Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday Dead: 7-16-1970 Euphoria Ballroom

Monday Dead this week takes us back to July 16th 1970 and what we have here is anything but a failure to communicate.  A major transitional year for the fellas, 1970 had it all, ups/downs/folk/freakouts but on this glorious day one of the groups most beloved friends came on stage and shined her lovelight all over the place.  
 Nice grab Pigpen...Listen right c'here:

I had a blast yesterday hanging out with a bunch of friends and loved ones (even if my football picks went south, but Chelsea had fine form) and the night ended with us watching the excellent Festival Express.  If you haven't seen this movie, please, do yourself a favor and order it asap you will not be disappointed.  A great documentary about a magical coming together of musicians.  I was amazed when I caught the film on the big screen down in Union Sq. and the main reason for my fascination was not the Dead, nor even my man crush on Rick Danko, but the unbelievable force of nature that Janis Joplin was as a live performer. 

Her scenes in the film jump off the screen with a richness and vitality that is unmatched, she was magnetic. beautiful and simply stunning as an artist.  I love that the Dead wrote "Bird Song" in her honor, but I love even more this "Lovelight" with Pigpen.  Before we get to that though I should mention that the quality of today's show is again top notch grade A+ stuff.  Kudos to Scott Clugston for a pristine transfer allowing us to enjoy this timeless performance 30 years later.  Before we get to the naughtiness we need to mention the quick and fun version of "China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider", it is a crisp version of an old favorite, but the "Candyman" here is skip-able.  Never my favorite tune and a blown version on this night, it was as if the band was waiting for the front woman to take the stage.

Then comes the huge "Lovelight" and the interplay between Janis and Pigpen.  An obvious chemistry blazes through the speakers and I would freak out to be able to see the video of this show as it is a happening man.  The sexy interplay works even if we can't see it and you gotta love Janis ripping on the "Hippie Jack-offs", saying she wants a working man as the sparse band just keeps the minimal beats behind her.  Then after some crowd encouragement the group starts the train up around the 11 minute mark.  Jerry gets wah-wah'ing and Phil fuzzes out a few bass bombs as the revving up to the climax commences.  What a time must have been had, and I can only imagine the quarts of whiskey and tequila that were consumed.
Here's hoping the party is still going on somewhere special, enjoy the show.          

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