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Dead of the Day: October 2, 1977

Paramount Theater
Portland, Oregon
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For our Dead of the Day we take it back to that seminal year, 1977, and a hot show from the Paramount Theater in Portland, Oregon. From the very beginning it is clear that something special is afoot as the Dead start off by breaking out Casey Jones for the first time since 1974. What’s more, Jerry forgets the third verse, leading to a series of lengthy jams by both Garcia and Keith before Jerry finally finds the lyrics. The set continues to roll, eventually coming to an even bigger breakout with Dupree’s coming off an eight-year hiatus. The Let It Grow that comes out afterwards is magnificent, soaring to a massive Lazy Lightning jam before Deal sends it into the break. The second half has an amazing setlist, and the playing lives up to the billing from top to bottom, beginning with a smooth and seductive Scarlet Begonias. The Fire that follows takes a little time to get its feet, but, when it does, it turns stratospheric. Afterwards, a bit of tuning and technical difficulties brings out a Funiculi Funicula before a monster Playin’. Then, after Drums, the show goes completely off the hook with The Wheel> Truckin’> Other One> Wharf Rat> Sugar Mags. It is pure, scorching madness, especially that inimitable segue between Truckin’ and The Other One. The encore keeps it high energy to the end with a blistering Johnny B. Goode. 1977 was obviously an amazing year for the Dead, and this show is one of the absolute highlights.

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