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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

E72 post 11

5/10/72, con't

I have a million thoughts on these things while pedaling, but they spin away in the wind before I can commit them anywhere. I thought this show started off very slowly, with an especially bad China > Rider. But in Next Time You See Me (I think - could have been Big Boss Man), Garcia does some screaming guitar work that really draws my attention, in an unlikely place. He paints the Playin' really blue, and it feels like Garcia is having a great night. He's my focus this whole show, while with other shows I am really appreciating the interplaying of the whole band.

Truckin' feels pretty brief and tame, but it's The Other One that really starts setting this show apart. E72 is replete with great Other Ones, and this is a great Other One. About 5 minutes in, Garcia and pals enter a sad space, and I am thinking about the Concertgebouw which, in terms of acoustics, "is considered one of the finest concert halls in the world".  This piece is just lovely, mournful like an echo of war, old world and a little bit classical-sounding. Much later, toward the end of TOO, they find a second space with some of the same vibe. In between, there's all kinds of great stuff. At one point, Garcia wails and rowwrrrrss and tigers with glass-shard notes. All night he's got some kind of extra fuzz on things. Keith really takes a strong, inventive lead somewhat late in this half-hour-plus monster, and Weir distinguishes himself in the last few minutes before turning to Bobby McGee, but I don't hear as much of Phil in this version. Wharf Rat is now mature and really flexes its muscles. Jerry strong.

All of this, of course, could be quite opposite on a different listen.

After that hour-long medley, which includes some of the sweetest passages of the whole tour to this point, an energized band continues for almost another hour, Pig and Jerry doing some of their newer numbers, and Garcia also tackling Sing Me Back Home. I don't generally like that song the way the Dead did it, but this version is pretty good. Bobby's Sugar Magnolia is just fantastic on the tour, this one no exception, and then it issues into a Not Fade Away that has more of a Hand Jive feel to start than any other I have heard, very distinctive, before the GDTRFB > NFA closer. I guess there was no encore.

Anyway, overall, not the best show of the tour, maybe about average, but TOO contains some of the best passages from all of E72.


  1. I really like you thoughts on Europe 72 JGMF. I recall spending a month in 2011 listening on earbuds on my iphone the entire run of 22 shows while on long walks, one per show. HIghlights I recall now is that Sittin' on Top of the World smoked after they started playing it late in the run and how great that last night set one was. These are fun to read

  2. Thanks! Sounds like we took the same approach. Ridiculous how much energy these guys brought to the proceedings, to say nothing of the talent.


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