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Dead of the Day: November 21, 1973

Denver Coliseum
Denver, Colorado
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You cannot say a bad thing about the first set as it unfolds in all its loveliness. But the boys really started to turn heads on this evening with the mesmerizing Here Come Sunshine. Keith and Bobby both come together for a tasty bit of music that tantalizes and intrigues while laying in an entrancing, almost hypnotic series of constrained jams. The rest of the set continues to build from there, starting with a spicy Big River that - and this is the only thing you can say against it - is a mere five minutes. A solid Brokedown comes out next, as lovely as any. Then a full Weather Report Suite not only takes out the set, but also provides the satisfying highlight to it, so smoothly delivered and brilliantly conceived. But the second set is really where it is at in this show. And, as good as it is, the Mississippi Half-Step opener is a mere palette cleanser for the fireworks that are to come, starting with the Playin’ In The Band that arrives next. With Bobby’s bright vocal delivery and the splendid, spacey exploration that comes later, this Playin’ is solid. A silky smooth transition into El Paso follows, presaging a perfect version of the tune, restrained but evocative. Then the band returns to Playin’ for a short romp before heading into a jam very much reminiscent of Dark Star. Rather than getting the full treatment, the boys shift to an unexpected, but fully appreciated Wharf Rat. Playin’ comes back out on the flipside as the band allows the theme to take them into interstellar space, coming out into a heady, mournful Morning Dew. Following that, just a second’s hesitation occurs before the band launches into Truckin’, which is hot enough in the early going, but becomes absolutely sensational in the jam as Jerry unleashes with Bobby and Keith close on his heels. Things only get headier as they find Nobody’s Fault But Mine, which was surprising only in that Jerry came forth with the lyrics. A spectacular Goin’ Down The Road then makes way for One More Saturday Night before Uncle John’s comes out as the encore, fully seeing the night out.

The Dead released this night as Road Trips volume 4, number 3.

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