With no other extant shows on this day, we are once again back in 1982. And it is once again a great place to be as the Dead finish off their summer tour with a superb show at the University of Iowa Fieldhouse. The first set starts off with a nearly flawless Feel Like A Stranger. With the exception of the Minglewood, the next few songs up until the problems with the PA system are all similarly well played, but never really step outside the standard box in terms of either energy or tastiness. The New Minglewood Blues, on the other hand, is a standout with Jerry’s righteous slide guitar and Bobby’s hammering vocals. After the technical difficulties, On The Road Again finally breaks out with similar energy and verve as Jerry lays in some seriously funky guitar, aided by Bobby’s own runs. The rest of the set has its moments, especially the fiery Bertha that sends it into the break.
After the intermission, the Dead roll out a China>Rider - do not miss the transition between the two - that makes it clear the second set would bring the perfect playing from the first half and throw in all the energy that they had for the remainder of the night. The Lost Sailor after Rider, while slowing the pace, is magnificently, achingly poignant. Then Saint of Circumstance has Phil depositing some serious bombs while Jerry, Bobby, and Brent provide some lovely playing as well before everyone heads off into a scintillating jam in the second half. The Saint drops right into an upbeat Eyes intro, leading into a streaking, fast-paced full-fledged version that never lets up over its thirteen minutes. Is it the best version of Eyes ever? Probably not – though some people claim it is – but it is pretty phenomenal in its own right and fairly unusual with its super speedy licks. Drums and Space deliver the band to an incredible Iko featuring spot-on guitar work and lots of energy on the vocals. The Iko heads into a short and sweet Truckin’, which is sadly lacking the monster jam in the second half but is not without its own merits. Things slow down afterwards with a dark and haunting Stella Blue with Jerry offering up some rich, pregnant notes that will give you goosebumps. Afterwards, a fervent Sugar Mags finishes off the set in a ball of sweaty rocking. Then the double encore of Baby Blue and Johnny B. Goode make sure that absolutely everyone went home with a smile on their face.
These last few shows of 1982's summer tour – with this Iowa date being the capper – are sensationally hot. While there are no incredible jams over the two nights at Alpine Valley and this one, the playing is top-notch, the boys seem to be coming together perfectly, and they bring a ton of energy. It does not hurt that Jerry is absolutely on throughout each of the shows.
Other August 10th Shows and Recordings:
- 1967 - Chelsea Hotel Roof - New York, NY - unknown setlist, not on Archive