THE 'GRAPE' APPEARS IN ROCK CLUB
The Moby Grape, the real Moby Grape, as the ads said, since the San Francisco quintet had recently been impersonated at another club, attracted a sizable audience for a weekend appearance at the Kaleidoscope.
Although their albums and single record releases have met with relatively little commercial success, the group has a devout following because of the quality of the material and their live performances.
They are fun to watch, fun to listen to, and danceable. Some of their songs - "Sitting By the Window," "8:05," and "Omaha" - are among the best products of San Francisco combos.
The Moby Grape projects a vigorous sound through four synchronized guitars and a vocal flexibility matched by few groups.
Despite their abilities with blues, ballads, and straight rock, however, the quintet has just enough humdrum material to prevent them from being great.
Meanwhile, over at the Shrine Exposition Hall, the Grateful Dead pummelled several thousand persons with their long improvisational rock music in a show sponsored by the Pinnacle.
The sound of the San Francisco sextet is heavily dependent on lead guitarist Jerry Garcia, whose brilliant playing makes it hard to realize that he is surrounded by routine musicians.
They have two average drummers instead of one good one. Pigpen's organ is generally barely audible and his voice, the best in the group, is mediocre.
Garcia, however, led the group through some exciting blues-based music which roused the Shrine crowd into fervid demonstrations of appreciation.
(by Pete Johnson, from the Los Angeles Times, 20 May 1968)
Alas, no tape!
Pete Johnson also reviewed these Dead shows: