LIVE DEAD LIVE DEAD LIVE DEAD LIVE DEAD
The article above this one raves about Pentangle. Sure, they gave a fine concert.
BUT...they didn't approach the Dead. The concert was the finest in Harpur history...the finest the Dead has ever given on the East Coast to my knowledge. And the finest concert I've ever seen - and that includes a 3 hour thing in Tompkins Square by the Blues Project, Janis and Big Brother's finest moment at the Fillmore East and also all of Woodstock.
Waiting at the door. Tons of freaks waiting also. Painted. Tripping. Stoned. The doors open. A mad rush for the floor. Balloons fly through the air. "Clear for an aisle." "Anybody got any matches?" "No Smoking." "Anybody want Electric Wine?" Whoo. Whoo. Screams. A Bird Call.
Then the dead. Garcia and Weir come out and do acoustic stuff. I don't remember most of it. Some was really fine. Most was really fine. An acoustic "Beat It On Down The Line" that was really fantastic. Sit down. Everybody sit down. Garcia plays "Don't Murder Me." Screams. We sit and stand. End of acoustic set.
"Where's the electric?"
THE NEW RIDERS
Announcing the NEW riders of the Purple Sage. Out comes some blond haired freak. Marma-Duke? Fine country music. The crowd roars but "where's the electric?" Riders do a fantastic version of the old Jack Jones song "The Race Is On" and a great "Weight" and "Lodi" which puts Creedence to shame. Then out comes Weir and they sing some more country stuff.
The Electric. Garcia plays the first two notes of St Stephen and the crowd goes berserk. The light show (Better than any I've seen) flashed St. Stephen with horns and snake hair. St. Stephen more powerful and better than on Aoxomoxoa or Live Dead and the crowd fills in the album screams.
That's It For The Other One, the long first cut on the second album, endless and non-ending and phenomenal. Garcia's guitar is cosmic. Then a song I don't know. Someone told me it was the Train song. People flopping on top of themselves. Garcia throws in a Dark Star riff I think. Sit down, people scream. Good Lovin or maybe it was Dancing In The Streets. Pipes and Joints flow to the Music.
IT'S IN THE MUSIC.
Pigpen gives a stirring rendition of Good Lovin and Garcia gives a break which almost goes into Lovelight but never quite makes it.
IT'S IN THE KOOL-AID
Cosmic Charlie and people jumping up and down. The hour grows late and the Dead is giving their best concert on the east coast and where? AT HARPUR. Here. Binghamton dinktown USA and the dead are amazing.
IT'S IN THE WATER.
On the screen a cartoon: A guy rolling a stone and falling under it again. Cold Rain And Snow, one of the best things in the set. The music comes on and keeps coming.
Everybody gets water and runs through the rain; People look dazed. Some sitting giving TRIPRAPS and others sleeping.
Cool, calm, collected and totally controlled and superb Morning Dew OFF THE FIRST ALBUM. THE DEAD NEVER DO ANYTHING OFF THE FIRST ALBUM ANYMORE. bullshit.
ANTHEM OF THE DEAD
Followed by Viola Lee Blues with three buildups, the last ending with people screaming and shouting and Garcia pulling the most phenomenal notes out of one guitar. AND WE BID YOU GOODNIGHT, which they don't stop singing because no one will let them go.
But they do and the concert ends.
five and one half hours.
IT'S IN THE MUSIC.
(by Richard Wolinsky, from the SUNY Colonial News, May 5 1970)
DICK'S PICKS 8