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Dead of the Day: July 9, 1995

Soldier Field
Chicago, Illinois

Only two of the four shows from this date in Dead history are on Archive, and, musically, the 1989 show from Giants Stadium is the standout of the two. But our Dead of the Day is that infamous, melancholy show from Soldier Field in 1995, the last the Dead ever played. The playing is rather poor throughout as Jerry struggles through just about the entire night and several lyrical flubs and poor playing come from the rest of the band as well. However, there are a few nice moments in the show to go along with this tremendous piece of Grateful Dead history. Musically, be sure to check out the Masterpiece in the first set, which is one of the better the Dead ever played. Bobby nails all the lyrics and delivers some tasty guitar licks while Jerry is up to form, filling in the interstices and then some with beautiful runs. In the second set, the So Many Roads is the real standout. The entire band comes together with a perfectly formed accompaniment to the intense lyrics, making it one of the highlights of the entire tour. And we are certain you will get some chills as Jerry sings those lyrics about a troubled soul and his desire to just “take me home.” The rhythm devils also continue their fiery, transcendent explorations in Drums, as they had been throughout the summer tour of 1995. Of course, you also need to listen to the Black Muddy River encore, Jerry’s last song and, thus, absolutely haunting in retrospect. After that, on the heels of a tough tour, which saw the entire band worried about Jerry’s health and well-being, the boys decided to put one more song out there, playing the second encore Box of Rain so that they could see the tour out on a more upbeat note.

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