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Dead of the Day: October 31, 1991

Oakland Coliseum
Oakland, California

The Dead played a lot of excellent Halloween shows. They also played an inordinate number of Help> Slip> Franklin’s on this day. So, unsurprisingly, our Dead of the Day is an excellent show that opens with a Help> Slip>  Franklin’s. Phil bombs out the Help, and the entire band provides a very cool transition into Slipknot! To top it off, Jerry is especially high and flighty in Franklin’s, making for an epic suite. The Rooster that comes out next is absolutely ridiculous, heady to the max, and the crowd goes justifiably nuts. The first set continues to deliver, finishing off with an especially spacey Let It Grow. The second half begins with a tasty Scarlet Begonias that struggles to transition into Fire. The previous week there had been some serious fires in the Oakland hills in which a number of people had died, imparting a somber feeling to the raging Fire On The Mountain. From there, the boys head into Truckin’, which is well-played but not terribly jammed out. Afterwards, Gary Duncan of Quicksilver Messenger Service joins the band on guitar, taking it into Spoonful. From Spoonful, they send it into a stellar Dark Star, which includes an otherworldly, spine-chilling rap by Ken Kesey, eulogizing Bill Graham, who had passed away in a helicopter crash a week earlier. Drums takes it from there with Phil contributing some bass until Space emerges and the entire band finds its way back to Dark Star for a short time before The Last Time. But it is the Standing On The Moon, as you would expect, that is the highlight of the post-Space portion, though the Not Fade Away is a blast. And, for the encore, they go with a classic Halloween choice, Werewolves of London.

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