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Dead of the Day: June 11, 1976

Boston Music Hall
Boston, Massachusetts

There are several ‘90s shows and a few lost ‘60s shows on this date, but our Dead of the Day comes from 1976 at the Boston Music Hall. The boys are on from the start, but things really begin to take off with the Cassidy, which features some intricate, layered playing, particularly between Jerry and Keith. A frenetic Big River comes a song later with Bobby setting up a hot and twisted rhythm as Jerry delivers a streaking lead over it. The Scarlet that follows is nearly off the charts; over ten minutes of perfect playing and scorching jams. What’s more, it sort of dead ends into a beautiful Looks Like Rain that sounds so fresh and clear. After that melancholy loveliness, we get a Must Have Been the Roses full of some of the most stellar, expressive guitar licks from Jerry that you can find anywhere. A hot Lazy Lightning> Supplication then rolls into a really solid Brown Eyed Women before the set goes out on a rocking Promised Land. The second set opens in fine - and unusual for the latter part of the ‘70s - fashion with a Saint Stephen. Busted out two days before after a five year hiatus, the Stephen is more careful and determined than earlier versions, reinterpreted with a little more purpose and reflection. The Stephen transitions brilliantly from the chorus directly into an early disco-ish version of Dancing in the Streets that blows the doors off and heads right into a similarly hot Music Never Stopped with Donna doing a great job alongside Bobby on the vocals. Two songs later, Bobby announces Keith’s birthday (though his birthday is actually July 19th), and the boys head into an outstanding Sugaree, replete with luscious keys, though still dominated by Jerry’s rich guitar and vocals. After a long pause, the Dead blister through a Sugar Mags, leaving no prisoners on this joyous romp. Then, after just a second to compose themselves, they shift gears seamlessly into a relatively short, but no less exploratory Eyes before heading into a brooding Stella, returning to Sunshine Daydream to put an awesome, high energy cap on the second set. A rocking Johnny B. Goode encore then sends the crowd home on a similarly high note. 

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