For the 30th anniversary of 5/8/77 Ithaca’s Mayor says it all :
Proclamation from the Mayor of the City of Ithaca
Whereas, the Grateful Dead have been recognized by many highly credible organizations, individuals and entities including the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as significantly important and integral to the
musical and social fabric of our contemporary culture, and whereas, on May 8th, 1977 the Grateful Dead performed in Barton Hall on the campus of Cornell University in the city of Ithaca New York, a concert that is widely acknowledged and regarded as a defining and transcendent occasion and example of the art of contemporary musical improvisation, collaboration, musicianship, and performance, and whereas, many tens of thousands of individuals who were not in attendance that night in Barton Hall, have become knowledgeable & familiar with the extraordinary nature of the performance on May 8th 1977 through the trading and sharing of recordings of the show, and whereas, the cultural identity and perceptions of Ithaca as a community, have been informed and bolstered by the widespread acknowledgement of the magic of May 8th, 1977, and whereas, it has been said many times by many people that, “there is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert.”
Nope, there is nothing like a Grateful Dead Concert. Though, Railroad Earth may make a run at them if they keep at it for a few more years and continue to develop their improvisational capabilities and evolve their ability to weave songs together.
If you live near Ithaca check out Dark Star Orchestra performing a 30th anniversary version of 5/8/77. DSO is, imho, the best Grateful Dead cover band around. They do a wonderful job of recreating complete GD concerts!
In the meantime, You will not go wrong giving a listen to this MP3 stream of a 5-8-77 audience recording. Do put your head phones on if possible!
Via the GD Hour Log Blog.