Widely considered one of the Grateful Dead's seminal performances, RFK Stadium, Washington, DC - June 10, 1973 belongs on the shortlist of must-hear Dead concerts. The Allman Brothers Band's Dickey Betts and Butch Trucks lent a hand during the encore.
There are few shows that deliver the goods to the extent of this concert, with its statement-opener of "Morning Dew, " through lengthy workouts on "Bird Song, " "Playing In The Band," "Here Comes Sunshine," "Eyes Of The World, " and an other-worldly "Dark Star." Add to this a nearly hour-long encore/third set featuring members of the Allman Brothers Band, with whom the Dead shared the bill at RFK in 1973, and you have not only one of the most unique shows in Grateful Dead history, but also one of the most exciting, inspired, and powerful performances of the Dead's entire career. And here they’re serving up the complete previously unreleased performance, with Plangent Processes tape restoration and speed correction, and mastering by Jeffrey Norman.
This show, and the previous night, were originally recorded in exquisite clarity by the Dead’s famed sound visionary, Owsley “Bear” Stanley. Few shows deliver the goods like this, it’s one of the Dead’s most unique, powerful, and inspired performances. In the spring of 1973, the Grateful Dead was universally praised for delivering a consistently spectacular series of performances. The band was dialed in for the season’s final five shows, including back-to-back nights at RFK Stadium. Without a doubt, the June 10 finale belongs on the shortlist of must-hear Dead concerts. Clocking in at nearly five hours, the show is one for the ages: an epic musical journey, peaking with a third-set encore that includes Dickey Betts and Butch Trucks of the Allman Brothers sitting in with the Dead.
The Grateful Dead are a social and musical phenomenon that grew into a genuine American treasure. In 1965, an entire generation was linked together by common ideals, gathering by the hundreds and thousands. This movement created a seamless connection between the band and its fans. As the band toured, Dead Heads would follow. Not because it was a part of popular culture but because it is a true counterculture that exists to this very day - one that earnestly believes in the value of its beliefs. By 1995, the Grateful Dead had attracted the most concertgoers in the history of the music business, and today remains one of the all-time leaders in concert ticket sales. Eventually, the caravan evolved into a community with various artists, craftsmen, and entrepreneurs supplying a growing demand for merchandise that connected them to the music. Today, the connection is as strong as ever. The band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. Their final tally of 2,318 total concerts remains a world record. The Grateful Dead recently celebrated their 55th Top 40 album on the Billboard chart, a feat no other group has achieved.