Grateful Dead: The Closing of Winterland Reviews

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½ August 6, 2014
Pretty sweet if you asked me.
½ September 29, 2010
"There is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert". A quote made famous in the early 70's still rings true in 2010. This DVD showcases The Dead at a definitive peak in late 1978, specifically New Years Eve. Most of the late 70's for The Grateful Dead was an extremely fruitful and creative period, but 1978 stands on it's own. FIlmed at the famous Winterland Arena in San Fran, the boys were on fire right out of the gate.The show opens with a powerful (and some say the best ever) trifecta of Sugar Magnolia > Scarlet Begonias > Fire on the Mountain. Being a Deadhead, I must say that all three versions are on my top 10 list for sure, they are that intense. The rest of the 1st set picks up steam and continues to roll on through the night. Set two is as great as I've ever heard with a strong I Need a Miracle > Terrapin Station > Playin' in the Band combo that would make any Deadhead spin for joy. Garcia's intricate fretwork during the Playin' in the Band jam gives the viewer and understanding of how smart and introverted his style was. This being a New Years Show, a two set standard would have an additional set thrown on top. The third set features great playing by all members and a show highlight comes at the beginning of the set. The first San Fran. Dark Star in almost 5 years sent the arena into a frenzy. In the upper balcony, a homemade sign reads "Last S.F. Dark Star...1,535 days and counting". That spell was broken on that night. Out of the Dark Star came a powerful Other One. All in all, this not only a great show, but a great New Years show. This would be the last concert to be performed in the famed Winterland Arena. Why not have The Grateful Dead blow the roof off the joint for the last hurrah ?!? If your a fan of anything Grateful Dead, I highly suggest you find a copy of this DVD, sit back and listen to the music play, and bask in the genius of the music. You won't be disappointed.
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