Grateful Dead

Fillmore West (San Francisco, CA)

Jul 2, 1971 - Set 1

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  1. 1 Bill Graham Introduction 00:53
  2. 2 Bertha 06:01
  3. 3 Me And Bobby McGee 08:01
  4. 4 Next Time You See Me 05:13
  5. 5 China Cat Sunflower 07:25
  6. 6 I Know You Rider 06:01
  7. 7 Playing In The Band 09:00
  8. 8 Loser 10:12
  9. 9 Ain't It Crazy (The Rub) 05:36
  10. 10 Me and My Uncle 04:16
  11. 11 Big Railroad Blues 03:49
  12. 12 Hard To Handle 08:03
  13. 13 Deal 07:20
  14. 14 Promised Land 03:20
  15. 15 Good Lovin' 18:25
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Jerry Garcia - lead guitar, vocals
"Pigpen" McKernan - vocals, organ, percussion
Bob Weir - guitar, vocals
Phil Lesh - bass, vocals
Bill Kreutzmann - drums

The Grateful Dead's last show at the Fillmore West was inherently a legendary event, and despite the fact that the group often failed to deliver their best performances at major events, on this night they cetainly rose to the occasion. This is also one of the last shows featuring the original, five-piece prototypical Dead lineup. Pigpen would become deathly ill a few days later, and Keith Godchaux began rehearsing with the band a few weeks afterwards. On this night, however, Pigpen is in remarkably strong form and Garcia seems to have boundless energy, as he also played on complete sets for the Rowan Brothers and the New Riders prior to this lengthy, final one with the Dead.

Though only their first set is presented here, the Dead played well the entire show, introducing much of the new material they'd been developing over the course of the year. In fact, the vast majority of this show is comprised of new material that hadn't been played prior to 1971. "Playing In The Band" was just beginning to be recognized as a vehicle for extended jamming. "China Cat Sunflower" and "I Know You Rider" had developed into one of their all-time classic transitional pairings, as had "Not Fade Away" and "Going Down The Road."

Pigpen, in particular, seems to be performing as if his life depended on it, and every song that he sings lead on is a standout version. He belts out a rare "The Rub," a hot cover of Otis Redding's "Hard To Handle" as well as a strong versions of "Next Time You See Me." He really cuts loose, however, on a nearly 19-minute "Good Lovin" that almost crackles with energy. Despite serious health issues, he is in top form here.

The band then takes a break before returning for an appropriately lengthy second set.