I have to say The Jones Gang show was much more exclusive that the Warlocks since only 700 Dead Heads were able to buy tickets (along with 2300 sold to students). Happy 40th Colgate
Some people might rank Colgate 3rd of the three weekend shows in Upstate New York that first week of November in 1977. Others might rank it among the top three shows of that year.
Colgate was my 9th Grateful Dead, 6th of 1977, and first after Englishtown. To this day, it remains one of my favorite shows. I had begun trading tapes with Rick Sullivan in 1976 and 1977, including him coming down to Andover my senior year and doing a weekend tape binge. He was going to Ithaca College in Fall 1977 and I was going to Bowdoin, so i skipped my Sociology Research class with Mrs Riley on Thursday and did the long hitchhike 456 mile jaunt up to the Gorges in Ithaca, where Rick was and my pad for the next couple of nights (6 months too late some would say).
As I recall, Colgate was a late entry as we were originally to go to Rochester and Binghamton. The Colgate Maroon has some historic information on this. Apparently after the November 2 show in Toronto, the Dead were originally set to play Utica on November 3, which fell through. Apparently Detroit, Cross Board, Toronto, Cross Board, Utica in three days was too much. Colgate started discussions with the band only four week prior to the show, and was still being finalized two days before the show.
Musically, these were my first notes after hearing Terrapin at Englishtown and I was so happy to see shows in the Fall so soon after my last session (which did not occur for me in my rookie year of 1976). The last 20 minutes of set one are sublime with an one-of-the-blue Dupree's and a real monster Let Ir Grow.
Don't miss what Craven714 discovered, which is a Reuben & Cherise tease right after Brown Eyed Woman and before Cassisy https://archive.org/post/1084741/only-700-tickets-sold-off-campus-for-colgate-11-4-1977-including-me. Listen to the end of the track above and you can hear the JGB tune tease which debuted later in the month.
Then the real fun begins. I recall being very close to the stage, which seemed lower than normal. Perhaps 2,300 students, at most, and 700 more lucky Dead Heads who had heard of the show, were hanging around when Phil starts renamed the band the Jones Gang, including introducing the band and most of the crew. The Dead start into a real rocking Samson which surprisingly runs right into Cold Rain and Snow. This is a real deal version second set version that remains me of the April 29, 1971 surprise out of Alligator and Goin' Down the Road.
The rest of the set is even better as it consists of a really unusual Playing in the Band sandwich engulfing Eyes>Estimated (which I had just seen in reveral at my prior show at Englishtwn) that continues into an under 5 minute The Other One (an abnormalty in itself), my first Iko, Stella Blue before closing out in PITB. Wow College shows rock. I must to have met Linda, the student Journalist and told her I was from Maine.. Back in 1977, there were actually very few of us up there.
Dead Listening says it even better
Dead Listening is always the best at understandung everything there is to understand. Always look for their analysis first http://www.deadlistening.com/2008/07/1977-november-4-cotterell-gym.html
Reviewer: Skobud - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 15, 2013
Subject: Almost incredible
This week we find ourselves smack dab in the middle of a shit hot Fall ’77 tour which contains very few, if any blemishes. Surrounded by shows that are all pretty much monsters in their own right, this one had a lot to live up to in my book. It was a totally blind first listen for me (with the exception of Eyes), which is why I ended up reviewing this bad boy right away. The mountainous terrain of this show is only overshadowed by the ridiculous precision they play with. This show is very unique and once again caught me completely off guard. Here goes nothin’ ...
We start off with an innocently enough with a Bertha>GL combo, that pretty much takes off with Jerry’s first solo and never looks back. I could tell immediately Jerry had a little extra jump in his game this evening by how fast he was pickin’ out the gate. The transition into Good Lovin’ was very nice and I would go so far as to say this is one of the best non-primal GL’s I’ve heard. Jerry is just burnin’ shit up and the boys sound really freakin’ tight tonight. Very nice job…Pull up a chair boys and girls, because shit is officially on with the first few licks of BEW. MAN, are you kidding me? The time on this one is dead on and Jerry’s soloing is lengthy, free-wheeling and just plain wonderful. Phil has a really punchy, full sound as well tonight which is accenting Jerry perfectly. This was also the first time I noticed Jerry’s vocals – a little “different” sounding. I put it in quotes because they sound more than a little odd, they sound a bit overdone. Next up is Cassidy, which straight UP fantastic from start to finish. Jerry starts weaving in and out of the percussive groove of this one almost immediately. Fast and furious, this one is done seemingly as quick as it lifted off. I was literally like WTF? 5 minutes man? Quitting on that fat-assed groove? Sheesh, that was great but also criminal – I mean to quit on it like that. The tune was rolling around my head in double helix fashion right up to the point that they closed it like the album version, no second time around and no slow landing either. It was like a perfectly played radio version or something. Precise and hard fought, and then closed right on the button. Weird. Roses and Sunrise come up next, and this was really a low point for the set imo. Jerry’s vocals definitely sound a little shaky during Roses and I really do not care for Sunrise. Minglewood follows up those two and is really well done. Bobby sounds really good tonight, and Jerry is still crushing everything he plays. Incredibly precise. OK, so next up is the oddball of the night – Dupree’s…I still don’t really know what I think of this one. I would definitely use one of my favorite descriptors – disjointed. I love Dupree’s, but this one sounds off to me. It sounds like Jerry wants to play it faster really bad, yet Phil and Billy wont allow it. The vocals are definitely strainy and shaky at spots, and his soloing never really develops like the others have this evening. I love this tune, and I think this one doesn’t really work. Weird….Alright, next up is the set-closing LIG and it is everything I wanted to be. Unlike any other tune from the first set, they sorta slip their way into this one like a pair of old comfortable jeans. Really enjoying the rhythm of this one as Jerry starts to really ramp this one up – and then at about the 330 mark, Jerry takes off again. This is one beautiful solo here. Totally unique. They slow it down just in time for another go round from Jerry, which really does not let up for the remainder of the song. MAN, Jerry is unleashing yet another mind bending solo blast that turns this jaw-dropper inside out. The really amazing part is the gentility this one floats in with, just as soft as could be and that is that. This cowbell laden LIG is one for the ages. Incredible way to close this mediocre first set.
OK, so thoughts on the first set – Strange. Very intense, incredibly well played but impatient at spots. Jerry sounds loaded to me, but I just can’t put my finger on it. He does not sound dosed and really doesn’t sound blown out either – but off. What in the world can make you so incredibly focused yet sound so impatient at the same time. Ehh, who knows, I just know that set was as uneven as they come. Brilliant and boring, Im not even sure what I think so far. It definitely has my attention, and that is always a good starting point.
They start off with the great “Jones Gang” banter and it is funny as hell. Phil sounds tipsy and is kinda slurring his words and spitting when he talks – and I am officially looking forward to the second set. They finally resolve whatever issue they had and blast away into another fat, burbling groove which is Samson. Billy and Mick sound perfectly in tune with each other tonight. They pull this one off beautifully and Jerry once again is soloing like a man possessed – fast and furious and precise as could be. For sounding half in the bag, Phil is playing off his ass tonight – just dominating. WOW, what a jam out of this one, right into one of the worst transitions I have ever heard – right into CRS. As terrible as that transition was, the odd placement works for me and so does this version. Jerry sounds calmer and his voice sounds waay better than it did in the first set. Sweet job on that little opening combo….OK, so next up is the insanely good combo of Playin’>Eyes>Estimated>TOO>Drums>Aiko>Stella>Playin’ reprise. Beginning with Playin’ this heady nugget slides right into a phantasmagorical display of mind bending musicianship. They drop right in, on cue @ about the 3 minute mark and we are officially aloft. Like a picture from above, this one provides an aeronautical view of the compositions wild terrain. Slow motion beefy wah licks keep this one hovering around the target like a gentile storm rolling in on a cool breeze. There is no real sense of when the storm will hit, but you can feel it in the air. Erupting like NY Lake Effect snow, Eyes comes surging outta that little jam and showers the crowd with licks of the utmost precision. Jerry's furious soloing leaves behind a white-hot trail of cosmic debris that coalesces into a moment of low level silence, which transforms into a monumental Estimated. That seismic shift from the rapturous Eyes into this Technicolor Estimated is simply magnificent. Almost the second the crowd settles into the heavy groove of Estimated, Phil starts the adrenaline inducing roll and we are off again in the form of TOO. Jerry takes off again like a maniac in this thunderous fugue and my jaw about hit the freakin’ floor. Are you kiddin me man? Holy shit I am in awe. About the time I got done shakin’ my head in disbelief, Jerry dethrottles this one right down into Drums. Drums then develops into an extremely NFA- esque Iko Iko. I don’t think the crowd had the slightest idea that this song was not a tripped out NFA until at least the 3 minute mark. They really cut the amalgamated funk loose on this drippy oddball, and the result brings a pie-eyed smile to my face. Nice. Just like that we are knee deep in the ballad of the night, Stella. This mournful tearjerker emanates outta that graceful presence one can only describe as, “Jerry”. This one is absolutely breathtaking in every way. Silence from the crowd, as the tender phrasing comes outta the Bean. Where his shaky/strainy sound of his voice hurt him earlier in tonight’s performance, I think it now accentuates an already incredible version of this song. I honestly don’t know how Stella gets any better than this. I was incredibly caught up in the moment of this one, and it had my head spinning. Ever so gently this one comes to an almost full quiet, and just like that we go full tilt into Playin’ reprise which proceeds to blow the roof clean fucking off that little gymnasium - and we are done. Holy shit that second set was un-Real. Bobby pops back out and wishes them a Happy Homecoming for the second time this evening and lays down the JBG encore. Well done boys, and the crowd is absolutely howling. My god, what a freaking roller coaster ride that was.
Thoughts – I have come to the conclusion that his show was a raucous, maniacal, drug fueled, five-alarm face melting fire. Regardless of what influence they were under, it sounded like they were having a great time up there. The precision and control they displayed this evening was remarkable, considering half of the time it sounded like Jerry was playing as fast as he could. I really liked this show. Minus the somewhat screwy setlist and Jerry’s shaky sounding vocals at times, this could have been an all timer. That second set was unbelievable and I am definitely recommending this one. This has to be one of the wildest shows I have heard, and I am giving it an A.