Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by I333I, Jun 12, 2018.
Keep 'em comin'
I'm about to revisit my box
I’m the oddball that thinks this is the best show in the box!!!
Yeah, I've heard the Portland show — so I'm ready for the vocal drop outs. I know, it's unfair to compare to an all-timer but the boxset kicks off so strongly with a bang!
Thanks! Just some notes I take during listening.
To be fair I've enjoyed all the shows so far. '73 is probably my favourite year overall, so those shows have an edge for me.
Really, that's interesting. That's the great thing about this band — with so much live material, there's a show out there for everyone.
I really enjoy it, but knowing the next two, I'd probably end up rating it 4th or 5th. Not that there's a prize or anything and it's meaningless when really all the shows are good to great. I've yet to hear a "bad" show.
I think that I will be doing the same.
It's a crushing day, but it will come.
And the really cool thing is even in comparatively “bad” shows there are still worthwhile moments. What a great band. Beauty and wonder for the win.
Having time off work means I'm rattling through shows, playing on repeat all day long!
Fifth show from the PNW box — Portland 19/05/74 . . . An excellent, famously well-known show. There's a real nice laid-back, relaxed vibe to the opening set. I love a Mississippi Half-Step opener, there's a great, chugging Big Railroad Blues, Scarlet Begonias with funky organ playing from Keith, a rollicking Beat It On Down The Line and a really cool Jerry solo during Sugaree. Unfortunately, during Sugaree, Jack Straw, It Must Have Been The Roses, El Paso and some of Loose Lucy there are vocal drop-outs — it sounds like the band is playing at the bottom of a well . A second and penultimate performance of Money Money, meh. But then comes a China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider to end the 1st set which is as good a version I've heard, even better than the performance from two nights earlier in Vancouver!
Now, the 2nd set — I'd heard this show before but not sounding as good as it does here! This 2nd set is really something else. Kicking off with a rocking Promised Land > Bertha > Greatest Story Ever Told, there's a nice Ship Of Fools, a beautifully played, soaring Weather Report Suite > Wharf Rat, and a real pretty Peggy-O before the mega-jam Truckin' > Jam > Not Fade Away > Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad > One More Saturday Night to end the show. Woah — I've just picked my jaw up off of the floor! That Truckin' > Jam is so crazy and creative, it has fried my brain and stole my face right off my head! And, that Not Fade Away > Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad is an all-timer too — totally rockin', I love Jerry and Keith's playing here. In fact, the whole 30+ minute stretch has shot right up there as some of my most favourite Dead. Then there's a cool U.S. Blues closer.
Despite 1st set sound issues, the 2nd set is sublime. There's inspired playing throughout and some great all-time versions here.
Oh, and Donna is loud in the mix in some places. Seattle, the final show, next up . . .
This box set does have really good replay-ability. IMO it might be the third best box set after Europe ‘72 and Fillmore West ‘69.
Inspired by this thread I’m listening to 5/19/74 set I. It’s a bummer to lose the vocals on these songs but really, it’s a miracle we have so many near perfect recordings from the band’s glory years. These songs without vocals do allow the instruments to shine and I particularly like Keith’s work in El Paso
Honestly, I feel like the artwork for this box from the covers to the actual box to the book is my favorite. It’s sooo damn colorful and the Native American imagery is really pretty awesome. Thanks for posting nice pics of the covers @SJR
Bravo to the designer.
I've come to the last show in the PNW box — Seattle, 21/05/74 . . . A real sleeper show that's surprisingly, for me, turned out to be one of the best in the box! The whole show is rockin', and it just sounds like a lot of fun.
Straight out the gate they kick off the 1st set with Me And My Uncle — despite some nice guitar licks, you can hear the sound being dialled in. This only lasts during the opener as next up is a real smooth and sparkling Brown-Eyed Women followed by another great performance of Beat It On Down The Line, where Keith's solo is a highlight. A rockin' Deal is next with a ripping guitar solo from Jerry. There's a very pretty It Must Have Been The Roses, with some lovely clean vocals and The Race Is On with more solid vocals and harmonies and great keys from Keith. A solid uptempo standalone Scarlet Begonias, despite some fluffed lyrics, is one of my favourite Dead tunes. A sweet Row Jimmy is followed by the last ever performance of Money Money, which is still meh, then there's more great playing by Jerry and Keith and great vocals from Jerry on Ship Of Fools. The 1st set closes with a stellar Weather Report Suite > China Doll, which features some beautiful singing and playing and is stunningly intricate and crystal clear. This is one of the best China Doll's I've heard — truly beautiful.
The 2nd set opens with the famously epic 47-minute Playing In The Band! WTF? Erm, wow — 47 minutes! This jam goes everywhere — at times it's very spacey and way out there, almost dissonant, then at some point it settles into a cool groove and just jams perfectly before slowing right down to an almost jazzy simmer, before building back up again to the big scream and euphoric final chorus. It's a daunting piece but it seems to go by way quicker than the running time suggests. Even after that mega-jam there's plenty of show left and the rest of the 2nd set is excellent.
U.S. Blues will never not be great, IMO — some of Keith's fills here are downright boogie-woogie booty-shaking. There's a beautiful Stella Blue, followed by a wild and rockin' Around And Around, then a bouncing, groovy Eyes Of The World (with Phil's great bass playing) > Wharf Rat (with some of Jerry's most emotive singing and playing) > Sugar Magnolia (with great interplay by the whole band), before ending with a storming, foot-stomping Johnny B. Goode.
This is one of the best sounding shows. All of the instruments are clear and you can hear everyone's playing really well. Jerry's guitar sound is real fluid and his singing is right on. Bob, too. Phil's bass is deep and powerful, it throbs and booms through the speakers. Keith's keys playing throughout are exceptional. Bill's drumming is crazy good!
This is one fantastic box set, which I'd highly recommend. It's really confirmed my favourite Dead years are 1973 and 1974 (for now, ).
I'll be returning to these shows often . . .
Agree. It is among the very best artwork/packaging combos they’ve put out, and the music ain’t too shabby either.
For my money that is one of the best sequences in the Box. Especially the last 5 minutes of the back half of the Other One. Phil leads a feedback laden charge into the depths Mordor and back - with the band hanging on for dear life - that really needs to heard to be appreciated.
the team was thinking outside the box
I would guess that the team gave the artist very few specifics other than “a box to contain these cd cases and a book”. He came back with an idea and they then tweaked it to fit cost/production constraints. This was not a box designed by committee. There are details that could only have come from an individual artist. An excellent piece of work all around.
I should have never clicked on this thread last night unless I was willing to spend $216, which apparently I was willing to do. Ordered it up! Looking forward to hearing these shows.
You are in for a great time.
I like to have great times.
I can tell by the Ween reference in your forum name..
Good decision. I am prone to buyer's remorse when it comes to a lot of box sets I buy, but not this one. It still gets regular play and is absolutely one of my GD go-tos when I need a fix (which is often).
You're in good hands with these shows as the band serves it up good and jammy!
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