Today is Inside Day here at Fillmore South: it is approximately 35 billion degrees out. Fahrenheit. Of course, it’s Florida, so it’s sticky as a Tunisian’s ballsack and it feels about 10 degrees hotter than that. It is so hot that immediately outside my door, nuclear fusion is taking place. E is equalling the shit out of M, C, and Squared out there.
It is a good day to stay in, crank the air conditioner until it shudders with effort–damn the electric bill: I want to need a blanket in August!–and listen to the newest Dave’s Pick. Big number 7, from Normal, IL, from my beloved Spring ’78 tour. Perhaps you purchased it; perhaps the show just fell out of a truck onto your hard drive: no matter.
This release is a triumph for everyone involved: the sound superior to many of the Big Ticket Box Sets, and other multi-tracked recordings. For a 35-year-old tape that was made as a simple document of the evening, this thing is as present as if it were recorded yesterday. The drums–THE GODDAM DRUMMERS–are especially clear, each cymbal and tom in its own space.
Garcia is heavy on the Mu-Wah-Funky-Wah-Pedal (I’m not a guitar tech: you know the thing I mean) and Bobby won’t put down the goddam slide for a goodly portion of the show (and makes the otherwise-fun Werewolves of London encore nearly unlistenable) and Keith is (briefly) back to his old ways, a little lighter on the touch than Fall ’77 and he’s listening at this show in particular.
PLUS an all-time version of Passenger, Bobby and Donna ad libbing in Music Never Stopped, and…well, shit, the whole first set is Hall of Fame. Go and listen.