Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween 1971

It's always fun on Halloween to listen to an old Halloween show by the Grateful Dead. I am particularly fond of October 31, 1984, at the Berkeley Community Theatre (the fourth of a wonderful six-show set, including the spectacular November 2 show), but this evening I have chosen Halloween 1971, part of which was released as Dick's Picks, Volume 2, with its rivetingly beautiful "Dark Star" (with no second verse) surprisingly seguing (out of a passage of steadily increasing dissonance) into "Sugar Magnolia" instead of "Saint Stephen" (which then comes after "Sugar Magnolia").

Addendum: And then there's the stunning segue out of the first part of "Not Fade Away" into "Going Down the Road Feeling Bad"—again, a jamming climax that suddenly and smoothly shifts gears into another song, as Garcia shifts from rapid flourishes to pretty melody lines in a matter of seconds.

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