In honor of Sunshine Daydream, I asked Mason, the biggest Dead fan in the office, to create a playlist for us of epic proportions. Below, learn more about Mason's history with the band, and then listen to his "Live Grateful Dead Playlist" to hear what his almost perfect live set would be. —Ally
"Hi everybody, I'm Mason! I'm going to start out by giving you a little background into my history with the Grateful Dead, which may explain why I chose to create a live Spotify playlist for you.
From the years 1989 to 1994, I had the pleasure of seeing the Dead preform a little over 200 times, though I couldn’t be bothered with 1995... (Although in retrospect I would go see ANY show at this point, just to hear Jerry Garcia play again.) Recently, I find myself revisiting older shows and I love the resurgence of Deadhead culture—especially the weird Simpsons and Wes Lang stuff.
I think everyone should experience the music! You should give them a try by going online and learning all about first sets vs. second sets, encores, the Spinners, parking lots, “Shakedown Street,” veggie burritos, traveling, the folklore surrounding certain songs, the Wall of Sound, what the Steal Your Face is, JGB etc… The Dead are truly an American sub-culture!
I've created a playlist full of live songs performed by the Grateful Dead, separated into two "sets," in which I have formatted what I would almost call my perfect show. To begin, I have started out with a traditional format for GD shows: going back and forth between Bobby and Jerry, and I lose it a little at the end of the “first set”, which ends with the song "The Music Never Stopped."
Within the "second set," I've picked a special track for you: a nice lengthy “Jam” from Philadelphia in August of 1974. Overall, you should note that I prefer Jerry Garcia to Bob Weir, so this list weighs more heavily towards Jerry songs. (In the perfect world with the perfect show I can do that! Haha.) As most fans will see, the list lays heavy into the early 1970s, but I tried to use a few songs from the '80s and '90s as well just to give you, the listener, a perspective of the Grateful Dead’s range over the years—even if you have never listened to them.
Now sit back, put one up for Ol’ Jer, Wave that Flag and listen to the music PLAY!"