Jerry Garcia - lead guitar, vocals
"Pigpen" McKernan - vocals, organ, percussion
Bob Weir - guitar, vocals
Phil Lesh - bass, vocals
Bill Kreutzmann - drums
Guest: Duane Allman - slide guitar
As the Grateful Dead tune up for their second set on this second night of their final Fillmore East run, Jerry Garcia announces that Allman Brother's guitarist Duane Allman is going to join them for a few numbers. They begin with a Bob Weir's ever popular "Sugar Magnolia." Unfortunately, Duane is not very high in the mix on most of this song, but his distinctive slide can be clearly heard during the "Sunshine Daydream" sequence toward the end. The instrumental balance of the guitars is much improved by the next tune, a cover of Elmore James', "It Hurts Me Too." This is a classic performance and here Duane is in his element, wailing the blues. Everything jells here and the combination of Pigpen's bluesy vocal and harp delivery, combined with Allman and Garcia both playing slide guitar, is irresistible. Allman also adds his distinctive signature and a sense of wild abandon to "Beat It On Down The Line," an electrified jugband tune from the Dead's 1967 debut album. It's a shame they didn't get the chance to stretch out and seriously improvise while Allman was onstage, but what is here is highly enjoyable and documents this historic meeting.
At this point the band is quite obviously fired up and they continue with the infectious pairing of "China Cat Sunflower" into "I Know You Rider." Itching to jam, they next launch into a highly charged version of "Good Lovin." Every second of this 20-minute pile-driving take smokes and Pigpen's vocal improvisations are every bit as spontaneous as the band's instrumental explorations. This tour-de-force performance is one of the most forceful and inspired versions of this song that the Dead ever played.
A little wiped out from the intensity level of "Good Lovin'," they quiet things down with an introspective take on Merle Haggard's "Sing Me Back Home," featuring an emotive lead vocal from Garcia. They send everyone home with the crowd pleasing "Not Fade Away" into "Going Down The Road Feelin' Bad," which would soon become a standard ending to many of their concerts. Here it is essentially the same as the versions released on the double live album (recorded earlier that same month), but including the "Not Fade Away" reprise to end the show on a high note.