13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Best Dead live set - wot, only 5 stars?,
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This review is from: Sunshine Daydream (Veneta, Or, 8/27/72) (Audio CD)
I had heard the rumours about this show and when I saw that it was due for release I ordered it the same day.
Over the years I must have seen the Dead around a dozen times, starting from the European tour of '72, and heard (and owned) around the same number of live sets - this is, without question, the best yet in terms of the quality of the playing and the recording quality but also the bands 'vibe' having recently recruited Keith & Donna and exploring that new relationship in some very familiar numbers.
This version of 'Dark Star' is simply brilliant - it ebbs and flows but never meanders pointlessly - and numbers like 'Bird Song' show that the band can do the complex as well as the intense and joyous. 'The Greatest Story Ever Told' is monumental and the 'Promised Land' / Sugaree' plays better and better.
The vocals on this release are clear and, mostly, tuneful and Godchaux brings a new element to the music with his piano. I have never heard Phil Lesh's bass recorded so well before and it is suddenly clear just how good a player he is. Having just the one drummer keeps the focus but there are times I do miss the interplay between Bill Kreutzman and Mickey Hart that followed on later versions of the band.
The DVD that accompanies the 3 CDs (the reason we have had to wait so long for the album) is a delight - very 'hippyish' and sunny but it also gives a good feel for the young farmers and their kids (this was a benefit for Kesey's farm).
If you are new to the Grateful Dead this is actually a fine introduction but if you know the band then this is essential.
I wish there were six stars avail;able!