which I had 7th row tickets!!! A reaaaal bummer.
But time always proves worthwhile !!
This was an extraordinary transitional time for the Grateful Dead. Two months prior, in mid-September, they spent a week in Cairo, Egypt (including three concerts next to the pyramids and the sphinx). If those three shows, with the almost exception of the closing night on the 16th, were not musically successful (partially due to weather / wind conditions, who knows, maybe jet-lag, heat or liquids ...), that excursion nonetheless seemed to have transpierced their mind and bodies to give them new musical energy and spirituality for the end of 1978. As Bob Weir mentioned afterwards : "we crossed through many time barriers".
Oh well ... they returned to the States and did a very strong 5 night homecoming at Winterland, S.F. in the end of October. Standard sets (for the most part) but with hind-sight there was a tingle of 1977 magic mixed with these new songs and Egyptian winds to bring new spice back to the stage.
Having said that, both Donna Jean & Keith Godchaux, by the end of November, were probably already in Jerry's, or the band's, back-mind of asking them to leave. Donna Jean who often had delightful smiles seems already on the way out during Shakedown Street (6:30). But then again, who knows ...
Following this show were two exceptional concerts on Dec 30th (Pauley Pavillon, UCLA) and New Years at, again, Winterland, S.F. And, in the end, perhaps those last four months of 1978 definitively closed the first two or three chapters of the musically and intensely rich era of The Grateful Dead during those 1968-1969, 1970-1972, 1973-1974, 1975-1978 periods before embarking on their new spaceship by 1979.
Ken Kesey, once again, very cooly stated two things which I always fully adhered to : 1) "The Grateful Dead are simply a CLASS act" and 2) "Jerry was not just a guitar player, cause they're a dime a dozen, but a real revolutionary". RIP.
In sum, I encourage you to listen through this entire segment which goes from :
Estimated Prophet ~
Shakedown Street ~
Hamza El Din (Egyptian drummers) ~
Fire on the Mountain ~
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