Saturday Dead: 12.21.68 & 12.29.68

Words By Andy Zimmer

For my holiday-inspired pick, this week I chose to give you some vintage primal-Dead. The first show, from the Shrine Exhibition Hall on December 21 of 1968 was the last show that the Dead played before taking a few days off for Christmas. The sound quality is, perhaps, not the best. But, hey, it’s a 68' show... What do you expect!?! Fans of both the lysergic-influenced sound of the late-60’s, and strong Pigpen vocals will want to check out this short but sweet set.

The second pick is the Dead’s first recorded show after their Christmas break (there is evidence of a show from the day before, but I’ve never been able to find any recordings). This show, from the Gulfstream Park Racetrack on December 29th, was part of the larger Miami Pop Festival. With an excellent artist lineup including Country Joe, Chuck Berry, John Mayall, Booker T. and the MG’s, and Paul Butterfield; I’m sure that this was a helluva good time. The Dead’s set is short, but intense. Jerry’s playing stands out as particularly strong.

Happy Holidays and have an excellent New Years. Thank you to everyone that enjoys my picks; I really appreciate the support. Keep on dancing, and I’ll see you in 2011.

Grateful Dead Live at Shrine Exhibition Hall on December 21, 1968. <--- Direct Archive Link

Grateful Dead Live at Gulfstream Park Race Track on December 29, 1968. <--- Direct Archive Link


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