Boreal Ridge is a ski resort in California, more specifically in Truckee, which might be the crystal methiest name a town could have. This winter wonderland in Northern (or perhaps Southern, or Central) CA suffers from the same seasonal lulls as other weather-reliant business, such as water parks or al fresco prostitution: what to do the other half of the year?
In 1985, at least, Boreal Ridge invited the Dead up in August and Garcia nearly died. He would go on to actually die (for a few minutes) soon after that; this was sort of a dress rehearsal.
The show is known, in the common wisdom at least, as the WORST EVAR, and I’m listening to it now; it sounds like an average to below-average show of the time, and the amps keep popping and humming, but it’s not a complete trainwreck on the tape.
As far as what it was like at the show, well: that’s a different story. This is from the Archive, and can also double as Exhibit 1 in the case of Why TotD Doesn’t Trust Eyewitness Accounts, Especially Of First Shows:
This was my first show and WOW. Also my first trip. First time for a lot of things. My experienced deadhead cousin turned me on. Drove up the day before and spent the night in the woods around a campfire with about 20 folks from San Fran sharing tales. These 2 guys just handed me what they called 5 hits of purple gels. That morning i bit me off a piece of that KitKat bar, and remember beautiful scenery, beautiful people and good music. There was such a long pause between sets that i took the other 4. Don’t remember what was real or not after that. I was up against the stage in front of Jerry hanging on for dear life. Big dust swirls that contained the music. Hot . Bunch of amp kicking on stage. I kept looking back at the big ass crowd that was there. i remember crazies had climbed all the ski lift poles. Very strange surreal atmosphere. The best show ever.