Grateful Dead

Avalon Ballroom

San Francisco, CA

[April 5, 1969 - Set 1]

First Appeared in The Music Box, December 1994, Volume 1, #6

Written by John Metzger


This month's tape is from the Grateful Dead, and while the set list is not terribly unusual for 1969, the tape features some rather magical musical experiences. Dupree's Diamond Blues starts off the first set to the beat of Pigpen's lilting circus-style organ. The all too rare Mountains of the Moon is tenderly sung and sweetly played, ending with a beautiful acoustic guitar solo from Jerry Garcia. As Garcia switches to electric, this tune winds down and leads the band into the classic Dark Star circa 1969. Garcia and bassist Phil Lesh both manage to play lead simultaneously, and the electricity jumps right off this tape.


It sounds for a moment as if the band might plow right into The Other One. However, things cool off, and the band quickly enters the exploratory realm of Space. Slowly the band works its way back to the familiar Dark Star theme and the second verse. St. Stephen gently creeps in, complete with the William Tell bridge. The set closes with an average Lovelight. Amazingly, this is only the first set!


Set List

Side 1: Dupree's Diamond Blues, Mountains of the Moon, Dark Star, St. Stephen
Side 2: Lovelight


Copyright 1994 The Music Box