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Dead of the Day: April 17, 1982

Hartford Civic Center
Hartford, Connecticut

Our Dead of the Day takes us to the Hartford Civic Center in 1982. The show starts off with a lot of pep and verve in the Minglewood, and then launches forth with an excellent Sugaree that stretches out to twelve minutes. The next bunch of songs are enjoyable and all have their particular moments with the big highlights of the first set being, arguably, the It’s All Over Now and Birdsong. In the first, Phil bombs out a bass rhythm and Jerry lays some outstanding picking on top. Birdsong is just beautiful, as most during this era are. Then the set closes with a rocking Women Are Smarter. The second set picks up with an awesome jazz heavy Shakedown mainly led by Jerry and Brent, but with some great blasts from Phil. The Sailor> Saint is strong enough to make you take notice with some stratospheric jams. Uncle John’s - which comes out of Space with something of a cosmic Spanish Jam thrown in - is a bit of a surprise and brings some nice arcs to the tune before mingling into NFA with everyone contributing, adding a frenetic energy to the exploration on the jams. The rest of the set is all quite good, but the encore Baby Blue is a really sweet topper.

The Dead played some eighteen shows at the Hartford Civic Center between May 28, 1977 and March 19, 1990. And during that time, they delivered some memorable performances. The Civic Center itself was built in 1975 with a capacity of about 11,000 for concerts. In January 1978, the heavy weight of the snow from a storm collapsed the roof, leading to heavy renovations and a reopening almost two years to the day later. Perhaps it is appropriate that the last song the Dead ever played at the venue was Brokedown Palace.

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