The closest I would see The Dead near their San Francisco home was this show at Laguna Seca Speedway in Monterey. What a great experience this was. My wife (girlfriend at the time) and I drove up from Santa Barbara to take in the show featuring the Dead, Los Lobos and David Lindley. I don't remember how I decided to pick up tickets for this show? I was already a Los Lobos fan by this time so maybe I had known they were opening up and decided to make the road trip? Whatever was the case, it was well worth the trip.
This was my 5th Dead show. The grounds were expansive, I remember parking in some hills and then having to trek to where the stage was. I had never been to a show in such a wide open venue before and the whole vibe was very cool. We arrived towards the end of David Lindley's set. I wasn't familiar with his music, I just knew he had played with Jackson Browne. I was really interested in catching Los Lobos and they didn't disappoint. They mixed it up with their own tunes and then played this smokin' version of Crossroads that was unbelievable! I've been a big fan ever since. The Dead's set was good...but it was the boys from East LA who blew me away that day.
You can listen to the Dead's show from that day below. Or you can check it out here.