Today in Grateful Dead History: April 30, 1977 – The Palladium, New York, NY

stealie NOTE: This material was originally published in 2015 on my previous site. It has been updated and edited, sometimes heavily, and was posted in several batches in August, 2016.

This is another good show from 1977, but the audience recording quality is not the best and things are muddy throughout. Luckily, the show has been commercially released as the first volume of the Grateful Dead Download Series if you want to hear the crisper soundboard recording.

Highlights from this show are the first set Mississippi Half Step and, dare I say it, Looks Like Rain. In the second set, we have a Scarlet Begonias>Fire on the Mountain (pretty good) AND a St. Stephen>Not Fade Away>Stella Blue>St. Stephen (great).  It’s pretty awesome to hear Stella Blue transition back into the St. Stephen, an unusual pairing to say the least. On top of that, Terrapin Station is the encore.

This show exists on the archive only as an audience recording: https://archive.org/details/gd1977-04-30.sonyECM33p.moore.vernon.4949.sbeok.shnf

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Today in Grateful Dead History: April 29, 1972 – Musikhalle, Hamburg, Germany

stealie NOTE: This material was originally published in 2015 on my previous site. It has been updated and edited, sometimes heavily, and was posted in several batches in August, 2016.

If you’ve just started reading this site, or for those of you who don’t pay much attention to the mechanics of live Grateful Dead recordings, there are three main types – the soundboard (recorded directly from the soundboard mix that is output to the PA system in the hall itself), the audience (recorded by a member of the audience on a microphone pointed at the stage) and the matrix (where some lunatic takes a soundboard and an audience recording from the same show and attempts to mix them together to achieve the perfect balance). People have their personal tastes, but I’d say that a majority of listeners favor the soundboards because they typically have a much cleaner sound and a better contrast between the instruments than the audience recordings. But a good audience recording can be wonderful to listen to, and today’s show is a fine example of one.

This show, from Hamburg on the band’s 1972 European tour, is not one of the best from that run. When you read the comments on this particular show, you get a lot of “great sounding recording” but not a lot of focus on the music itself, because most of the songs are pretty standard versions. However, the Dark Star is better than average, even though the ending crashes unsteadily into Sugar Magnolia.

Here’s the link to the audience recording: https://archive.org/details/gd72-04-29.aud.vernon.5250.sbeok.shnf

For the soundboard fans: https://archive.org/details/gd1972-04-29.sbd.miller.125888.flac16

Today in Grateful Dead History: April 28, 1991 – Sam Boyd Silver Bowl, Las Vegas, NV

stealieNOTE:  This material was originally published in 2015 on my previous site.  It has been updated and edited, sometimes heavily, and was posted in several batches in August, 2016.

Yesterday the Beach Boys sat in and today we have Carlos Santana playing on Bird Song – it’s a good one that clocks in at over 18 minutes.  Santana seems to fit seamlessly into the mix here, weaving his magic right along with the rest of the band.  The length of the song is questionable – sometimes things get a little bogged down, but as a whole, this is certainly a Bird Song worth savoring.

Unfortunately, once you get away from Bird Song, this show suffers from the usual array of 1990’s problems like Vince playing over everyone else and no one really interacting with one another for long stretches, but the setlist is, for the year, top-notch and there are no major clunkers.

There’s also a blistering second set Deal, a Space featuring recorded slot machine noises and a good jam into The Other One.

Here’s the Charlie Miller transfer of the Soundboard: https://archive.org/details/gd1991-04-28.sbd.miller.92278.sbeok.flac16

Today in Grateful Dead History: April 27, 1971 – The Fillmore East, New York, NY

stealie

NOTE:  This material was originally published in 2015 on my previous site.  It has been updated and edited, sometimes heavily, and was posted in several batches in August, 2016.

Did you know that the Grateful Dead played with the Beach Boys on this day in 1971?

The two bands collaborated on Searchin’, Riot In Cell Block #9, Help Me Rhonda, Okie From Muskogee and Johnny B. Goode, and the Beach Boys played Good Vibrations and I Get Around on their own in the middle of all of that ruckus. Unfortunately, none of it is any good (seriously – it’s a hot mess), but it does represent the first and only time that the Dead played Riot In Cell Block #9, Help Me Rhonda and Okie From Muskogee, so it fills a historical footnote at the very least.

The rest of the show is a fairly typical 1971 performance, with a very high quality Hard to Handle.

Here’s the link to the Charlie Miller transfer: https://archive.org/details/gd1971-04-27.sbd.miller.114461.flac16

Today In Grateful Dead History: April 4, 1987 – The Centrum, Worcester, MA

terrapinThe second set of tonight’s show from the Worcester Centrum is laid out in a really strange way, with an opening sequence of Iko Iko followed by Playin’ in the Band>Comes a Time>Willie and the Hand Jive, all pre-Drums, and then a post Drums sequence of Truckin>Playin’ in the Band>Morning Dew.  This is all good stuff, almost stunningly so for 1987.  The Comes a Time, in particular, was played a bit in 85 and 86, but only surfaced twice in 87, and this was the last appearance of Willie and the Hand Jive, ever, so they are moments to savor.  The Truckin through Morning Dew sequence is awesome, with Phil bombs all over the place and some heightened solos from Jerry near the end.   So, as you can see, the second set is worth the price of admission.

The first set is a lot sloppier and doesn’t really go anywhere.  There are some good songs being played, they just aren’t being played well.  Example: Box of Rain.  Second Example: Cassidy.  But if we have to sit through this warm up act in order to get to the main course, so be it.

Listen to the very nice audience recording here:  https://archive.org/details/gd1987-04-04.fob.nak700.rolfe.miller.99167.sbeok.flac16