I tell ya, I try to put shows up regularly but sometimes it just doesn't work out how I'd like it to. This little thing called life often gets in the way. Oh well, what am I gonna do? This show I originally wanted to post like a week ago but wasn't able to. Maybe I shouldn't worry about it so much. Sugarmag and I would love to regularly get stuff up but it's just not always so easy. Check back, though, ya know, 'cause ya just never know when something'll get posted! And hey, if this is Volume 30 and we've only had 87 days in the year so far, well, you do the math but that's about, on average, 1 every 3 days. That ain't bad, is it?
1st Set: Bertha, Black-Throated Wind, Sugaree, Chinatown Shuffle,
Greatest Story Ever Told, Loser, Mr. Charlie, Looks Like Rain,
Tennessee Jed, Playing In The Band, You Win Again, Cumberland Blues,
Next Time You See Me, El Paso, Good Lovin', Casey Jones
Set 2: Truckin'-» Drums-» The Other One-» Wharf Rat, Sugar Magnolia,
The Stranger (Two Souls In Communion), Ramble On Rose,
Me & My Uncle, Big Railroad Blues, Not Fade Away-»
Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad-» One More Saturday Night
Not the greatest soundboard but it's not bad. Several songs in, some people will think giving this any less than A+ is a crime. Overall it's not quite but it's darn good.
I'm fairly certain that this show wasn't even around in the analog age. It's new to us here in the 21st Century Digital Age of the Dead. There is some hiss during quieter moments and the mix for the first few minutes of Bertha is a little ugly. There's also some minor distortion present at times as well as a light buzz here and there. Thankfully, a minor miracle occurs in the first minute of Chinatown Shuffle when the sound improves dramatically. The result is a delicious crispyness. The buzz is more noticeable (still faint and not distracting) but it disappears eventually. Problems there be but overall it's really a pretty decent recording.
The Dead were on their way to Europe when they stopped in New York, New York to play a pretty significant stand of shows at the Academy Of Music, a theater on E. 14th Street, not too far from where they'd played so often, the Fillmore East. That legendary establishment closed up the summer before so they needed somewhere new to hang their hat for awhile. And the Academy would be their home before heading overseas.
That tour of Europe in '72 gave Deadheads what would be a premier live Dead album for so many years... then years and years later came Without A Net and From The Vault and Dick's Picks and the tide was turning. Volume 30 in the DP series released to the masses one of the nights from these seven shows in eight nights run, the 28th, the last show before leaving the continent for awhile. In addition to that whole show, the release feature some of the music from the 25th with Bo Diddley. This here, the 21st, is the first night and only the third Dead show of 1972.
Basically this is a flawlessly played show. First Set highlights for me are the third-ever Chinatown Shuffle, the gorgeous Loser, and the ultra-mega-mesmerizing Looks Like Rain. What make this version unbelievably outstanding to me is Jerry on pedal steel. Holy crap.
Playin' in these days wasn't quite the mammoth it became but at around 9 minutes it gives the band its first chance to get a little psychedelic. It's fascinating how that vehicle for finding the spacey jamming places is wedged in there and the next number is the bluesy You Win Again. To almost end the set Good Lovin' is wonderful. They have so much room to let Pig do his thing while musically they do their to back him up. Just awesome.
The fire continues into Set 2 with such a strong Truckin'. I'm really blown away more by Bob's rhythm work than anything else here. Jerry's beautifully Jerry and Phil's pounding away but why does it seem like it's Bob who's holding it all together here? So cool.
It didn't seem like Phil was entirely on during the first set. Maybe it's just the mix. Occasionally he's heard loud and clear, entering a song with power just when you want him to. But overall he wasn't there a lot and the same is true with Keith on piano. Set 2 for Phil is another story. He's all throughout this Truckin'! Phil's also all throughout (even dominating at times) The Other One. I think he woke up for Set 2! The band again has a lot of room to play here. Such a stark contrast from the mostly lickety split numbers of the first set (and what would occur later in the this set.) Before they get there, a gorgeous Wharf Rat is played. It barely gets any better. So nice! But the truest treat of the set for me is the World Premiere of Pigpen's The Stranger (Two Souls In Communion.) Man, what a show! What a great song. Why'd it go away when Pig did? This would've been OUTSTANDING by Jerry or maybe even Phil or perhaps Robert Hunter in his shows. What a tribute that woulda been. What a shame. Instead of being down about its disappearance, I guess it would be good to be thankful for its oh-so-brief appearance in a dozen shows in the first half of '72. Mmm. Pig is at the top of his game vocals-wise but it's also great to hear some of his harmonica in Big Railroad. Lastly (almost) I really dig the move into Saturday Night. Almost such a smooth transition. How cool that woulda been. Oh well. Pretty fun way to end a great show, though!
3-21-72 aka 03-21-72 aka 3/21/72 aka 03/21/72 aka 03-21-72 after the demise of The Fillmore East, the Dead hung here once -- Academy of Music later The Palladium