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Winterland Arena
San Francisco, California

The Ollin Arageed that opens the show builds into an amazing thing of beauty as Hamza chants and plays the oud, the boys come in subtly one by one, and the crowd adds in their own percussion. At the end, the band dives right into a rocking Promised Land with Hamza still going strong. The Sugaree is more of the same inimitable, achingly magnificent magic that only the Dead could concoct. The rest of the set is stellar stuff, but, aside from those first few tunes, pales in comparison to the mind-melting ridiculousness of the second set. In the latter half, things really go off the hook with the Estimated as the band plays a hypnotic series in the interlude between the first two verses. Then...