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Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


I've been hoping for a Deadthread on SA for a while. They've been completely occupying my musical attention lately, which is not easy for a band to do. I'm listening to 11/19/66 as I'm typing this, as a matter of fact! That show really blew my mind when I first checked it out; the band is unbelievably tight, considering their level of experience. Smokestack Lightning->King Bee is the highlight for me.

HollisBrown posted:

I'm also really not too into much after about '76. Something happened during the '75 hiatus, I guess I just kind of feel like they lost some sort of rawness, I miss the Merle Haggard tunes and the silly psychedelic tunes like "St Stephen", "Cosmic Charlie", and "New Potato Caboose".

I have another controversial Dead opinion. I don't like Mickey Hart. I mean I like him as a person and Planet Drum is ok but I actually like a lot more of the shows when he was gone. I feel like Billy is tighter.

I'm with ya, brother. I like every year through '74, but after that the Dead took a direction that I don't personally enjoy.

Mickey is a crucial part of their 68-70 sound, but there are definitely some early shows where he's way off. Billy, on the other hand, is probably one of the most underrated drummers of all time, and also my Dead MVP candidate. He's the most consistent player in the band, night after night, year after year, and is frequently the only one actually keeping the songs together. And that mustache!

Here are a few of my favorite shows:
05/02/70 - Dick's Picks 8. One of the best acoustic sets followed by a heavy electric set. Killer versions of "Good Lovin," "Dancing In The Streets" and "Viola Lee Blues."
04/08/72 - The "Cumberland Blues" was used on Europe '72, and the "Dark Star->Sugar Magnolia->Caution" will melt you into a puddle of goo.
11/17/73 - Great show from start to finish with an astonishing Playing->Uncle John's->Morning Dew->Uncle John's->Playing sequence.
08/06/74 - Superfunk madness on a hot summer day. Set one is where it's at, featuring a stunning Playing->Scarlet->Playing.

EDIT: I forgot, August 6, 1974 is on Dick's Picks 31. The other nights from that run are great as well.

Juaguocio fucked around with this message at Aug 15, 2013 around 01:08

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Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


Look up the lyrics to "St. Stephen" sometime, and marvel at the way the band made those labyrinth passages catchy and singable.

1970 Stephens have been my jams lately, mainly for the hurricane-force peak that they build up to following "one man gathers what another man spills." 06/04/70 has been my go-to example. The setlist is actually incomplete there; the final three song jam of the electric set is a smoking St. Stephen->NFA->Midnight Hour.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


Listening to Workingman's Dead while getting totally zonked in my friend's backyard on a summer day is what got me into the Dead. It's still my favorite of their studio albums.

elentar posted:

That Veneta show is no joke, well overdue for the vault treatment. Everything they learned during the Europe Tour went into those sets, and it shows. Nearly every version is a potential best ever, including of course the soul-searing Dark Star.

I've had Veneta on the back burner for a while, and finally got around to listening to the whole thing over the last couple days. It's a great show, but I wouldn't call it the best ever, or even the best of '72. Folks rave about the intensity of Dark Star and Playing In The Band, but I've heard tighter, more powerful versions of both tunes (the 04/08 Star and the 11/18 Playing come to mind). The Bird Song is the finest one I've heard yet, though, and the stage banter and overall vibe of the show make it a must-listen for sure.

I wonder what happened to brother Bartholomew and his friend Durango?

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


Admin Understudy posted:

The numbers from TV's Lost are 4-8-15-16-23-42

My favorite Dick's Picks are numbers 4, 8, 15, 16, and 23. Unfortunately we'll never get a 42

16's an oddball but is probably my personal favorite. The first set has some pretty weak moments, but then has this shift after Cumberland Blues and everything starting with Dark Star is pure magic.

The "Uncle John's Jam" in the middle of that Dark Star is one of my favorite pieces of Dead music. It puts a smile on my face every time.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


I'm not the biggest "Row Jimmy" fan, but I do like the version from 06/18/74. They follow it up with a sweet "Weather Report Suite" that jams into "Other One" and beyond.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


The one from 02/27/69 that appears on Live/Dead is the classic version, and there's a lot to like about it.

However, as I said earlier, I like the fast, intense versions from 1970 the best. The problem with those shows is that they often only exist as audience tapes, but the power of St. Stephen comes through even on lower quality recordings.

I mentioned the St. Stephen -> Not Fade Away -> Midnight Hour from 06/04/70 before, but it bears repeating.
The one from 06/24/70 is even better. Listen to this show if you haven't already.

St. Stephen sometimes shows up in other songs too. I really like the "Greatest Story Ever Told" from 09/28/72, where Jerry takes the jam into Stephenish territory with some very tasty wah-wah licks.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


I've heard that some joker dosed the Mansion that night, and looking at Mickey, it's not hard to imagine.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


"So blow your whistle, hate train
take me far on down the track..."

I've been into September '72 big time lately. The boys were playing tight and intense during this period, and tight intensity is where it's at for me. My favorites so far are the 17th and 21st, which appear on Dick's Picks 23 and 36, respectively.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


OniKun posted:

Uncle Johns Band into St. Stephen had me ridiculously excited. I was so happy to get to hear St. Stephen live...

I love that this sentence exists in the year 2013. As long as Furthur are continuing to provide experiences like yours, I don't think anyone can complain.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


I don't think anyone has mentioned http://deadessays.blogspot.ca/

It's a series of extremely in-depth posts about the Dead's earlier periods. I recommend it highly, especially the Grateful Dead Song Graph.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


I like the songs that start off easygoing before hitting warp speed. "Viola Lee Blues" can get pretty crazy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4hXTjxsVYQ The start of that recording is rough, but it gets better.

"Playing In The Band" is another song that provided a vehicle for some intense jams. This is one of my favorites: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLd6sAUxgyM I recommend turning down the bass slightly, if you can.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


The "Playing" I posted gets pretty close to a full-on Tiger meltdown, but Phil and Billy keep a semblance of structure underneath Jerry's dissonant shredding. There's another well-known "Playing" from 12/02/73 that disintegrates into shrieking chaos before transitioning into the "Mind Left Body" jam. It appears on Dick's Picks 14.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


If we were to speak solely about timbre, (i.e., the tone of the instruments and the overall mix), I feel like there's a lot of similarity between the Dead's music from the late 70s onward and Phish. I like the sound of late 60s/early 70s rock and roll, so neither does much for me.

I revisited the classic Feb.-Mar. '69 Fillmore shows recently, and I'm convinced that 2/28/69 is one of the best shows the Dead ever played. The 27th has the untouchable Mountains Of The Moon->Dark Star->St. Stephen, but it can't match the power of the Eleven, Lovelight and Alligator->Caution from the 28th. Pigpen is in fine form in the first bluesy set, which also features a Doin' That Rag that might be my favorite version.

Cut the 27th and 28th together (the gap after "answer man" is perfect), and you've got some of the essential, maybe quintessential Dead.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


Hey, I was just thinking about getting back into the Dead too. I've been on an afrobeat/R&B binge over the last little while.

I really like listening to shows that match the current month, so I think I might give Dick's Picks 14 (11/30 - 12/02/1973) a try. I think I mentioned the "Playing" from 12/02 earlier in the thread, but I've never actually sat down and checked out the whole show.

edit: 12/02/73 is a very good show. There's a really neat transition between "Wharf Rat" and "Mississippi Half-Step" that I can't recall hearing them do before.

Juaguocio fucked around with this message at Dec 2, 2013 around 19:29

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


December 6 is another very nice show from fall/winter 1973. This period isn't the strongest vocally, but the band is incredibly precise with its arrangements and transitions. The Winter '73 jams have a certain "crispness" that I enjoy a lot.

This particular show is tight throughout, with excellent performances of They Love Each Other, China->Rider, Here Comes Sunshine and Dark Star->Eyes->Stella Blue. Dark Star gets pretty far out there. The verse is preceded by a 20 minute jazz odyssey, and followed by a Phil solo that leads into a full-on, pod-of-whales-getting-nuked meltdown. The subsequent Eyes isn't one of the best, but does have some interesting jamming during the outro.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


Similarly, I find it odd that the band didn't play Bird Song at all from '74 through '79. It seems like a natural fit for their mid-to-late 70s jamming style.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...



Killer. I think that's the best version I've heard; most are pretty underwhelming.

I think I'm going to try to listen to all of Europe '72 over the next little while.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


Yiggy posted:

I started that the other month, listening to sets on my walks, and I needed a break after a bit. A whole lot of pig pen songs, also Black Throated Wind which I'm not too crazy about.

I dig both of those things, luckily. Black Throated Wind isn't very interesting lyrically, but it has some cool rhythms, and I like Bobby's yelling in the outro.

4/14 is the winner so far. Good Lovin->Caution->Good Lovin rips!

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


Bob Weir did an interview with Rolling Stone recently: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/n...-songs-20140130

quote:

The Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary is coming up in 2015. Is it a chance for you to look back and get sentimental?
Let me start by saying that I'm already in my 50th year, so this is an ongoing process. We have to do something commemorative. I think we owe it to the fans, we owe it to the songs, we owe it to ourselves. If there are issues we have to get past, I think that we owe it to ourselves to man up and get past them. If there are hatchets to be buried, then let's get to work. Let's start digging. I'll just say, to my delicate sensibilities, that it would be wrong to let that go by un-commemorated.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


BigFactory posted:

Keith? Mickey? Seems like Bobby, Phil and Billy get along well enough. I wonder if any of them talk to Keith.

They probably bring out the Ouija board from time to time.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


I think TC is still alive.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


Yes indeed. It's never a bad time to revisit the Live/Dead era.

I've nearly finished my journey through Europe '72- only three more Lyceum shows to listen to. I'll probably make a semi-effort post once I'm done, since I've been taking notes anyway.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


OniKun posted:

I really wish Europe '72 wasn't rife with overdubs. It makes it weird to listen to.

Fortunately, the box set returns most songs to their live state, though there are still vocal overdubs on some of the tracks that were used on the album. The "Cumberland Blues" from 04/08, "Jack Straw" from 05/03 and "He's Gone" from 05/10 have apparently never been released with their original vocals. There's a great blog post about the overdubs here: http://deadessays.blogspot.ca/2014/...guest-post.html

I listened to every second of every Europe '72 show over the last few months, and since I was taking notes anyway, I figured I'd make a post about my favorite shows and songs from the tour. This is my opinion, of course, and not any kind of definitive statement. I encourage you to check out the box set and pick out your own favorites.

Anyway, for all our muddy friends, the Grateful Dead! This was an interesting few months for the band. Keith joined at the end of '71, but '72 was the first time that Donna came on tour. She was obviously finding her place in the band throughout the Euro tour, but Keith was already killing it like he'd been playing with the Dead for years. You can already hear the band starting to explore the jazzy direction they would pursue throughout the 70s, especially on tunes like "Playing In The Band," which is beginning to morph into its uber-jam form. At the same time, this tour was Pigpen's last stand, and it's heartbreaking to hear him struggling at many of the shows. The old Pig still shows up from time to time, though, and it's fascinating to hear his funky, bluesy style mixing with the Dead's new jazzy proclivities. It would have been really interesting if they had continued to develop this sound, but with Pig's untimely passing, we're left only with "what might have been."

But enough about that- let's take a look at "what is":

Best Shows

April 8 - Empire Pool, London
After a lackluster opening night, the Dead brought the thunder for their second night at the future Wembley Arena. I've mentioned the "Dark Star->Sugar Magnolia->Caution" sequence in this thread before, and with good reason- the transitions are telepathically smooth, the drumming incredibly tight, the jams hot and delicious. "Cumberland Blues" appears on the Euro '72 album, and may be the best one ever, and "Looks Like Rain" is a great performance as well.

April 14 - Tivoli Concert Hall, Copenhagen
The first concert in Denmark may be the most solid overall show of the tour. From the moment "Bertha" kicks in, you know the band was having a good night. The highlight for me is the "Good Lovin'->Caution->Good Lovin" sandwich, though the performance of "Good Lovin" from 05/04 is my favorite of the whole tour.

April 26 - Jahrhundert Halle, Frankfurt
Officially released as Hundred Year Hall, this show features one of the best "Playing In The Band" versions of the tour, as well as a great rendition of "The Other One->Comes A Time." The real kicker is the "Lovelight->GDTRFB" jam that closes out the show.

May 7 - Bickershaw Festival, Wigan
The Dead thrived in chaotic environments, and it's hard to imagine a more chaotic environment than Bickershaw. Poor planning meant that the cold, muddy, wet concertgoers resorted to setting huge fires to stay warm, and the band found themselves buffeted by hurricane-force winds from enormous kerosene heaters and surrounded by poorly aimed fireworks. In spite of all this madness, they delivered a killer set that includes my favorite Euro '72 "Playing," and the rarely seen "Dark Star->Other One" pairing. Veneta fans will love the banter and overall vibe. Including intermission and tuning breaks, the Dead were onstage for 5 hours that day.

May 26 - Lyceum Theatre, London
The tour's final night was one of its best. The album versions of "One More Saturday Night" and "Ramble On Rose" came from this show, and the "Truckin'->Epilogue->Prelude->Morning Dew" that fills sides 5 and 6 is actually an abbreviated version of a 71-minute sequence that also includes "The Other One" and "Sing Me Back Home." The end of the first set provides an amazing example of serendipity: after "China->Rider," the crowd starts clapping the Bo Diddley beat, and there's nothing the band can do but shrug and start "Not Fade Away."

Honorable Mentions

April 17 - Tivoli Concert Hall, Copenhagen
The Dead returned to Tivoli a mere three days after they tore the house down on the 14th, and this time, the cameras were on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pt67BUeQ1-Q There's not much footage of the Dead in the early 70's, so this concert is a real rarity. Bobby's TV related banter is hilarious.

May 3 - Olympia Theatre, Paris
The album versions of "China->Rider," "Tennessee Jed" and "Jack Straw" were all taken from this show, which also features a good Truckin'->Other One and a cool transition from "Sugar Magnolia" into "Not Fade Away."

May 11 - Grote Zaal de Doelen, Rotterdam
This show tops a lot of people's Euro lists. "Dark Star" is very spacy, and probably my second favorite of the tour after 04/08. "Morning Dew" may actually be a better performance than 05/26.

May 16 - La Grande Salle du Grande Theatre - Luxembourg
The Radio Luxembourg show seems to fly under the radar, but it's a very solid show from start to finish, with some amusing banter.

Worst shows? Honestly, there aren't any bad ones. The worst Europe '72 concert could easily be the best in one of the Dead's lesser years. Almost every show from the tour is interesting for one reason or another, and the only ones I would recommend for completionists only are the 04/16 Aarhus, 04/29 Hamburg and 05/18 Munich shows.

I've got favorite versions of just about every song the Dead played on the tour, but this post is already too long. I can make further comments if anyone is interested.

Juaguocio fucked around with this message at Mar 22, 2014 around 03:12

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


Well, since you asked, here's my Europe '72 master playlist, in alphabetical order since I'm still working on the best mix. Altogether, it's nearly 7 hours of music.

"Deal" and "Dire Wolf" didn't make the cut, because I don't feel like the Dead delivered a strong performance of either song on this tour. I probably cut some other tunes that I'm forgetting at the moment.

Beat It On Down The Line: 05/11
Bertha: 04/14
Big Boss Man: 05/07
Big Railroad Blues: 04/17
Black Peter: 05/24
Black Throated Wind: 05/16
Brokedown Palace: 05/25
Brown Eyed Women: 05/25
Casey Jones: 04/24
Caution (Do Not Stop On Tracks): 04/08
China->Rider: 05/03
Chinatown Shuffle: 05/23
Cold Rain And Snow: 04/17
Comes A Time: 04/26
Cumberland Blues: 04/08
Dark Star: 04/08
El Paso: 04/17
Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad: 04/26
Good Lovin: 05/04
Greatest Story Ever Told: 05/07
He's Gone: 05/10
Hurts Me Too: 04/14
Jack Straw: 05/03
Looks Like Rain: 04/08
Loser: 04/14
Me And Bobby McGee: 04/14
Me And My Uncle: 05/16
Mexicali Blues: 05/23
Morning Dew: 05/26
Mr. Charlie: 05/16
Next Time You See Me: 04/26
Not Fade Away: 05/03
One More Saturday Night: 04/08
The Other One: 05/26
Playing In The Band: 05/07
Promised Land: 05/16
Ramble On Rose: 05/26
Rockin' Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu: 05/23
Sing Me Back Home: 05/26
The Stranger (Two Souls In Commmunion): 05/11
Sugaree: 05/26
Sugar Magnolia: 04/08
Tennessee Jed: 05/03
Truckin: 05/26
Turn On Your Lovelight: 04/26
Uncle John's Band: 05/04
You Win Again: 04/14

...and that's not including the banter and weird stuff between songs, like the Yellow Dog story and the band singing Happy Birthday to Billy.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


I had a hankering for some really vintage stuff after all this '68 talk, so I checked out 10/22/1967. There are a lot of sound and tuning issues, including an awful cut in "Lovelight," but the levels of psychedelic saturation are completely off the charts. Features the first complete "That's It For The Other One," with some different lyrics.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


HollisBrown posted:

Honestly 68 might be my favorite year. It's dumb to try to say any year is objectively better than another but I love the early experimental Dead and I'll never get enough The Eleven-> Death Don't Have no Mercy

January/February '68 has been blowing my mind lately. I checked out 1/22 last night, and wow, that Alligator! The Dead were playing afrobeat before anyone had even heard of Fela Kuti: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5EZKvsmxsw

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


Yeah, I've had 10/12 sitting around for a while, I really need to give it a whirl one of these days.

2/14/68 is another rip-roaring show. You can hear pieces of it on "Anthem," and it was also released in its complete form as Road Trips Vol. 2 No. 2.

The poster is an all-time classic:

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


Would anyone be into a Summer '72 effort post? I've nearly finished with July, and August is up next.

The July 16th Dillon Stadium show isn't particularly well-played or recorded, but it features the most unheralded of the Dead/Allmans collaborations: Dickey, Berry and Jaimoe join the Dead for a neat NFA->GDTRFB->Bo Diddley jam at the end of the second set.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


Alright, here's a summer '72 post. There were only 7 shows total in June and July, so I might as well give a short description of each.



June 17, 1972 at the Hollywood Bowl was Pigpen's last show. You can see him in the above poster for the 25th and 26th, but 6/17 was the end for him. He didn't sing, but played organ on some tunes, most notably adding an interesting texture to the very first "Stella Blue." That, and the Truckin'->The Other One->Ramble On Rose sequence are the highlight for me.

As I mentioned on the last page, The July 16th Dillon Stadium show is only remarkable for the Allman Brothers collaboration on the last 4 songs or the second set.

If you're only going to listen to one show from July '72, The 7/18 Roosevelt Stadium show is the one to check out. The sound is good, it has a nice "Playing In The Band," and the centerpiece is an interesting Truckin'->Dark Star->Comes A Time sequence filled with energetic jams.

The July 21st Seattle show was released as volume 10 of the Download Series. It's mostly uninteresting, but does have a really good version of "Cumberland Blues."

The second night in Seattle was cut up into a Bonus Disc for the same Download Series. Good idea, since even the songs that were included are full of mistakes. "Morning Dew" is the highlight.

The first Portland show isn't particularly great overall, but it has a really weird version of "The Other One" coming out of "Truckin'" that goes to all sorts of interesting places. There's a cool dissonant jazzy jam, and an Allmans-esque section where Jerry plays slide for a while. Then, in a moment that basically epitomizes July '72, the band comes out of the awesome jams into the verse, and Bobby completely blows the lyrics. The band recovers, though, and puts together a nice "Wharf Rat."

The second Portland show has a pretty good Dark Star->Comes A Time, but that's about it.

Overall, this was an uneven period after the heights of Europe '72, with lots of bad vocals and sound problems, but also some very cool and unique jams. The Dead were on the rise, though, and the late summer and fall of '72 contains some of their finest work.

Juaguocio fucked around with this message at Aug 8, 2014 around 06:18

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


Blast Fantasto posted:

Did anyone go to the meetup at movies a few weeks ago?

It was a taped TV performance from the Europe 72 tour. It was enjoyable, but I wish the ads had stressed that it was a rehearsal. There were a ton of stops and starts, forgotten words, etc. They did "Playing in the Band" twice, near identically.

There was a teaser before the movie for the new Spring 1990 box set and that looks really great. In general I've really softened on my "No Dead past 1979 is worthwhile stance." There is some great stuff in 80 & 85, and 1990 is awesome other than Jerry's voice deteriorating.

I didn't catch it in a theater, but I love the Beat Club footage, even though it's from one of the worst shows of the tour.

Just in case anyone hasn't seen it, here's the video of the 4/17 Tivoli show:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pt67BUeQ1-Q

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...




August 1972 was a peak Grateful Dead month. The tentative post-Pigpen feeling that pervaded July gave way to a torrent of dynamic, explosive performances, as the band settled into the configuration that would carry them through 1974. There was one bad show, two decent ones, three great ones, and one that transcends space and time. Shall we go, you and I?

The 8/12 Sacramento show reminds me of the better July shows. It's solid throughout, but never really takes off in any of the big jams. I'm not usually a fan of "Stella Blue," but the version from this show is very nice, as is the "Ramble On Rose."

The 8/20 San Jose show isn't very good. The sound fluctuates wildly and never really comes together, and the performance suffers as a result. This is the only August show I would recommend skipping.

The 8/21 Berkeley show is where things really start to get interesting. The band must have been determined to make up for the letdown in San Jose, because this show delivers great sound and performance. "He's Gone," "Friend Of The Devil" and "Playing In The Band" are all highlights, and the big jam is a very strange sequence of Dark Star->El Paso->Space->Deal, where Jerry tries to start "Morning Dew" but gets denied in hilarious fashion.

The following night at Berkeley was another epic show from the Dead. It has a very fine "Loser," another good "Playing In The Band" and "He's Gone," and an adventurous Truckin'->Other One with a nice solo from Phil.

The 8/24 Berkeley show continues the run of greatness. All four nights at Berkeley are worth listening to, but the 21st, 22nd and 24th are most deserving of attention. This particular show has a great China->Rider and "Uncle John's Band," and, in contrast to the 21st, a successfully executed Dark Star->Morning Dew.

The 8/25 Berkeley show is the weakest of the four, but the soundboard recording cuts out during "The Other One," so there may have been greatness that we will never hear. Such is life, and the Dead.

Finally, there's the 8/27 Veneta show, also known as the Field Trip, the Springfield Creamery Benefit, or simply Veneta. Any way you slice it, it's the best August show, one of the best '72 shows, and right up there with the best Dead shows of all time. It puts the whole summer of '72 into perspective; taken together, the entire July through August period is a long buildup to this one, outstanding performance. If you're into the Dead, you've most likely heard about Veneta, but unlike some other highly-praised shows, this one lives up to the hype. China->Rider, "Playing In The Band," "Jack Straw," "Bird Song," "Greatest Story Ever Told" and "Dark Star" are all performed at a very high level, and the overall vibe of the show is as weird as it gets. Check out the film and you'll see what I mean, but beware the many naked hippies, especially the guy up on the pole: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANF6qanEB7s

The officially released "Sunshine Daydream" audio is the best way to experience Veneta. It's a must for any enthusiast of the 1972 Grateful Dead.

Juaguocio fucked around with this message at Aug 19, 2015 around 04:35

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


I haven't heard any news about Bobby's health, but he and Phil sang The Star-Spangled Banner before game 3 of the NLCS today, so hopefully that means he's doing better.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


I meant to say game 4, but yeah, the Dead seem to be fans of not just baseball, but sports in general. I remember hearing football related banter in some '74 shows, and the Bill Walton connection is well documented. One of the drummers, I want to say Mickey, is wearing a Celtics warmup jacket in the "Touch Of Grey" video.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


I'm working on a September '72 post, but it'll be a while. There was a ridiculous amount of great music played during that period.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


http://www.dead50.net/

quote:

We are thrilled to announce “Fare Thee Well – Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead” – to the Dead community.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, and Bob Weir will reunite at Chicago’s Soldier Field, nearly 20 years to the day of the last-ever Grateful Dead concert, which took place at the same venue. “Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead” will take place over three nights – July 3rd, 4th, and 5th, 2015 – and mark the original members’ last-ever performance together. The band will be joined by Trey Anastasio (Guitar), Jeff Chimenti (Keyboards) and Bruce Hornsby (Piano), and will perform two sets of music each night.

In the tradition of the original Grateful Dead Ticketing Service, tickets will be available via a first come first serve mail order system starting on January 20th, followed by an online pre-sale through Dead Online Ticketing February 12th and will be available online to the general public on February 14th via Ticketmaster.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


I really like the 1972 Dead. Elsewhere in this thread, I've detailed my explorations of April/May, June/July and August, and now it's time to have a look at September.



This was a busy time, with 14 shows total, including 11 over 16 days in the latter half of the month. Despite the hectic schedule, the Dead delivered quality performances at nearly every show. Veneta seems to have infused the band with fresh ideas, and they explored this new dark, jazzy territory with energy and gusto. Just look at the different directions Dark Star took over the course of the month:

09/10: Dark Star-> Jack Straw
09/16: Dark Star-> Brokedown Palace
09/21: Dark Star-> Morning Dew
09/24: Dark Star-> jam-> China Cat Sunflower-> I Know You Rider
09/27: Dark Star-> Cumberland Blues

Each rendition is unique and interesting in its own right, and the same could be said of the September shows as a whole. Despite this overall excellence, some dates are more highly regarded than others, and the officially released recordings also generally mark the finest shows. There is one major exception, as I'll detail shortly.

Cream Of The Crop

09/17/72 - Civic Center - Baltimore, MD

This show was my introduction to September, in the form of Dick's Picks 23 and some Mondrian blotter. "Casey Jones," "Loser," "Jack Straw," and "Mississippi Half-Step" are all highlights, and the main course of He's Gone-> Other One-> Sing Me Back Home is a delicious treat. The Other One sandwich from 9/28 is a better overall performance, and I'm not overly fond of "Sing Me Back Home," but the jam from 9/17 gets way, way out there. I definitely recommend listening to both versions.

09/21/72 - The Spectrum - Philadelphia, PA

I knew this show was special the first time I heard it, but after this comprehensive expedition through all the September '72 recordings, I think 9/21 is not only the best of the bunch, but one of the best of all 1972, and by extension, one of the best Grateful Dead shows, period. It was released as Dick's Picks 36, and I've read that it was one of Dick's absolute favorites. I would compare it to Veneta in the sense that it's consistently great from start to finish, with crisp, clear sound and fine playing from all band members. Dark Star-> Morning Dew is the best of all the September versions of DS, and China Cat Sunflower-> I Know You Rider, "Ramble On Rose," and "Black Peter" are just a few of its many other highlights. If you're only going to listen to one September '72 show, it's this one.

09/27/72 - Stanley Theater - Jersey City, NJ

I wish I could have found a better image to use for this post, but there doesn't seem to be much documentation of 1972 out there. I was glad to be able to find something from the Stanley Theater run on the 26-28th, since it's one of the highlights of the month. As Dick's Picks 11, the 27th was the first of the September shows to see an official release. It's a strong one from start to finish, with great versions of "Friend Of The Devil," "Bird Song," and "Uncle John's Band," and a rare '72 version of "Attics Of My Life." The "Dark Star" jam is laid back, but traverses some interesting territory before transitioning into a nice "Cumberland Blues."

09/28/72 - Stanley Theater - Jersey City, NJ

The final night at the Stanley is marred by sound issues in the first set, but also contains some of the absolute finest '72 material, so it's strange that an official release has never occurred. A Stanley 3-night box set -or at least a compilation of the 27th and 28th- seems like a no-brainer. Fortunately, there is a lovely Charlie Miller soundboard, and even more fortunately, the quality of the sound and performance skyrockets at the end of the second set. "Playing In The Band" was performed very well throughout September, and while there are many great versions to choose from, this one is my favorite. The "Greatest Story Ever Told" from 9/28 is also a must listen, as is the massive central sequence of He's Gone-> The Other One-> Bobby McGee-> Other One-> Wharf Rat. This show isn't as strong overall as 9/21, but its peaks reach as high as any in 1972.

Best Of The Rest

09/03/72 - Folsom Field - Boulder, CO
The He's Gone-> Other One-> Wharf Rat from this show is really good, and a sort of preview of the mammoth Other Ones to come later in the month. The whole set can be found as a mediocre soundboard and audience recording, but the big jam centerpiece appears in much better quality as bonus material on Dick's Picks 36.

09/23/72 - Palace Theater, Waterbury, CT
There are a couple of nifty sequences in this show. I believe this is the first time they tried to run the combination of Promised Land-> Bertha-> Greatest Story Ever Told together, and they would come back to this particular trick fairly often in the 73-74 period. There's also a Cryptical Envelopment-> drums-> Other One, and I think this was one of the last times they played Cryptical before it disappeared for many years.

Heady times, man. I'm looking forward to digging into October next, since it's a month that I've never previously checked out.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


Goddamn, Pigpen died 42 years ago today. I need to dig up some classic Pig tracks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AboYGlsrFw

"Pigpen, did you say gently caress?"
"I SAID gently caress!"

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


Hollis Brownsound posted:

Pigpen wasn't the most musically accomplished member of the Dead but if you read Rock Scully's book, he seems to think that Pigpen may have been the most influential early on and the most responsible for their image and persona.

When he died the Dead really lost that rough edge that I think made them so great in the 68-72 period.

Pig was actually the only original Dead member to come from a blues/R&B background. His dad was a Bay Area disc jockey, so Pig was exposed to a lot of that music at a very young age. He was basically the "frontman" in the early days because he was the most confident singer, and a solid organ player too. While the other Dead members got better at playing the blues later on, Pig was just a natural born bluesman.

Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...



Nice, is that an extra from the GD Movie?

It's too bad the Wall was such a logistical and financial nightmare, because it had such an amazing sound. There are some great audience recordings from 1974 that capture that live "feel" incredibly well.

Phil's bass setup is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of (from here):

quote:

Phil is using a new quadraphonic bass, the electronics of which were designed and built by George Mundy and the body and pickups by Rick Turner. The new bass has the same versatile qualities as the old bass: three pickups (bass and treble pickups covering all the strings, and a quad pickup which has a separate signal for each string); on each of the bass and treble pickups there are controls which enable him to select 1) the band-width of the filter, 2) the center frequency of the filter, 3) the kind of filter being used and 4) mix unequalized unfiltered direct sound with the filtered sound. The variety of sounds which can be achieved on the bass is the result of the many different combinations of these variables which can be used. The new bass has a frequency response with a crisper tone, and two quad pickups instead of one, the new one being a frequency-detector pickup. The main addition to the new bass is a Digital Decoding Circuit such that ten push buttons on the bass allow Phil to select any one of sixteen quad spatial arrangements of his speakers, and eight in stereo mode

The bass guitar system has two columns of fifteen inch tranducers stacked 18 high. Four power amplifiers are used as the bass requires more power for equal loudness. Since teh instrument has the capability to operate with individual outputs on each of the four strings, the array can be fed in this manner which makes it possible to play chords on the bass without intermodulation.
36 15" speakers! It's no wonder people who went to Watkins Glen say that the sound was crystal clear from half a mile away.

Oh wait, Watkins Glen was 1973, so they didn't have the full Wall yet. They must have been using some other crazy PA for that show.

Juaguocio fucked around with this message at Mar 24, 2015 around 07:31

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Juaguocio
Jun 5, 2005

Oh, David...


Noise Machine posted:

Are there any shows that have the Wall and are of high quality to actually hear it well? I'm enough of a nerd that I'm more interested in actually hearing this thing in action rather than a good dead show.

e: but if it's a kickin' show then that's not bad either

I really like the "matrix" versions of 1974 shows that combine soundboard and audience recordings. Check out the Eyes and Playing->Scarlet->Playing from 08/06/74, or the Jam->Ship of Fools and Dark Star->Spanish Jam->U.S. Blues from 06/23/74.

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