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Dead of the Day: September 6, 1980

State Fairgrounds
Lewiston, Maine
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Despite some other solid shows on this day, we are going with the 1980 concert from the State Fairgrounds in Lewiston, Maine as our Dead of the Day. Alabama Getaway introduces the first set and is full and rocking from the very beginning. A song later, Sugaree towers above - probably the highlight of the entire show - as Jerry pulls off beautiful vocals and guitar while Brent adds some computer-funky keys. Next, the boys rip through Me And My Uncle and Mexicali before arriving at a jammed out Tennessee Jed. But it is the Feel Like a Stranger in mid-set that, besides Sugaree, defines the first half. Bobby lays it in while Phil puts down a headlong bass line and Brent adds these brilliant, ominous keys. At the end of the set, a China Cat Sunflower> I Know You Rider> Promised Land sends things into the break. The China Cat is filled with energy as Jerry drives the theme on, eventually transitioning into a moody, testy I Know Your Rider. Then, after the slightest of breaks, an absolutely scintillating Promised Land rips forth. A Shakedown rocks the beginning of the second set, eventually heading into a top-notch Lost Sailor> Saint Of Circumstance. And it is hard to argue with these two tunes, especially as they roll forth in such resplendent fashion as they do here. Althea comes out next, and it is practically perfect with every little run and emphasis in the exact right place. Much the same can be said for the Playin’ In The Band, which gets all precious with Jerry’s subdued, shooting explorations before giving way to Uncle John’s, which takes it into Drums and Space. Not Fade Away brings us out of Space, as the boys put a forceful interpretation on the song. But then it comes to a full stop before The Wheel - rich with the enthusiasm of the crowd - emerges, sending it back into UJB and Playin’, both of which are totally sharp and tasty. But then an absolutely essential Sugar Mags pours forth, taking the band out in a rocking fashion. However, the boys are not done, coming out for a rather perfunctory One More Saturday Night before really turning it on for the last song of the night, a lovely Brokedown Palace.

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