THE GRATEFUL DEAD’S live recordings represent a special order of surfeit. Nearly 2,200 Dead shows exist on tape, of the 2,350 or so that the group played. Most of those are available online — either for free streaming on Web sites like archive.org and nugs.net, , or for download on iTunes, like the “Dick’s Picks” series and the more recent “Road Trips” archival series, which uses master-tape audio sources.
Deadheads have often been polled about their favorite show, through fanzines and Web sites. The answers have stayed fairly consistent. May 8, 1977, at Barton Hall, Cornell University. The pairing of Feb. 13 and 14, 1970, at the Fillmore East in New York — perhaps the first widely traded shows.