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Grateful Dead - The Closing of Winterland (2003)

Grateful Dead , Bill Graham  |  NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)

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DVD 2-Disc Version $17.98  
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Product Details

  • Actors: Grateful Dead, Bill Graham
  • Format: Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Live, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: WEA/Rhino
  • DVD Release Date: November 11, 2003
  • Run Time: 375 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000C5090
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,413 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Closing of Winterland December 31, 1978

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
131 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE DEAD IN THEIR PRIME November 16, 2003
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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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Taking ya back 25 years... November 11, 2003
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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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why it sounds so good 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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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Setlist November 10, 2003
Here's the setlist for anyone interesting in buying this 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

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

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

7 Casey Jones >
8 Johnny B. Goode
9 We Bid You Goodnight
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatful
I am they put this show on to DVD because it is one of the best shows the band ever put on they were in there prime.
Published 3 months ago by T.D.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dead. Need I say more?
If you're a Dead head or appreciate them at all, you'd be a fool not to have this one in your collection.
Published 4 months ago by Tony Kopesky
5.0 out of 5 stars They're Not The Best At What They Do, They're The Only Ones Who Do...
Glad I finally got around to getting this. Great memories, fun, crazy times ... this is a great testament to times long gone ... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Kevin Lee
5.0 out of 5 stars KILLER Johnny B. Goode!
This show should be considered one of the classic Dead shows of the era. Having seen them about 25-30 times between 1971 and 1989, this would rank very near the top. Read more
Published 5 months ago by D. R. Hardin Jr.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Rare Raw Gem The Dead are only Best Live!
Since I was there that night and after having been to every New Years with the Dead since 1971, I submit musically though slightly flawed as only live music can be this show was... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Paul R. Brownlee
5.0 out of 5 stars nice show
Great show. Great video. When technological advances make it possible to crop Donna Jean from both audio and video, I then rate this 6 stars. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Santa
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
I love this dvd. Excellent quality and set list. Buy this for the deadhead in your family. Amazing concert set.
Published 7 months ago by Daniel Drury
5.0 out of 5 stars movie collector
I love to watch the group sing now I own them on dvd and I love it so will others
Published 7 months ago by jack
1.0 out of 5 stars Only for dead heads
Why oh why did they fill the stage with party balloons?. Some great gutar work to remeber Gerry with but overall the soundtrack is poor especially the vocals.
Published 11 months ago by John Latter
5.0 out of 5 stars best live concert
the dvd plays all the way through without skipping or pausing at all. this is probably my favorite grateful dead performance.
Published 12 months ago by Joseph
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