Your opinion of 5/8/77 (and I know that, if you’re reading this, you probably own the show, but check out the Matrix tape on Archive.org I linked to–it might even be better than the famed BettyBoard) has absolutely nothing to do with 5/8/77’s congenital greatness. It’s like the Sun: you cannot ignore it. (Also, it will give you skin cancer, but since everything gives everyone cancer nowadays, why hold that against the show?)
(What if, instead of culture doing what we wanted it to do, we did what culture wanted us to do? A truly memetic view of the world? And what culture wanted us to do was get cancer. That’s something DeadBase won’t tell you, primarily because it makes no sense.)
Now, the first set is spectacular, especially the Lazy Lightning/Supplication and Deal. But, the second set is obviously where the money is hidden. I always loved the very beginning of it:
All right, now we’re gonna play everybody’s favorite fun game: Move Back. Now, when I tell ya, “Take a step back,” everybody take a step back. Right? Right. Okay, take a step back. And take another step back. And take yet another step back. And another. Take a step back. Doesn’t everybody feel better? Whaddya mean, “No?”
And Keith plays his little snake charmer thing, and Garcia says,
Now, see, uh, all these people in front are getting horribly smashed here. So, uh, that means all you people in the back have to move back…
—or feel real guilty–
…just move back some.
Then all your friends won’t be so bug-eyed.
Garcia tocks away the Scarlet chords, soft and gentle, and then Mickey counts it off with this little triplet: dot dot dot…
AND THEN PHIL COMES IN: BOMP-buhWOOOO bum Bum BUM. That immensely confident bounce that the song enters with!
You know the rest of it. Just listen to the music play.