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Dead of the Day: November 20, 1978

Cleveland Music Hall
Cleveland, Ohio
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The show gets off to a fine start with a Mississippi Half-Step> Franklin’s. There are better versions of this combination out there, but this one is tasty enough and gets the band warmed up for the steady stream of solid tunes that are to follow. By the time they hit the Must Have Been The Roses, the band is firing on all cylinders, starting with this spare and beautiful Jerry tune. Afterwards a dreamy LL Rain comes out with a mellow, more contemplative Stagger Lee right on its heels. A tune later, the boys send up a majestic Peggy-O, followed up by a sparkly Lazy Lightnin’> Supplication, leading into the break. An incredible jam takes the band into the second set with, as you would expect, Jerry at the center of it all along with the relentless magic of the drummers. Phil comes up occasionally to offer some strong bass lines, but Keith just patters away in the background. Bobby is absent from the stage, apparently throwing-up backstage. At some point, Billy and Mickey take it over all on their own, keeping a masterful beat and laying in some phenomenal, danceable runs. But the rest of the band, sans Bobby, returns for some more inventive and freewheeling jamming. Finally, Bobby comes out, and they all head into Jack-A-Roe. The jamminess continues though, coming out in between the vocals. And you can bet even more ridiculousness occurs as they move into Playin’, which includes a deep and spacey exploration before they take it into a funky Dancin’. After the Dancin', Jerry pulls out a tremendous If I Had The World To Give, the last they would ever play. In it, Jerry’s heartfelt vocal delivery gives way to some powerfully evocative guitar runs. Eventually, Playin’ returns again before the boys take it out with Around And Around. With Bobby feeling under the weather, the band left it at that, passing on an encore.

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