Joined: 23 Jun 2008 Posts: 10252 Location: Davy Jones' Locker
Posted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:04 pm Post subject: 06-30-74 Springfield Civic Center - Valium Show of June 74
06-30-74 Springfield Civic Center Arena, Springfield, Ma. (Sun) 1: Don't Ease, B. T. Wind, Peggy-O, Jack Straw, Loser, Greatest, Cumberland, Dire Wolf, Playin> Uncle John> Playin 1.5: Phil & Ned
2: China Cat> I Know You Rider, Big River, Scarlet, El Paso, U. S. Blues> Truckin> Nobody's Jam> Eyes> Stella Blue, NFA> GDTRFB> Saturday Night
I want to start with; this source is the best out there. Kudos again to CMiller.
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Don't Ease starts with some serious mix issues. Jerry singing to Keith playing.
BTW is sweet. Such a great song. It is played with spunk, and Bob overdoes the singing a bit, which is a testament to the energy.
Peggy-O was a decent performance, a bit slow for me. Decent jam at the end.
Jack Straw managed to gather some steam, not blown away yet.
Loser could give us a shot at something special, but goes nowhere really. So far the set is a 3 of 5. Struggling.
GSET is a great song to push some energy in their playing. Jerry is low in the mix though. In general through source, vocals are too high compared to the instruments. Energy, at least, has picked up substantially. At least this means during the jams, when there isn't Donna flow moaning in the background, you get to hear the instruments at a pretty good mix. Energy has increased at this point.
Cumberland is brimming with pep. This was needed, and for whatever reason, the levels regarding vocals seem a bit better. Maybe it's just Bob and Donna not sucking the chrome off theirs when they get too excited that is helping. Jerry rips out some good solos here. There's a patch here, not really a problem.
Dire slips back into laid back mode.
PITB>UJB>PITB is going to determine a lot about the way I rate this show. They don't waste time getting to the jamming after the verses. Early on Phil does something like a double stop on the base while Jerry searches for the path of noodles to wander down. Billy is just awesome, par excellence. Jerry sits back and lets Keith do some solo on his quasi-organ. I don't think this was a good idea. Poor Billy is pouring his heart out, and Jerry is sitting back and watching. It's kind of how the whole set has gone. He finally steps back in around the 11 minute mark, but I'm a bit disturbed by the flow of what I was hoping would be great. Jerry can bring a show back at any moment, but there's really no push here. Around 14 we get the first hints of a possible Tiger, and about 15:20 it's much more likely to happen. Perhaps a tiger cub, I don't know. Doesn't get there, but at least the jam finally got interesting again after a dip into a boring area. We get into spacey territory at 17:30, with Phil playing a major role, the music comes to almost a complete stop, and UJB arises out of silence. Jerry's intro notes are refreshing at this point. The UJB features much better jamming, driven, and interesting. The jamming contained within those 8 minutes of song was much better than the jamming of 14 minutes of PITB. Let's see how that translates into the return to PITB, it was ok, but UJB was clearly the highlight of the set closing sandwich.
Seastones... I don't listen to it. It does nothing for me.
China Rider to start the 2nd set. Let's hope they took care of whatever they needed to take care of during the intermission. The opening notes are not encouraging... quite a slow tempo. 3 minutes into China Cat and it's still a snoozefest. It's just too laid back, even in the transition. It is also kind of flawless, because it was on valium though. It just kind of drags on, usually by the time they get to Rider I'm rocking in my seat.
Big River is called in to do some emergency field surgery on this wounded show. Thankfully it brings some pep back into the mix. Solid Jerry solos with Billy pounding out the train rhythm behind him.
Scarlet Begonias has a nice tempo, so maybe we've snapped back into the way things should be. However, the jam goes back into mellow areas, and Donna really starts into the flow moaning, her only possible contribution, which sucks. It has some nice noodling in it. It just never really goes anywhere and ends in a fizzle.
El Paso... it's frustrating we're depending on these little ditties to push the energy up. Jerry could still be louder, though his noodling is appreciated. Thus we enter the "dragon"... the meat portion of the show, energy has been pushed back up, but not reaching where it could, again, Garcia just seems a step behind tonight.
US Blues>Truckin>Nobody’s Fault Jam>Eyes>Stella. US Blues seems a good way to sustain the energy, especially into Truckin. No matter how hard Billy pushes, of Phil, or Keith, Jerry is stuck in mediocreville, and now starting to make mistakes as well. Truckin, again, features other members pushing to go further, but the Jerry soloing stays slower. It's quite bluesy, and this inspires the move into the Nobody's Fault But Mine Jam they go into. I guess go with what you've got cooking.
We work our way into Eyes, and it's got a nice rhythm to it. Nice noodling in here, as we would expect. Thus far, this is the first of the jammier songs that is actually fully enjoyable, well, perhaps UJB too. It took a long time to get here, and I'm still not overly impressed. This one goes into some interesting nooks and crannies that I don't typically expect in the more structured jams of Eyes. This then heads into Stella, to wrap up the sequence. I kind of feel like Jerry forgot to knock the dust of his guitar strings, and this song is no different. Some could say it's more psychedelic than usual, and in a way it is, but just lacking that charm the song usually has.
The final trifecta for the eve will be NFA>GDTRFB>OMSN. I have lost most interest in the show at this point. Again, Jerry is just rather AWOL. I would like to think it had to do with being low in the mix, but it isn't.
I will call, henceforth, the Valium Show of June 1974. At no point did they flirt with the X factor, and I consider it an off night for Jerry, which is still good.
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