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Dead of the Day: September 21, 1972

The Spectrum
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The show rocks right out of the gate with a high-energy Promised Land. There are better played versions out there, but it is hard to beat Bobby and Jerry’s excitement on guitar and vocals. Jerry even gives out a little scream towards the end. Bird Song comes next, and it is a bit unusual, even mellower than normal. Jerry breaks a string early in the jam, which is all the excuse Keith needed to take off on a smart run of his own. However, Jerry gets back in the mix for a lovely, innovative romp. A tune later, the boys turn to China Cat Sunflower, dripping with psychedelia but with a hearty blues heart that carries over into the Rider. The Rider itself is masterful, soaring and rollicking its way, like that dream of a northbound train. The entire rest of the first set is hot, but the Ramble On Rose takes it up a notch further with Jerry’s fully inspired picking, Billy’s drums, and Phil’s heavy bass. After a sweet Cumberland, we then get a seriously jammed out Playin’ taking it into the intermission with Donna’s characteristic wailing. Out of the break, the He’s Gone sets the stage for the rest of the set, beautifully played with those lovely, heartfelt vocal harmonies that will put a smile on your face. The Truckin’ that follows is equally good, as the band delivers their own brand of rock and roll with Jerry’s guitar singing out. However, the absolute crux of the show is the Dark Star that comes out a bit later. It is magnificent throughout all of its 37 minutes of glory, but becomes perfectly beatific in the acid bluegrass jam that forms towards the end. The Dark Star leads into a rich and lustrous Morning Dew that should be savored. After a rocking Sugar Mags and a few other little treats, Billy gets the Not Fade Away going with Phil and the rest of the boys joining in just a few seconds later. Before too long, they are in a splendid, Jerry-led jam bumping along the rutted road on their way to Going Down The Road Feeling Bad. GDTRFB kicks it before coming out the other end into another raucous swing at Not Fade Away, which takes the set out. 

This show was released as Dick's Picks Vol. 36.

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