Download Series 10
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Download Series Volume 10 Download Series Volume 10 - Grateful Dead
Paramount Northwest Th. 
Seattle, WA
7/21/1972
Bonus tracks 7/22/1972
 
 
 
Order: GDM or 
Downloads: link below
 
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Grateful Dead Download Series 9 review

Download Series 10
7/21/72
Paramount Northwest Theatre - Seattle, WA

Much as I like the Grateful Dead, sometimes it seems I've heard enough for the time being. Have I heard enough?, I wonder. Have I maxed out? Have I heard all I really want to hear, and the rest -- though very good -- will only feel like more of the same?

Then comes 7-21-72, and I realize the answer is a hearty "No!" -- I just needed to put my head back in 1972! This month is easy to overlook -- overshadowed by the European tour that preceded it, and the inspired August shows to follow.

First up is a typical 1972 "Sugaree", and the boys already appear inspired -- notice Keith's well-mixed piano on the right, opposite Bobby's interverse guitar fills on the left. Billy's crackling in the middle. Perhaps these are the real secrets to this show: Billy blam-blamming at the heart of things. Bear's superb mix. Everyone's new songs: "Black-Throated Wind" takes mighty flight, and they halt for the usual equipment malfunction (as Bobby informs us). Got that fixed, and VOOM! -- they're off again, soaring strong. Such confidence!

Every track is looking like a keeper: "Bobby McGee" showcases Keith's sensitive side; he almost steals the song. Not that Garcia's napping, just still warming up. "Loser" and "Mexicali" find him getting there, though, so "China Cat" follows. Jerry's guitar alternately spits out the riff & cries out the solos; the jam he leaves to Bobby and Keith, waiting till the "Rider" groove settles in to inject his own melodies. If anything peculiar to this evening is to be inferred, this seems a likely place to infer it (just as at Veneta, a month later). Jerry's "headlight" line gets nice punctuation from Billy and Keith, though Phil's bass seems lost in the mix. The audience isn't lost, though -- we hear them quite clearly at the song's conclusion.

Bobby announces Pigpen's illness, and the band then mangles the intro to "Beat it on Down the Line" like the bunch of pikers they are. No matter; Bobby starts singing, and they all jump in; those unfamiliar with the song might not even have noticed. Keith jazzes up the second chorus with an eyebrow-raising piano sweep; it's handy to have a rock-and-roll song in C once in a while, right, Keith? :-)

Confidence clearly established, Jerry tackles their newest entry, "Stella Blue" -- beautifully sung and played. Bobby then introduces the newest member of their family, Donna Jean, and you know "Playing in the Band" is next: neither too long nor too short, deep waters are thoughtfully tread. Donna, of course, howls for all she's worth, and one is left to wonder what anyone in attendance thought of that. Jerry follows this amazing musical journey through the group subconscious with "Casey Jones", of course, and .... OK, I lied: it's "Tennessee Jed," a strange follow-up to such a jam-a-rific PITB. Turns out it's quite fun, as the band plays it with great enthusiasm. A broken string [according to Bobby] ends the set [& consequently the first disc].

Disc two, buckle your shoe; what should we expect from summer '72?

First up, the "Casey Jones" that didn't end the first set. It starts with some murky Phil throbs, then memorably begins just as someone (in the audience?) lets out a glorious shriek of freakdom. Most notable for Keith's wonderfully upfront piano, it is followed by a quiet interlude that defies description, or purpose: think of the mysterious chords that begin "Stella Blue", or the intro riff to the WRS Prelude. Very short, but tantalizing, as if it was something not seriously intended. Then Bobby guffaws to the microphone (as if caught daydreaming), describes the next song as "history", and strums up "Me and My Uncle" -- complete with "cracked him in the jaw" lyric.

"Deal" is next, perhaps most notable for Billy's cymbals (especially at the end of the last verse). "Jack Straw" likewise shows Billy pulling more than his weight, and Keith backs up the vocal nicely. Jerry puts a little more spirit into his "Tulsa" line than we usually hear. "He's Gone" follows, still played at 1972 mid-tempo, and Donna's back to harmonize. It's fine until the bridge, where rough harmonies make for a small cringe factor. Ah well; things are better during the "Nothing's gonna bring him back" harmonies, and they pull a nice onstage fadeout (despite DEADBASE's claim of a segue).

After some cryptical comments from Mr. Weir, we're finally ready to jam: Donna leaves, and "Truckin" takes wing. Too bad Phil's bass is so low in the mix [perhaps his stage volume was unusually loud?] but at least it can be heard here. Ten minutes of bluesy swing, but nothing really stands out till after the vocal reprise; then the band downshifts into something like the fantastic jam heard on EUROPE 72, but only for a minute; this proves to be just a transition into a solo spot for Billy, which he attacks with unusual energy. Hey Bill, I though you didn't care for this sort of thing? Phil soon joins in; though barely audible as mentioned above, it's clearly the same riff better heard on other dates (10-24-72 comes to mind).

A few minutes of this, and the mood turns serious again; the rest of the band rejoins to spear into "Other One" ruminations. No roll [at least, none heard], no pronouncement; they just ease into it as if it had already been started some time earlier. Which possibly they had, in some nonmusical sense; "The Other One" isn't so much a song as a perspective, so it might well have started off stage, or in the minds of the other musicians while Phil & Bill stomped their groove. It might have started when some guy in the audience remembered he had a phone number written on a piece of paper in his pocket and, attempting to pull it out, he dropped it; bending to pick it up, he bumped the girl dancing in front of him, causing her to move in a lightly jerky way, which was noticed out of the corner of Parish's eye, causing him to turn away from Phil's stomp just as Phil looked over to see if Steve caught that last cool lick. Synchronicity, serendipity, and all clear chance; if a mosquito may cause an army to fall, and a drop of water may build an empire, what slight event might bring into being a long sublime jam at a 1972 Grateful Dead concert? It's another eleven minutes before Bobby sings the first verse; you'll have to fill in the gap with your own ears.

Immediately after that verse, the band returns to the groove, making the lyrics seem almost superfluous, but soon drops that U-turn to ditch their vehicles entirely. Lost is all rhythm, melody, groove; it's the jungle, and we shouldn't be surprised if we encounter a tiger. Very tense. Yikes -- there it is! No, it's gone. Help!

Not surprisingly, this leads to some near-"Dark Star" jamming which manages to morph back to the "Other One" riff. They seem a little uncertain which song to go with for a few minutes but, once decided, they're firmly back on the road to the second verse, during which Bill sounds like two drummers trading ideas. The second verse starts dragging tempo, suggesting they were truly done with this space, and it ends with finality.

Not so much a segue as just picking up from the ashes, Jerry strums the opening chords for "Comes a Time". As always, Jerry's singing is the key, but Bill ranges from gentle to firm behind him, and Keith is nicely restrained.

After that, we move on to disc three, where Bob surprises everyone in the audience who had never before heard the band (three Carmelite nuns and a Russian interpreter) by pulling out "Sugar Magnolia", instantly followed by "Ramble On" -- a good rendition instrumentally. Not so good are Phil's harmonies on the chorus -- ;-) But they're no worse than [ahem!] anyone else's, I suppose, so there ya go ....

We fade in on a storming "Going Down the Road" already in progress, about a minute before the second verse begins, so this is clearly "unusable" for professional release. Which is why it's so great they include it here: the band is on overdrive, with Keith prancing out piano flurries and Donna wailing to wake the, um, Dead. This eventually downshifts to an introspective moment practically interrupted by Bill's resumption of the NFA beat which surely preceded all this. They bring it up again and Bobby howls his last. Too bad most of this NFA>GDTRFB>NFA encore wasn't recorded!

** bonus material from 7/22 **

Phil is thankfully more audible here than the 21st. A fine "You Win again" starts us off, then it's "Bird Song", celebrating it's return to rotation just four days earlier. This, of course, is mere public service on the part of the Vaultmaster; every 1972 "Bird Song" should be available, even if the show in which it is embedded isn't necessarily deserving of release. I don't know about you, but I listened to this track three times running before I went on to the rest!

The rest then turns out to include another public service: a 1972 "Playing in the Band" -- arguably even more important than "Bird Song", being of similar pedigree but never lost from rotation. Bobby first introduces Donna Jean, and then invites the audience to attempt what can only be described as a humorous yoga position. The formalities being complete, the band launches into PITB, soon to be lost in an intense exploration of the musical landscape. Hell, this is more like four-wheeling over unknown terrain at full speed -- dust flying, wheels spinning dirt, the roar of the engine determined to conquer a fiercely challenging grade.

Could it get better than that? :-) Possibly yes, if you enjoy stand-alone renditions of "Morning Dew", which announces itself as thunderously as ever, and features a very busy Bill Kreutzmann. Especially enjoyable are Phil's flights up the fret board behind the verses as Keith splashes and tinkles in the background. Oh, does that not sound interesting? All right then: how about some judicious Phil power-chords, alternately pushing the sound, then holding back to slam down again? This is Phil's moment all the way, with Jerry alternately crooning and crying out in front. Evidently Led Zeppelin weren't the only band that could use this effect to wring an audience dry; this Dew speaks with authority from the first note, whether a whisper or a growl. The end buildup is no anticlimax either, but absolutely fulfills the promise implied by the performance as a whole.

Wow! Put this one up with the May '77 Dews in my book.

After that, anything is likely to be anticlimactic, yet two tracks remain: "Uncle John's Band" and "Saturday Night". UJB suffers the usual harmony challenges, but - to be fair - it sounds right after that elephantine "Dew": emotionally drained, yet subtly recharged; post-intensity, yet still vital. As a rule, I don't find UJBs to serve well at the end of a show, and I can't say how it would sound if we had just fast-forwarded to it cold, but -- like a cold lager on a hot day -- it's just the right thing at the right time here.

That would have been a good ending -- it even felt like an ending -- and Bobby bids the audience goodbye, before quickly correcting himself ("-- right after this next one"); evidently someone felt they could or should go one more. Despite sounding as if they'd already given all they had, they do in fact rise to the occasion. Marred only a little by the fact that Bobby's vocal is rather too loud, we can't help but enjoy this final blowout. Not bad at all for being filler!
Review by Ramble On Joe

 
Grateful Dead Download Series 9 review
Track List

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Disc One
1 Sugaree 7:57 (Garcia, Hunter)
2 Black-Throated Wind 6:58 (Weir, Barlow)
3 Cumberland Blues 5:41 (Garcia, Lesh, Hunter)
4 Me and Bobby McGee 5:44 (Kristofferson, Foster)
5 Loser 6:50 (Garcia, Hunter)
6 Mexicali Blues 3:36 (Weir, Barlow)
7 China Cat Sunflower > 5:02 (Garcia, Hunter)
8 I Know You Rider 6:56 (Trad. Arr. By Grateful Dead)
9 Beat It On Down the Line 3:29 (Fuller)
10 Stella Blue 7:43 (Garcia, Hunter)
11 Playing In The Band 11:33 (Weir, Hart, Hunter)
12 Tennessee Jed 8:09 (Garcia, Hunter)

Disc Two
1 Casey Jones 8:09 (Garcia, Hunter)
2 Me and My Uncle 3:15 (Phillips)
3 Deal 5:27 (Garcia, Hunter)
4 Jack Straw 5:15 (Weir, Hunter)
5 He's Gone 9:16 (Garcia, Hunter)
6 Truckin' > 10:32 (Garcia, Lesh, Weir, Hunter)
7 Drums > 5:44 (Kreutzmann)
8 The Other One > 22:23 (Weir, Kreutzmann)
9 Comes A Time 7:28 (Garcia, Hunter)

Disc Three
1 Sugar Magnolia 6:58 (Weir, Hunter)
2 Ramble On Rose 6:26 (Garcia, Hunter)
3 Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad > 5:21 (Trad. Arr. By Grateful Dead)
4 Not Fade Away 3:19 (Hardin, Petty)

Bonus Tracks from 7/22/72 Seattle, WA

5 You Win Again 4:06 (Williams)
6 Bird Song 9:35 (Garcia, Hunter)
7 Playing In The Band 13:47 (Weir, Hart, Hunter)
8 Morning Dew 12:04 (Dobson, Rose)
9 Uncle John's Band 7:37 (Garcia, Hunter)
10 One More Saturday Night 5:03 (Weir)
 

Grateful Dead Download Series 9 review
Musicians:       

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Grateful Dead
Jerry Garcia: Lead Guitar, Vocals
Donna Jean Godchaux: Vocals
Keith Godchaux: Piano
Bill Kreutzmann: Drums
Phil Lesh: Electric Bass
Bob Weir: Rhythm Guitar, Vocals

Grateful Dead Download Series 9 review
Notes:

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Released - Feb. 7, 2006
Grateful Dead Download Series
Mastering by Jeffrey Norman

From the Grateful Dead website
Download Series Vol. 10
After venturing into the late 1980s for the last Download Series release, Download Vol. 10, is a 3 disc release which heads back to that most classic of Grateful Dead years, 1972. Upon the band's return from Europe in May, they played a few shows in June and July, but it was this concert, July 21, 1972, that would mark the beginning of a virtually non-stop touring schedule that would take them to the end of the year, and would include some of the best shows the Grateful Dead ever played: 8/27/72 in Veneta and the Berkeley Community Theater run that preceded it, 9/21/72 in Philadelphia, 11/17/72 in Wichita, amongst many others.

This first show of that lengthy run would be an auspicious start to the sustained brilliance of the next five months. Starting with a first set that featured many of the first set songs of the era played to perfection, including a monster "Playing In The Band," the second set, as would be expected, was where the real fireworks would be found. A raucous "Truckin'" moves smoothly into "Drums," followed by a melodic, exploratory rendition of "The Other One," which drops into a perfect reading of "Comes A Time." Ending the show is an intensely powerful "Goin' Down The Road Feeling Bad > Not Fade Away" combo (the first part of "Not Fade Away" is missing from the master tapes, as is the first song of the evening's performance, "Promised Land"; otherwise Download Vol. 10 presents the complete concert). As a bonus, we have included the best material from the next night's concert (7/22/72), including lengthy workouts on "Bird Song" and another stellar "Playing In The Band." 

Grateful Dead Download Series 9 review
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Grateful Dead Download Series 9 review