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Dead of the Day: March 17, 1993

Capital Centre
Landover, Maryland
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After a couple days of snow and ice along the East Coast, the Dead brought some warmth and sunshine to the Capitol Centre in Landover, Maryland. They got the crowd dancing out of the gate with a strong, well-jammed Shakedown. Then Bobby and Vince took the lead on a funky Wang Dang Doodle. Jerry came right back with a soulful Lazy River Road that showed the potential of that new tune. The rest of the set did not mount the same energy, especially with Eternity and Liberty, two tunes that were still evolving in the rotation and had not yet found their place or their stride, closing out the set. But the Dead picked up the pace again a few tunes into the second set with a smoking, if a little attenuated, Playin’. Next, the boys came together for a one verse Dark Star that explored new territory and surely got everyone in the crowd smiling. Coming out of Space, Jerry led the band into a Handsome Cabin Boy jam, which went into a fiery Other One. A wonderful Days Between came next with another rocker closing out the set in Good Lovin’. Then, the encore brought the house down as the Dead fired up Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds for the first time and played it in very strong fashion. While the show has its ups and downs, it is an enjoyable roller coaster ride and proves that the Dead could still throw together some hot jamming and inspired vocals at this point in their career.

For whatever reason, the Dead often put together some hot shows around the DC area. In the later years, those fine nights seemed to either be at Hampton or the Capitol Centre. And, on this March 17th, the fans who made it through the awful weather to the Cap were treated to another one of those special shows. Rumors at the time and since have put both Bill Clinton and Al Gore at the show. It seems unlikely that either of them would have been present given the security detail that would have entailed, but the stories of their presence are a reflection of just how often these DC-area shows were frequented by politicians from inside the beltway. But, regardless of who was there in 1993, the Dead threw down.

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