Thursday, June 7, 2012

Show of the Week - Portland, 1976

Grateful Dead Live at Paramount Theatre (June 3, 1976)

I think my favorite thing about Oregon, is how the Grateful Dead play when they are there. In Portland, the motto is Keep it Weird, I love that!!

This is just another great show, but I have to say that there are a few songs that really stick out in my mind, and among those the one that really is killer is Let it Grow. Phil is really just smiling, I can tell, and bobby is playing very strongly. I think this is one of my favorite versions of this song. The drumming is tasteful and Bobby and Donna are very balanced. Jerry licks are awesome, this song makes this whole show worth listening to! And how about those lyrics, Robert Hunter is a lyrical sculptor. His imagery combined with the melodies just create a picture that is vivid, lyrical and vibrant.  At about 3:45 listen to Jerry just place some stunning picking and phrasing, the sound is warm and subtle. The tone is almost cuddling your ears.

How about that drum break, I can dig it man!!

Another great portion of this song is the Help on The Way > Slipknot >Franklin's Tower is off of the charts as well. I really have always liked Franklin's Tower but it is just played so well in this show. I would like to bring your attention to something that I do not mention very often, the keyboards. The keys in this show are just awesome! Really tasteful, maybe that is attributed to this well done matrix. A matrix is a combination of a soundboard recording and an audience recording. As you can tell from this recording there is a clean sound while also an buzz about the whole show which is created by the use of some audio recording in the mix. The effect is wonderful, clean and, energetic concert.

Also a really well done first set. This set is long, You almost expect the band to stop playing after Supplication but they just keep on going. Scarlet Begonias did not do much for me (thanks to Donna) but over all she is very bearable throughout the entire concert.

I can not say enough about Let it Grow, Bobby is just on fire in this song, and I love how he plays just what needs to be played, he knows what the perfect amount of strumming is, the perfect amount of fancy is and just the right amount of room to give Jerry.

The Crazy Fingers is just elegant, another great Hunter song.
This show just shines! Give it a listen!

-DW

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