I know it's been over a year since anyone posted here and not sure how much traffic this forum gets now, but I have to weigh in on the 9-18-87 Dew. IMHO, there is no "best" Dew, just like there is no "best" show -- way too many to choose from and it's all subjective, anyway.
But the band's rendition on Sept. 18, 1987 is clearly one of the standout performances of this song, just like those at the Cow Palace 74, Cornell 77 and Berkeley 88.
I DL the show a month or so ago after it was recommended here, and to be honest, it actually didn't impress me all that much until the first lead. What made it really stand out, though, was the second lead -- after a throaty "guess it doesn't matter..." that he lets linger just long enough to pump the crowd up to that next level, Jerry breaks in to the lead with some kind of Syknyrd-esque guitar sound I'm not sure I'd ever heard from him before or since. The entire lead is just off the charts. But the real treat... the thing that really makes it stand out... the part where I broke into not only a wide-eyed grin,but a wtf laugh while trying to keep my car from careening off Interstate 81... is that hard core tapping he does at the climax (not sure if he's really "tapping" there, but whatever -- you know what I mean if you've heard it), followed by some rapid-fire, Hendrix-channeling shredding that for a second made me think of the lead in Radiohead's Paranoid Android (of all things). The energy was just amazing -- it's like this 45-year-old guitarist was suddenly feeling 20 again and wanted to see how fast and furious he could go. The rest of the band really rose to the occasion behind him, too. I think Jerry probably wanted to keep it going -- he seemed surprised when they brought it on home, as he ended up missing the first few words of the last "guess it doesn't matter..." Not sure if that's really the case, of course -- the boys by this point had for years been reading each others minds and communicating with a simple nod or bow or step to the mike, but they of course got out of sync and missed each other's cues every now and then.
Anyway, the really freaky part of this whole thing is that I was actually at that show and don't remember this Dew AT ALL. I actually went through my ticket stubs to make sure that this was one of the ones I caught at that MSG run and it was. Granted, I was indulging in quite a bit of extracurricular chemicals at this point in my life, but I would have thought I'd have remembered that performance. Just glad I got to hear it again after all these years. Thank you RUK and thank you archive.