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Closing of Winterland

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Closing of Winterland + Dead Ahead + Grateful Dead Movie
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Editorial Reviews

Deluxe two DVD edition of the landmark New Year's Eve 1978 concert special that marked the end of the famed San Francisco Bay Area venue Winterland. Mixed from 24-track tapes, the sound is spectacular, and the three-hour-plus show is a landmark performance from a band that was defined by its phenomenal live shows. Packed with music, and bonus features, this DVD is arguably the Dead's finest hour. DVD One contains three full sets of historic live performances of such Dead favorites as 'Dark Star,' 'Sugar Magnolia,' and 'Truckin'.' 190 minutes in all. DVD Two contains 185 minutes of bonus features.


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Shout Factory
  • DVD Release Date: September 11, 2012
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008PALH1I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #29,513 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

135 of 138 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Henrici on November 16, 2003
Format: DVD
This release took some time to come out due to having the technology to sync up and clean up the audio and video tracks, many deadheads have tapes and vhs of this since it was broadcasted, but it never sounded better than here (much better than I expected). The video is decent, it's late 70's video, so I was'nt expecting miracles there, it's patchy in spots, but the good sound and performance make this a must have dvd for fans as it is and will be the only concert footage released from the 70's other than the Grateful Dead Movie. The band was at their peak during the 70's - this performance blows away the dvd's from subsequent years. There are many highlights including- "scarlet begonias>fire on the mountain", cippolina jamming on "not fade away", and a short but very good "dark star"...the guitar solo on "wharf rat" is a classic Garcia moment- probably his high point of the show- the whole 3rd set is great. The band is mostly "on" for this one, they were so hot in '77 and '78 that most of the shows ranged from good to incredibly good, this disc is a fine document from a time many fans have been wishing for...excellent work by the GD archivists.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By John Q. Public on November 11, 2003
Format: DVD
The closing of Winterland was a traumatic thing for alot of Deadheads back in 1978, and this was the final concert performed there on New Year's Eve 1978.

This is my 7th Grateful Dead DVD that I have purchased and...musically speaking it ranks up there with any of the other 7...(the sound is great on this dvd) and hey, maybe for pure content it is the best bang for the buck. Lots of cool jammin going on here, and the concert lasts for over 4 hours. The video quality is not as good as the others (a bit dark) and as can be expected, because it was filmed in 1978. All the other Dead concerts on DVD are from 1987-1991, I believe.

But all in all this is a great DVD to own, simply because the Grateful Dead are the... Grateful Dead. One can't help but to feel happy when listening to the music. I wish that more Dead DVD's would become available at a faster clip... It seems that they are putting out one a year or so. Anyway, the music will take ya away, and the extra bonus features on disc two are great. The 30 minute segment on the closing of Winterland includes old footage of interviews with Deadheads before the show and current day interviews with Bob Weir, Micky Hart and a long time member of the GD road crew... is really a nice segment. Also included in the bonus stuff is two of the songs the "Blues Brothers" did (an absolute riot, they were) in the opening act before Jerry and the boys took the stage. And, not to be forgotten, a piece of the action from New Riders of the Purple Sage, who were also a warm up act.

If you are a true fan of the Grateful Dead, this is a must. To any casual fan of rock and roll fan or music historian, I would highly suggest you pick it up as well. It's R&R history... and some great music, to boot!
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By B. Borgerson on February 28, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I won't add to the other raves on the performance. It's a great show by the Dead in their prime. 'Nuff said.

But I will add a note on the sound, since I have some expertise on the subject. When this was taped in 1978, analog recording had reached full technical maturity. Despite all the digital hoopla, many of us in the biz know full well that the best of 70s analog was better than most of 80s digital...and you could take that into the 90s as well. So the sound capture that night was far superior to many of the later Dead releases done on early generations of digital gear. It's most apparent here in the gorgeous sound of Phil Lesh's bass. It's never sounded better on any release in any format. Of course, by the time they got around to remixing the original analog masters for DVD, digital technology was well into its third generation (24-bit resolution, 96kHz sampling or higher) and thus able to fully reproduce the gorgeous analog sound of original. So, crank it up and enjoy the best of the analog and digital worlds.

One final note: The only sonic disappointment here has nothing to do with the recording. It's the instrument. Why was Keith Godchaux stuck with the rinky-tink Yamaha electric? I sorely missed the gorgeous tone of a real concert grand as heard on Europe '72, where his work shone through spectacularly. You can see what he had on the cover of the Europe '72 booklet at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and I expect something similar was on the rider for each show. Was Bill Graham pinching pennies in '78 or what?
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58 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Andrew on November 10, 2003
Format: DVD
Here's the setlist for anyone interesting in buying this one:
SET ONE
1 Sugar Magnolia >
2 Scarlet Begonias >
3 Fire On The Mountain
4 Me and My Uncle >
5 Big River
6 Friend of the Devil
7 It's All Over Now
8 Stagger Lee
9 From The Heart Of Me
10 Sunshine Daydream

SET TWO
1 Samson and Delilah
2 Ramble On Rose
3 I Need A Miracle>
4 Terrapin Station >
5 Playing In The Band >
6 Rhythm Devils >
7 Not Fade Away >
8 Around And Around

SET THREE
1 Dark Star >
2 The Other One >
3 Dark Star >
4 Wharf Rat >
5 St. Stephen >
6 Good Lovin'

ENCORE
7 Casey Jones >
8 Johnny B. Goode
9 We Bid You Goodnight
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