Phil bombs, Phil bombs and more Phil bombs! If you want to know exactly what Phil Lesh was up to during 1974, you need to check out this show, which features Mr. Lesh front and center throughout the entire evening.
This is my favorite full show (to date) of the ’74 European tour. The folks at Dead central agree with me, as they have chosen to include this show in the 30 Trips Around the Sun box set.
Like most shows from 1974, tonight finds the band fully immersed in jazz stylings and the sound is crystal clear. However, the balance is little bit off, as Phil is incredibly high in the mix. Which is awesome, because Phil is on fire all night and you can hear (for once) every crazy note.
The Dead get right into it, starting the show with a slow, jammy Uncle John’s Band. After a few more tunes, we hear a slow, jammy Scarlet Begonias that is dripping with tasty interplay between all of the parties. Two songs later, we get a very slow, very jammy Row Jimmy. You get the idea. The Race is On features a great piano solo from Keith to move things along before we come to the highlight of the show, for me – the huge Playin’ in the Band that ends the first set. This thing is chock full of incredible passages throughout its 23 minutes and is just a beautiful thing to hear straight through.
The meat of the second set is Eyes Of The World>China Doll, He’s Gone>Truckin’>Drums>Caution Jam>Ship Of Fools. The He’s Gone in particular merits special attention, as the band really listens to each other during the quiet parts, pushing us towards a beautiful ending that eventually merges into Truckin’.
And these are just the highlights. In reality, this is a can’t miss show, especially if you want to listen to that bass . . . Check it out here: https://archive.org/details/gd1974-09-18.sbd.miller.20675.shnf