Picks 33 serves up four
discs from Bill Graham's historic Day On The Green shows on a double
bill with The Who on 10/9 and 10/10/76 at Oakland Stadium in
Oakland, CA. Included are both of the Grateful Dead shows in their entirety
from the original two-track source tape. On a historical note, The Grateful Dead and The Who
both appeared at the Monterey International Pop Festival and Woodstock. At Monterey, they were sandwiched between The Who and
off, this release has superb sound quality picking up every little
nuance as the band creates their music. How nice to hear the
different members contributions so clear or just the clarity of the
instrument tone. The
only negative on a general basis is that I am not the biggest fan of
1976 drumming. This release is very high-hat heavy. Still, I
enjoyed Dick's Picks 33 immensely.
hit gold in both the first and second sets on both nights. Not too
many weak moments, perhaps "Cassidy" doesn't hit the level
it would in 1977 and "Not Fade Away" seems to drag on.
Overall, very upbeat energetic performances.
of 10/9 has a great set list, especially the Garcia led numbers. The
performance of "Mississippi Half-Step" is fantastic. When "Scarlet
Begonias" appears one may think the set is ending or close to
it. No, though deliver "Lazy Lightning" > "Supplication" and
then "Sugaree." While these renditions are not
definitive, they are all solid. Weir delivers too, the
"New Minglewood Blues" is outstanding (I am not kidding).
has many interesting passages as can be inferred by the set list. So
did they execute. Absolutely. To start the set, we have a common sandwich of
"St. Stephen" > "Not Fade Away" >
"St. Stephen" that energetically sets the tone. Things get
much more interesting when then incorporate "Drums" and
"Samson and Delilah" within their suite of "Help / Slip
/ Franklin's." The transitions are thrilling and exceptional.
Further, some of jams are inspired. By the time "Samson"
is complete the audience forgot that "Franklin's Tower"
was supposed be played there. So they bust into a jam that
eventually identifies itself as "Slipknot." The audience
had no idea this was coming and the knockout punch with "Franklin's Tower,"
a version that really hits its stride, bustling with power and melody.
The next day set one is again solid. A Jerry song starts
things with a stunning take of "Might As Well" that is
surely a highlight. They sure pack a lot into five minutes during
"Deal" too. "Loser," is excellent; with careful attention to the drumming one will
notice how in tune they are with the dynamics of the song. They continue in synch
with "Promised Land." The interplay before Jerry's solo really
highlights out the nuances, with Keith, Jerry, and Bobby adding their fills, behind a united
highlight of set one is "Dancing In The Streets." At the
end of the instrumental Jerry pulls out a slide and features some teases of
" Mind Left Body." At this point Phil is leaning
towards transitioning into "Cosmic Charlie," but Jerry opts to somehow
lead his fingers through the melody of "Wharf Rat" and the
band is right with him, overruling Phil. An amazing transition. After "Wharf Rat"
Bobby leads the back into > "Dancing." Upon
Bobby's announcement that they will be back, Jerry lead the band
through a few measures of "Cosmic Charlie" teases.
of the 10/10 performance is the most typical of a live Grateful Dead
concert. While the three other sets from Dick's Picks 33 are
characterized by a fast pace, this set journeys through dynamics with
some rock, space, and ballads. It too
focuses a theme on sandwiching tracks, this time it is "Playing
in the Band." Certainly an exceptional set. A careful ear
will notice inferences from their Blues For Allah album
within both "Space" and the second part of "Playing
in the Band."
If you are seeking the Grateful Dead seeking deep exploratory
regions or ballads, Dick's Picks 33 is light in those realms. Sure
it hits in those areas, notably disc 4. Rather, its focus is more
straight ahead rock and many seamless transitions. This release
will have you reaching to increase the volume.
it today from GDM