Today in Grateful Dead History: May 26, 1973 – Kezar Stadium, San Francisco, CA

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 September, 2016.

This show is a great example of wonderful instrument separation on a recording. Bob is on the left, Jerry is on the right, and everyone else is spaced around the middle. The levels are well-balanced and you can hear each instrument very clearly.

Because of this, you get a good picture of what exactly Bob Weir meant to the band, which is not always easy to appreciate because 1. he’s usually buried in the mix; 2. a lot of his songs are just played to death and many of them are kinda cheesy; and 3. those shorts (although not in this era). Here, every crazy note that Bob plays is discernible and you’ll hear him do some totally bonkers and amazing things.

I think that this show is probably overrated because it was in circulation for a while and because the song quality is consistently¬†good but not always other-worldly. The Playing in the Band is wonderful (and shows off the Bob moves I’m talking about, especially at the end) and the 3rd set is good but not as transcendent as others from this time period. Still, it’s definitely worth hearing, especially as a clear example of a band that’s obviously listening intently to what its members have to play.

You can hear the soundboard here: https://archive.org/details/gd1973-05-26.sbd.miller.patched.83535.flac16

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