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Dead of the Day: November 16, 1978

Uptown Theater
Chicago, Illinois

There are only a handful of shows on this date in Dead history, and none of them really stand above the rest. Thus, for our Dead of the Day, we go to what we think is the best of the lot, a 1978 evening at the Uptown in Chicago. There are a few different sources for this show, but the recordings are either missing tunes - like the first to the left - or are sub-par audience recordings - as the second one on this page is. Even with the rough audio, you can still hear a solid opening Minglewood. Then, a few tunes later, a brilliant They Love Each Other comes out. Keith is always assailed for falling asleep at the keyboard in late 1978, but he plays really well on several songs here, including providing a brilliant solo on this TLEO. The Looks Like Rain that comes out next is also a tasty treat with some beautiful vocals and hot playing by everyone involved. After Brown Eyed Women, BIODTL has a nice jam in the middle of it, which is not extraordinary, but surely not to be missed either. At the end of the first half, a really fun disco Dancin’ sets up the Deal closer. The high energy Deal provokes a raucous reaction from the audience, which turns into a feedback loop as the band turns it up a notch further still, sending the crowd into ecstasy. Opening the second set, the Scarlet is quite standard before it drops into a spacey bit of spirited exploration in the latter half, led mainly by Jerry. Although the transition from there into Fire On The Mountain is a bit clunky, the boys take the Fire through some wonderful passages, especially through the middle and later sections of the jam. A turn futher on, the He’s Gone, like all of the era, delivers a moving combination of smart playing and evocative vocal vamping. Eventually, it cedes to Drums and Space, the latter of which rushes to a foamy crescendo before dropping into Black Peter. After that tune, the boys take it out with a rocking Truckin’ and put a cap on the night with the US Blues encore.

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