Today we have one of the best shows the boys ever played: August 13, 1975 from the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco. After a fun introduction by Bill Graham, the Dead roll out just the second Help> Slip> Franklin ever. The entire suite is quite short, but there is no let up in it from the beginning of the Help On The Way straight on through, and the Slipknot!, in particular, is just off the hook. Next up, the boys bust out the first, and what some argue is still the best, Music Never Stopped; get ready to shake your bones. After a lovely Must Have Been The Roses, a truly epic musical exploration takes place in the form of Eyes Of The World. The entire thing is amazing, but at one point in the middle there is some sort of eruption of crunchy feedback that is just awesome. Eyes heads out into Drums, which Mickey – still in one of his first shows back after his hiatus – and Billy blast through, right into a mesmerizing Stronger Than Dirt. Words cannot do the tune justice, so just go, now, and give it a listen. The second half opens with Around And Around, and then heads into a stellar - there are more than a few folks who claim this, too, is a best-ever version - Sugaree highlighted by Jerry’s crisp guitar interludes. Following up on that, the band provides a very fine opening to Big River before they keep up the brilliance in the rest of the song as Jerry streaks on through, the drummers provide the perfect backing, and Bobby nails the lyrics and puts in his own ruthless picking. Then the string of arguable greatest of all time versions continues with a well-orchestrated and super smooth Crazy Fingers. Afterwards Mickey and Billy treat us to another drum solo before a moody and sinister, incredibly tight Other One jam roars forth, heading into the first of only two Sage and Spirits the Dead ever did live. The song provides a ruminating little melody, which has Bobby and Jerry working together beautifully while Keith and Phil add a rich texture. Going Down The Road Feeling Bad, which is oh so hot, then sees out the set, followed up by not one, but two encores in US Blues and Blues For Allah.
An incredible show, the Dead wisely released this night as One From The Vault.