Following Bill Graham's classic introduction, the band kicks off with "Wasted Words," followed by several of their best known earlier songs. Betts’ guitar playing had become far more expressive by this point and, much to the surprise and delight of loyal fans, had come to absorb a lot of Allman's electric bottleneck slide technique. Unfortunately, a reel change caused the end of "Midnight Rider" and most of "Blue Sky" to be cut. The true magic, however, begins with the nearly 18-minute set closing, "Elizabeth Reed." where the band begins seriously improvising. The improvisations on this tune, showcasing incredible interplay between Leavell and Betts, proves just how inventive and distinctive Betts had become.
The second set begins approximately five minutes before the midnight madness of the New Year's Eve countdown. Following the countdown, the band continues with the kickoff song "Statesboro Blues," a tune they learned from Taj Mahal. The next hour focuses primarily on material from Eat a Peach and their new album, Brothers and Sisters, featuring stellar versions of "Southbound," "Come And Go Blues," "Ramblin' Man" and an outstanding 13 minute version of "Jessica." One of the highlights of this entire night is a rare live performance of "Les Brers In A Minor." This monumental tune clocks in at almost half an hour, including drum solos; this is where the band begins really stretching out and venturing into unknown territory.
Shortly before the half hour point in this song, the first two guests wander out on stage. Much to the audience's pleasure, two Grateful Dead members, drummer Bill Kreutzmann and guitarist Jerry Garcia, join in on the festivities with no fanfare or announcement. Tentatively feeling his way into the jam, Garcia's distinctive guitar begins blending in and before you know it the familiar sound of "Whipping Post" morphs out of "Les Brers" and they are off into another gr