What a Weekend: "Rhinoceros" and the Grateful Dead
CONCERT DRAWS CAPACITY CROWD
The "Grateful Dead" and "New Riders of the Purple Sage" drew a capacity crowd at this year's first rock concert.
The enthusiastic crowd was out of their seats for the greater part of the electrifying five hour performance.
Before the concert started I had the pleasure of sitting in on a rhap session [sic] with the stage hands, marshals, and the Dead themselves.
When someone asked one of the Dead if he liked what he was doing (the "Dead" have changed their sound somewhat lately), he replied "If we didn't like what we were doing we wouldn't be doing it."
As for how they choose what songs to play, he said, "We don't know what we are going to do until we get out there. We just do what we really can get into at the time."
His answer to "How are you guys doing now?" was "We get by. We can pay the rent, ya know?"
Finally he stood up and grabbing an attache case he said, "I better go see how things are going on stage."
I spent the rest of the time waiting for the concert to begin by watching stage hands making last minute preparations, testing equipment, lights, etc...
The first half of the program was "The New Riders of the Purple Sage." Their sound is basically country-western. However, the steel guitar, which is featured throughout most of the tunes, gives an added dimension to the style. It took a while for the crowd to get into it, but once they did, they seemed to have a lot of fun with it.
The "Grateful Dead" put on a very well balanced show. Some of the numbers were fast with long, well performed guitar rides. They also played some new arrangements of old songs like the Young Rascals' "Good Lovin." And they played some light, slow blues numbers.
I was especially pleased with the volume level of the instruments. It wasn't so loud that it left you deaf for the next two days. There was a good balance between the volume of the instruments and the volume of the vocals in all but a few songs.
The audience and the band worked together to bring the performance to a very exciting conclusion.
From the standpoint of the "Dead's" performance and the crowd's enjoyment, the concert was a great success. However, I fear that there are many elements connected with the concert that will almost surely upset the whole future concert scene at MCC.
I am hinting at the abundance of drugs, bogus tickets, and people getting in free because they knew someone.
(by Marshall Reid, from Quo Vadis, December 2, 1970)
Alas, no tape!