Stormy Mondays | Grateful Dead 1974 Retrospective Part 3

Welcome back to Part Three of the Stormy Mondays' Grateful Dead 1974 Retrospective (Part One, Part Two). This time we’re turning our attention to the East Coast part of the summer tour that stretched through the end of June, moving south to north. The show featured here is from June 20, 1974 at The Omni in Atlanta, GA, specifically the "Truckin’" > "Eyes" > "China Doll" that ends the second set.

The first track is a long version, clocking in at nearly 22 minutes, a big, energetic rendition that plunges right off the deep end into a cataclysmic meltdown space that sounds like it’s ripped from the depths of a "Playing In The Band." The "Eyes" is really bright by comparison, and opens into what is sometimes labeled the first "Slipknot!," but it’s really just Garcia jamming out over a groove - it’s pretty hard to call anything before August 13, 1975 "Slipknot!" - but it’s a very cool moment nonetheless. Altogether this three-song suite is 50 minutes! Quite a trip.

To place this show in context, give a listen to the fantastic official release Road Trips Vol. 3, No. 2: The Wall of Sound, which is culled from the two previous shows - June 16 in Des Moines and June 18 in Louisville. The "Eyes" > "Big River" from the earlier show is a pretty phenomenal, sprawling re-imagining of the psychedelic cowboy sequences of 1970 and 1971, and the "WRS" > "Other One Jam" > "It’s A Sin Jam" from the second show is great as well. The best, however, is on the bonus disc for the release: the full third set (!) including "Truckin’" > "Jam" > "Wharf Rat" > "Going Down The Road Feelin' Bad." The "Truckin’" is absolutely stupendous, a best-ever version, and the "Jam" includes a full "Nobody’s Fault" theme, a wildly aggressive lead, a short "It’s A Sin" jam, and returns to "Nobody’s" before effortlessly moving into "Wharf Rat." Simply mind blowing.


Written By: Dan Alford

[Published on: 6/16/14]

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