For Deadheads purchasing the Grateful Dead's archival recordings from the band's website, Dead.net offers a free bonus disc along with purchases made upon release, and this one accompanies Road Trips, Vol. 3, No. 1: Oakland 12-28-79. Appropriately, it is devoted to another concert in the Dead's December 26-31 run of five shows at the Oakland Auditorium Arena in 1979, the December 30 date. The compilers have assembled a highlights disc, ten songs in nearly 79 CD-filling minutes from a show that, in full, contained 17 songs (not counting the percussion instrumental referred to by Deadheads simply as "Drums"). From the evidence, it was a good but not great performance, notably including Bob Weir's relatively infrequent combination of his songs "Lazy Lightning" and "Supplication," which had been the first two tracks on the 1976 self-titled debut LP by his side band Kingfish. The Dead had begun playing "Lazy Lightning"/"Supplication" when that album came out, and by 1979 Weir was calling for the songs approximately once in every five shows. (After 1979, performances of them dwindled until they disappeared after 1984.) Another highlight is the lengthy "Scarlet Begonias"/"Fire on the Mountain"/"Let It Grow" combination that began the second set.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann