Just recently redeemed an ITunes gift card, for what else? Grateful Dead of course! This time around I went for two Dick's Picks, Volume 12 and Volume 13. I'm addicted to both already as they both have very unique qualities.
Volume 12 is actually two second sets, 6/26/74 in Providence, RI and 6/28/74 at the Boston Garden. This jam-laden Dick's Picks is '74 Dead at their finest. Highlights of the first disc include a hot China Cat>Rider, and a facinating Spanish Jam. The second set includes a typically wonderful Eyes of the World (the 'Eyes' from '73 and '74 are my favorite) and a beautiful To Lay Me Down. The third disc just goes off the charts though. It starts with a strong Weather Report Suite followed by a mesmorizing 27 minute Jam. They close out this hot 2nd set rockin' with US Blues, Promised Land, GDTRFB, and Sunshine Daydream. Looking for something to veg out for a couple hours to? Dick's Picks Volume 12 would be a great choice.
Volume 13 is the May 6, 1981 Nassau Coliseum show. The first set is a typical early 80's barnburner with great versions of Dire Wolf, Big Railroad Blues and Deal. Disk Two and Three really shine though. While downloading Saint of Circumstance, I found it odd that it a bit odd that it was 42 minutes long. What I discovered was a hidden gem, an outstanding Scarlet>Fire from 11/1/79 (you can check out the SBD version on The Archive here). The transition jam between Scarlet and Fire needs to be heard to be believed. There is a section there where Jerry and Brent play off eachother and launch into another dimension. Truly a classic Dead moment. After Fire, we go back to 1981 to a historic He's Gone tribute to Bobby Sands. Another classic moment. If that wasn't enough, they launch into a mindbending Caution/Spanish Jam. After listening to this the first time, I was pretty much a quivering lump of jelly I was so blown away. A truly amazing second set finshes with The Other One, GDTRFB, Wharf Rat, Good Lovin and a Don't Ease Me In encore. I love this show (plus the surprise Scarlet>Fire), 'nuff said. Check 'em both out and enjoy!