I saw shows mainly in the Bay Area from the mid-80's (Cal Expo '84!) until the end, and was curious about your opinion of some of the best shows in the '79-90 range in the Bay Area, so really anything from San Jose to Marin and San Francisco to I guess Berkeley.
The reason this is interesting to me is that many shows, it seemed, were warm ups for a tour, or the beginning of the year, when they were rusty, or the end of the year, when they were (sometimes) burned out, and in general sometimes it seemed that the East Coast shows had more energy, etc.......
So my own experience starts in '84 and I don't know if it's just because it was new at the time for me, but at least two of my favorite shows were in that year. OK here's my list in chronological order:
7/13/84 Greek Theater: Interesting Scarlet-Touch of Gray-Fire to start the 2nd set, a nice Stella Blue but of course the Dark Star encore is what sets this apart. My second show.
11/2/84 Berkeley Community Theater: Intimate venue, good sound, and the high-energy 2nd set included Help-Slip-Franklin's, then Sailor-Saint, then what must be an incredibly rare pre-drums Wharf Rat into the premier of Gimme Some Lovin' followed by, out of Space, Playin' reprise (finishing the Playin' started on 10/28, the 2nd show of this 6-show run), finishing with Bertha-Good Lovin' and an encore of Casey Jones. Fantastic energy.
4/27-28/85 Frost: OK I'm cheating but this two-show run was everything you could ask for in a springtime outdoor show. Absolutely perfect weather, a scenic venue on a scenic campus, and some inspired song sequences, such as the 2nd set opener on day 1 of Scarlet-Eyes-GDTRFB, and the 2nd set opener on day 2 of Bucket-Crazy Fingers-Playin'-China Doll-Playin'-dr/sp-Playin' and the U.S. Blues/She Belongs to Me encore.
6/14/85 Greek: After an equipment break in the middle of the first set, they came back with Keep on Growing, Stagger Lee, and an intense Let it Grow-Deal, followed by the 2nd set opening sequence of Morning Dew-Playin'-China Doll and a great Comes a Time in the 2nd set. A great show for Jerry ballads.
6/15/85 Greek: The whole 2nd set, but particularly the space-Wheel-Gimme Some Lovin' sequence
6/16/85 Greek: Mainly the 2nd set opener of Scarlet-Fire-Samson-CRYPTICAL-Other One-Cryptical
Then it seemed that Jerry was struggling for the rest of the '85 and '86 shows, until the triumphant return and good vibes of the
12/15/86 Oakland Arena show, with the emotional Touch of Gray opener and Wharf Rat in the 2nd set, some new material, and a high-spirited Johnny B. Goode encore.
7/24/87 Oakland Coliseum with Dylan: Good show overall, but the highlight for me was the post-drums sequence of Uncle John's Band-Fantasy-Miracle-Bertha-Sugar Magnolia and getting to see Jerry play pedal steel on I'll Be Your Baby Tonight.
I really liked both of the Calavaras shows, but my favorite is probably Sunday:
8/23/87 Angel's Camp: Scarlet-Fire Playin' and the Miracle-Fantasy-Playin'-Morning Dew. And the Santana guest spot in the first set.
12/28/88 Oakland Arena: Bird Song from the first set is a highlight, but the whole show is solid.
Well, those are my picks, let me know yours.
Last edited by drbeechwood
on Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:31 am, edited 1 time in total.