I am and was a big fan of the dead but too young to have been a fan when this film was made. The film chronicles the 1974 4 night stint at the historic winterland in san francisco. at the time there were some that did not know whether or not the band would tour again. of course they did decide to hit the road again and the rest is history.
the movie shows the essence of the grateful dead experience from the fans to the crew to the band. it is a trip to look in on the scene as it truly was in 1974. i could think of no better way to show future generations what the early 70's rock scene and particularly the dead scence was like. the band footage is pretty good and is mixed in with great shots of the fans. additionally you get a look at the "wall of sound" which was the set up the band employed during the 1974 tour. donna jean describes the film as the good, the bad and the ugly of the dead experience. i think that is accurate.
the rest of the features on the DVD are great. the extra songs are awesome although they completely lack any flow. they could have formatted them in the same order as they were done. instead they are very random. the interviews are great and lend some light on the tremendous amount of work that has to go into bringing the extra material to the public.
if you like the dead and have been to a show (or 2 or 20) this is a must see. if you are younger and just want to see what all the fuss was about you should also get the movie.
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