We’ve given Rhino Records and the Grateful Dead tons of shit in the past for their lack of releases, but now we’re gonna give them some props. That’s because Rhino and the Dead are teaming up to put out a comprehensive nine-cd box set containing nearly every note they played (one encore wasn’t recorded) on November 9-11 in 1973 at the Winterland Arena in San Francisco. The box is the long-awaited follow up to the Fillmore West 1969: Complete Recordings box set, which could be the best thing the band released this decade.
Handwritten setlist by David Gans
Many improvisational rock bands have tried and failed to play a solid three-night run. Usually the second show is so good, that the third show fails to meet expectations. In 1973 the Grateful Dead put together an epic stand at the Winterland in which each show was better than the last. Night one offers a terrific warmup with a goose bump-inducing China Doll that follows a typically adventurous version of Eyes of the World. The band shows off their song writing prowess on night two, before dropping the bomb on the final night. Sure, most of this music circulates, but the fans needed a crispy official release of the whole run.
And as an added bonus if you order the set before April 30 you get an additional disc of uncirculated music from the December 4, 1973 show from the Cincinnati Gardens. The box set costs $99 and includes an in-depth 28 page booklet and two surprise pieces of memorabilia from the Winterland era. Here’s hoping Rhino and the GD keep up the good work.