Dead of the Day: 02-03-1978

Dane County Coliseum

Madison, Wisconsin

The 1968 show at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland, Oregon, is hot, but the jewel of this day, and our Dead of the Day, is clearly the 1978 Dane County Coliseum concert in Madison, Wisconsin. The first set is standard fare for 1977 and early ‘78, which is to say very good, with an exceptional Music Never Stopped and a Looks Like Rain that is definitely worth the price of admission. It is in the second set, though, that the band starts cooking the real magic, particularly with the haunting, deep exploration in Estimated that is, nonetheless, quite tight. From there, it is pure ecstasy as they groove and jam through Eyes>Playin>The Wheel>Playin to close out the set. While Jerry puts in his sick licks throughout the show, Bobby and Donna contruibute some standout vocals, making many of the Bobby tunes rock.

Recording info
Use alternative player
Set 2 Only: Soundboard->Master Reel->DAT->DAT. DAT->ZA2->Soundforge->.wav->mkw->SHN. DAT seed provided by Michael P. Weitzman. Transfer and SHN by Joe Samaritano.
Cold Rain & Snow, Mexicali Blues-> Big River, They Love Each Other, Looks Like Rain, Loser, Passenger, Brown Eyed Women, El Paso, Peggy-O, The Music Never Stopped Good Lovin’, Ship of Fools, Estimated Prophet-> Eyes Of The World-> Playin’ In The Band-> The Wheel-> Playin’ In The Band, E: Johnny B. Goode
Set 2 Only: Soundboard->Master Reel->DAT->DAT. DAT->ZA2->Soundforge->.wav->mkw->SHN.
Good Lovin’
Ship of Fools
Estimated Prophet
Eyes of the World
Playin’ in the Band
The Wheel
Playin in the Band
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Nearing the end of the tour – they had just two dates left after Madison – the Dead returned to the Dane County Coliseum after a five year hiatus. They would return again three more times, in ’79, ’81, and ’83. Each visit to the coliseum is a smoker, and giving any of them a listen is a great way to while away an afternoon. Despite the Dead’s history there, the coliseum itself is a fairly unremarkable venue. It was built in 1967 as a multi-function arena, and its design reflects that era and purpose, looking rather staid and dated. Why the Dead always seemed to boogie here is anyone’s guess.

The recording of the February 3, 1978 show at the Dane that we have here is an audience copy, which gives some sense of the rocking crowd and atmosphere. Much of the soundboard copy of the show, along with portions of the last two nights of the tour in Cedar Falls, Iowa and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was released as Dick’s Picks 18. The release includes a spattering of the first set and everything in the second set except Good Lovin’ and Ship of Fools. The Dick’s Picks version also contains the Johnny B. Goode encore, which, as usual, is a rocker.

One Amazon reviewer who was lucky enough to attend this show as his first, explains some of the unusually timed cheers on both the audience tape and soundboard, “the roadies were opening and closing doors to let in cold air. On the CD Mickey and Bill can be heard asking for air and the audience immediately cheers to the rush of frigid Wisconsin winter. The response is a welcome to giant gusts of sub-zero across our faces. The roadies did not time the cool downs to match song resolution and jam transitions and thus the audience can be heard cheering for nothing audible.”

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