Grateful Dead 1970-08-19

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

The Grateful Dead 1970-08-19
Fillmore West
San Francisco, CA

I am a deadhead. Jerry Garcia may have died before I was old enough to see them, but the spirit of the band always resonated with me. I am a long time subscriber to the weekly Grateful Dead podcast, the Deadpod. My roots with the band go back as far as middle school.  I remember trading Grateful Dead cassettes with my friends.  Finding a new one at a yard sale made you a hero. Maybe I ran with an odd crew, but we passed Dead tapes around in the same way our peers passed around adult magazines. They were a glimpse into another world, one meant to be surreptitiously enjoyed.

The Dead have their own section on  Many of the shows are either stream only (in the case of soundboard recordings) or are listed, but are no longer available (put out on a commercially available release). It is a reminder that for all their taper friendly policies, the Grateful Dead are still a multi-million dollar business. This show is available for download (only mp3!) or streaming directly from the site.

This show is divided into two sets; the first acoustic and the second electric. For me, the acoustic set stole the show.  A version of "The Monkey and the Engineer" recently appeared on the David Rawlings solo CD, and I have never heard someone else cover it.  The song "Dark Hollow" is a bluegrass standard. It's inclusion foretells much of what Jerry would go on to do with his solo projects. Fans of Old Crow Medicine Show will recognize "Cocaine." This traditional tune appeared on OCMS' self tittled album as "Tell it to Me."  The electric set contains the staples of this period of the Dead. I especially liked the version of "I Know You Rider" and "Not Fade Away."

The audio quality on this recording is poor. It is an audience recording done with an old Sony TC-124. There are tape squeals and the frequency response is compressed.  To be honest, I am totally fine with that. Sounds like a good Dead tape should.

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