Dark Star Flashes: March 1994

Cover: “Full Stop,” John Latham, 1961

The last two “Dark Stars” The Grateful Dead played occurred within two weeks of each other, six months after the previous performance, and 1.3 years before the end of the band. On the calendar of career “Dark Stars," they draw attention to themselves. 

I honestly had no idea how great The Dead could be in this period, when the spirit of jammy exploration moved them. I like how laid back they are in these performances, which are simultaneously drifting and full of momentum. Thumbs up to this Grateful Dead. 

52-minute mp3 mix here, which flows approximately like a continuous set.

  • Dark Star (3/16/94, verse removed)
  • Victim or the Crime Jam (3/21/94)
  • The Other One (3/18/94)
  • Playin’ Jam > (3/30/94)
  • Dark Star (3/30/94)
  • Jamming Down the Road (3/21/94)

I’ve posted another 1993-1994 mix, which includes the “Dark Star” before these two, with David Murray on sax. 

7 responses
Yet again, perfect. I saw a couple of shows in 91, but just as a regular music fan. I had like eight studio albums and Europe 72, but I wasn't obsessed. Something happened though to me and a friend in the summer of 94 (I can't remember what exactly, the GD movie or maybe the first Dick's Picks? We knew zero Deadheads) but I saw 12 shows that fall on the west coast, and most of them were, amazingly, the good ones. I still feel like the tones that Bob and Jerry had, and the more staccato attack Phil had in those years, is kind of actually like the way the band *really* sounds. I've been immersed in 72/73 (with some help from your edits) the last few months, and those years almost sound fake, like magic Dead. Better, but the band to me really sounds like 94. And there was plenty of good stuff then, as you've shown. Anyway, thanks, carry on. I like that you stick to 72-74 (my favorite years too, easily) but these are real treats, and a nice break from what I spend my time listening to, frankly. Gracias.
Alec, yeah, I too find my leaps into later Dead to be refreshing and to be the "real band" I actually knew and listened to in the flesh. Given that most artists can't manage 45 minutes of amazing music on a yearly basis, it doesn't seem unreasonable to judge The Dead's continuing greatness based on a few hours of music from each year. I can't say that this '94 jamming is better or worse than '74 jamming, and I certainly appreciate having as many different great Grateful Dead's as possible to listen to.
Thank you so much for this mix. There's some incredible and heady jams in here!
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