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Monday, February 4, 2008

1971 July 31 - Yale Bowl

GRATEFUL DEAD
Saturday, July 31, 1971
Yale Bowl, Yale University - New Haven, CT
Audience Recording

You'd have to call this an *important show* to have. Forever this was almost impossible to find in any listenable form. Everyone seemed to know that Marty Weinberg taped it, but for many years no one could seem to track down Marty, or a clean, complete copy of the tape. All that changed around 2001.

This recording captures the raw power of the Grateful Dead. This will not be the last time you hear me speak of hearing the electricity in the air, the pure wattage of the speakers shimmering out of your headphones. You are there, in the middle of everything. The soundboard never circulated beyond less than a small handful of ears, never truly in any kind of circulation. In fact, until only recently it was assumed by most all traders that there was no SBD at all. Now the soundboard is featured as the official release, Road Trips Vol. 1 #3.

Grateful Dead Stage Set Up - 1971 Yale BowlThe audience tape is one of those classic recordings where the crowd is palpably in your face a lot of the time. However, when the Dark Star ultimately casts its hypnotic mojo into the stadium, a hush ensues, and you find yourself marvelling that the crowd has gone so silent in wrapped attention. For me, it is this "other" energy that is only appreciable by its contrast to the general frivolity going on around it for most of the show. The Dead could always say "listen up now" and everyone would do just that. It's that level of listening experience which deepens my love of audience recordings in general.

The recording is not without its challenges, and I wouldn't call this a perfect tape with which to turn someone on to AUDs. If you really are new to AUDs in general, you might find things a bit bothersome. But this show itself will cause you to attend to the beauty within, and while you may set it aside, do remember to return again after you have travelled further down the AUD road. It will give you gifts again and again.

1971 gets somewhat overlooked in general. Being blanketed by 1970 and 1972, it's no surprise. But there are lots of amazing shows from this year. While I wouldn't be able to bring just one '71 show with me to a dessert island, Yale Bowl would easily be one of three... or one of five...

Highlights never stop coming from start to finish. And Marty's intro and outro are priceless beyond compare.

07/31/71 etree source info
07/31/71 AUD download

Audience Devotional Tree Round 5 - October, 2001

3 comments:

  1. Fantastic!!! This was my first show from the GDADT...summer 2001. I love this show.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm listening to "Road Trips #3" which is a revelation... like cleaning off a dusty, dusty glass. But in the context of your review, what's interesting is the AUD patch of Dark Star from minute 2:00 to 4:30. The AUD has a reputation for lackluster quality and distractions, but it stands up pretty well to the SBD in direct comparison. (And the crossfades are sweet...) I've listened to both your version and the Road Trips version, and I'm not sure if Grateful Dead Productions has applied any processing or cleanup to the recording. Maybe the background chatter is a little quieter. What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Marty's AUD sounds its best during Dark Star, and the crowd is as silent as ever during this section. So, the patch comes with the stars best aligned. I have to think they did some gentle amount of sonic balancing to the AUD allowing it to flow so nicely, though nothing so drastic as to remove any chatter. It sounds fantastic.

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