Dead of the Day: 09-17-1972
Baltimore Civic Center
The show gets right off the ground with a furious Promised Land, followed up by Sugaree. A song later, Jerry plays a plaintive, repeated progression to open Friend Of The Devil, sounding like a railroad car going down the track, a sort of tempo and ambiance that stay with the song the rest of the way. After El Paso, the Bird Song is beautiful, really marking the first moment in the show when Jerry unleashes on the guitar. A bit later in the first set, China Cat Sunflower is also lovely, which gives way to a majestic Rider, soaring with Jerry’s guitar work while Bobby and Keith – with twinkling runs on the keys – provide lustrous accompaniment. Immediately afterwards, the boys and Donna break into Playin’. At the beginning, the music is so crisp and wholesome as Bobby sings out. But before too long, it gets dark and vaguely menacing as the boys bound off into the ether. From there, the jams are phenomenally rich and productive, heading into a deep, jazzy space. Playin’ does not take it into set break, however; that honor is reserved for a short, rolling and chugging Casey Jones. Truckin’ opens the second set and goes off with a nice bluesy rock and roll sound, which heads into some nice territory in the latter half. But the true gem of the show is the He’s Gone> Other One. The He’s Gone is wonderful, priming your ears for the face-melting Other One with its own mesmerizing series of riffs and soulful vocal harmonies. But from the first notes out of He’s Gone, you know that The Other One you are about to hear is going to be a raging cauldron of Dead brilliance. The boys get deep quick, laying in some fantastic, powerful runs. Then, Billy claims a masterful, ripping drum solo, capped off by Phil thundering in and unleashing. From there, the jamming continues unabated for a half hour as the band turns in a consummate Other One for the ages. The Sing Me Back Home that comes next provides a melancholy counterpoint to the monumental Other One. But then an ecstatic, rocking Sugar Mags takes over, clearing the way for a quick Uncle John’s Band to close out regulation.
Cary, who recorded the audience tape, wrote in the comments on Archive:
It’s been a while since anyone commented on this one, so, as the guy who taped it, let me chime in. My then-girlfriend and I moved in together the day of this show. I had seen GD in SF in 1970 and this was a chance to drag along my friends who had never seen them but had heard me rave about them for a couple years. We were ably abetted by some of the nicest LSD I ever ate.
I used my trusty Sony TC-124 with its “one-point stereo” mic. During the set break, I fastidiously put the plastic cover on the microphone to protect. The second set opened with an outrageous “Truckin’” and about halfway through I realized that I’d never taken that cap off the mic. You can hear me say “Oh, shit” before the sound explodes from its muffled state. I think it’s the high point of the recording.
I was so glad when this came out as DP23 and I could hear it unblemished (and without my friend Judy’s incessant tambourine banging away). All in all, though, I think it’s a pretty good AUD for its time and I still have a soft spot for it.
BTW, that girlfriend’s name is Nancy and we got married five years later. Today is our 35th wedding anniversary.
And, as Cary mentions, the Grateful Dead did release the soundboard of this show as Dick’s Picks Volume 23.
Yesterday’s Dead of the Day:
Other September 17th Shows and Recordings:
- 1970 – Fillmore East – New York, New York
- 1973 – Onondaga War Memorial Auditorium – Syracuse, New York
- 1982 – Cumberland County Civic Center – Portland, Maine
- 1987 – NBC Studios – New York, New York
- 1991 – Madison Square Garden – New York, New York
- 1993 – Madison Square Garden – New York, New York
- 1994 – Shoreline Amphitheater – Mountain VIew, California