Some shows are overlooked in the Grateful Dead catalog but there are special attributes that make it endearing to a certain group of fans. The New Yorker piece a few years ago that mentioned this. Cornell '77 gets its due from everyone but to him the Fox '80's "Scarlet/Fire," was the be all end all for him and his friends. Their only rule, never stop the tape during the "Scarlet/Fire." Well this show doesn't have a "Scarlet/Fire" or any rules among my circle of friends but this date in 1976, I have vivid memories of my cassette days.
I only had the first set of this show. I remember my artwork on the tape. There was the DEAD, without any of the vertical lines, then Boston and 6/10/76 I. It was all black marker on the Maxell Gold cover. It was the second Dead tape that I had gotten and since it was the better quality it got played a lot more than the other one. To me at the time the set was perfect, even though it included the "Tuning" between songs. Sometimes the tuning was longer than the songs, this digital version has that all cut out, but I would hold the FF and Play button down sometimes to seek forward to the next song. It may have been another night for the band in Boston but to me it was special, because it was my connection to the Grateful Dead. Nowadays when I hear someone on PT or Twitter say something like "Summer 86 sucked," I don't debate, I just ignore. For some lucky fans, this was their first connection to the Grateful Dead and no matter how or when that connection should be celebrated not denigrated.
It was about 10 years ago that I threw out my collection of 1000+ tapes. About six months later I discovered archive.org and this was one of the shows that I went searching for. This was the first time that I got to listen to this show and it was the first time I heard the second set of this show. The first set and the marvelous "Mission in the Rain" was an old hat but the second set was a strange universe. There is the spectacular "Help/Slip/Franks," the pulsing "Let It Grow," and the disco "Dancin'," which is pieced together out of the "Playin'." Yes there was much more to this show than the "Sugaree," "Music Never Stopped," and brilliant "Cassidy."
Now the night beforehand is an official release as "Road Trips Vol 4, No 5" and features the first "St Stephen" in almost five years. Then next two nights feature the fourth and fifth time the Grateful Dead split up "Sugar Mags" and "Sunshine Daydream," but this show features the second of five "Mission in the Rain." A song that because of this show is a favorite of mine and will be my choice for the Dead Covers Project when I get my space together. Today is GD History is going to mainly focus on 1973 or the CalExpo 1990 but this show does it for me. It was the door that opened up to begin my love of the Grateful Dead. Enjoy and download the SBD of the show HERE and HERE.
I: Promised, Sugaree, Cassidy, TLEO, Music, BE Woman, Lazy Lightning, Supplications, Row Jimmy, Big River, Mission, LL Rain, Might as Well
II: Samson, Help, Slip, Franks, Let It Grow, Friend, Playin', Dancin', US Blues