Lists

The twenty smoothest Grateful Dead transitions

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10. "Dark Star" > "Wharf Rat" Capitol Theatre - Port Chester, New York, 2/18/71

This show marks the first live performance of "Wharf Rat" and then it goes into some of the most blissful sounds the band has ever created, dropping beautifully back into the last verse of "Dark Star." It was named the "Beautiful Jam" after being released on the box set, So Many Roads (1965-1995).

9. "Eyes of the World" > "China Doll" Roscoe Maples Pavilion - Palo Alto, California, 2/9/73

This is the first live performance of "Eyes of the World" (starts around 2:00), and it's played here as if it's been in the repertoire forever, and then, with just a few notes in a different key played by Garcia, the music is taken all the way down, and Phil Lesh plays a quick bass riff, and "China Doll" sets in with a completely different mood than the previous song.

8. "Scarlet Begonias" > "Victim of the Crime" Shoreline Amphitheatre - Mountain View, California, 8/16/91

This transition is gorgeous and gradual, with Bruce Hornsby on keys planting the seed, bending the melody of "Scarlet Begonias" into a minor key, until the vocals smoothly come in. This is improvisation that sounds like orchestration.

7. "The Other One" > "Me and My Uncle" Hollywood Paladium - Hollywood, California, 8/6/71

This combination showed up quite a few times in 1971, with the rhythm of "The Other One" completely deconstructing, just to have a Bob Weir throw a couple chords down and begin to sing "Me and My Uncle" without missing a beat.

6. "Help on the Way" > "Slipknot!">"Franklin's Tower" Great American Music Hall - San Francisco, California, 8/13/75

Released on One from the Vault, this version of the often strung together sequence is supreme. They sound so sure of themselves here, despite the fact that it was their first performance together after a nineteen-month break, and the Bill Graham intro only adds to it.

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