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Grateful Dead Delivers Impressive Jams At Cape Cod Coliseum, On This Day In 1979 [Full-Show Audio]

Grateful Dead Delivers Impressive Jams At Cape Cod Coliseum, On This Day In 1979 [Full-Show Audio]

first_img1979 was a year of flux for the Grateful Dead. The final year of the band’s trailblazing 1970s-era, 1979 was a period of transition for the band between the departure of Keith (and Donna Jean) Godchaux, and Brent Mydland‘s arrival, the Dead were able to further explore their own material and with their new pianist who provided a revamped style of playing and impressive vocals to match.The Dead would release their 11th studio album with Go To Heaven a year later in April 1980. The album included, among other things, some questionable cover art and a slew of Dead classics in “Alabama Getaway”, “Althea”, “Feel Like A Stranger”, “Lost Sailor”, and “Saint of Circumstance”. Several of which would find their way into the band’s rotation by the fall of ’79.While there’s no disputing the brilliance of 1977 in general, like the famous Barton Hall show at Cornell University (5/8), the Hartford Civic Center (5/28), the Sportatorium (5/22), or even Buffalo’s War Auditorium show (5/9), the Dead’s visit to the Cape Cod Coliseum on 10/27/79 in South Yarmouth, MA is no less significant. Though unbeknownst at the time, it’s almost as if Deadheads can hear the band turning the page into the next era of their long, strange trip when revisiting their 1979 Cape Cod performance.After stirring up the crowd with a quintessential opener in “Jack Straw”, the first set heated up with a great “Me & My Uncle” into “Big River” segue which indicated, if nothing else, that guitarist Jerry Garcia was going to be in top form that night. Sounding flexible and focused, Garcia proceeded to put on a display for one and all, with each solo more mesmerizing than the one before.The second half of the performance kicked off with an absolute show-stopper in “Dancing In The Streets”. Beginning and ending with Garcia’s envelope filter effects, the jam was as tight and funky as anything that was coming out of the Dead machine by 1979. With Mydland providing the underlying current to this jam, Garcia was able to take this sucker for a ride with Bob Weir riding shotgun and Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, and Mickey Hart all holding down a conjoined rhythm section. With amazing tempo and groove leading the way, “Dancin’” gave way to a rockin’ 17+ minute version of “Franklin’s Tower”.A solid, swirling outro jam in “He’s Gone” and “Caution (Do Not Step On Tracks)” led to an all-time maddening bass drop from bassist Phil Lesh into “The Other One”. By the time the show wrapped up with a “Drums” section leading to a blazing “Not Fade Away”, “Black Peter”, Chuck Berry’s “Around and Around”, and a “One More Saturday Night” encore, there was no question that the evening’s proceedings were of unparalleled greatness. A fitting end to a show highlighting the tail end of arguably the Dead’s strongest decade.Revisit the band’s memorable October 1979 performance in Cape Cod below.Grateful Dead – Cape Cod Coliseum – 10/27/79 [Audio: Jonathan Aizen]last_img read more