Forty-six years ago today, the Grateful Dead made their way down the California coast for a great performance at the storied Hollywood Palladium in Hollywood, CA. The 1971 show sees the Dead during one of their biggest peaks, playing their hearts out for a receptive Californian crowd.
The show opens with a great “Bertha” before the band breaks into the newly-penned Bob Weir original “Playing In The Band,” as both songs immediately got the show going on strong footing. Classics like “Mr. Charlie” and Otis Redding’s “Hard To Handle” showcase Pigpen at his finest, though Jerry Garcia really makes his presence known during “Hard To Handle.” It’s quite the ripping, rock and roll version of the classic rocker.
The band keeps the fire burning through the second set, merging a “Me & My Uncle” into “The Other One” for some fun segue jamming. Newer songs like “Truckin’,” “Casey Jones,” “Sugar Magnolia” and more find their way into this great performance, teasing fans with the classic Grateful Dead music that would permeate setlists for decades to come. In the end, it was Pigpen who sent the fans home packing, as the Dead played “Turn On Your Lovelight” to close out the night. What a show!
Fortunately, there’s a full audio recording from the performance – taped by Rob Bertrando and transferred by Ben Kasper – streaming below for all to enjoy. Sit back, relax, and enjoy some prime 1971 Grateful Dead.