'FISH' REVIVE BORED CROWD
Country Joe and his Fish walked off with a sparse but fairly responsive audience Monday night at Municipal Auditorium. A less-than-capacity crowd braved the wet weather to see Country Joe and his crew save a near-disaster effort by JAM Productions.
Grateful Dead, supposedly half of the program, opened the show with a weak version of "Good Morning, Schoolgirl" and followed through with a set that neither impressed nor depressed the seemingly apathetic crowd.
Overcoming such annoying obstacles as wavering public address system levels and several broken strings, the Dead performed selections from their albums in a manner which established little if any communication with their listeners.
In keeping with the current pop trend, the Dead took a try at doing a portion of their set with acoustic guitars and a pair of voices. Unfortunately, the songs were not very strong and the members of the group played barely adequate acoustic styles.
After intermission, Country Joe and his people walked out from the flowers and flags included on and about their equipment and touched the audience with professionalism and sincerity, something obviously missing in the previous set.
Starting out with blues numbers which are standard in progression but delightfully unpredictable in timing, the Fish came on as considerate musicians and individual people.
Country Joe and the Fish sang Woody Guthrie's "Roll On, Columbia," a poem by Robert Service, and brought the suddenly-alert crowd to their feet with a driving number called "Rocking, All Around the World," old rock rhythm behind non-mathematical lead guitar work and lyrics for today.
Simply stated, the Grateful Dead did nothing wrong, and Country Joe and the Fish did a lot of things right.
(by F. Catherwood, from the Daily Texan, Austin, 24 February 1970)
Thanks to Dave Davis.