I am a bicycle commuter (19 miles a day), and I generally listen to Dead shows while pedaling.
Awhile back, I did the whole E72 tour consecutively. Earlier this year, I ran sequentially through 1974. So much good music. I don't really retain too many specific memories, so just a few observations.
The February Winterland shows are uneven. 2/22 is the best of the bunch, IIRC, 2/23 has that nice Here Comes Sunshine (last one?), and 2/24 was weak. At least that's how I remember it. Maybe it was the other way around. ;-)
May and June - hamina hamina. So much good stuff. I didn't do the Pacific Northwest shows through the official release, which I wish I had. But there's just loads and loads of great music here.
"Money Money" is a great tune. I don't blame those who objected to its misogyny for doing so, but man do I wish they could have just done it with Bob's vocal mic turned down, because the music gets me tapping my toe.
July also strong, unsurprisingly. I seem to recall that the one show without a big jam (Roanoke?) actually had a great PITB. One of these shows really did, anyway.
August 4-5-6 also awesome.
E74? Yeesh, not so good, is my impression. There was a good Dark Star or two, 9/10 for sure, some other moments.
I thought I had recalled Phil saying he did a "Firebombing of Dresden" type assault somewhere in the Munich, maybe in Seastones, but I didn't hear it. I was ready.
The Last Ones, or whatever they were called? Blech. I know there are better tapes now than there used to be, but for some of these shows I still only managed to get the ones with the old reverbing out-of-sync crowd clapping, the booming room sound, etc. The 10/19 Caution Jam was pretty legit, wonder why they didn't do that more. They seemed to be trying hard, the shows had their moments, but mostly I found them to be a letdown.
One obvious conclusion from my '74 listening: Friend of the Devil should always, only, ever have been played upbeat. Another: I do love me some Spanish Jam.
I even listened to some Seastones, and it was often diverting.
Spoiler alert: Mickey Hart returns, and a drummer who doesn't really keep time just muddies the waters, IMO.
Now, I have started in on 1976. Some good stuff here the first few dates, though nothing that really destroys me. 1976 is often considered a relatively slow and sleepy year, and nothing I have heard so far dissuades me from that view. Might As Well is nice, The Music Never Stopped is nice, Help > Slip > Franklin's is nice, Crazy Fingers is nice, Lazy > Supp is fun, Cosmic Charlie is lame. The PITBs start off short, and the one I heard a few days ago sounded like it wanted to go into Dancin' In The Street, before it reprised. Today I was with the 6/10 version and, indeed, it segues nicely into DITS.
I seem to have skipped 6/9 II, so no Stephen yet, but I expect to be underwhelmed.
Interesting that Jerry hasn't figured out the wailing approach to Samson that he'd develop. I look forward to hearing that song develop over the course of the year.
I have been trying not to FF>> too much. For '74, It Must Have Been The Roses was my biggest challenge, Ship Of Fools not far behind. (Interesting these are Jerry tunes.) For '76, I WILL NOT listen to Looks Like Rain, and you can't make me do it. What a turd. I see now that it was on the shelf all through 1974, another point in that great year's favor.
So, there you have it.