Tuesday, July 18, 1972
Roosevelt Stadium, Jersey City, NJ
There's one pin the tail on the donkey game where everyone's a winner. That's the game where the donkey is 1972. You simply can't miss. If someone blindfolded you and asked you to randomly select a 1972 show from a hat, you'd pull out a winner every time.
Those who know, know that 1971 revealed a band that was on a steady incline. But by the time we get into 1972, there must have been something in the water (okay, with the Dead, you *know* there was often something in the water). The year essentially starts off with the legendary Academy of Music run, places the band on the Europe '72 tour, then brings the band back with such force, it's like they went to another galaxy rather than just across the pond. They return somehow more mature and masterful than before. The summer is full of stunning shows, the classic Creamery Benefit on August 27th just one blossom on a technicolor tree. Then comes September. Oh.. September '72. You want to get into an all night debate? Ask Deadheads to pick the best show from just the ten shows that happened between September 15th and September 28th, 1972. (I say it was the 24th). Then there's the ever mounting accent into the end of the year where the band was pulling magic out of every corner of the universe; the intensity of the jams growling with the gleaming teeth of a tiger. The year ends with a New Year's Eve show to top them all.
Again, I'm challenged to pick a first stop/suggestion from a year I haven’t posted yet. But, in keeping with my audience recoding bent (as much as because I love them as for the ease of pointing your ear directly to them), we are going to land on a a show from about dead center in the year. The wildly energetic, deeply transcendent, Roosevelt Stadium show from July 18th.
The Soundboard recording of this show receives a constant sucker punch due to a bad cable on the piano microphone. Plus, the whole thing ends in Comes A Time. In 2001 I was lucky enough to trade for a DAT version of the AUD that patched the SBD. In looking back on my notes from seeding this show to the ADT (Audience Devotional Tree), I see that I had been sent a box of seven inch reels from a deadhead who worked with, or was the student of, an older guy who had them collecting dust in a corner. Nothing labeled well, there was one reel that had 05/07/70 on the left channel (we will get to that one in the future) and 07/18/72 on the right. This mono version was quite an improvement over the DAT version I had planned to seed out, and I knew I had a true gem in hand.
This tape is a classic example of a full stadium of extremely high flying fans hooting and hollering in every direction, only to be rendered dead quiet by the band as they strum the strings of everyone's soul with breathtaking precision. During the depths of Playin', Dark Star, and the heartbreakingly sweet Comes A Time, you can hear a pin drop. You'll find yourself looking around with your ears wondering where all the people went. Comes A Time is nothing short of a church service where the light of the Lord is cascading out from the stage. Jerry's solos just burn into your heart.
Understand, this tape is not going to go down on your list of best sounding AUDs. It's not the tape you will use to convert your friends who look at you strange because of this interest you have in the Grateful Dead. A lot of the tape is so rockin' that the it can only be described as "fiercely recorded." There is more raw power flying out of this sound system than I can recall hearing on any other AUD, and at times it seems more than the simple recording devise can handle. But, this is one of the many *important* shows from 1972. I'm recommending it because if you haven't heard it before, it's going to make you love the band more when you're done. And, I know that if you *have* heard it, it was likely way back when you first got it. Chances are, you're ready to revisit the highlights now to rekindle what's within.
Audience Devotional Tree Round 3 - June, 2001