21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Graced by Grace,
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This review is from: "Night At The Family Dog, A (Various Artists) (DVD) (Various Artists)"  (DVD)
Concur comments of previous review in full and wonder why only afforded a three star rating. This is a tremendous showcase of three of San Fran's finest Bands. The hour long concert was filmed at Chet Helm`s Family Dog Ballroom and features a superb liquid lightshow. What makes the release particularly appealing is the sensational 5.1 surround sound. This is a real enhancement for a concert shot in 1970.
Santana's opening set is entirely instrumental featuring "Incident at Neshabur" from Abraxus and "Soul Sacrifice" from their first Album. It is an electric start with side stage, free form, girl dancers providing additional eye catching entertainment. Jerry and the gang follow with Pigpen on lead vocals for the bluesy "Hard to handle". Jerry takes the lead himself on "China Cat Sunflower" which leads seemlessly into the shared vocals of "I know you Rider".
If you ever wondered why The Airplane were the Premier Bay Area act of the Time then this DVD illustrates the extent of their power. Two of the finest lead vocalists, a power house rhythm section, awesome lead guitarist and a superb harmony singer/ rhythm guitarist. "The ballad of you me and Pooneil" really kicks in hard with Marty & Grace trading vocals with Paul Kantner. No one else sounded like this band at the time and now you can see why. Their two song set closes enchantingly with Grace taking the lead during "Eskimo Blue Day".
By contrast the closing Jam is a little anti-climatic. Very much a loose session between several members of each band. Worth watching nonetheless as an example of a totally unstructured performance typical of San Fran at the time but not graced by Grace unfortunately.
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