Much has been said about this show, and this run in particular. For me, in those dark days after the loss of Garcia, I turned away from Grateful Dead music. Then, a friend shipped me these CDs in '00, incredulous I'd never heard it before. Popping in the (auspiciously) unlabeled first set, I was stunned. Suddenly, the foggy Maine evening was a transformed, shiver-worthy wonderland.
Had it not been for the "Phriends" and the heads up, I might not have immediately even noticed that this was Trey and Page supporting Phil and Kimock. They just all blend together so seamlessly that it becomes one sound. When I listen closely, though, it is an amazing expression of patience all around. Trey is distinct, as is Page, but in very subtle ways.
Words fail me. Suffice it to say that the first set alone is one of the most unique concerts that I've ever heard. On the music wall of my temporal lobe, there's a space for this show all by itself.