Grateful Dead: April 9, 1983 – Hampton, VA

At the time of this show, “Esau,” and “West LA” were very new songs, and “Help>Slip” had just returned to the rotation. Though compact, the “Help > Slip > Franklin’s” is very much on point, with Garcia handling the “Help” verses effectively. 

Most of the soundboard of this show is egregiously quiet-Weir, but not all of it. That’s a good thing, because most of the other features of the mix are great. At the center is big, warm, wiry, funky Phil Lesh bass, the drummers are handled well (no thumping), Brent is at a good volume (not too much plink), and the singing sounds great. Garcia’s guitar is quieter than you’d like, but not in a problematic way.

So, this short mix pulls together an hour of music on which the performances and mix result in powerful early-80s Dead. In spots where Weir is still too quiet, the rest of the band fills the space with chonk. Yay, Phil.

60-minute mp3 mix zipped up here

  • Help on the Way > Slipknot! >
  • Franklin’s Tower (slight edit)
  • My Brother Esau
  • West LA Fadeaway
  • New Minglewood Blues
  • Candyman
  • China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider
  • The Other One Jam


  • The band missed a change in “Franklin’s,” but let things ride for a few measures and then re-approached it successfully – so I edited the error out.
  • Though there are some quick vocal slips in “Esau,” and the lyrics hadn’t entirely settled down, I still love it. 
  • “The Other One Jam” is a dangling chad, but I thought it was cool enough to preserve. They didn’t play the song that night, and this jam is typically called “Smokestack Lightning Jam,” because they touched on that theme in first minute or so. But the interesting stuff comes with the turn to “The Other One.”