Get lost in this mammoth 346 hour chronological playlist of The Grateful Dead’s live shows
The Grateful Dead are a band so mercurial and mystical that they are as much a musical movement as some guys who get up on stage to play music for an audience. Their live shows were legendary for their ever-changing and mind-bending sets both on and offstage.
If you ever wondered what going back in time to one of those shows would be like then you can send your thanks and good graces to one very special spotify user Steven Doc who has compiled a mammoth 346-hour chronological playlist of every recorded live performance The Dead ever did. Sit back kids, it’s about to get real trippy.
The playlist details the band’s career onstage from it’s wild and windswept beginnings in 1966 up until the sad end of the group with the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995. Now, with a band like The Grateful Dead, there are sure to be thousands of fans screaming at the different variations of members which facilitate something officially being recognised as a Dead recording. But this is probably the most trusted assumption of the band’s authentic live timeline.
In the playlist is a stunning amount of peaks and troughs as more so than any other, when you went to a Dead concert you went for the ‘experience, man’. A portion of that experience may well have been what was ingested just before arrival to the venue but it was the experience on stage that beguiled and engrossed audiences across the country.
The group were never a set form on stage. They would meander through the setlist adding swathes of new licks to songs or changing chord patterns or just generally moving the song into a brand new direction. The Grateful Dead challenged their audiences to grasp the concept and go on the ride with them.
Sometimes that could become a bumpy ride. Singer and bandleader Jerry Garcia was the conduit for a good or bad performance. If Garcia was on form then you could trust the rest of the band would provide all the horsepower he needed. But if Garcia, with the help of the previously mentioned pre-show snacks, had vacated the wheel then all bets were off.
With every off night or out-of-tune twang, there were countless moments of crescendoing beauty to outweigh it. Those crashing moments would culminate in a live career that continually experimented and expanded, moving with the band as they matured.
Below you can experience it all, all 346 hours of it.