Jerry Garcia - lead guitar, vocals; Bob Weir - guitar, vocals; Phil Lesh - bass, vocals; Keith Godchaux - keyboards; Donna Godchaux - vocals; Bill Kreutzmann - drums
For the Dead's second set at the historic Watkins Glen festival, they sound quite rejuvenated as they kick off with the Chuck Berry rocker "Around and Around." The fun continues with a bouncy version of "Loose Lucy" followed by a cover of "Big River," before they settle down into contemplative version of "He's Gone," prompting musings on the recently departed Pigpen. There is some soundboard distortion on these next two songs, but it clears up.
Out of "He's Gone" they kick into the familiar opening of "Truckin" and most of the front of stage area was up and dancing. Following the verses and a short jam, Garcia begins playing in a bluesy fashion and takes the group into a jam on "Nobody's Fault But Mine." This continues for several minutes before they transition into Marty Robbin's classic "El Paso," with Weir on vocals. Another set highlight is up next with the pairing of "China Cat Sunflower" into "I Know You Rider." The interplay between Garcia and Weir is imaginative and exciting during the transitional jam. Surprisingly, they decide not to keep this momentum going and next play a slow and weary "Stella Blue," which is actually quite nice and underscores the weariness of the lyrics.
At this point they take off into a soaring version of "Eyes Of The World." Here is some lovely ensemble playing with everyone adding to the mix and really listening to each other. This is a very nice performance which segues into a hot jam featuring complex rhythms and complicated themes that would later develop into some of the Blues for Allah material two years later. Following this tight jam, they head to the finish line with "Sugar Magnolia" to end the set. With the audience cheering for more, they return to the stage for a somewhat tired version of "Sing Me Back Home."
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