menu Home chevron_right
Grateful Dead

China Doll -> Playin Jam

Paul Dunay | October 7, 2020

Coming on the heels of perhaps the greatest 4 show run in the bands history, this show 10 days later is an absolute scorcher. Enough so that the famous Dicks Picks series made it chapter 29 in the catalog. The show itself is personally a favorite of mine, in many ways equal than the shows that came a week or so before. There is something about the magic of this show that is captivating. First set highlights included Sugaree (duh its 1977, they were all amazing!) quite possibly the best Peggy-O of all time, a scoring Passenger and great Dancin. The second set is where the fireworks start. The Terrapin>Playing in the Band>Uncle Johns Band is simply stuff of legends. Listen to the transition between Playing and UJB. They actually start the song with the refrain! And then Jerry smashes into UJB. Amazing stuff. The cut I choose is in my opinion the secret sauce to this night. After the newly installed Drums section of the second set that would become a staple from this point on, the band launches into The Wheel and then China Doll. At the end of the song Jerry takes over and drives the band almost into a dark star like jam, clearly living in the land between China Doll and Playing in the Band (thank god for the D minor jams!!) What gets us the most is the incredible dynamics in this jam. The interplay between Bob and Jerry on this piece is absolutely mesmerizing. Perfect example of two maestros listening to each other. There are points in this jam that the drums literally stop as the music hits pin drop silence. This is the definition of dynamics, sublime and intense all at the same time. I actually stopped in the middle of the ski trail to finish this jam because I was so mesmerized by how beautiful it was. Then the jam builds again into the closing Playing in the Band reprise sequence and baam! the show is over. They knew this was special, because there was no encore this night. Enough Said! Enjoy…

Written by Paul Dunay


This post currently has no comments.

Leave a Reply


    play_arrow skip_previous skip_next volume_down