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Dead of the Day: October 11, 1980

Warfield Theater
San Francisco, California

There are a few serious contenders for best show on this day in Dead history. For instance, in 1981 the Dead played a 500-seat venue in Amsterdam, delivering an incredible acoustic performance. And the ’77 show is another thing of beauty with the Help> Slip> Franklin’s opener. But for our Dead of the Day, we return to 1980 and the massive 15-show run at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco. Like all of these shows, where the Dead were recording for Dead Set and Reckoning, there are three full sets, with the first being acoustic. And, as with most of these Warfield shows, it is the acoustic set that really shines. All the tunes are beautiful in that first set, but the Heaven Help the Fool is, arguably, the one that rises above the rest. However, it should be noted that both the Dire Wolf and Deep Elem made it on to Reckoning. Though the acoustic set is surely the standout set of the three, the electric ones should not be ignored, and the Brokedown encore is absolutely beautiful, like so many of them are. Savor this show, but do not miss the other tasty nugs from this day.

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