Out of a welter of concerts on this date, our Dead of the Day is February 22, 1969, at the Dream Bowl in Vallejo, California. There really are no bad 1969 Grateful Dead shows, and this one is better than most. Every single tune this night has something really special going on, from the sweet noodling at the end of Mountains of the Moon that, unbeknownst, suddenly arrives at Dark Star to the building, eventually roaring Doin' That Rag with its sharp drums, prominent organ, and awesome guitar riffs. You don't want to miss any of this show, but the Stephen> Eleven is an absolute masterpiece. And the Lovelight shines as Pig puts in another funky, bluesy rap, part of which was transcribed by "hampton87" on Archive:
won't you people...get off your butt and...do something righteous...find a little girl...get next to each other...reach over your shoulder...touch somebody...ain't no way to slow down now...get your hands out of your pocket...momma told me that would make you crazy...
The Dream Bowl had been a small, crossroads music venue at the very edge of the Delta, just south of Napa since at least the 1930s. An excellent online history of the Dream Bowl relates that greats like Duke Ellington and Bill Monroe had played there during its heyday in the 1940s and 50s. But the place continued to attract a local crowd for Saturday night dances and the occasional traveling rock and roll act through the 1960s. As a San Francisco Examiner columnist described it, the Dream Bowl was "an oversized Quonset hut roadhouse-dancehall-brawl arena" that, in its day, had everything from country to blues to jazz acts coming through. This was the second of a two-night run for the Dead at the Dream Bowl, and one of both the first psychedelic shows there and last concerts at the venue.
Get your hands out of your pocket and listen to this quintessential primal Dead.
Other February 22nd Shows and Recordings:
- 1968 - King's Beach Bowl - Lake Tahoe, CA
- 1970 - Sam Houston Coliseum - Houston, TX - unknown setlist, not on Archive
- 1973 - Assembly Hall - Champaign-Urbana, IL
- 1974 - Winterland Arena - San Francisco, CA
- 1992 - Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum - Oakland, CA
- 1993 - Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum - Oakland, CA