Revisiting Grateful Dead at SPAC ’83. Again.

I just finished listening, again, to one of my favorite Grateful Dead shows from the many I attended. Saratoga Performing Arts Center, June 18, 1983. I’m going through the vast 30 Trips Around The Sun box set which showcases a single concert from each year of Grateful Dead (30). I’ve been adding shows to each year as I move through chronologically, The Dead at SPAC is not in the box set and there are no soundboard recordings in existence that I know of (if there is, point me to it!). But there are some quality audience recordings.


 This was a show that had everything for me. I was with dear, dear friends, the entire scene was so celebratory, magical, perfect. We spent the entire day, the entire night, and a chunk of the next morning (as you will see in the photos below) immersed in Grateful Dead heaven.


 One of the things that made the Grateful Dead so unique was how different one show could be from the next. Not just the setlist, but the energy, the approach. Some nights were tight, elegant, with nary an off note. Just exquisite playing. Other nights, like this one, would be filled with mistakes and struggles, but tap into an uncontrollable storm of savage beauty that the band rode like a tidal wave.


Continue reading “Revisiting Grateful Dead at SPAC ’83. Again.”

Revisiting Grateful Dead at SPAC ’83. Again.

Jerry Garcia Week 2010: Day 4 – Saratoga

Keepin’ it short and sweet today. Busy, busy, busy. So I’d love to share one of the best Dead shows I’ve ever attended. Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) in upstate NY 1983. It was the first time the Dead played this venue and they made it legendary. They just kept playing and playing as if they simply couldn’t stop themselves. And we didn’t complain for a second! The entire scene was joyous, before, during and after the show. A true Grateful Dead experience to remember.

And while no soundboard seems to circulate (lost in the vault flood?), this is the best damn audience recording of this show I have heard to date. Thanks Charlie Miller!

The music’s raw and energetic and full of passion. Find the joy HERE.

And for an added visual trip back in time, here is an article from the local Saratoga paper the next day, as well as some of my pics of the before and after scene. Click on any image to enlarge.


Jerry Garcia Week 2010: Day 4 – Saratoga