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Dead of the Day: June 19, 1989

Shoreline Amphitheatre
Mountain View, California

With no obvious standout shows on this day in Dead history, we head to an overlooked gem from 1989 at Shoreline for our Dead of the Day. The boys open up with Feel Like a Stranger, stretching their legs a bit as they go (watch out for the early static). By the time they segue into Franklin’s Tower, though, they are firing on all cylinders. Jerry’s guitar is brilliant and Brent’s keys are magnificent, but what really makes you know it will be a special night is the way the whole band comes together perfectly in seeming mind-meld form, as they were so wont to do in the late eighties. At the end of Franklin’s, they transition seamlessly into Walkin’ Blues, continuing the incredible playing with some intense vocals from Bobby. When you think things cannot get any better, the Dead come back with an amazing Candyman; just give it a listen. The music continues at a high level before the boys finish off the set with a beautiful, fully jammed out Bird Song. A fairly standard China Cat opens the second set, heading into a tasty Rider. Bobby and Phil play some great guitar and bass to set the stage as Jerry eventually eviscerates the tune with streaking guitar runs, though we would be remiss not to mention Brent’s efforts too. While everyone contributes mightily on the Playin’ in the Band that comes next, the drummers are prominent in a couple key sections, seriously elevating the tune. A lovely Crazy Fingers comes next before the boys come back for a searching and, at times, dark jam around the Playin’ theme, which ends in Drums. Out of Space, Brent comes out with I Will Take You Home, fitting magically into the moment with some great MIDI from Jerry. The high energy ensemble playing returns on Watchtower before they roll through one of the best Black Peters of the later years with Jerry delivering scorching solos and Brent adding sweet fills. A rocking Throwing Stones> Not Fade Away closes out the set with Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door seeing out the show on the encore. The Throwing Stones is up there as one of the best versions ever, and it is all because of Brent going positively wild during it. 

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