The royalty of British rock includes The Beatles and The Who. So imagine how cool it was when the Grateful Dead combined songs from both bands into one epic encore of Baba O’Riley > Tomorrow Never Knows.
So the Dead played this combo 12 times total, 11 of which it appeared in the encore slot. Even if it was roughly played this just seems like such a great way to send folks home after a show. I know that Vince was a big factor in bringing back some of the Dead’s catalog that had fallen by the wayside, and introducing a number of new covers for the band, including these two selections. That said, I can’t help but wonder what these would sound like if Jerry or Bob had sung lead (or even Brent back in the day). Both Brent and Vince are well suited to the higher range of Baba O’Riley, but Tomorrow Never Knows could be anyone’s game.
The thing I like most about these tunes is that the Dead paid homage to the original, channeling that British rock vibe, but at the same time staying true to what made them the Dead.
Vince leads the way into Tomorrow Never Knows. He manages some Sufi-like vocal inflections that speak to the songs original inspiration a bit, well at least the portions George Harrison contributed to this Lennon song. The Dead’s ability to recreate some of the sounds and the vibe of the original make this a really cool cover that maintains its Deadness.