Ed & Lerry’s Grateful Dead Tour Journal: 11/23/73

November 23, 1973
Venue:County Coliseum
Show Details

Lerry: OK, to follow up on your comments from 11-20 regarding context, I have to say context is something really important that should not be written off, especially on tour.  Example → when I am having a shitty time with whatever (work, blah blah, etc.) and some of my friends go through some heavy shit with their families or something, it makes me realize that whatever I am so concerned about is basically nothing compared to what they are going through.  And it is 100% true.  With that being said, our surroundings are what we know, and thus they are real too. It can be hard to get past that and see the bigger picture.  As such, context is really important I think when judging a show on this tour.  While this setlist is really not up my alley (at all), to your point above, if Furthur played this exact set when we saw them in September (even if Bobby didn’t pass out on stage) we would have likely been fairly stoked.  But that doesn’t mean that this show was good. So, I don’t think context should be written off.  I think (in this exercise anyway) that not only is it is totally fair to let it enter the equation, it should be embraced.  (Now, if we were just comparing our favorite Dark Star or something like that, I think it should play a different role (if none at all).  No context, just choose your favorite Dark Star. (Like the Pepsi Challenge.)) So, as far as I’m concerned, I’m living in 73 right now, and this show was a bit of a drag.  Definitely the worst thus far.
The first set sounds like they just woke up.  Literally there are no highlights to me. Jerry seemed to have an off night getting his fingers to do what he wanted.  Bobby played a bigger number of clunkers than normal.

Set 2 was quite a bit better.  He’s Gone was actually awesome. Really awesome. Totally laid back and sleepy, but rad. If I made a mix on 5 CDs of “early morning Dead”, it might end up there.  It was probably my favorite song from the show.  I enjoyed the spacey Other One quite a bit too.  If I were to go back and listen to this show again, those two sections are basically all that I would revisit.

Lerry’s favotite quote:
“Lava lamp time.”
https://archive.org/details/gd73-11-23.sbd.orf.194.sbeok.shnf

Ed: 100% agree. If further played this in ’13, even if Bobby didn’t pass out, would’ve been the best thing ever, but nestled here 40 years ago among its winter 73 compadres it’s relatively unexciting. Ditto your comments on set 2 – He’s Gone total highlight, and I dug the truckin-other one, especially the space segment. It’s not perfect, sometimes it felt a little, dare I say, “directionless” (perhaps I am starting to become too “refined”?) – but a solid jam, with some nice weirdness.  There’s a part of me that feels like it’s all building to the 12-6 Dark Star. Like phil started to do the weird wah-wah thing in space here, and I thought, ‘OK, so Phil just figured that out, and now he’s going to master it for the 12-6 dark star”. Perhaps I am imposing too much of a narrative structure on the tour, but I can’t but feel like it’s all building to the insane climax of 12-6, when the boys slay the space monster in an epic showdown.

Ed’s favorite quote about this show:
“Subject: ’68 to ’71 is the best
I’ve said it before – I can barely listen to most shows after 1971.”
https://archive.org/details/gd73-11-23.sbd.orf.194.sbeok.shnf

Next show: 11/25/73 Grateful Dead

Previous show: 11/21/73 Grateful Dead

(the deal)

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