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Dead of the Day: November 24, 1978

Capitol Theater
Passaic, New Jersey
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The show opens with a tasty Jack Straw, setting the stage for a great evening. And with the Sugaree, deep and practically devout in its superlative pleading splendor, that follows, the band hits what is probably the highlight of the first set. But there are still other gems in the first half, including the Candyman and Loser. Jerry seems to be trying to make up for his ailing voice with the hottest licks imaginable. The second set starts out with a sharp Miracle with an excellent Good Lovin’ following on its heels. But it is after FOTD that the boys really start firing with a stratospheric Estimated. Bobby’s vocals are crystal clear, Jerry is masterful on the guitar, and the band gets into some crazy, ascendant jamming. Afterwards, the band unleashes an epic, funked-up, disco-strong Shakedown. Phil carpet-bombs the tune, and Jerry pounds out the jam. And, oh man, the drums that come out next are so good. Hamza el Din joins the boys, always bringing out inventive playing from Mickey and Billy. From Drums itself, they go into Ollin Arageed, which, in its third stateside appearance here, hits its absolute apotheosis. Then, what has to be the dankest opening to Fire On The Mountain emerges as the drummers continue to hammer away, Phil joins in, and the rest of the band comes along. Once they get into the vocals, Jerry turns up the action even further, with Bobby trading licks with him just a moment later. The song is just transcendent. And from there, they ooze into a beautiful, rocking Sugar Mags.

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