06-20-74 The Omni, Atlanta, Ga. (Thu)
1: U. S. Blues, BIODTL, B. E. Women, Mexicali, Roses, Jack Straw, Scarlet, Me & My Uncle, To Lay Me Down, El Paso, China Cat> I Know You Rider, Around
2: Big River, Ship Of Fools, Truckin> Eyes> Slipknot> China Doll> Saturday Night
US Blues opens up somewhat weakly, especially considering how it operates in a closer/encore position. This one is somewhat lifeless till the end. It is the start of the show, so I'll cut some slack.
BIODTL, just what the doctor (didn't) ordered. Garcia is brushing away the cobwebs still. Keith throws some nice keys and modifies his tone a bit, which was appreciated.
BEW is somewhat pedestrain.
Mexicali is called upon to up the ante... It pushes some energy into the set, but, not a lot.
IMHBTR, a song I love, which will be slow. It's perhaps not the best idea now. It's well done, anyhow.
Jack Straw begins to gather some steam near the end, just in time for what could be a great Scarlet.
Scarlet Begonias starts off slower than I'd like, a theme for the set thus far. However, the jam section puts the set into the right gear, and we're finally there!
MAMU is fun and rocking!
To Lay Me Down. I love this song, I fear it's placement in a set that is just beginning to achieve awesomeness, but it could also be a further catalyst. It it well played and a boost to the set!
El Paso comes raring out of the stable, love it. Great one from the start. Thank goodness Donna never really figured out a place where she could insert a shreik here... leading me to ask, what the hell did she do?
China Rider is listless in the beginning, but gets good at the first solo break. The transition to Rider is basically immediate, before the 4 minute mark in China Cat. This leaves us much room for jamming the more interesting theme of the two (IMO)! Great Rider jam indeed, lots of Keith filling the spaces Jerome leaves open for him. Phil is bouncy and fun. Bob is a bit low, but Jerry is up front. Northbound train brings it. Great C>R.
Around x 2 is a great way to end a set. Half a set, kind of, Scarlet being the Stalingrad.
Big River is awesome, just what we needed to start the set off on the right foot. Somewhat of a short set, compared to others of the day. Keith puts in a big time solo before going to Baton Rouge. Again, he excelled in these types of rockers. Jerry takes his turn after the verse, and delivers per expectations.
Ship's opening notes come right out of Big River, but does take a slight tuning pause. Keith goes to the organ, just the right song for it. He is laying down the church tones wonderfully, as Jerry sings perfectly and the chords behind him are well done. This is an A+ Ship, thank goodness for Mars Hotel, and it's ugly rumors of a retirement!
Truckin>Eyes>Slipknot>China Doll>OMSN... Now for the meat!
We're in a good place here and Truckin starts off great, other than Billy momentarily losing the beat! He gets a pass, he's done a lot over the last 3 years all by himself. No wonder this heads into greatness (spoiler alert haha). The jamming out of the lyrics is uptempo, fun, and bluesy, just like a truckin ought to be. We're getting X favor stuff here by the 7 minute mark. Then we start into the build up before the big explosion that generally leads to a jam out of Truckin. It just won't lose its heat, the build up is intense... Around 9 we get the breakdown/explosion, great stuff. If you don't enjoy this Truckin, you never got on the bus. Mid 9 minute we start to get a slower, still bluesier rhythm going, they are going to explore. This falls into Billy trying to take us into drums, but Garcia isn't getting off stage. Bobby hints at Stella Blue, but it instead just goes into Space.
This Space is cool, it doesn't get super out there/basically too quiet, but stays plenty weird with everyone participating relevantly, a la 1974 awesomeness. Jerry flirts with Tiger, again, such a great sound, I wish he'd not have retired that apparently during the retirement. Anyhow, this Space stays great throughout!
Eyes of the World is one of, if not my favorite song, and in this era, it could do no ill. Nice intro, tempo is in the right place. The jam after the 2nd verse is always my favorite, because you are guaranteed to stay on topic and get nice work. This Eyes, at some points, actually gets a bit repetitive. Jerry is backing Phil for a solo, but doesn't really do anything different for way too long. It is a nice long part of the song and most members put in their two cents somewhere along the line. The portion of the jam where they signal they are returning to the final verse is pretty awesome though, but Garcia does return to same riff again and again. It takes an interesting turn just after 12 minutes, heading into...
Slipknot! The first official Slipknot according to Deadbase, though the jam has been toyed with before this. I mean, a lot of what you hear, you've been hearing in Eyes for a long time, but this is fully fleshed out. Garcia rocks this jam! A+ stuff here.
It jams straigh into China Doll, where they swiss watch the transition, and Jerry brings some interesting notes to the intro. Slow but determined stuff, just right for shattered dolls. Garcia brings a great tone into the solo, unique. This is a great China Doll, hard to give it an A+ because I find the song to be lacking in some respects actually, but this is pretty much there.
OMSN comes out of China Doll for a rollicking finish.
Great show from Scarlet Begonias on. The meat is especially delightful, but don't miss that Ship, C>R, or El Paso!