Steel Cut Oats #8: Alaskan Summer Solstice

Over the past few years, we’ve shared compilations of classic Grateful Dead shows put together by longtime HT reader Joe Kolbenschlag called Steel Cut Oats. Today, on what would’ve been Jerry Garcia’s 69th birthday, we’re excited to share Joe’s latest Steel Cut Oats compilation which pulls from the band’s only performances in Alaska…

June 20th and 21st, 1980, West High Auditorium, Anchorage, Alaska

Grateful Dead, 1980. Ask a fan what their first thought would be and you’d probably get a combination of the words ‘Warfield’, ‘Radio City’ or ‘acoustic sets’. Although that is an adequate initial response, it doesn’t cover for what is an under-appreciated year. Many other shows should be highlighted beyond the fall’s cherished Warfield Theater/Radio City Music Hall acoustic/electric workouts. A few favorites of mine include the shows from May 10th (seek out Jim Wise’s audience recording), September 6th (again, do the same thing) and any show from the mini-run of late November. Official releases range from the beloved Reckoning and Dead Set albums highlighting the above Warfield/Radio City run, to the 2002 surprise multi-track release of Go To Nassau featuring two more hot shows from May.

Steel Cut Oats #8 celebrates the bulk of the final two shows of a three-night stand from Anchorage, Alaska – June 20th and 21st, 1980 – at the West High Auditorium. By all accounts, the sold-out venue seated about 2,000 folks each night, and aside from being their only performances ever from the 49th State, they occurred during the Summer Solstice. From that Northern location as fans left each evening, the sun had set, but the night sky never appeared entirely dark, and only a few short hours later, the sun would reappear again – a perfectly strange Grateful Dead setting for an excellent run of shows.

READ ON for more about Steel Cut Oats #8…

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