Nov 12, 2020

November 15, 1971: Municipal Auditorium, Austin TX

The Grateful Dead and their back-up group, the Riders of the Purple, are what you'd call "serious musicians." 
They played mainly to themselves and almost totally ignored their catcalling audience of 3,000 Monday night in Municipal Auditorium. 
The Dead and the Riders provided the least eventful but certainly the most pleasant rock program this season for the listening audience. The performing audience was even kept to a minimum by a surprisingly insistent group of ushers and security guards. 
The Riders, studiously bent over guitars, steadily dealt out music mostly from the country bag, a couple of Chuck Berry tunes and two rather plastic "golden oldies." 
With deadpan faces and less than the usual theatrics, the Riders rocked the country songs with a lot of steel guitar from a performer who resembled Leon Russell. 
The Dead, who date back to Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters, played a livelier fare and created a crowd-stopping show - that is, stopping the show to clear the aisles and stage of audience performers who flew at them after the second tune.

(by Marjorie Hoffman, from the Austin American, 16 November 1971) 

Thanks to Dave Davis

Released on Road Trips 3:2.

1 comment:

  1. A not very enthusiastic review from Austin. Texas was not prime territory for the Dead in 1971, and so far I haven't seen other reviews from the shows they played in San Antonio or Fort Worth on that tour. (But there may be articles in local college papers.)
    The previous day's Austin American had featured a big picture of a very country-looking New Riders, with this caption:
    "FROM THE DEAD - The new Riders of the Purple Sage will be performing Monday night in Municipal Auditorium with one [of] the first freak-out bands, The Grateful Dead. The New Riders, more or less an offshoot group of the Dear, is comprised of some former Dead. The concert begins at 8 p.m."
    It was, perhaps accurately, thought that the New Riders might be a bigger draw than a "freak-out band" like the Dead!

    This reviewer was indifferent to the Dead, calling the music pleasant and lively, but also sedate and uneventful. She doesn't seem too impressed by the New Riders either. What strikes her most is that the musicians are "serious," "studiously" intent on the music, playing more for themselves than for the audience. The real 'performers' were apparently in the audience, "catcalling" and storming the stage, though held back by guards. (I don't recall the show being stopped on tape, but perhaps that part was cut out.)
    The Dead don't seem to have been too bothered by the audience though, playing one of the better shows of the tour. This show was also broadcast on the radio (Weir greets radio listeners at the start), but the broadcast is something of a mystery: the newspaper didn't note it and I don't know what station it was on. It may have been the only Dead broadcast in Texas that tour.
    This was one of Buddy Cage's first shows with NRPS, and the reviewer at least noticed him.