New Year’s Eve 1976 Grateful Dead Live at The Cow Palace

DeadHeads are known for their ability to identify the year of a bootleg by listening to just a few notes. But for even the most deadicated listener, the band’s 1976 New Year’s Eve concert presents a genuine challenge.

This is really fast, and Phil is really loud in my headphones anyway… But they sound good, tight. This is representative of them at this time, Garcia’s uneven vocals included.

Rarely does any Dead show display the essence of several distinct periods of their sound, but this release contains the best elements of three or four clearly defined eras.

This is a slightly slower version of Bertha than on Skull and Roses but it’s very good indeed. Vocal harmonies have improved by this part of the show, thankfully.

This concert does just that. As was the case since inception, the sum of the parts adds up to more than they do individually. This is proven more than ever by this interesting and inspired concert.

They really never played the same song twice in 30+ years. That in and of itself is an amazing legacy . Finally, Bob singing…

It doesn’t hurt that this is one of the nest sounding bootlegs of the band’s 30-year performing career. For my money it sounds every bit as good as the aforementioned S&R, Egypt, etc. official releases.

The Best Jerry, the best…

And I’ll leave you with, what I think is the best version of this song I’ve ever heard. And I’ve heard a few 🙂

My favorite version of Warf Rat. Phil is usually too busy for me, but this song proves how good a groove player he can be.

And yes, Jerry sounds fine now and the harmonies are actually good 🙂

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