As the Grateful Dead continued to grow into larger venues while gathering more fans at the start of 1974, the band would always call the surrounding area of San Francisco their home. That’s what makes the band’s February 21st, 1974 performance so special, as the Dead returned to the Bay Area for a run of shows at the Winterland Arena. The first of three nights at the Winterland–and the first show of the year–on February 22nd saw the Dead’s West Coast fans gather at Bill Graham‘s San Francisco venue to hear their favorite band get into their favorite jams.

Naturally, the Dead came started their 1974 campaign by debuting three new songs and tearing things up with a major performance. Among the debuts at the February 22nd show were “Ship Of Fools”, “It Must Have Been The Roses”, and “U.S. Blues”, three songs that have come to define the band’s powerful Americana-meets-psychedelia sound. Of course, there’s also some great jams from other songs in the night’s performance as well, including a masterful “They Love Each Other” and a lengthy “Eyes Of The World” in the second set.

Revisit the band’s first shows of 1974 featuring the live debuts of three setlist staples via the full-show audio below.

Grateful Dead – Winterland Arena – San Francisco, CA – 2/22/74

[Audio: Jonathan Aizen]

[Originally published on 2/22/18]