Road Trips, Vol. 4, No. 5
documents a concert the Grateful Dead gave at the Boston Music Hall on June 9, 1976, with six songs from their June 12 gig at the same venue thrown in for good measure. In the summer of 1976, the Dead were just getting back on the road following an 18-month hiatus, and that wasn't the only bit of news. Mickey Hart
had returned to the group after five years in the wilderness and the band had recently released the strong album Blues for Allah
, so the Dead had reasons to feel reinvigorated, which they were. Although the gig might start a little lazily with "Cold Rain and Snow," the Dead slide into a groove with "Cassidy" and "Scarlet Begonias," and by the time they reach "Big River," they sound lithe and nimble. They keep that groove rolling throughout the rest of the set, and the results are some sunny good times. The June 12 tracks aren't quite as lively but they're within the ballpark, and they're a nice addition to a very strong show.