Best Bay Area Dead Shows of Brent Era

Best Bay Area Dead Shows of Brent Era

Postby drbeechwood » Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:47 am

Hiya,
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.
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Re: Best Bay Area Dead Show of Brent Era

Postby caspersvapors » Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:13 am

http://archive.org/details/gd1982-10-09 ... eok.flac24

warfield 10-10-80

the show from view from the vault 4 is great
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Re: Best Bay Area Dead Shows of Brent Era

Postby drbeechwood » Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:33 am

Yes, looking for more opinions particularly on the '79-83 era I missed. I love both of those Frost '82 shows, and I think at least one of the Greek '82 shows is really good. View from the Vault 4 is two shows, not sure if folks prefer Oakland or Anaheim.
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Re: Best Bay Area Dead Shows of Brent Era

Postby Scarlet » Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:42 am

I have very much enjoyed listening to these over the years:

09/12/81 Berkeley

05/21+22+23/82 Berkeley

10/10/82 Frost Amph

12/26/82 Oakland

05/13/83 Berkeley 2nd set very under-rated. Check out that Eyes!

08/21/83 Frost Amph

12/31/84 SF Civic. This one burns bright in spite of the tragedy surrounding this run of shows.

03/02/87 Kaiser

07/15/88 Berkeley

08/19/89 Berkeley 2nd set is about as good as it gets.
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Re: Best Bay Area Dead Shows of Brent Era

Postby drbeechwood » Sun Jul 14, 2013 8:22 am

I suppose the 10/31/83 show deserves mention for the St. Stephen, but overall that show is a bit sluggish. Were there any notable Shoreline shows? Those all seem to blur together.
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Re: Best Bay Area Dead Shows of Brent Era

Postby rugger » Sun Jul 14, 2013 11:26 am

Shoreline was never my favorite venue, nor ironically, the Greek. You would think Berkeley would be one of the best spots to see the Dead. Quite the opposite in my experience. Don't know when the shift happened but by the late eighties locals didn't have much more than contempt for the scene that would roll into town. Also, the place was on lockdown with a pretty visible police presence. There was little to no transactions happening around the Greek. Basically, it was just go see the show and leave.

I have friends that rave about the SF Civic Aud (now the Bill Graham Aud.) shows from Jan '87. I had some of my best times at Ventura (I know, not the Bay Area) in '86 & '87. That was a great venue imo. I also really dug the Kaiser Auditorium--great vibes inside that place. One show in particular when the hallways were crammed with people boogieing their asses off! Anyone ever see a mosh pit of deadheads?! Maybe the most fun I had at a show. I caught the Frost shows that year as well. That's a pretty sweet little venue. Wish I had caught more shows there. Laguna Seca and Calaveras were great camping venues and a great time with buddies. I wasn't overly critical of the band's playing back then, mostly just took in the scene. A couple years later and it would be more about the playing and the set list choices.

Peace.

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Re: Best Bay Area Dead Shows of Brent Era

Postby drbeechwood » Mon Jul 15, 2013 6:11 pm

The crazy scene outside of the Greek made it all the better to get inside. I really liked the floor area, and the sightlines inside were fantastic. Kaiser was a favorite of mine, but I couldn't pick out any specific show, I enjoyed both the Sept. 85 and Nov. 85 runs there. The 3/2/87 Kaiser show was fun as well. The early '86 Kaiser shows (Chinese NYE etc.) were really bad. I'm going to see Phish at the Civic later this month, it will be my first time there since the Dead shows of early '87.
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Re: Best Bay Area Dead Shows of Brent Era

Postby jeffm725 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:48 am

drbeechwood wrote:
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

.


I have to strongly disagree with that statement. The WHOLE summer tour of '85 immediately following those great Greek shows. was straight up killer. Except maybe Ventura.

As far as your topic.

The April 86 4 night Berkeley Community Theater run had some moments. Especially the last 2 nights. Also there is one glaring omission 12/30/86 is a mighty fine show.
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Re: Best Bay Area Dead Shows of Brent Era

Postby Cmnaround » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:19 am

Dude you hit it spot on with the 11/2/84 show at BCT and 6/15/85 at the Greek. That 3 night run 6/14-15-16/85 very nice. Although I didn't get to see any west coast shows the tapes were always good. I get what you are saying about being home shows and not out on the road. Lots of excellent stuff in the entire '79-90 Brent area.
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Re: Best Bay Area Dead Shows of Brent Era

Postby drbeechwood » Wed Jul 17, 2013 1:12 pm

jeffm725 wrote:
drbeechwood wrote:
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

.


I have to strongly disagree with that statement. The WHOLE summer tour of '85 immediately following those great Greek shows. was straight up killer. Except maybe Ventura.
The April 86 4 night Berkeley Community Theater run had some moments. Especially the last 2 nights. Also there is one glaring omission 12/30/86 is a mighty fine show.


Yeah again I'm coming from a Bay Area perspective. I think there were a lot of good shows in late '85 and I had some good times at the '85 Kaiser shows in Sept. and November but I don't think the NY run from late '85 is anything special and the early '86 shows at Kaiser were some of the worst I had seen. I'll have to listen to 12/30/86 again. I thought the April '86 BCT shows were also in general fairly weak. The early '86 shows illustrate my original comments. At the early shows (Chinese NY run at Kaiser) they were rusty. Then, after a fairly long East Coast tour, they come back tired and play 4 lackluster shows at BCT. Jerry is clearly on the downward spiral at this point, less than 6 mos. away from the coma. I was at the 4/13/86 show where he left the stage before finishing Terrapin. I was in the 2nd row of folding chairs in front of the stage for the 4/21/86 show to see the Brent pre-drums meltdown, and although the Morning Dew that night is good, overall that run didn't have a lot of energy as far as I remember. Think the Visions of Johanna on 4/22 was notable. Those were the last theater shows, right?
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Re: Best Bay Area Dead Shows of Brent Era

Postby drbeechwood » Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:34 pm

Listened to 12/30/86. I remember around this time that it seemed like the Neville Bros. were at every show. It also seemed like they played NFA at every show, but that's just my perception.

Notice they played all three of their "Bo Diddley beat" songs in the same show (after the drums): Iko, Women are Smarter, and Not Fade Away. Jerry's voice is great during Stella Blue. Didn't he give up cigarettes for a few months after the coma? I don't recall that lasting too long.

Speaking of Stella Blue, and getting off topic (i.e., Vince era), check out the one from 9/17/94 Shoreline...
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Re: Best Bay Area Dead Shows of Brent Era

Postby drbeechwood » Fri Jul 26, 2013 11:48 am

In any list of the best shows of the Brent Era, I wonder how many of them would be in the Bay Area at all? Let's look at the official releases. I know these are not strictly the best shows, but I'm sure that a high proportion of the Brent Era shows are in the vault and available for release. Here are the bay area (BA) ones and the others.

Multitrack releases:
7/4/89 Rich Stadium
7/7/89 Philly
10/16/89: Meadowlands
10/8-9/89: Hampton
March '90 Albany
March '90 Landover
Spring 1990: East Coast

Video Releases:
7/24/87 Oakland
6/16/90 Shoreline
7/8/90 Pittsburgh

Dick's Picks:
12/26/79 Bay Area
05/06/81 (Nassau)
08/07/82 (Alpine)
10/14/83 (Hartford)
11/01/85 (Richmond)

Road Trips:
Fall '79 (East Coast)
12/28/79 Bay Area
Spring '80 (Penn State, Cornell)
4/6/82 (Philly)
Spring '88 (Meadowlands)

Download Series:
11/5/79 Philly
11/6/79 Philly
9/3-4/80 Springfield and Providence
3/27/88 Hampton
4/2-3/89 Pittsburgh

Dave's Picks in it's first 7 releases hasn't used any Brent shows

Results: Bay Area shows of all Brent-era releases:

Multitrack: 0 of 7
Videos: 2 of 3
Dick's Picks: 1 of 5
Dave's Picks: 0 of 7
Road Trips: 1 of 5
Downloads: 0 of 5
Total: only 2 of 32 official audio releases were from the bay area,

12/26/79
12/28/79
and both of these are from the same run!

Plus two of the three videos.

Thus, in general based on these data, in general the Bay Area shows of this era were not the best ones.

Note also that the years 1984, 1986, and 1987 are not represented at all among official releases.

In So Many Roads, the following songs are included from this era:

08/12/79 Red Rocks: Estimated Prophet
10/14/80 Warfield: Music Never Stopped
12/31/84 S.F. Civic: Shakedown Street
11/10/85 Giants Stadium: Cassidy
07/29/88 Laguna Seca: Playing in the Band
03/31/89 Greensboro: Hey Pocky Way
09/29/89 Shoreline: Death Don't Have No Mercy
03/22/90 Ontario: Scarlet/Fire
03/29/90 Nassau: Bird Song

Of these 9, 4 of them were Bay Area selections. I seem to remember that Gans and Blair Jackson were both involved in selecting cuts, so maybe that resulted in a higher proportion of songs from the Bay Area.
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Re: Best Bay Area Dead Shows of Brent Era

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:06 pm

View From The Vault IV (Oakland July 24, 1987 and Anaheim July 26, 1987), 2003
2 shows
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Re: Best Bay Area Dead Shows of Brent Era

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:12 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grateful_Dead:_So_Far

recorded in San Fran i believe .....
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Re: Best Bay Area Dead Shows of Brent Era

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Fri Jul 26, 2013 12:22 pm

drbeechwood wrote:
Note also that the years 1984, 1986, and 1987 are not represented at all among official releases.
.

I might be confused but ..... VFTV has 2 '87 shows and then there is this
http://www.amazon.com/The-Grateful-Dead ... 6305078459
these are official releases from the bay area
:D
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