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Grateful Dead Bust Out “Dark Star” For Friday The

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Though “Dark Star” was a staple of the Grateful Dead‘s shows in the 1960s, the band gradually phased the psychedelic saga out of their rotation towards the end of the 1970s. It made sense, as the band continued to write some of their best music during the ’70s, but fans still pined for the transitive nightfall of “Dark Star”.

In total, the song was only played six times in the 1980s, and only twice between 1980 and 1989. The first came on New Year’s Eve of 1981, but the second came as a big surprise, placed in the encore slot on a beautiful Friday the 13th performance on this date in 1984 prompted, according to some, by a shooting star that appeared in the night sky. With the superstitious date and a full moon in the sky, the band was sure to have some surprises in store for their hometown performance at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, CA. Could anyone have guessed “Dark Star” was coming for the first time in three years, let alone as the final song of the night?

Fans listening back to the show can literally hear the crowd erupt on the recording as the band breaks into “Dark Star” and sets out on a masterpiece 17-minute musical journey. “Dark Star” aside, this was a great show from top to bottom, from the “Bertha” opener to the “Scarlet Begonias” > “Touch Of Grey” > “Fire On The Mountain” run in the second set.

Sit back and marvel at this masterful show, played 39 years ago today. Enjoy!

Grateful Dead – Greek Theatre – Berkeley, CA – 7/13/84

[Audio: Jonathan Aizen]

Setlist: Grateful Dead | Greek Theatre | Berkeley, CA | 7/13/84

Set One: Bertha > Greatest Story Ever Told, Dire Wolf, C.C. Rider, Loser, Cassidy, Dupree’s Diamond Blues, Hell in a Bucket, Might As Well

Set Two: Scarlet Begonias > Touch of Grey > Fire on the Mountain > Man Smart/Woman Smarter > Drums > Space > The Wheel > I Need a Miracle > Stella Blue > Sugar Magnolia

Encore: Dark Star

[Originally published 7/13/16]



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