#163548  by kurt eye
 Wed Nov 28, 2018 4:23 am
If I had a time machine, my first trip would be a 73' or 74' WOS show. If you are so inclined I'd love to hear some oral history from folks who saw and heard the wall of sound (the voice of God according to Phil Lesh) first hand. What do you remember?


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 #163554  by aiq
 Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:49 am
RFK, DC. 6/9/73. Not sure about this one. I seem to remember many of the cabs but not sure if a "whole" was in effect.

Curtis Hixon, Tampa. 12/18, 19/73 partial Wall.

Jai Lai Fronton, Miami. 6/23/74. Full Wall.

Best live sound I ever heard, clean clear. Audiophile sound writ large.

Modern line arrays direct result of course.
Jimv, joethepainter liked this
 #163560  by FrettyBoy
 Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:04 pm
Providence 1973, piles of cabs on each side for PA and 6ft wall of cabs behind the band. Excellent sound and i was stunned by the look of the gear! HOOKED.

Providence 1974, full blown WOS. Incredible, didn't think it could get any better than '73, but it did. Sight lines from the sides of the stage improved dramatically as a bonus.

My largest takeaway was when they came back in 1976 (Boston Music Hall) the 1st thing I thought was :"What happened to Phil's sound?" I've never heard bass clearer than the WOS.
Jimv liked this
 #163561  by Jon S.
 Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:36 pm
I'll try to summarize a long strange story succinctly.

My first show was Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City, NJ, August 6, 1974. I'm told this is where the old Negro League Giants used to play. The set list is at the end of this post.

The show was originally scheduled for Saturday night, August 3. The tickets for the show said, "Rain or Shine." We get to the show, dose, and sure enough, it starts to pour. The infield becomes a mudbath. People start dancing in the mud like dancing bears that interbred with little piggies. One obese guy strips off everything, his junk swaying back and forth ominously while the other dancers give him a wide berth (I laughed as hard as I ever have at that)!

After, IIRC, at least an hour, the Dead come out to play, start tuning up, and forthwith turn around and exit the stage. Someone comes out to tell the crowd the show is rained out. The scene gets ugly. 30,000 people (or so) start screaming in unison, "Rain or shine. Rain or shine."

After a good while of this, Bobby himself comes out to a mic to apologize. He explains they intended to play rain or shine but the band members were being shocked by the equipment and were advised they could be killed if they keep playing. In response, someone throws a bottle at and hits Bob, a throng of Hell's Angels jump from the stage into the crowd and start beating the living shit out of the guy who threw the bottle.

Through all of this, my friends and I are now seriously dosed and becoming quite bummed out. So we left. And though we had planned to camp out at a local state park after the show, being soaked and bummed, we just drove home (at least the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn was empty by the time we got to it - that, in of itself, was a small miracle).

The only good thing about the original evening was, on the way out, we circled back to grab a bunch of extra tickets to the makeup show three days later. We must not have been the only ones who did this as the August 6 makeup's crowd was much larger than the original August 3 one! And the makeup show was great. :D

SET 1

Bertha
Mexicali Blues
Don't Ease Me In
Beat It On Down The Line
Sugaree
Jack Straw
Eyes Of The World
The Promised Land
Deal
Playing In The Band >
Scarlet Begonias >
Playing In The Band

SET 2

Seastones*
Uncle John's Band
Black Peter
El Paso
Loose Lucy
Big River
Ship Of Fools
Me And My Uncle
Row Jimmy
Sugar Magnolia >
He's Gone >
Truckin' >
Spanish Jam >
The Other One >
Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad >
Sunshine Daydream

ENCORE

U.S. Blues
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 #163562  by waldo041
 Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:31 pm
Since I was not at any WOS show, I can only copy and paste this great overview of what the WOS was.
The situation of the monitors gave the band the power to control their own sound. As Owsley so eloquently put it in some biographical notes:

“As far as I’m concerned, the sound man should be as superfluous as tits of a boar hog… All he should do is make sure things run and don’t break down; plug the wires in and unplug them. All the control of what’s going to the audience should be fully in the hands of the performing artists themselves. That’s the only way you’ll ever get close to true art.”
https://enmoreaudio.com/remembering-the ... gineering/

~waldo
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 #163563  by old man down
 Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:49 pm
Jon S.,

I was also at the rained out show at Roosevelt Stadium. (I believe I've posted about this on this site, somewhere, probably ten years ago.)

Weir came to the mic to appease the crowd by making us "understand" the predicament:

"You can't play electrical instruments in the rain."

Then he added something more, like:

"If you want to come up here and try it…"

And sure enough, someone in the crowd managed to jump up, grab the bottom of the stage, and pull himself up, almost on the stage, when a couple of roadies raced toward him and threw him back into the crowd.

I had hitchhiked to the concert with a good friend of mine, who had come down from Connecticut, and after this concert we were going to hitchhike up to Canada, which we did. I remember this concert as a Friday, so I checked my DeadBase XI and it was indeed August 2nd, and not the 3rd.

I remember coming back from Canada, somewhere out around Niagara Falls, and on someone's car radio there was mention of the makeup concert, and I was thinking what was I doing hitchhiking when if I had stayed at home I could have seen them on Tuesday night, August 6.

Prior to this show, I saw them up in Springfield, MA on June 30th, 1974, and that was a WoS show. The time before that was Providence, RI in the Fall of '73, and then my first show, Watkins Glen. I don't think the Glen had the WoS, but the Providence show may have, and the Springfield show definitely did.

A few years later, maybe reading about it, I learned that there may have been two Walls of Sound, and this was to handle the logistics of carting the sound system around. The back-hauler trucks would leapfrog the various shows.

The Springfield show, with several close friends, I remember us being in there early, and walking around the civic center layout, and taking in views from all angles. Mostly what I remember about that show was that the sound of the band filled the entire place, and it wasn't crazy loud like you would want earplugs, but instead it was full sounding and crystal clear to hear. It really was something.

The guy I hitchhiked with to Canada… he's a lifelong friend, now. Why? He married my sister! He's my brother in law, and we have had adventures all over the USA, hiking, camping, fly fishing, even Total Eclipse viewing through a Questar 3.5" telescope of mine, out in Canyonlands National Park a few years ago.
Jimv, waldo041, Gr8fulCadi liked this
 #163564  by kurt eye
 Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:30 pm
old man down wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:49 pm
Mostly what I remember about that show was that the sound of the band filled the entire place, and it wasn't crazy loud like you would want earplugs, but instead it was full sounding and crystal clear to hear. It really was something.
Wow. Cool.
 #163566  by Gr8fulCadi
 Wed Nov 28, 2018 6:47 pm
kurt eye wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 5:30 pm
old man down wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:49 pm
Mostly what I remember about that show was that the sound of the band filled the entire place, and it wasn't crazy loud like you would want earplugs, but instead it was full sounding and crystal clear to hear. It really was something.
Wow. Cool.
Wish I was able to attend a WOS show, was born jus after.

Thought this was cool, and lots of McIntosh :cool:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=k5z6lG8AAyk

While obviously a different genre of music, several decades later they are basically striving for the benefit of what the WOS provided. HiFi!!
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 #163570  by old man down
 Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:45 pm
I'll add just a little bit more on detail about the Springfield and Roosevelt (rainout) shows.

So, Springfield was a civic center layout, and we were friends coming together from several locations, 4 of us, and we had made it clear where we would be, and to look for each other outside on the steps. It was funny, but back then if you kept your eyes open chances were good you would see other friends at Dead shows, just because Dead Heads always showed up at Dead shows.

The layout of the civic center was like a hockey rink "open floor" and assigned seats in the stands. With your assigned seat ticket, you could enter into one of the portal doors and then walk horizontally around at that level. You could do a full 360 around the place.

I remember when I first went into the portal door, none of the band were on stage, and maybe a few "hands" were making minor adjustments to various things. The house-lights were on and no one was really seated yet. Just groups of people here and there. There was music coming from the WoS, maybe at 1/3 volume, and it was Stevie Wonder singing, "I'm too high, too high, …" and it sort of captured my state of mind. All of us were looking around, and we identified where our seats would be come show time.

I was walking with one friend, who owned an electric guitar, and he was the guy who got me interested in playing to begin with. (I'm much better than him, now, btw; he can't play much of anything, really.) So as we walked near where Garcia would stand, he pointed out to me, "Look at Garcia's Macintosh Amps." I knew nothing about gear, but from a distance the blue glow from the glass windows of those amps looked really cool. We kept walking around and the view from behind the stage was a terrible place to be. But even from there I could hear Stevie's "I'm too high, too high…" just fine. The reason my friend knew about the Macintosh amps was because the bunch of us had all gone to the same boarding school, and at boarding school, if you were cool, you owned a"stereo." Well, my future to be brother-in-law had somehow fried my "electric guitar" friend's "stereo" Macintosh amp with a wrong speaker connection hook up, and so that "stereo" never worked right, if at all, after that. But his Macintosh amp "stereo" had that dual "blue window" look, and I guess that's how he knew from a distance about Garcia's amps.

For the Roosevelt Stadium rainout, I remember that when it began raining, it wasn't a little rain, it was sheets of rain, and windy. Take cover under the stadium overhang over the seats. So, it was only when it had cleared a lot that Weir was able to come out and address everybody. We were all thinking, good, we're going to see a show after all! I don't remember Weir getting hit with a bottle or can, and I don't remember Hell's Angels kicking anybody in the crowd, but it may have happened. Generally speaking, this would have been a John Sher produced event, and his security, maybe Roosevelt stadium security, too, would be keeping order, and with cops from Jersey City. Hell's Angels, they get a bad rap a lot, but you'd be surprised how many of them also know how to wear a suit and tie, work a regular job, pay bills, raise a family.

Because I had hitchhiked to the concert with my later-to-be brother-in-law, when the concert got rained out, we were unable to find the guy who picked us up on Route 3. (he was also going to the concert) So, we had to hitchhike back home to my parent's place, and everything was flooded. Underpasses, that normally allowed easy access in and out, were underwater. And because I was in such a confused state of mind at the time, I couldn't figure out how to get home. My BiL to-be asked me questions like, "You don't even know the roads around your own home?"

Yup… I was a dope back then, all of seventeen years old, no steady job, and just wanted to see the Grateful Dead as much as possible.

When we finally got home that night, I couldn't sleep, and I remember going into the basement and playing my $88 Degas nylon string guitar at the bottom of the stairs, trying to be quiet. At one point, really late, my father opened the basement stairs door, and said something about how he was wondering what the noise was. (he was being kind, probably concerned about me) I said I'd only be a little longer. The next morning he drove me and my BiL to be to the Garden State Parkway to hitchhike to Canada. I was so fried by then. My father said something about how smoking a little pot now and then isn't too much, but don't do heavy drugs. He was so kind… how he ever endured me and the rest of his kids back in the '70s, I'll never know.
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 #163576  by Jon S.
 Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:05 am
old man down wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 3:49 pm
Jon S.,

I was also at the rained out show at Roosevelt Stadium. (I believe I've posted about this on this site, somewhere, probably ten years ago.)

I had hitchhiked to the concert with a good friend of mine, who had come down from Connecticut, and after this concert we were going to hitchhike up to Canada, which we did. I remember this concert as a Friday, so I checked my DeadBase XI and it was indeed August 2nd, and not the 3rd.
Wow, I lost a day! :oops:

For my friends and me, the thing was we didn't have to work the next day and so were going to camp out after the show. On the rescheduled Tuesday date, alas, no camping for us. Oh well! :drink:
 #163577  by Jon S.
 Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:12 am
old man down wrote:
Wed Nov 28, 2018 8:45 pm
I'll add just a little bit more on detail about the Springfield and Roosevelt (rainout) shows.

For the Roosevelt Stadium rainout, I remember that when it began raining, it wasn't a little rain, it was sheets of rain, and windy. Take cover under the stadium overhang over the seats. So, it was only when it had cleared a lot that Weir was able to come out and address everybody. We were all thinking, good, we're going to see a show after all! I don't remember Weir getting hit with a bottle or can, and I don't remember Hell's Angels kicking anybody in the crowd, but it may have happened.
Too bad we didn't know each other then, I could have said hi in person! :cheers:

My memories of the thrown bottle and beat-up match those of my 2 friends who were with me the first rained out night so, the dosing notwithstanding, I think we're remembering the event correctly.

FWIW, here's another guy's memories of the rain out that has some elements consistent with my memories:

Reviewer: voxrock - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 18, 2015

Subject: My first Dead show

My first Dead show, went to the rainout and heard some Ned and Phil in the afternoon. Then the clouds rolled in and it got ugly, the sky and the crowd. Bobby came out and said the speakers were getting wet and they had to postpone. A riot ensued. My 13 year old eyes saw some crazy stuff.. bottles flying, bikers beating, naked guys slithering across my feet in the mud covered with broken glass...

Source: https://archive.org/details/gd74-08-06. ... efail.shnf
 #163579  by LD273
 Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:00 am
My frst show was Feb '73 when was a freshman @ university of Illinois.
On the bus.
Spring'74, the Dead (& the wall) are booked for des Moines Iowa at the state fairgrounds in June. An out door afternoon show. I think the tickets were $5.
It's about a 5-6 hour drive & we're on the road in my buddy's VW Beetle. Couple hours out from des Moines, we go through a speed trap & get pulled over. All we had with us was some weed, but back in 74, ANY amount of weed was a fairly serious issue, so we're both more than a little nervous. Cop takes Pete back to his cruiser to run his license. It's pretty appearance by our attire who we are & what we're up to, but after about 10 minutes, pete comes back to the car with only a warning and we are sent on our way.
He later told me that when the trooper was on his radio reporting the stop, he told dispatch something like, "yea, I got a couple astronauts on their way to Des moines"
The show......a sunny cool Sunday afternoon, & even outdoors, when entered the fairgrounds & saw the wall, your first thought was Holy Shit!
We find a spot about on the field about 50' from the stage in front of Jerry.
As usual, they start late due to "technical dificulties" Phil steps up to his mic to explain in a booming voice that THESE THINGS TAKE TIME!!
Then Jerry steps up to his mic & offers "time is a subjective phenomenon."
The sounds was a little off at first, bat after a couple songs, they get it dialed in & what followed was a monster 3 set show, with a setlist that included every song I would have put on my wishlist.
I never went out "on tour", so my resume' is kind of limited....about 15 or 20 shows, mostly in the 70's. A few in the 80 's and Brent's last 2 shows in 1990. (The stadium scene wasn't for me) but Des Moines 74 was far & away the high point.
 #163580  by Jon S.
 Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:16 am
LD273 wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:00 am
My frst show was Feb '73 when was a freshman @ university of Illinois.
On the bus.
Welcome to the forum! :D