Grateful Dead

Dick's Picks, Vol. 10: Winterland Arena, December 29, 1977

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The Grateful Dead's annual series of New Year's shows in San Francisco were always special occasions, especially to San Francisco Deadheads, of course. In 1977, the band, which had released Terrapin Station, its first studio album since returning from its retirement, toured heavily to support that album and was thus well-oiled for the four nights it spent at what was in effect its home venue, Winterland. This three-CD set presents most of the second concert, held on December 29, and some of the third one, held the following night. Casual fans may find it a competent but unexceptional show, while Deadheads will treasure the 53-and-a-half-minute medley in the second set (and on the second CD) of "Playing in the Band/China Cat Sunflower/I Know You Rider/China Doll/Playing Jam/Drums/Not Fade Away/Playing in the Band," especially because it marks the first performance of the 1969 song "China Cat Sunflower" in over three years (that's why you hear all that applause when they start to play it). Note that the CD deletes performances of "It Must Have Been the Roses" (a Robert Hunter song) and "Sunrise" (a showcase for singer Donna Jean Godchaux) that took place in the second set after the medley of "Bertha/Good Lovin'" and that the third CD, containing the encores of "Terrapin Station" and "Johnny B. Goode," has been filled up with a second-set medley from December 30 of "Estimated Prophet/Eyes of the World/St. Stephen/Sugar Magnolia."

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