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Dead of the Day: September 24, 1976

William and Mary College
Williamsburg, Virginia

The show starts off with Promised Land, and the rest of the first half is like a dream setlist with every tune coming in lights out. Keith is incredibly on all evening, and, early on, he makes a big impression on the Sugaree, adding immaculate fills to Jerry’s phenomenal playing. But the true highlight of the first half, and one of the high points of all ’76, is the Playin’> Supplication> Playin’ reprise that finishes off the set. Things get funky early on in the Playin’ as Jerry goes off on some deep space exploration while the drummers careen around. Later on in the jamming, the boys - mainly Jerry and Bobby - start battling over where the tune is going with Jerry making it pretty clear he wanted to stay in Playin’ and Bobby itching to move into Supplication. Obviously, Bobby wins out and we get a magical moment as the band rushes into the only Supplication and Playin’ sandwich they would ever play. The reprise that caps it off is brilliant, ringing out gloriously. Coming out of the break, Bobby leads one of the better Take A Step Backs the Dead ever rolled out; check it out for some inspired banter. From there, the set continues in high fashion, eventually getting to the Help> Slip> Drums> Slip> Franklin’s that is a sight to behold. The Help On The Way pours forth with Keith’s beautiful keys and the band’s tight vocal harmonies before they drop into a fantastic Slipknot! with that highly unusual drum solo in the middle of it. Then, as they attempt to transition into Franklin’s Tower, Jerry heads down a dead end while the drummers pound out the beat, keeping everything alive and kicking. But before too long, Jerry, with a little help from Keith, gets back in line and they find the tocsin opening to Franklin’s. From Franklin’s, a quintessential Music Never Stopped comes out with Keith leading the way again on the keys and Donna singing some great accompaniment to Bobby’s vocals. The Stella Blue that unrolls after that will give you chills between Keith’s lovely keys ad Jerry’s perfect guitar. All told, the night was epic, which is exactly what David Lemieux thought when he made it his choice for the fourth Dave’s Picks release.

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