Saturday Dead: Pennsylvania 6.22.76
Words By J-man
In the Grateful Dead culture, 1976 is often overshadowed by the goliath that is 1977. This show from The Tower Theatre in Upper Darby, PA, is one of my favorites from the 76' Summer Tour. The first set starts with a strong "US Blues" then follows with a soulfully pure "Music Never Stops". The soul doesn't stop there, as Jerry pours his heart into a "Crazy Fingers>Comes a Time". What a start!
"Big River" picks the set back up, only to be slowed back down with a killer version of "Tennessee Jed". The following "Looks Like Rain" and "They Love Each Other" keeps pace. A beautiful "Cassidy" is followed by melancholy "Ship of Fools" and an up tempo "Promised Land" to end the set.
The second set opens with a beautiful twenty two minute "Playing in The Band>Drums/Bass>The Wheel>Playing in The Band" that takes the listeners through the jam gambit. The segues weave in an out of space and cohesion, and resolve in a comfortable manner. Definitely one of the highlights of the show.
The "Samson and Delilah" is beautiful. Donna and Bobby sounded great together in 76' and Jerry's soulful noodling takes the music to the heart. An obscure "Beer Barrel Polka" with the crowd clapping in unison came next.
Approaching the end of the second set, The Dead did an amazing twenty seven minute "Eyes of The World>Dancing in The Street". For me, this was the absolute highlight of the show! The notation and vibe created by this extended jam are extremely uplifting.
For the encore, they played "Around and Around>Going Down The Road>One More Saturday Night". The jam started of slow, but what it lacked in the beginning, it makes up for in the middle/end. It turns into a complete party to close a great evening of music.
In regards to the quality of the recording, it's near flawless! Listen to this show and remember 76' was the precursor for an incredible year in Grateful Dead history... 1977.
Grateful Dead Live at The Tower Theatre on June 22, 1976.
U.S. Blues, The Music Never Stopped, Crazy Fingers-> Comes A Time, Big River, Tennessee Jed, Looks Like Rain, They Love Each Other, Cassidy, Ship of Fools, Promised Land
Playin' In The Band-> Drums-> The Wheel-> Playin' In The Band, Samson & Delilah, Eyes Of The World-> Dancin' In The Streets-> Around & Around-> Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad-> One More Saturday Night