Late July finds us with a whole lot of 1974 material for you, plus a few other choice bits from 1966 and 1982.
The late July, 1974 Eastern swing is often overshadowed a little by the magnificent May and June shows, but our selections from July this week will reveal some masterful performances. From 7/25/74 in Chicago, we have two big jams, one from the first set and one from the second. First is this typically deep Weather Report Suite>Around and Around jam to end the first set, and also the heart of the second set, Dark Star>Slipknot!>Stella Blue. Dark Star was relatively rare in 1974 compared to 1972 and 1973, so it’s always a treat to hear one from 1974.
From the next show on the tour on 7/27/74 in Roanoke, VA, we have a couple of selections. Ending the first set is this long and very exploratory Playing In The Band. I still have not yet met a Playing In The Band from 1974 that I don’t like. What is very unique about this Roanoke show is that there is no big second set jam, but what they do play is a mini-jam, featuring this U.S. Blues>Jam>Promised Land. This is one of the few shows in 1974 that does not feature a second set jam that begins with either Weather Report Suite, He’s Gone, Truckin’ or Dark Star.
Lastly from the July 1974 tour is a trio of songs from 7/29/74 at the Capital Center in Landover, MD, the band’s first visit to future home of the Washington Capitals hockey team (they would begin play as an expansion team in October, 1974). From the first set we have Cumberland Blues and Scarlet Begonias, and from the second set we have this very mellow Peggy-O, quite a bit different than the post-hiatus versions. All of these tracks from 1974 were recorded in stereo to _” analog tape running at 7.5 ips.
Jumping ahead exactly eight years to 7/29/82 at Red Rocks, we have the second set opening Cold Rain and Snow>Samson and Delilah, with Jerry absolutely shredding his solos on the latter. This, like all of tapes from 1982 save the New Year’s run, was recorded to cassette, bringing with it numerous technical issues, but oftentimes the cassette masters sound very good.
And speaking of very good cassette masters, we have the second set opening Feel Like A Stranger from 5/31/80 with a very good mix and excellent sound quality.
Also from July 29, 7/29/66 in Vancouver, BC specifically, we have the show opening Dancing In The Streets, and a nice medley of I’m A King Bee>One Kind Favour. These were not only the Grateful Dead’s first shows outside of the United States, but they were the first shows outside of California. Check in next week for a bit more of these Vancouver shows, plus a very cool story about the band’s visit north of the border.
Lastly this week, we have the opening trio from 5/5/78 in New Hampshire. As I’ve said before, this show falls under the radar, but hopefully it’ll gain a bit of a wider appreciation. We’re pleased to play Promised Land, Dire Wolf and a rocking Cassidy.
Be sure to check in next week for another taste of 1974, the aforementioned return trip to 1966, plus some great material from 1982 and 1989. As always, we encourage you to write with questions, comments, suggestions or requests. It’s always great to hear from you.
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