MattMan wrote: ↑
Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:18 am
Awesome pics. Great topic. Such a cool piece of music. Its got that Dark Star / Eyes / Franklin's Tower feel without those songs actually being played. I can hear Jerry's subsequent Blues for Allah soloing style evolving in this jam.
Listening to July 27, 1973 on Archive
Our "caravan of 3 cars" had pulled into the general area of the Race Course with a few more hours of sunlight available. We found a place to park/camp in a lower field adjacent to the fenced off fairgrounds. Other people, already camping, brought to our attention that plenty of bottled water was available nearby, and so we went to get some. Then it was quickly set up our tents since dusk was upon us.
Off in the distance, wafting, we could just make out Sugaree
being played and we realized that The Dead
So, we quickly got our acts together and rushed up toward the fenced off fairground. At this point, people were climbing over the tall gate of the fence alongside a grassy dirt road. There was no pavement anywhere. Just dirt roads and border fencing, fencing put up maybe just for the Summer Jam
. (when we came back this way later that night it was completely torn down) We had our tickets on us thinking we would need them to get in, but there was no officialdom anywhere, and we quickly realized it had become a free concert from then on.
Somewhere along this timeline I dosed. (Just enough to feel it; like a quarter.)
Finally got to a viewpoint of the stage. We were all admiring the speaker towers, and the lights shinning down on the stage; reds and blues, and maybe Bird Song
We were in the second tier of people. The first tier was right in front of the stage, and then there was a parallel-to-the-stage break in people, because cables ran there, and they were like those "snakes" that bands use, of bundled wires, only much thicker… really heavy duty. So, don't mess around there.
It was nightfall now, and the stage was looking so cool in the distance, with the light show really making everything look so special.
We decided to get closer, and we could only just get a little ways into the first tier before intrusions on people already there resulted in glares of "there's no room, okay?"
But we were close enough.
When Tennessee Jed
was played, it added a Europe '72
feel to everything, and at the time it was the album I had been listening to predominantly all Spring and Summer. So… very familiar with it.
Now, in years before, when listening to The Dead
, Live Dead
was the album to listen to if you wanted to see how far out they could take things.
So, when the Soundcheck Jam
started, we were trying to figure out what song it was. I thought China Cat/Rider
, but it didn't seem to fit. And then I thought Dark Star
, but that didn't fit either. In my confusion, I decided that it was possibly The Other One
, and because I wasn't extremely
familiar with versions of that song, that was why I couldn't figure things out, figure what song the Soundcheck Jam
But, in trying to figure out what song they were playing, it really piqued my attention and concentration. Garcia had that Europe '72
tone on his guitar, and his notes were so effortless, and charismatic. I realized he could do whatever he wanted on guitar. And the blue light on him, and then red, sometimes purple, exalted his presence. It was like the mood of his playing matched the color of the lights on him at any particular time.
During the Jam
, I realized Jerry was much, much, MUCH better than I had ever thought he was, on guitar.
And ridiculously, this being my first Dead Show
, I thought they always played this way, played this good, because they were The Grateful Dead
, they were the house band for Ken Keysey and the Acid Tests
, and, well, they were the real deal, and that was why Bill Graham always wanted them to play for something epic. There was no substitute.