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Grateful Dead 02/27/81
Uptown Theater, Chicago, IL
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Source # 130386 Other Sources
Entered by Gary Field
Checksums ffp , flac-md5
Disc Counts 0 / 0
Media Size Compressed: 914.76 MB (959197168 bytes)
Uncompressed: 1.55 GB (1668979992 bytes)
Date Circulated
Date Added
Source Summary flac16; Matrix by Hunter Seamons using Final Cut Pro (SHN & FLAC > AIFF > Final Cut w/EQ work > AIFF CD tracking via Audacity > FLAC16 via xACT w/meta-tagging) 
Source Information - Download Text | Download Zip
Grateful Dead
Uptown Theatre
Chicago, IL
February 27, 1981

Jerry Garcia - Lead Guitar, Vocals
Mickey Hart - Drums
Bill Kreutzmann - Drums
Phil Lesh - Electric Bass, Vocals
Brent Mydland - Keyboards, Vocals
Bob Weir - Rhythm Guitar, Vocals


SBD (shnid=4598):

Source Info:
SBD > Cassette master > DAT(0) (Cassette>DAT transfer by Dick)

DAT(1) > ZA2> Soundforge (15db sampled tape hiss noise reduction filter)> CD Architect > Master CDR (by Jim Wise)

CDR Master > EAC in secure mode (see below) > Soundforge (minor editing and crossfading) > CDWAV > SHNv3 w/seek tables appended (by Jamie Lutch)

Known Flaws:
reel flip in Wharf Rat> Sugar Magnolia segue, crossfaded slightly
All other edits and crossfades were between songs with no music disturbed
[Brief cut in Drums. Missing Don't Ease Me In]


AUD (shnid=128712):

"Mason B. Taylor was a taper from Chicago that recorded concerts by many bands in the Chicagoland area and on Dead tours. He used a Nakamichi 550 with Nakamichi 300 mics with shotgun capsules for most of his earlier recordings. In later years he used Sony D-5 and Sony D-3 cassette recorders with Nakamichi 300 mics.

Mason captured spectacular musical moments and loved to share them with his closest friends. In honor of Mason and all the love he put into his recordings we are now able to share these moments with those who can appreciate them most.

As the shows get uploaded we would love for you to share your stories about the epic times the music evokes so we can all dial back into that moment when the magic was happening.

Thanks to Mason'’s family and his Chicago and Cleveland friends for opening up Mason'’s Jar"

Recorded By Mason Taylor on a Nakamichi 550 Cassette Deck,
on chrome tapes, with Nakamichi microphones.

Transferred on Mason's restored Nak550 properly.

[Barry Glassberg's AUD (SHNID=20344) patches brief cuts in Estimated and Drums, and the second half of Sugar Magnolia.]


Thank you to Dick Latvala, Jim Wise, and Jamie Lutch for the SBD transfer,
to Mason B. Taylor and Barry Glassberg for recording the show,
to Joe B. Jones and Rob Bertrando for help with pitch correction,
and to Jamie Waddell for critical feedback.

Matrix by Hunter Seamons using Final Cut Pro (SHN & FLAC > AIFF > Final Cut w/EQ work > AIFF CD tracking via Audacity > FLAC16 via xACT w/meta-tagging)
Summer Solstice, 2014

Set I
d1t01 - Alabama Getaway ->
d1t02 - Promised Land
d1t03 - Friend of the Devil
d1t04 - Cassidy
d1t05 - Loser
d1t06 - C.C. Rider
d1t07 - It Must Have Been the Roses
d1t08 - Minglewood Blues

Set II
d2t01 - Scarlet Begonias ->
d2t02 - Fire on the Mountain ->
d2t03 - Estimated Prophet ->
d2t04 - Eyes of the World ->
d3t01 - Drums ->
d3t02 - Space ->
d3t03 - Not Fade Away ->
d3t04 - Wharf Rat ->
d3t05 - Sugar Magnolia

d3t06 - Don't Ease Me In


When I first started listening to matrixes in 2006, it was specifically with volume two of Chris Chappell's masterwork Sick Bits series, which was the entire three-night stand at the Uptown Theatre in 1981. As a long-time Chicagoan, and because these were incidentally the first concerts the Dead played after I was born in January, I was naturally drawn to listening to these recordings. Not surprisingly, I have read different reviews of these shows where each performance has been lauded as the "best night" of the run, which speaks to the high praise of this Uptown trifecta as a whole and why Chris decided to include them all in one volume to begin with, and so early in the series. The Dead were obviously on fire right out of the gates in 1981, and the very impressive spring '81 tour is where this incendiary new energy was headed. This was the last time the Dead would play at the Uptown due to it becoming heavily flooded later that winter from water pipes bursting during a deep freeze, making it beyond immediate repair. The venue still exists today in a dilapidated state, with hopes of it one day being restored - after 33 years.

I lived within walking distance from the Uptown. It has always been a kind of mythical place in the Dead's concert history for me, particularly because of the consistently amazing shows that were played there and the very ornate architecture of the theatre, which was built in 1925 as the largest movie palace in America with "an acre of seats" - 4,381 (imagine seeing the latest Chaplin film with that many people). Also true among Dead lore is that it was a great sounding venue, and the audience tapes consistently convey this. The Uptown always seems to exude a sonorous and intimate sonic energy that pulls the audience in for an especially magical evening.

Of course I thought it would be awesome to matrix these shows, but I never considered it worthwhile since Chris's matrixes were already of such fantastic quality. Then, until only recently, new tapes of this run emerged out of the woodwork by prolific Chicago taper, Mason B. Taylor (a great photo of him just so happens to appear on page one of "The Official Book of the Dead Heads"), which provide a new aural landscape of these historic concerts when compared to Barry Glassberg's tapes that Chris used. While perhaps not as clear and defined as Barry's recordings, Mason's cassettes more so capture an airy spaciousness and raw, electrified energy that works well with the crispy yet flat soundboard tapes. Jerry's guitar also resounds more prominently in Mason's pull, which always seems to makes things sound nicer.

With some excellent new sources in the trading pool, there was no resisting giving at least one of these Uptown shows a shot. This matrix of the 27th is my first foray into this run, seeing that it's the best sounding audience tape of the three nights Mason captured. The 28th is the second best sounding recording, while the 26th is more muffled and boomy sounding due to a different microphone placement. So here is the cream of the crop from the '81 Uptown run, Mason Taylor style (and Dan Healy style, of course). I hope matrix listeners will find this to be a pleasurable new experience of a very fine night in Grateful Dead history, which features a Scarlet Fire of blinding brilliance amidst a non-stop second set. If you've been searching for the sound, you might find some of it here.


Set 1 was matrixed in Chicago, Illinois, one mile west of the Uptown Theatre.
Set 2 was matrixed in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

    length     expanded size    cdr  WAVE problems  fmt   ratio  filename
     4:26.39       47014172 B   ---   --   ---xx   flac  0.6471  gd81-02-27d1t01.flac
     4:12.51       44572796 B   ---   --   ---xx   flac  0.6558  gd81-02-27d1t02.flac
     9:37.62      101928668 B   ---   --   ---xx   flac  0.5656  gd81-02-27d1t03.flac
     6:11.54       65571452 B   ---   --   ---xx   flac  0.6170  gd81-02-27d1t04.flac
     9:30.33      100625660 B   ---   --   ---xx   flac  0.5666  gd81-02-27d1t05.flac
     9:04.45       96067484 B   ---   --   ---xx   flac  0.5744  gd81-02-27d1t06.flac
     5:59.70       63492284 B   ---   --   ---xx   flac  0.5514  gd81-02-27d1t07.flac
     7:26.09       78695612 B   ---   --   ---xx   flac  0.6145  gd81-02-27d1t08.flac
    13:04.61      138441116 B   ---   --   ---xx   flac  0.5868  gd81-02-27d2t01.flac
    12:08.10      128442764 B   ---   --   ---xx   flac  0.6105  gd81-02-27d2t02.flac
    11:19.29      119843852 B   ---   --   ---xx   flac  0.5699  gd81-02-27d2t03.flac
     9:57.02      105315548 B   ---   --   ---xx   flac  0.5865  gd81-02-27d2t04.flac
    12:50.48      135940940 B   ---   --   ---xx   flac  0.5003  gd81-02-27d3t01.flac
     8:09.34       86339612 B   ---   --   ---xx   flac  0.4826  gd81-02-27d3t02.flac
     9:07.45       96596684 B   ---   --   ---xx   flac  0.5800  gd81-02-27d3t03.flac
    11:05.49      117421292 B   ---   --   ---xx   flac  0.5540  gd81-02-27d3t04.flac
     9:50.53      104200700 B   ---   --   ---xx   flac  0.6070  gd81-02-27d3t05.flac
     3:38.06       38469356 B   ---   --   ---xx   flac  0.5758  gd81-02-27d3t06.flac
   157:41.25     1668979992 B                            0.5747  (18 files)

Show Checksums
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daf8a592fdb120433f08e5fa38954c54 *gd81-02-27d3t06.flac

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SBD > Cassette master >... (1) Taped by Barry Glassberg:... (0) flac16; SBD/AUD... (1) flac24; Recorded 1st... (0) flac16; Recorded By... (0) flac16; Source Info:... (0) flac24; Source Info:... (0)
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