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Dead of the Day: July 8, 1978

Red Rocks Amphitheater
Morrison, Colorado
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Incredibly, there are three lost shows from this date in Dead history. Fortunatey, we do have our Dead of the Day from Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado back in 1978. With some bass problems at the outset, Bobby goes into a terrible joke, making us love him even more. Eventually, they get things sorted out and open up the real action with a stunningly bright Bertha. A similarly upbeat and high energy Good Lovin’ comes out of the Bertha. Dire Wolf is on tap next, and Jerry and Bobby put on a guitar clinic, making for an airy, spontaneous electric version.  After a few more stellar tunes and a long tuning break, Bobby nails the vocals on Promised Land while Jerry effortlessly adds excellent guitar work and Keith hammers home the keys. Following that, a hot, but short Deal sees out the first half. As good as the first set is – and it is solid as they come – the second portion of the evening is where it is really at. The boys come out of the break with a thundering Samson and Delilah. Jerry then takes center stage with a Ship of Fools, providing a transitory, reflective moment, punctuated by his sonorous guitar licks. Moreover, the tune sets up a spell-binding batch of music, starting with Estimated, rolling through The Other One> Eyes of the World, a Wharf Rat out of Space, and then a rare late show Franklin’s Tower, which feeds into Sugar Mags. As if  that was not enough, Terrapin opens a three-song encore, completed by One More Saturday Night and Werewolves of London. The sheer audacity and power of these songs, one after another, all played so crisply and with such verve, is overwhelming. You might argue that there is not enough classic jams or that one song or another is only merely excellent, rather than otherworldly, but we think any head would give just about anything to be there with the backdrop of Red Rocks listening to such crystalline magnificence.

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