For the life of me I cannot understand why so many seemingly devoted fans of the GRATEFUL DEAD are so often hostile to the late 70's and early 80's DEAD material. It's unfortunate that many Deadheads cannot look beyond the brilliance of 1967-1974 and accept the fact that many of the shows played between 1976 and 1985 rank amongst the most powerful and exciting performances of the DEAD's career! Such is the case with the material on The GRATEFUL DEAD-"Go To Nassau". Recorded May 15-16, 1980 at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York(following the release of the DEAD's highly under-rated 1980 studio album "Go To Heaven"), "Go To Nassau" offers a highly enjoyable glimpse of the DEAD circa 1980. Some have argued that the 1980 version of the GRATEFUL DEAD is simply not essential. I find this sentiment absolutely appalling! As a fan of the GRATEFUL DEAD I find it disheartening that someone would refer to ANY GRATEFUL DEAD recording as non-essential. Certainly, one can prefer one era of the DEAD's history to another(and likewise, prefer one show to another), however to ignore a whole period of the DEAD's history is quite ignorant. Without a doubt 1980 a was a VERY solid year for the GRATEFUL DEAD featuring the return of acoustic sets, performances at Radio City Music Hall, the emergence of Brent Mydland, and many high energy electric sets. "Go To Nassau" is made up of all electric material much of which is played quite passionately. The opening "Jack Straw" is intense and the "Franklin's Tower" which follows is very well played. The first disc also features killer versions of "High Time", "Lazy Lightning", "Supplication", "Looks Like Rain"(one of the best post-Donna Godchaux versions), and an awesome "China Cat Sunflower/I Know You Rider". The second disc of "Go To Nassau" features an abundance of "Go To Heaven" material including a super-funky "Feel Like A Stranger", a dark and emotional "Althea", and a superb "Lost Sailor/Saint Of Circumstance". The second disc closes with highly enjoyable versions of "Playing In The Band", "Uncle John's Band"(GREAT version!!!), "Not Fade Away", "Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad", and "Good Lovin'". The only real bummer about the "Go To Nassau" release is that no material from the excellent May 14, 1980 Nassau Coliseum show was included. The May 14th show may very well have been the best of the Nassau run!!! At any rate, "Go To Nassau" is an EXCELLENT release, in may ways far superior to "Dead Set" and in my humble opinion currently the best representation of 1980 available to the public via legitimate release. I find it so sad that many younger DEAD fans have shied away from the 1976-1985 period. They are truly missing out on some of the most essential material of the DEAD's career!!! So do yourself a favor and pick up "Go To Nassau". It deserves a place in every GRATEFUL DEAD fan's collection!!!