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Dead of the Day: August 12, 1972

Sacramento Memorial Auditorium
Sacramento, California

There are several good shows on this day in history, including the 1987 evening at Red Rocks. But our Dead of the Day goes back to the tremendous year of 1972 and the show at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium. This show roars out of the gate with Promised Land and then really settles in with an unfiltered and rough – in a very good way – Sugaree. The rest of the first set marches on in tremendous fashion - with a stunningly beautiful Bird Song - until the end of Tennessee Jed. It is at that point that things become truly epic as the boys launch into a mind expanding Playin’ In The Band. Even with Donna Jean’s ungodly caterwauling, this version still scorches, making it one of the very best of the “shorter” Playin’s. The next real nugget in the first half is the Cumberland with Jerry picking at a feverish pace and the entire band following suit. After that, an arcing Stella Blue comes forth in pure, enchanting melancholy. By this point, the hot Jack Straw and dicey Casey Jones that close out the set are relegated to mere afterthoughts. The second half opens with a sharp Greatest Story Ever Told, but it is the section from He’s Gone through Truckin’ that is really what you are here for, especially The Other One> Black Peter> The Other One. Just sit back, tune out everything else, and give this a listen. Your face is sure to be melted. And, by the time you get around to Mississippi Half-Step and Sugar Mags, you will be floating on air thousands of feet above.

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