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:

For the soundboard fans:


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