artist spotlight:: Grateful Dead: 26th February 1977: San Bernardino, California

Once again, I will pose the question as to what separates the Grateful Dead from the hordes of mediocre “jam bands” they spawned? The answer my friends is two fold: 1) they were a special lot of individuals whose combined force completely eclipsed the sum of their parts.  2) they had something else most of those bands don’t have – really good songs! Speaking of tunes, The Dead pulled out some new ones on a really special night some thirty plus years ago on the 26th of February 1977 at San Bernardino, California’s Swing Auditorium (the auditorium was destroyed beyond repair when a plane crashed into it in 1981). As result of its landmark set the show is certainly as common among Dead Heads as pocket lint, and deserves to be recognized outside the circle.

This was the first show the Dead had played since New Year’s 76/77 and at times the band is a bit clunky, but rest assured this is a night of highlights where you can witness: the first “Terrapin Station” and “Estimated Prophet,” a freaky psychedelic fourteen minute long “Playing in the Band” into “The Wheel” and back again, one of the most transcendent “Eyes of the World” the band ever conjured, and perhaps most importantly – a night where Mr. Phil Lesh goes tribal on the bass.

stream the show from

the set list:
Terrapin Station
New Minglewood Blues
They Love Each Other
Estimated Prophet
Mama Tried
Playin’ in the Band
The Wheel
Playin’ in the Band
Samson and Delilah
Tennessee Jed
Music Never Stopped
Help on the Way
Franklin’s Tower
Promised Land
Eyes of the World
Dancin’ in the Streets
Around and Around
U.S. Blues

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