In the land of the night, the Ship of the Sun is driven across the sky by the Grateful Dead
On this date, the best of the Grateful Dead shows from Egypt occurred on this date 35 years ago. Download a matrix copy the show HERE, HERE, and HERE. You might wonder about the matrix, does that mean there was a taper there? Yes there is an audience recording that you can download HERE, if you wish. There were about 2,000 fans that made the voyage with the band to Egypt and there are stories of people selling their cars to finance their trip. I personally would have been mad that I went there and didn't get a "Dark Star." Especially someone like Bill Walton who three months later would have been working, and missed to Closing of the Winterland gig.
The show opens with a hopping "Bertha/Good Lovin'." The "LL Rain" features a snarly meow by Donna, when Bobby sings the "Street cats making love" line. Bobby's experimental slide playing had markedly improved by this time as you'll hear on "Row Jimmy" and later on "Minglewood." Also before this "Minglewood," you'll hear Bobby sing to the Sphinx, "I was born in the desert raised in the lions den." To which Bill exclaims twice, "Make it good!" Then they close the set with the song that was played strongly both times this weekend, "Deal."
They moved the Hamza el-Dim set to be in between sets so that they could better transition into their second set vibe. Listening to his set it reminds me very much of the music I hear when doing Yoga, peaceful, meaningful, and pleasing. They link "Ollin Arrangeed" with another mystical song "Fire on the Mountain." Then seem to tease "Sunshine Daydream" before the "Iko Iko." There is a very sly move at the end of the "Miracle" jam, where Jerry starts fingering the beginning of "All Over Now" as the band piece that song together. The "Shakedown" is fluent but the band hasn't played that song enough to really make it reach it's full potential. The "Rhythm Devils/Space" moves into an excitable "Truckin'." Phil seems to blow a vocal chord on his backgrounds. From the salty to the sweet the band plays a breathy "Stella Blue." Jerry sings this song will all the dedication and heart fullness that the band envisioned the whole weekend would have, instead of the "broken dreams" it had. This could have been the best "Stella Blue" since '73, if Jerry didn't bust into the song's break half a verse earlier. Though he reprised the missing lines the verse sounds awkward. Then this was the only show to get an encore.
Originally there was suppose to be 2 shows in Egypt and this one got added later. This show correlated with a lunar eclipse of the moon, while they were on stage. This may have contributed to the turn in fortune and makes the quote from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, found at the top of the blog, a reality.