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1 Show Found

Spartan Stadium - San Jose, CA

Set 1:
Jack Straw
Tennessee Jed
Mama Tried
Mexicali Blues
Looks Like Rain
Brown-Eyed Women
New Minglewood Blues
Stagger Lee

Set 2:
I Need A Miracle
Good Lovin'
Scarlet Begonias
Fire On The Mountain
Estimated Prophet
He's Gone
The Other One
Wharf Rat
Around And Around

U.S. Blues
Shakedown Street

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Sorry Folks- Shame on me
Brent's First Show

Why are you apologizing dude, Brent was an excellent addition to the Dead. He had a very kind soul and most of his tunes were beautiful. Although the Godchaux era was incredible, and the Dead changed a whole lot with Brent's addition, he was the fuckin man.

Best Sugaree.

Chris... Best Sugaree IMHO is 12-28-79...

Yeah, Brent was the man.

looks like this review is becoming a forum to discuss brent. so yes, though the 70s were classic, BRENT WAS THEIR BEST KEYBOARDIST. though his vocals were usu. worth only a good laugh, they defintely beat donna's howling. and let's admit it, keith was pretty lazy (though "efficient") at times on the piano... though he too was pretty damn good
-Rohit Kesarwani

i also just noticed that i said "though" like three times in that last review, whatev
-Rohit Kesarwani

"though" Shakedown Street was mighty fine!
-Perrinswolf (05/22/2007)

the Shakedown Street went on forever... i remember some old-school deadheads shouting "Disco Sucks!" in protest as i filed out from the show. Wharf Rat stands out. Went to work scrubbing toilets in an ofc. building that night, tripping my brains out. People kept yelling out "Who's the keyboardist?" at the stage, but he was never introduced that day. Greg Kihn's band, The Charlie Daniels Band and the Tom Landry (not the Cowboys' coach!) Band performed before the Dead took over.
- (06/27/2007)

this set looks great, where can I get this show??
-Stevie G (02/19/2008)

best passenger ever
- (03/05/2008)

Sorry, Rohit, and others: Brent was not their best keyboardist - not even close. There is no beauty to his playing, and his choice of "sounds" was often AWFUL. I find myself so lost in Keith's beautiful, melodic playing - it fit the Dead in such a soulful way. Are we even listening to the same music? Amazing.
-Anonymous (04/02/2008)

Agreed, Anonymous. Perhaps becuase Brent never played chords?
-Anonymous (05/02/2008)

I got into the Dead late, I really do love Brent and Keith equally. They are VERY DIFFERENT players. Keith started very strong and prominent in mix and as time went on, he become less and less involved(and he apparently only wanted to play piano?). Brent was just the opposite. He started a little lower and as he became more comfortable, his playing became more and more assertive. Great bands involve their sound. It would have boring to have the Dead come out and play with the same sound for 30 years. Brent's synth work added a very unique sound in 80s Dead, a sound I really love. Of course, it would have been cool if he had played a grand piano rather than that keyboard sound. But that sound is his, it's unique and isn't that what you want as a musician?
-Tom (05/09/2008)

i prefer pigpen
-Anonymous (06/18/2008)

If you dont like Brent you dont like the Dead, simple as that
-steve (09/18/2008)

Uhm, no Steve, not quite. That's a patently absurd statement. I'm not much of a Brent fan either, and few are bigger fans of the GD than me. It's just a matter of preference.
-Grateful Fred (09/19/2008)

Brent is my favorite of the Dead's keys players. Perfect sense of harmony and color and I've not heard anyone else who could play the Hammond like him. It's undeniable what a shot in the arm (no pun intended) his addition was to the band, at that point just entering their golden era. The way their sound evolved over the next 6 years or so, along with the genius of Healy and the finest sound system going- man, words can't do it justice. I think they hit their apex in '84 and '85, contrary to Jerry's health. You want to listen to note for note perfection? Music Never Stopped Hershey Park '85. The jam is symphonic orchestration. Same show Estimated -Terrapin; unbelievable. Garcia may have been green around the gills, but his playing was golden, and Brent was a HUGE part of the equation in that period-their best.
- (09/29/2008)

Something happened between K & D's leaving and Brent's arrival, and it wasn't for the better. The Dead took on what I like to call a "carnival" sound to their tunes in a similar fashion to the "e street band". The honky tonk piano of Keith became a thing of the past. Songs like "ramble on rose" and "deal", just as an exaple were never the same. I still love the Dead, in all eras, but Brent's high twangy electric sound became a little overbearing for me. The laid back acoustic piano of Keith I prefer.
-labirdsfan (11/19/2008)

grateful fred how do u figure its absurd, there sound changed with brent. I guess u like the dead from 66-79 & 91-95.ill stick to my if u dont like brent then u pretty much dont like the that era, and if u dont like 88-91 then its ur loss.
-steve (11/26/2008)

Last true Betty board...
-Anonymous (01/15/2009)

my first Dead show. never forget all the heads arguing about who's on keys. Brent never got an intro that day. BTW I remember Daniels and Kihn, but who the heck is Tom Landry and what time did he play?
-Anonymous (04/22/2009)

Let's face it. None of us joined up because of pig, TC, Keith, Brent, Vince or Bruce. We were there for Phil when he plucked out the beat on numerous scarlet fires, we were there to hear Bobby belt out the lyrics to estimated prophet, we were there just to see what and how they would play. Sometimes they missed but when they did, it was okay. They figuired out how to be musicians while we all witnessed. We were there to see Jerry smile, to see Jerry fail and to see Jerry take us to new places. We where there as one. And we Brent joined, he became one of us. However, I do enjoy pre Brent era, he was family. He had a different style than Keith, Keith was different than pig. I prefer Keith. If you prefer Brent, cool. It takes us all, the boys showed us that.
Peace and love 2 all. Nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile!
-unclejohnstraw (08/04/2009)

Whether you prefer Brent, Keith or any other is sort of against what the Dead was all about. Every show is unique, and whoever was on keyboards added to that experience. I will say that I liked Brent because he added some fun dimensions to a lot of shows - like Dear Mr. Fantasy and his occasional "skat" solos during Johnny B. Goode (see Worcester 10/9/84). He also served as a refreshing challenge for Jerry, providing great back and forth that took them both (and all of us) higher. (See many a Shakedown Street, but in particular Philly 4/6/82.)
-Steve (01/13/2010)

Yes, this was Brent's first show. Count me as one who preferred Keith, but I still have plenty of appreciation for Brent. Keith had more sensitivity to his playing. He LISTENED to what was going on around him and had better improvisational instincts, critical attributes to the Dead's sound. As one who was 'on the bus' from the earliest 60's shows, I can say without a doubt that the Dead's long slow decline was beginning around this time, and they certainly never again reached the heights of their peak period of '69-'74. Brent was part of the reason, but there were larger issues effecting the band's sound. Garcia's indulgence in heroin was one, and the return of Mickey Hart was the other. It replaced the jazzy, swinging, syncopated playing of Bill Kreutzmann with a leaden, simplistic, beat heavy sound that didn't interact with the other musicians like Kreutzmann's playing alone had. I truly feel sorry for the younger deadheads who only saw the band in the 80's and 90's. You people have NO IDEA how great this band was in it's day. Also, nobody has mentioned that at this show, on an otherwise bright sunny day, a cloud came over and unleashed a light shower just as Bobby was singing "Looks Like Rain".
-Grateful Dave (03/07/2010)

While the band as a whole was not nearly as good during the 80's as the 70's, Brent was far superior to Keith. I believe Brent was under-utilized as a soloist. Like Rohit said, Keith was lazy, and added little to the overall sound of the band. Brent, like the rest of the band, played around what everyone else was playing and actually added to the overall sonic ferocity. He was far more versatile than Keith as well, commanding that B3 like a spaceship (OK... I'm getting ridiculous now), and he sang on key.

I think Keith gets more credit than he deserves cuz the rest of the band was better during that era.

- (06/28/2010)

My first show, and I remember the shower during "Looks Like Rain"...very impressive synchronicity. I was hooked.
-dough knees (02/15/2011)

No way that Keith was better than Brent, no way.

Keith was only good in the beginning of his career with the dead, he soon became nervous and whinny something that anyone who has read a book about the grateful dead would know. After a few years of playing with them he would just copy what Garcia was playing instead of coming up with something truly original, something Brent could do time and time again.

Sure there some moments in Keith's later time with the band that are superb, the man could play, but compared to Brent he is a trickle next to Brent's tsunami of sound. Take a listen to 9/2/83 and compare that to anything that Keith played and it will overcome it. Also the grateful dead were always an organ band, Brent's Hammond B3 fits nicely with Garcia's and companies sound. I have seen many shows and heard many shows, I have never heard Keith do anything remotely close to what Brent could do. The dead were a blues band, hence why they played so many blues songs in the beginning of their career. Brent, who was wired for the blues, was able to breath new life into these songs.
-me (02/19/2011)

Brent has a beautiful one can deny!
-augustwest (05/22/2011)

What a gift that the Dead's longevity and relatively stable core provides different eras and soundscapes that many generations of fans can enjoy (or disparage).
It's a DH pastime to argue for the "greatest" or the "worst" (song, era, etc.); however, it's all part of the '64-'95 experience (from Jug Band, Warlocks, Emergency Crew, to the Good Ol' Grateful Dead) and beyond... Yes; there were shows in which the end could not come soon enough, but now that we are 16 years past the end, I would gladly be at a mediocre show than no show!
Perhaps the setlist from Brent's first show does not appear to be exciting, there is strong positive energy of the middle first set-- inspired guitar riffs and a band listening to each other, and... ah, the return of a Hammond B3!
Although the setlist also has many similarities to the final Kieth and Donna show, there is new life in the songs.
For me, November 1967 - February 1978 (+ April & New Years of that year)represents the longest run of great playing. [Can nothing beat a China Cat> Rider ('72) or China Cat> Mind Left Body Jam> Rider ('73-'74)?]
Fare thee well now, Let the [music be yours] [they are done with theirs]. btl
- (05/27/2011)

If you're a fan of the Dead, you're a fan of the Dead. Arguing and finger-pointing is best left to the religious nazi's. (Whoever doesn't believe in God the way I do is going to hell).
Each 'era' had its own dynamic, its own sound, its own personality. Whichever one you choose, love it for what it is.
I prefer K&D, but went to concerts during Brent and later Vince. To me, the "synthesized" sound and the cookie-cutter shows of the 80's and 90's were no match for the free-form days (watch the GD Movie, and you'll see what I mean). But, to each his own.
"...I beg you call the tune..."
- (10/11/2011)

For me, Brent was an acquired taste. I didn't get it at first, but when I came around, I heard the dimensions he added to the Dead's sound.

- (11/02/2011)

Although I like Keith's piano playing, I certainly prefer Pigpen and Brent. Keith never played anything but the piano, which is a little disappointing because I love the way the Hammond B3 songs. Brent brought back the Hammond B3, and he could play the shit out of it!
-Anonymous (11/22/2011)

keith was great, huh? guess bands always ask "great" members to leave and replace them immediately. everyone in the band knew how talented brent was, as do i
-Anonymous (03/22/2012)

To start with Pigpen really was not a keyboardist,as even he would tell you if he were here. He knew a couple chords to fill in here and there,their songs really didnt have keyboard parts much then because of that fact. Keith was very good and was a part of their best years('71-'78). After '81 or so as someone else said they took on a carnival like sound which i do not prefer to the '70's jams they had with Keith. Donna was the one who needed to go with her out of tune wailing and screeching. They could have packed it up after '90 since the shows after that were awful in comparison. Jerry was so out of breath could barely talk let alone sing decent. Just my thoughts.
- (03/25/2012)

Pigpen actually was actually very good at the organ when he wasn't being drunk and lazy. Examples include Death Don't Have No Mercy, and most of Europe '72.
- (03/25/2012)

This has to be one of the greatest review board I've read. This show IMHO is Nails!
- (09/29/2012)

I love when people make statements like, "You people have NO IDEA how great this band was in it's day" .. I would agree in all aspects concerning the "at the show" environment experience, however, and thankfully we, as Deadheads etc, have the awesome luxury of all the live music accessible to us. Therefore EVERYONE who wants to can gain a VERY significant appreciation and HUGE understanding of the music that was being played in any era can do so and quite accurately .. being there and listening to a live tape is no different from a musical stand point .. NONE .. same notes/chords/jams etc .. again just from a musical standpoint .. which is a gazillion millions from "no idea" .. I guess the same type of person might also say that 16 years before Jerry died was the beginning of a long slow decline in the band (so many roads to go with on that one -wow).. that being said I personally liked Brent better most of the time but very much appreciate ALL the musicians for the different things they brought to the table. They all brought many, many happy days to my life.
-AlwaysGrateful (12/24/2012)

If you enjoy Pig as an organ player that's fair enough though right now it appears you're basing your review on misinformation. The band brought TC in to play in the late 60's and ALL of Europe '72 was with Keith on board. The reason those keys sound so good on that tour is because it's NOT Pig you're hearing but rather Keith. Also sadly by '72 Pig was having a hard time doing much of anything which of course would ultimately lead to his demise. That said even in '72 he could bring it for a song or two. Run Run Rudolph from his last show. Awesome. That said he was not playing keys much at all that year.
-gdjake (01/23/2013)

Have you listened to Fall Tour '91? There's some absolutely AMAZING shows in there. It would be a HUGE disservice to discredit anything post 1990 just as it would be a travesty for someone who adores K&D to dismiss anything from this show on. All of Fall '91 is pretty special though maybe start with 9/26/91? Beyond that there were still some VERY special shows beyond that. They just seemed to get Furthur (pun intended. LOL) and Furthur apart. 5/29-5/31 1992 was stunning. Los Angeles December '93 had some great moments. Heck even in '95 there were some great shows. My last (5/21) was quite good and 2/21/95 is up there with any show from ANY era. That's right people. I challenge anyone to listen to that show (the board is on archive for streaming and is better than official release quality) and NOT think it's jaw dropping good. Check it out. I promise you'll be happy you did. :)
-gdjake (01/23/2013)

If you like brent, so be it, if you don't, oh well, your loss. The arguing is funny as hell, all of you should just listen to these shows rather then argue over how much better it would have been if keith were playin, or pig. It's irrelevant.
I do agree with whoever said the thing about the dead adopting a carnival sound to their music. The only thing i disagree with is that it was NOT brent that was soley responsible for that. The Dead heads were esentially a moving carnival by this point, posting up in a city for a few days and then gone in a flash. So i think they dead were just playing to what they saw. That is what their music was, life based jams, and that was the life in front of them.
The only way to listen to the dead is without expectation, anything else is just disapointment. Thinkin rationally will tell you that expecting Brent to Match Keith in any way is just a fantasy. Two different people, but both are family. If you say Brent should never be there, it's the same as saying your younger brother that stole all mommy's attention shouldn't have been born. There is no difference. But you would have known that if you understood the music, rather then judged it.

But all the same, that is my opinion.
-Murphy (05/10/2013)

I don't know about the rest but I thought the boys broke in the new guy proper. A ton of energy throughout the show and hard to imagine that an unconditionally loving head wouldn't enjoy this one. Over three hours of great entertainment ending with a juicy shakedown, forever live this magical music!!
- (06/04/2013)

I definitely hear plenty of Pigpen's organ in Europe '72.
-Anonymous (11/14/2013)

I have to agree with the poster above me, his organ is quite audible in Europe '72, that's what makes it such a special tour. Double keyboards and both sounded great, in my opinion.
-Anonymous (02/21/2014)

A huge cloud came over the stadium and rained on us during LLRain. As soon as that song was over the cloud moved on. this show also marked the debut of "The Beast" and the every single night, middle of the second set, drums space segment. The beginning of the ossification of the set lists.
The band played in Oakland on feb 15th (Rock For Life)with Keith and Donna and then at this show a month or so later. Also, gas went from 53 cents a gallon to over a dollar... with big gas lines and rationing during that period between shows..
And the real truth is, Jeff Chimenti is the best keyboard guy that has played in any iteration of the GD.....

- (03/11/2014)

The big story of this show besides Brent's arrival with B3 Hammond, was Bob Weir's performance and the band's overall tightness in a new venue for the SF Bay fans.

The place had no rules. Heaven. Gen Admin with folks flowing where ever they pleased. Good views of the band from many spots. No stuff confiscated at the gate. Min security.......

The sun was nice. Bobby willed the rain away. Amazing moment. The band was so tight. The Hammond sound felt like we were back to normal!
- (12/18/2014)

I liked Keith and still do. I'd be happy to do anything just half as good as he was on keyboards. And when I first heard this show on a cassette tape around the time of the concert, I was Blown Away! My favorite band had a familiar sound and a new sound/ energy at the same time. 1978 was a 'balls to the wall' touring year, with the raw energy tearing the roof off the place wherever they came. And then on 4-22-79 even more energy got in the mix and their 'new' sound carried them for years while everyone got adjusted to this new guy with all the soul.

To me, every time I saw a concert they were better than the time before; that became one of the bigger draws for me personally. It was all of them, but Jerry for example, never stopped learning, practicing and playing better and better. He seems to have left his voice in some hotel back in the early '80s, but he Always brought the best, most unique and utterly mastered guitar I could ever hope to hear. I never left a show disappointed! This show, to get back to the topic, was a major turning point, well played and a peek at what was in store for the foreseeable future. I've always loved it.
- (01/08/2015)

this was a fun show, cloudy, clear and a little rain. I remember someone shouting " it's all your fault" to Bobby refering to him singing Looks Like Rain. 1st time without Donna at least a while. Shakedown Street really stuck in my head as I was dosed and driving aimless, wondering around lost for what seemed like hours in areas I'd rather not be in. I did not know what to think of this Brent guy but became a brent fan. Good Memories
- (08/28/2015)

My first show. I was 10.
- (11/20/2015)

Keith played drunk piano
-Kdead (04/22/2019)

Welcome Home Brent!

IMHO Brent is my favorite, and I believe was there most over-all complete keyboard player. What a wonderful voice to sing the blues. The Hammond is very important to mention, Jerry enjoys jamming with Hammonds! Much more then years of Godchaux and his Piano and Keys. Plus, while Donna had the high moments that were breathtaking, I feel they sound better without her in the band. Brent was a masterful choice in the absence, and even more missed after he was gone. Vince was not Brent.
- (04/26/2019)

WOW oh WOW - Brent first show & after 30 years (7/26/1990) >>> I can still hear his voice. we miss you... tyedyetom
- (07/28/2020)

Too all the shit talkers BB King never played cord's ethier aperently he can't play?!? Brent was Great... Singing and Playing In The Band!!! NFA 65-95
- (02/15/2021)

I say good fellow.. my dog has no nose.
-Alligator (04/22/2021)

Never saw Pigpen. Saw Keith at four shows starting from 5/6/78 (including the closing of Winterland and his last show in February. I was at this show, so I got to see Brent's first show, and I saw him more than twice as many times as Keith. I think what I'm trying to say is that I have NEVER argued about which keyboard player was best.
- (07/26/2021)

And I've never said anything insulting about Donna (or Jerry, even, like when he forgets the words). Are you sure you guys are Deadheads?
- (07/26/2021)

I can't believe this stupid argument has been going on on this site since at least 2007. The keyboard player is incidental. A fella went by Jerry Garcia happened to play with this band in all the eras from 1965-1995. That's all that really matters. It's all worthwhile.
-Anonymous (11/30/2021)

Super high energy show. Looks like Brent's first show but the star was Billy and Mickey's energy on the skins. WOW. Bob was also all-in on this. Great setlist and nice start for Brent!
-Captain Obvious (11/30/2021)


Pigpen is credited with playing organ on the Live/Dead Death Don't Have No Mercy and on the Europe '72 tour, both Keith and Pig played - Keith on piano and Pig on organ.
-Willy (03/09/2022)

Would really like to see this show released as a Dave’s Pick. Maybe volume 43? Historical, Musical and Good Old Grateful Dead significant!
-Matt (05/19/2022)

As another commenter put it - The only way to listen to the Dead is without expectation. I was lucky enough to catch a bit of every era, and the best I can say for the manifestation of Spirit that was known as the Grateful Dead and fans is that each moment was unique. I can't really say I have a favorite era. Each era and configuration had its highs and lows, strengths and weaknesses. Each to his own in terms of preferred eras or musicians, but to those who self-righteously carry on about the band's "long slow decline", I say "Piffle!". They were great and flawed in every era!

And to those who say things like "you have NO IDEA how great this band...blah blah blah", I say two things:
1. You have NO CLUE!
2. Honestly, take a hike with that smug attitude.
- (09/14/2022)

Brent's voice sucked, but admittedly it did fit the cheesy arena rock band they became in the late 70s. And from there they just never evolved or produced great songs. If you like that trajectory well then to each their own, but I prefer the heady stuff myself.
-Facts McGee (01/31/2023)

Comment on this Show!


Band Configuration
(04/16/79 - 07/23/90)

Lead Guitar: Jerry Garcia
Rhythm Guitar: Bob Weir
Bass: Phil Lesh
Keyboards: Brent Mydland
Drums: Bill Kreutzmann
Drums: Mickey Hart

Note: Band configuration is across specified time period. Configuration for particular show may have differed.

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