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Dead of the Day: January 24, 1971

Seattle Center Arena
Seattle, Washington
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Our Dead of the Day is a classic, romping early ’71 show from the Seattle Center Arena. The show itself caps a three-night Interstate 5 tour of sorts from Davis, through to Eureka, and then up to this evening in Seattle. Appropriately, the Dead open with Truckin’, which steams forth with its characteristic energy. Then out comes a sweet China Cat that has one of the hottest closing jams we can recall; things get intense, to say the least. As you would expect, the fiery end to China Cat eventually leads to Rider, which sails forth in majestic fashion. Pigpen makes his first real impression of the night on the It Hurts Me Too that follows, but this this will be far from his last. A brilliantly hot Cumberland comes out next, followed up by a deep and groovy Casey Jones and a rocking Sugar Mags. Then a sensational Hard To Handle serves as a transition into the blues-jamming, Pig-heavy rest of the evening. Hard To Handle does not get the same attention as a lot of other tunes, but the Dead often killed this song, as they do right here with some incredible vocals from Pig and a gritty, rolling and tumbling jam. At the end, Bobby announces the next song will be the last, before the band launches into another hour of music, beginning with a rager of a Lovelight. Within a minute, the boys are into a driving jam, and, by the end, Pig has created a commotion with his vintage, bad-ass rapping. Before too long, Pig’s balling explodes into a short Not Fade Away. And the NFA segues into a moody, imaginative Going Down The Road Feeling Bad, which comes back into Lovelight. The Lovelight picks up right where it left off with Pig alternatively entrancing and terrorizing the audience and the band providing elemental, bluesy runs. It all ends in a tumultuous, sweaty binge after which only the drummers are left. And Mickey and Billy kill it on a face-melting drum segue into Good Lovin’. While the recording on Archive clips off in the middle of Good Lovin’, the rest of the show is available over on the Taper’s Section on

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