The Promised Land opener sets the energy for the evening and gets everyone’s blood pumping. Each member shows off their strengths, assuring the audience that they are in for a fantastic night of music. From Promised Land, the spotlight moves to Jerry as he delivers a beautiful Sugaree, arguably one of the finest renditions of ’77. His guitar rarely weeps and cries with such unforced melancholy, and his vocals are the utterly perfect accompaniment. The song makes a gorgeous arc from splendor to commotion. A nice El Paso follows, as well as a splendid Peggy-O, with Billy and Mickey playing some great fills to back Jerry’s guitar. Looks Like Rain comes next, proving to be a bright and bouncy version. Bobby and Donna harmonize deliciously, with Donna sometimes even taking the vocal reins from Bobby. Jerry’s slide guitar comes out next for a gorgeous version of Row Jimmy, filled with raw emotion, great backing vocals, and some bombs dropped by the authoritative bass of Mr. Phil Lesh. Then, after a rocking Passenger and a high-octave, haunting Loser, a jumping, super-disco Dancing in the Streets - with jams that will give you goosebumps and chills - closes out the set.
Samson and Delilah brings everyone back together to start the second half, and Bobby’s intense vocals and the percussive interplay between Billy and Mickey make it particularly rocking. A dynamic Ramble on Rose follows, as well as a reggae-infused Estimated. A slow and steady Terrapin comes next, filled with dynamic and beautiful soloing from Jerry. But, after the deep emotion of Terrapin, the boys turn on the rock n’ roll with an impressively upbeat and fun PITB. Donna has really great vocal solos to play off of Bobby’s leads, throwing it back to the Looks Like Rain from earlier in the show. Jerry’s guitar will most certainly transport you to a different dimension, effortlessly changing tones and throwing down some super tasty licks. Of course, Uncle John’s comes next, as fun and upbeat as they come. Towards the end, Billy and Mickey take control and segue into Drums, which is itself filled with mighty power and force. Out of Drums comes an airy and light Wheel, as smooth and easy as a summer breeze. On its heels, China Doll is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the entire show. The crowd goes nuts when Jerry first says “A pistol shot,” and everything after that is pure bliss. But out of nowhere, they launch back into Playin’, and close out the show at the famed Fox Theatre on a high note.