The latest live Grateful Dead video from the band’s recently-launched “All The Years Live” series is now available through the band’s official YouTube page. Following last week’s introduction to the new initiative with a “Morning Dew” performance at the Winterland Ballroom from 1974, the latest addition takes us back to the old San Francisco venue once again with the opening of the Dead’s well-known New Year’s Eve show from 12/31/1978—although the entire performance technically acted as their first of 1979, considering the band didn’t even take the stage until the clock hit midnight.
The band’s lengthy New Year’s Eve show that night began with promoter Bill Graham coming down from the rafters in his now-infamous flying joint. To add to the excitement of the moment, balloons began to fall amongst the audience while the band started into the opening chords to “Sugar Magnolia”. Following the popular Bob Weir-sung tune, the band quickly kept their NYE energy going as Jerry Garcia dove right into the opening riff of “Scarlet Begonias”, which of course continued right into “Fire On The Mountain” for their classic “Scarlet > Fire” two-song segue. Longtime Dead fans know the performance well, as it was featured on the band’s Closing Of Winterland live album and concert film released in 2003.
Watch the entire new 30-minute video of the three songs opening the 1978 NYE show below.
Grateful Dead – “Sugar Magnolia” / “Scarlet Begonias” / “Fire On The Mountain” [Pro-Shot] – 12/31/1978
[Video: Grateful Dead]
“This is the opening sequence from one of the most famous, and highly regarded, Grateful Dead shows of all time, the Closing Of Winterland,” Dead archivist and “All The Years Live” curator David Lemieux said in a statement with the video’s arrival on Sunday. “With opening acts the New Riders of the Purple Sage and The Blues Brothers, the Dead didn’t hit the stage until midnight, and played until the sun rose. Bill Graham served breakfast to everyone after the show.”
“We are going to start digging into the vault and releasing unreleased Grateful Dead concert videos pretty much song-by-song,” Lemieux added about the idea behind the band’s new video initiative with its initial introduction last week. “These will be the good-quality, multi-camera video shoots that would have been on the screens at stadiums. So they’ll all be really good.”
Fans can head to the band’s YouTube page every Thursday at 8 a.m. PST to see and hear the latest additions to “All The Years Live”.