The Grateful Dead's performance of the "Playin' in the Band > Scarlet Begonias > Playin' in the Band" sandwich on August 6, 1974, is considered one of the most remarkable and significant moments in the band's history.
The show took place at the Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City, New Jersey, and featured the Dead's classic lineup of Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, Keith Godchaux, and Donna Jean Godchaux.
The band began with "Playin' in the Band," a fan favorite and one of the band's most well-known songs. The band's performance of the song was typical for the time, featuring an extended jam that showcased the band's incredible improvisational skills.
However, the real magic of the performance came when the band transitioned seamlessly into "Scarlet Begonias," a newer song that the band had been working on for a few years. The song's upbeat tempo and catchy lyrics quickly became a fan favorite, and the band's performance of it on August 6, 1974, was no exception.
The "Scarlet Begonias" jam quickly transformed into an extended improvisation that lasted nearly 20 minutes. Garcia's guitar work was particularly impressive, as he effortlessly weaved in and out of the melody while exploring new musical territories.
Finally, the band brought the jam full circle by transitioning back into "Playin' in the Band," which they played to completion. The entire sandwich lasted over 35 minutes and left fans in awe of the band's incredible musicianship and ability to seamlessly blend different songs and styles together.
The August 6, 1974, show is widely regarded as one of the best Grateful Dead performances ever, and the "Playin' in the Band > Scarlet Begonias > Playin' in the Band" sandwich is often cited as the highlight of the show. The performance cemented the Grateful Dead's reputation as one of the best live bands in the world and has continued to inspire musicians and fans alike for decades.