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Thursday, March 13, 2008

1974 August 6 - Roosevelt Stadium

Grateful Dead 1974 GRATEFUL DEAD
Tuesday, August 6, 1974
Roosevelt Stadium - Jersey City, NJ
Audience Recording

Yes, this show is featured on a Dick’s Picks that you should own. But going back, once again, to my strong contention that the Wall of Sound wasn’t something possible to capture on a soundboard tape, I feel it more than worthwhile to share the recording that firmly created my contention in the first place. I can promise you that adding this audience recording experience to your listening log is essential if you’re looking for some of the best that 1974 can offer.

While this was the second seed round on the Audience Devotional Tree, it was actually the recording that inspired the tree in the first place. It was the first show for which I ever performed digital editing, as well. The tree always had a subtle, quite chip on its shoulder to prove that AUD tapes can often out perform a SBD, and this recording was tattooed on that chip.

A couple of key takeaways, and then you just need to listen to this thing (my colorful ramblings might simply get in the way of this one. The music speaks volumes):

Grateful Dead 08/02/74 Ticket - Cancelled due to rainFirst, this show might never have happened if it wern't for the rain out on 08/02/74. This is another outdoor AUD, and the taper, Neil Merin, is firmly in the sweet spot. Sitting in the midst of Roosevelt Stadium, the tape captures a great deal of the fun being had by the crowd. But it also captures the intense volume level of the Wall itself. This is hard to pin down, really. But it is clearly one of the ethereal properties of AUD tapes. The music is LOUD. It feels loud. It feels good. You don’t wish that you (the microphone) could be sitting just a little closer. And as you find yourself being absorbed by the transcendent music of the show, you might find yourself sweetly reminded that this is just some dude sitting in the midfield, somehow clutching the mic, deck, extra batteries, et al, and coming away with a spot on excellent recording. This thought hits me over and over while listening to this tape, and it elevates the enjoyment all the more. Merin’s batteries began a slow death in Truckin’. Luckily Ihor Slabicky provides another stellar tape to finish off the show.

Second, the transcendent music. There is little understatement when you hear people talk about the first set Eyes of the World and Playin’>Scarlet>Playin’ from this show. There are things happening in each that go way beyond the norm. Both are colossal, and could be seen as the distillation of everything that was 1974. They are that good. Really, the year 1974 peaked during the week of shows from 7/31/74 to 8/6/74. And this end cap of music from 8/6 is the summit. You might already feel that way from hearing the Dick’s Pick. You’ll likely appreciate it all the more after hearing the AUD. Also not to be missed here is the Uncle John’s Band, Jack Straw, and the Other One ain’t no slouch either.

Grateful Dead 1974Interestingly, the 8/6/74 Eyes and Playin’ are so infamous, and have been circulating in one form or another for so long, they sometimes fall out of conversations when folks are talking about the best this and the best that. It’s as if these versions sit on a pedestal, and the fact that they are up there is reduced to an unspoken absolute. Much the same is true about the big ’73 Watkins jam. We often forget to even talk about it, like, there’s the Watkins jam, and then everything else from 1973. We’ll get more into that one later.

Jerry’s guitar bristles with electricity on 8/6/74. As clumsy as the description is, that’s the best way that I’ve ever been able to describe this recording. And Phil may as well be sitting in your lap. The music conveys its sheer power on this tape. I feel this is a necessary sound experience in the makeup of anyone’s multi-ingredient mix of things that form your appreciation of the Dead’s music. It gives you a top shelf AUD, along with a top shelf show.

After listening to this one, you might find it hard to hear a ’74 SBD and not wonder what a really good AUD of the show might provide. If that’s my fault, I fully own up to the fact that you’re on to my plan.

08/06/74 AUD etree source info
08/06/74 AUD Download

Audience Devotional Tree Round 2 - January 2001

22 comments:

  1. Thank you again for the great info and your insights. One problem though: the AUD Download link is generating an error message. - Grateful

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  2. Link not fixed, I'm afraid. Man, what a letdown. No problem--will definitely track it down elsewise. Thanks for the recommendation...have not gotten around to obtaining DP31 and am looking forward to enjoying this aud instead.

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  3. Eyes + Playin'>Scarlet>Playin' = WOW

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  4. You know, even if the link didn't work because of my boneheaded HTML skills, you can always just search out the show on archive.org, or follow the link directly there from the etree link above the download link.

    Enjoy.

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  5. Sure, that's what I did. Digging Eyes as I type-reeeeal nice.
    By the way, photos from this show (http://tela.sugarmegs.org/_asxtela/asxcards/gd1974-08-06.html) suggest they weren't using The Wall.

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  6. Those pics are from 1976, not 1974. The guy dated the show incorrectly.

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  7. Thanks for the clarification.
    And, of course and again, for the great music!

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  8. (d'oh!
    Shoulda known from the drumheads)

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  9. This IS an awesome show. I was listening to it last night and what do ya know, here's a review up of it. This rates as an A+ in my book, funny to hear the crowd yelling UNCLE JOHN's BAND! and C'MON BOB!

    This is a great setlist, and it's true: PITB and Eyes SMOKE. So yeah, this is pretty much a fairly epic show. A rowdy crowd can't ruin that.

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  10. and don't forget the monstrous sugar mags sammich.
    this is the first time i heard a show that had been really well patched (via david gans and the dead hour) and going from the fine sbd smoothly into a clear aud and then back without knowing it was going to happen is still something i chuckle about.

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  11. Thank you, icepetal, for your glowing words about a glowing show. I was there - this was my first real show (being a half mile from the stage at Watkins Glen doesn't really count...) and it was a great one. I vividly remember the physical sensation of Phil's bass in my spine, and the bell-like tone of Kieth's piano work in the quiet passages of Row Jimmy. I was 17 and there in that shabby stadium possibilities were blooming.

    A funny aside to this show: at the very time we were there in Jersey City taking in this show, Philippe Petit and his friends were hiding just under the roof of the World Trade Center. They had sneaked in dressed as workmen at the end of the work day, bringing a steel cable up with them in a freight elevator. The next morning, Aug 7, 1974, Philippe spent 45 minutes tightrope walking from one building to the other.

    I love thinking that while they were preparing this massive, illegal, and outrageous performance art we were dancing away....!

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  12. Listening to this show now, but the soundboard version, the jam in Playing is amazing and jerry just changing to scarlet

    WOW

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  13. Great 'blog! 1974 is definitely my fave GD live year... But you cannot overlook June of that year as being part of the peak.

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  14. Why tonight to comment? Why any night really...

    A perfect example of the field recording school of thought, taking us to moment in time and giving a historical document.

    The "fireworks" section alone makes it worth hearing.

    Simple. Beautiful.

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  15. I only wish that the taper hadn't the pause button between the songs....but can't really complain.....

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  16. the jerry solos on eyes are simply two of the best solos anyone is capable of playing. i would try to describe the euphoria i feel when listening to them but i cant put it into words. its almost TOO good for me to even fathom. im blown away.

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  17. Thanks for the concert information. I located this show from another source based on your article and -- you are correct -- it sounds "huge." One of the best AUD's I've ever heard: and I am, typically, a SBD guy! :)

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  18. I love this blog, you have turned me on to so many good shows. I am 27 years old and have only been a Deadhead for about 2 years so its hard to know where to start. The Eyes from this show kills me, just so outrageously beautiful I'm listening to it right now and my brain is about to explode. Keep up the good work,

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  19. This was my first Dead show. I was 14 years old. If my mother knew I was there, she woulda killed me! Yeah, it was good. The crowd was awesome. Those were the days. Happy Birthday, Jerry!

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  20. I hear hints of 'Fire' in the second part of the big jam no?

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