Grateful Dead - Dick's Picks Vol. 16-Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA 11/8/69 (3-CD Set)
Reputedly one of Dead archivist Dick Latvala's favorite concerts, and the first of the Dick's Picks series to present a '60s show, Vol. 16 or, more specifically, disc one of Vol. 16, captures a crucial turning point in the band's history. There you will find embryonic versions of the songs that were to form Workingman's Dead, as the group begins to steer away from the psychedelic, blues-based jamming of their early years towards the country-rock pole star that was to guide much of their early 70s music (and the friendly hometown crowd at the Fillmore proves the ideal audience for the premiere of the new material). The rest of the show, however, features the earlier incarnation of the band at its finest; in fact, it s sort of an alternate version of Live Dead, which was recorded about eight months earlier and hit the stores just days after this concert, offering a truly inspired, 90-minute medley of "Dark Star" / "The Other One" / "Dark Star" / "Uncle John's Band Jam" / "St. Stephen" / "The Eleven" / "Caution" / "Feedback" capped off with a 25-minute "Turn On Your Lovelight" from the previous night. Pivotal performances from a remarkable period of growth for the Grateful Dead.