On this date in 1985, the Grateful Dead rolled into the University of South Carolina for a special Halloween night gig. DOWNLOAD a very good audience copy of the only time the Grateful Dead ever played in South Carolina.
When the band comes to the stage they start tuning and that progresses into a spacey jam that has a couple of Garcia lead teases. The first is a classical piece "Peer Gynt in the Hall of the Mountain King," and that changes into "Funiculi Funicula." Then Bobby lets out a howl signaling whats to come, as the jump into "Werewolves of London" for the first time since 7-8-78. Singing and smiling, Garcia has a hard time with the lyrics but manages to get through most of it. As mentioned in 7-8-78 blog, Donna vocals and Bobby's slide is missing from this version, but they make up for it through their enthusiasm in the song. Instead of letting the moment die, Bobby calls for "Music" as it comes charging out of "Werewolves." Afterwords Bobby announces, "Welcome music lovers." Jerry uses the pause to tease "Teddy Bear's Picnic" before starting the slow rant "West LA."
Later in the set is a fun "Jed," where based on the crowd reaction is very fulfilling. There was heavy rains in South Carolina on this day so Bobby sings them dry with "LL Rain." Wonderful interaction between Bobby's vocals and Jerry's guitar, that shoots the band into the set closer, "Never had such a good time, in my life before."
There is a lot of anticipation with the opening of the second set, and the wah-wah tips the crowd on whats to come. A massive "Shakedown St" opens the second set. The band gets into it and lays down the funk for the next 15 minutes. Garcia lays heavy on the wah-wah, as Phil entwines his funk, Brent sparkles his keys, and Bobby's falsetto; "Just gotta poke around". "Playin'/Ship of Fools/Playin'" comes next. An airy spooky haze of a "Playin'" sandwich. There is scary element to the improvisational music, as the howling spook from the earlier jam can be heard during "Drums/Space." Pieced together out of spookiness is the Brent jaunt "Mr Fantasy," as a raucous "Not Fade" caps off the set.
The real star of this show is the return of "Werewolves," Which was played at every Halloween show therefore after. This includes every time JGB played a Halloween show.
I: Space, Werewolves, Music, West LA, Mama Tried, Mexicali, Jed, LL Rain, Might as Well
II: Shakedown, Playin', Ship of Fools, Playin', Drums, Space, Fantasy, NFA E US Blues
Thank you Becky for dealing with my singing of "Peer Gynt," without you, I wouldn't have identified the pieces title. With the power being down I'm going to find it hard to do this blog, I had planned to do one on the fifth and the sixth, but I guess we will have to wait for the 14th.