Hundred Year Hall
is a portion of the concert the band played on April 26, 1972, at
the Jahrhundert Halle, in Frankfurt, West Germany.
Though this release is two full discs, believe it or not,
there are fifteen songs performed at the concert that are not
included on this CD.
performance took place during a period when the Grateful Dead were
going through major transitions, namely personnel. Pig Pen, singer
and keyboardist, was playing a less prominent role, and they were
breaking in the newcomer Keith Godchaux on piano.
This makes for an interesting blend as you can hear the
Grateful Deadís rock Ďní roll style of their 1971 sound being
blending and meshed into a jazzier side.
first disc of Hundred Year Hall is a combination of both
first and second set material, which was sequenced in this manner
because of CD space limitations.
The first set songs cover a variety of styles including rock,
blues, country, and jazz showcasing their versatility. The songs are
played tightly and they begin to open up late in the set and get
loose with an original "Playing in the Band."
last three songs on disc one of Hundred Year Hall are the
conclusion of the concert. First is the cover song "Turn on
Your Lovelight." This song sounds very different than the Pig
Pen versions with the addition of Keith Godchaux, which showcases a
prime example of their style change. There is less of Pig Pen's
vocal rap that was common for this song; instead it was replaced
with instrumental interplay adding a jazzy touch to the rhythm and
blues song. I should
emphasize that it is played exquisitely. It leads into "Going
Down the Road Feeling Bad," and begins to build power as they
bust into the high energy "One More Saturday Night" to end
meat of Hundred Year Hall is on disc two. It features a
glimpse of their exploratory tendencies of 1972 showcasing how they
transition so effortlessly from song to song, and even within the
same song. "Cryptical Envelopment" is a suite that
includes "The Other One" as part of it. Perhaps the
labeling would be more accurate as just the "The Other
One," because that is all of the suite that they perform.
This song is extremely long and innovative. The band travels
from place to place and changes directions numerous times without
warning. They finally get around to soften the intensity with the
seldom-played ballad "Comes A Time," the prettiest playing
on the disc.
first set material may be average for The Dead, but the second set
material is extraordinary. Deadheads will want and cherish Hundred
Year Hall dearly. by Barry
Grade A -