I have been listening to the integral E72, starting from 4/7 and working my way forward. Not obsessing about details, just listening while pedaling. Some random thoughts.
4/7 has a lot of bucking bronco energy, but lacks discipline.
4/8 so much more controlled and effective than the first night. What a great night of entertainment for the crowd.
4/11 There is so much going on in the Truckin -> Drums -> Other One piece, universes of stuff. Each guy seems to have a bag of trick licks that he's throwing out to the rest of them. Amazing group invention, too much really to process.
4/14 The Dark Star -> Sugar Magnolia -> Good Lovin' -> Caution -> Good Lovin' is truly great. The Dark Star goes a thousand places, and Pigpen's earthy, raunchy rap (ca. 15-17 minutes in of the track below) is one for the ages: https://archive.org/details/gd1972-04-14.136980.mtx.dusborne.flac16/gd72-04-14s2t08.flac
4/16 I am on now, first set feels below average. But set II looks very promising.
More Random Thoughts
It's a good way to soak this material in. It might take me all summer to do it, but so far it's been fun, even listening to the tunes I'd normally FF >> .
"Looks Like Rain" has the pedal steel which is nice, but good golly do I hate that song.
The Pigpen numbers are great: bootlegs used to have his putative last album as Bring Me My Shotgun, and Pig's weapon of choice appears both in "Mr. Charlie" ("won't take yo life | won't even take y'limb | just unload my shotgun | take a little skin") and the sweet, charming, "Chinatown Shuffle" ("get yourself a shotgun | a pocket full of shells | and we can while away the time"). I have to think Hunter would have wanted these for the final, never-to-be-made third installment of the Ramblin' Rose trilogy, but Ace and Europe '72 bigfooted it.
I am surprised at how short the Playin's are - less than ten minutes the first few nights of the tour. Since I have never really soaked E72 in, I might only be projecting when I imagine that this will extend over the course of seven weeks on the road.
I see that there was an Other One - El Paso sandwich the first night, but it didn't mark me, and I am looking forward to hearing some more Other One -> cowboy tune sandwiches. There's a moment in 4/14 where Me And My Uncle and Caution are both happening (MAMU never really materializes, you understand), and it makes me wish they had played around more with those sorts of possibilities.