Saturday, April 14, 2012

Grateful Dead Live at the Davis Gym: Bucknell University

Trust me on this one, listen to this immediately!
Live at Bucknell University April, 14 1971

This show is a real gem, and I will go into the details in just a minute, but first a few things to note. This show is coming from April of 1971, so Pig Pen is still in the group which means DONNA IS NOT; thank god!

I think my favorite aspect of this show is that the recording is not perfect. There is a bit of a buzz, at times it is heavier than others, but it almost paints a gloss of antiquity over all of the songs. Especailly in the first set. Of course, I do love a perfect recording, but there are also shows like this out there, that offer another aspect of the dead, which can not be stored in a perfect soundboard. 

I am working my way through the end of the second set right now, and Phil is doing some very interesting and tasteful playing in The Other One. The Drums, is also really awesome. Towards the end of the track Billy and Mickey are doing some really awesome snare patterns and they are really playing with wonderful energy. I was really digging it!

Another song which is worth noting is China Cat>Know Your Rider, Bobby is on fire! Each week, I find that Weir impresses me more and more. His playing is so intense and on the money, he really knows the fine line between awesome and too much. He is everything I look for in a rhythm guitarist, and his voice is just perfect for the dead; just deep enough and he really does a wonderful job with those cowboy songs such as Me and My Uncle. 

Jerry's solo in deal is also great, really punchy. The tone on his guitar in this recording is really fresh!  I am digging this whole show. And in China Cat his solo is so tasteful, the whole song is great. Some wonderful dissonance is present too! He has got this little fuzz pedal, that he is using from time to time and it really spices it up! Man, these cats are hot!

I can not tell you how awesome this show is, find yourself a quiet few hours and blast your face off, melt your brain to jelly and then repeat steps 1-3 next week with me! One more thing, three and a half minutes into Know your Rider, Phil comes swarming out of  nowhere like a could of back flies. Huge massive riffs, and Jerry is threading and dancing around his playing like gumby the green, clay ballerina.

Pig Pen singing Hard to Handle! This has to be one of the best shows I have come across on the archive! The combination of Weirs tasteful chords and Billy's drumming can just make a grown man cry! Not Fade Away is another really hot track and the transition into Going Down the Road is butter! It really slows down and is just liquid. Every passing second, my smile broadens and my love and appreciation for the boys just grows and grows! May you find as much love in this as I did!

Bake and rock on!
Your humble Servant


  1. I was at that show ... NRPS wasn't out yet, but they opened, with Jerry. Quite a memorable show!

    1. Amazing! I am so envious of you!! Keep on Jamming!

    2. Also was there. Remember that opening announcement about the Riders, after that it's just a blur of bliss interspersed with flashes of white lightening...

  2. Mickey was on hiatus.

  3. That is true, my mistake, the whole thing with his father screwing everyone over! You are correct

  4. This was my first show, super high on the vibe, and the boys really did it... The venue was like a typical high school gymnasium. All the side bleachers were pulled out with folks sitting on them and down the center were just metal folding chairs. One of the first thing to happen and really hit me was ~ as soon as NRPS started playing with Jerry everyone sitting in the folding chairs stood up, folded their chairs, took them to the back, and leaned them up against the wall. Then there was dancing in the streets all night long. Who would a thunk.....