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Dead of the Day: July 21, 1974

Hollywood Bowl
Hollywood, California
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For our Dead of the Day we head out to another incredible Wall of Sound show, this one from the Hollywood Bowl in 1974. The show rips out of the gate with Promised Land, fed by Jerry’s torching guitar, Keith’s awesome fills, and just all around hot playing. Tennessee Jed and Me and My Uncle follow, both so good. A Sugaree comes out next, as sharp and pleading as ever. Jerry’s guitar stands out as always, but Phil is also really present in the mix, providing strong bombs setting off everyone else’s contributions. One of the prettiest versions of Jack Straw emerges afterwards with some rolling runs that are just out of sight. Similar things could be said about the Mississippi Half-Step, Must Have Been The Roses, and El Paso that the boys play next; they are all fabulous. The Scarlet Begonias that comes afterwards is feverishly fast paced, some might even say too quick. But to our ears, it is full of electricity and steamy complexity, guaranteed to elicit a huge smile, at least if you can dig - or set aside - some of Donna’s contributions. The boys then take all the hyper energy from Scarlet and throw down a rocker Around And Around to see the set out. After the break, the band does not miss a beat, coming right back with a seriously tasty China Cat Sunflower that starts reaching for the stars as it begins a beautiful, lengthy transition into I Know You Rider. The Rider that follows is on the short side, but contains a few luscious jams that are not to be missed. After the Rider, the boys head out on a frenetic Big River trip, which is all the better for the contrast with the mindfully paced and silky smooth Row Jimmy that follows. The Row Jimmy leads up to the beginning of the suite of jammed out incredibleness that serves as the heart of the second set and, for that matter, the entire show. Not that anything that came before is not so freaking good, but the boys take off on a stupendous, face-melting adventure the rest of the way out, beginning with twenty-one minutes of Playin’, which reaches off into some far netherworld. At the end of it, it almost sounds like they are heading back towards Big River, but instead the boys suddenly slide into Wharf Rat with the help of a few drum rolls. After a dark and gnarly version, they come up with another splendid and surprising transition into Truckin’. As it so often does, Truckin’ steams on down the road into a roaring, rocking jam, which hits nirvana as it scorches into a Nobody’s Fault But Mine Jam. Hitting a bluesy, down home note, the jam then segues back into Playin’, rushing out, then settling down into an arcing, folding, and powerful bit of music. As they come to the end of it, the band pauses and noodles along before settling on Ship Of Fools, which gives the crowd a welcome, relaxing breather as they take in the majesty of the tune. But that is all the rest anyone is going to get as they steam out of the set with ten minutes of full on Sugar Mags.

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