In my never-ending quest to find something interesting to listen to on my iPod, I found the Live Music Archive over at the Internet Archive. As you might expect, there is a big collection of Grateful Dead performances. Naturally, as soon as I found it, I had to poke around until I found the 7/7/89 show at JFK Stadium because (1) I was there, and (2) this is the very last event at JFK before it was condemned. 
So, here I am, 16 years later, listening to the same performance of Turn On Your Lovelight that I heard performed live. And it reminded me of how magical the Dead were, and how we've lost a little bit of mirth in the world since Jerry Garcia died. (I should mention that I wasn't a deadhead then, and I'm still not now. But you don't have to be a deadhead to appreciate the band.)
All the better that a whole lot of that magic is preserved for all of us (and future generations) to enjoy. Something about this is a national treasure. It could be a musician like Jerry Garcia, or a group like the Grateful Dead. Or it could be three decades of performances recorded for posterity. Or it could be just the sense of infectious happiness that infuses a lot of that work.
There's something that's greater than just a national treasure here. There's nothing particularly American about a really energetic, upbeat, up tempo, foot-tapping performance. I almost want to say that this is a world treasure, but that's just my over-inflated sense of nostalgia at a set of 16 year old recordings converted to MP3 and Ogg.
What I can say is that the internet archive is a world treasure. It's hard to find something good to listen to at the live music archive because it's so damn big! And if live music recordings aren't your thing, well, there's also the wayback machine. And the moving images archive (including a few collections of feature length films). And everything else sitting on those storage arrays.
Whatever is on there, I'm just grateful that we have it, and I hope it keeps getting bigger and better as time goes on. (And hopefully a little less anglo-dominated as well. It'd be great to see La Jetée side by side with the big budget American remake.)
1: This is the same JFK where Live Aid was held. The news was all agog at the safety violations, like arcing wires and falling bricks during this Dead show. A few days after this show, the Stones announced that they were going to perform at JFK later in the fall. The city decided to condemn the stadium about a day or so after the Stones made their initial announcement.