The early 80’s were a strange period for The Grateful Dead: they had already released the bulk of their best material, Brent Mydland had just joined the band on keyboards after the departure of the Godchauxs, and Jerry’s drug use was spiking. However, these unearthed concert recordings from the Dead’s performance at the Spectrum in 1981 prove that the band still had their stuff together and more.
35 years to the day after the show and the recordings still sound fresh as ever. Jerry’s drunk guitar solo on “Sugaree” takes on a life of its own, the band catches a steady groove on a cover of “Not Fade Away,” and classics such as “I Know You Rider” and “Terrapin Station” sound as good as ever. Continue reading →