Rolling along toward the dog days of summer, the Grateful Dead continued to perform exceptional shows around the country, and we have music from 1970 through 1989 from this week in the band’s recorded history, plus a little taste of 1990 by request.
Our first track this week is this excellent electric Candyman from 7/16/70 in San Rafael, CA. Throughout mid-1970, the band could play this song in the acoustic sets or during the electric sets, always to great effect. A very important thing to note is that this is the last concert recorded by the Grateful Dead’s sound crew until December, 1970 (aside from a couple of multi-track shows from October). Bear went away for a couple of years after this show, and no one recorded the second half of 1970, hence the dearth of shows in good quality from July through December.
Next on the list today is the big jam from 7/16/72 in Hartford, CT, the first shows after Pigpen’s last show (which took place 6/17/72). The band did have some experience playing without Pigpen from October, 1971 when Keith was being worked into the band and Pigpen took time off, but this was the start of the new era of the Grateful Dead that would be in place from this night until 10/20/74. From the second set is Truckin’>Drums>The Other One>He’s Gone>The Other One>Looks Like Rain. Rather typical of the era for a second set jam, which is to say exquisite.
We’ll now jump forward two years to the first show on the second leg of the summer tour of 1974, to Fresno, CA. First up is this bluesy Soundcheck Jam, with a Rockin’ Pneumonia-esque feel. And from the first set are two classic 1974 jamming vehicles: Scarlet Begonias and the set-closing Playing In The Band. We get a lot of requests for the next show on the tour, 7/21/74 in Hollywood, but unfortunately that excellent performance isn’t in the vault.
Two years later the band was in residence at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco for six shows in seven nights. From the penultimate show on 7/17/76 we have a nice trio of songs: from the first set is this meaty Sugaree as well as a classically great Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo, and the second encore, a rare for the era stand-alone Not Fade Away. The groove of this encore reminds me a little of the version of the title track of the Don’t Let Go CD by the Jerry Garcia Band, performed at this same venue less than two months earlier.
For a little taste of 1984, we have a couple of sequences from July 21&22, 1984 at Ventura County Fairgrounds. First up is the first set closing jam of China Cat Sunflower>I Know You Rider>Looks Like Rain>Might As Well from 7/21/84, and from 7/22/84 here is the first set opening combination of Dancing In The Street>Bertha. These were both drawn from the Beta PCM digital masters and for the most part sound very good, although these early digital tapes do have occasional drop-outs, as heard here and on previous PCM-sourced items posted here. Fortunately, there are cassette masters of most, if not all, of these shows, so if a release is ever produced from these PCM tapes, the drop-outs can be easily and seamlessly fixed with the cassette masters.
From 1989 at Alpine Valley, on 7/18/89, we have the oddly compelling second set opening jam of Sugar Magnolia>Scarlet Begonias>Women Are Smarter>Eyes of the World. This middle night of the great three-night run at Alpine (the band’s final trip to this magical locale) had some interesting material, and usually falls under the radar as it’s sandwiched between two great, widely-known shows.
We had a request recently to hear the Brokedown Palace from 5/31/80, but unfortunately that second encore isn’t in the vault, so here is the first encore from that mighty good show, U.S. Blues.
Lastly this week we have the break-out of Loose Lucy from 3/14/90 at the Capital Center in Landover, MD, by request. This was the first version of the song since October, 1974, although it sure sounds like the band had been playing it frequently since then. A most positive addition to the repertoire.
Be sure to check in next week when we’ll have some more music from 1974, plus what we expect will be a whole lot of other great stuff. Feel free to write with questions, comments or suggestions.
vault at dead.net