"It was great, but DON'T TELL ANYBODY." One taper wrote these words to another back in the day when Grateful Dead concerts were traded through an underground railroad, each successive dub lessening the audio quality. The show in question took place on July 8, 1978 at Colorado's Red Rocks, the last gig of the Dead's summer tour. Generally, 1978 is thought to pale in comparison to 1977 but this particular show earned a legendary reputation due to its exuberance: the first set starts running with "Bertha" and the energy doesn't let up, not even when the band slides into a worn, weary "It Must Have Been the Roses" and "Wharf Rat" or when Bill Kreutzmann
and Mickey Hart
set out on an intricate, intense "Rhythm Devils." If any Dead show could be called a full-on party -- when they get to the concert-closing "Werewolves of London," it feels like a triumph -- it's this, and while the good times are infectious, what lingers is how the band is exceptionally tight on this night. Whether they're boogying to blues and rock & roll or stretching to the edge of space, everybody feels in sync and the results are exhilarating. No wonder tapers wanted to keep this one to themselves: it's the kind of show that you want to be your own personal favorite.