Monday, December 15, 2008

Duke Dead

Duke University Grateful Dead Steal Your Face100 Days of the Dead
Day 83
setlist & soundboard (SBD) mp3 download
Grateful Dead -- September 23, 1976
Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke University
Durham, North Carolina

9-23-76 a.k.a. 09/23/76 aka 76-09-23 - Duke
1st Set: Half-Step, Minglewood Blues, Ramble On Rose, Cassidy,
Brown-Eyed Women, Lazy Lightning-> Supplication, Crazy Fingers->
El Paso, It Must Have Been The Roses, The Music Never Stopped

Set 2: Help-> Slip-> Frank-> Looks Like Rain, Eyes Of The World->
Samson & Delilah, High Time, Dancin' In The Streets-> Wharf Rat->
The Other One-> Morning Dew

After the Dead's mammoth 2-show Summer Tour, they're back on the East Coast for a Fall run and their first stop is here at Duke in North Carolina.

What sucks: sound quality. Several cassette generations is the best that can be done for this show? Oi. And because of that fact, this has got to be very low on the Remastering Priority List. Not that this is anything super incredible, it's not... but in the words of the lovely Sugarmag -- "It's the Grateful Fucking Dead!"

Perhaps one o' these days they'll open the vaults for us to be able to download soundboards to our heart's content. Of course we'll have to pay -- maybe a subscription type of service? They can make it like ten bucks a month for ten shows a month or something or whatever and then whoever wants this will be able to get a clean copy. Until that day, this is all we have.

Highlights: the first set is nice throughout. Despite the not-so-crisp sound, it's still very listenable and while there isn't a ton of energy and emotion, it's still enjoyable. Crazy Fingers ain't perfect but it's so nicely played, especially with the Spanish Jam element before returning back to Crazy Fingers ahead of the move into El Paso. While not long and drawn out, there's still some good rockin' Jerry in Music which helps wrap up the set on a fun note.

More of the same in Set 2. I wouldn't really call it boring but nothing pops. There's lots of Phil throughout the show and I'm really diggin' him on Slipknot. Keith, too. Is Bobby even on stage (?) 'cause for the most part I'm only hearing Jerry, Phil & Keith and it's perfection.

Eyes might be standard is zat bad? Ha, hell no! Plenty of great Keith & Jerry to be satisfied by... for awhile at least, for 11+ minutes before an ugly Audience patch at the end of the song. The beginning of Samson is also the AUD before mangled SBD and then it returns to normal. Not good but oh well.

I'm wondering what show the Compendium reviewer (below) was listening to because the Dancin' here is far from "wretched." It grooves nicely along and the Wharf Rat is nice, as well.

At like 5½ minutes the recording goes to an AUD patch again, until the end. Oh well.

There are nicer '76 shows both in sound quality and performance so look at it this way -- instead of going downhill after posting the best stuff first, there are better shows to look forward to!

transcribed from:

The Deadhead's Taping Compendium Volume II, 1975-1985 [guide to Grateful Dead music]The Deadhead's Taping Compendium, Volume II:
An In-Depth Guide To The
Music of
the Grateful Dead on Tape, 1975-1985
[out of print]

The show is mediocre, but does contain a few facets that may be of interest to some collectors. Keith Godchaux really shines in this show, playing with verve and sparkle even in songs that the rest of the band does not seem particularly invested in; if you enjoy Keith when he is playing well, this show may be appealing.

The first set is mostly standard and relatively uninspired, with one clear exception of "Crazy Fingers." At over fourteen minutes (even with the first few seconds cut off!), it is one of the longest versions ever played, and the long jam allows for the evolution of ideas not explored in other versions including a sort of hybrid "Crazy Fingers"/"Spanish Jam."

The second set is, in general, boring, but it does have some interesting moments at the beginning and the end. The "Help" > "Slipknot!" > "Franklin's" is worthwhile: despite some obvious musical miscues, the "Slipknot!" is very long and jazzy, and Jerry's singing in "Franklin's" seems heartfelt. After a wretched "Dancin'" and "Wharf Rat" and a very short and unsatisfying version of "The Other One," the band proceeds immediately to a deliciously disturbing, feedback-laden "Space," which resolves into the first "Morning Dew" since before their retirement. Although the "Morning Dew" itself is only average, the transition is powerful. The appropriate appreciation of the moment is expressed by an audience member near the taper when he mutters, "Unbelievable!"


Grateful Dead concert ticket for 9/23/76 Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina (from

Source: Soundboard>
Cassette Master> Cass x3> DAT> CD

Audio Quality:
9/23/76 Cameron Indoor

the Soundboard for Listening Only


Adam said...

Thanks again Zoooma. I can't say I've ever liked Duke, but in the immortal words of Sugarmag, it's the Grateful F**king Dead! And FYI, El Paso is missing from part 1 of the download (ah, proof we are still tapers in a digital age!). Adam

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you! Bicentennial Dead is always most appreciated.

one says one number and the other another
but they were set at the same time. Hmmm...

Calvin and Hobbes in the snow -- animated