Shortlist: September 28, 1972 - Jersey City, NJ

Part 1: (48 minutes)

  • Big River
  • Greatest Story Ever Told
  • China Cat Sunflower
  • Black Throated Wind
  • Playin’ in the Band
  • Don’t Ease Me In

Part 2: (59 minutes)

  • He’s Gone >
  • Bass and Drums >
  • The Other One >
  • Space >
  • Me & Bobby McGee >
  • The Other One >
  • Wharf Rat

192kbps files derived from a couple of sources.

It always pains me a bit when they release another September 1972 show, and it’s not this one. (There are four of them so far.) The circulating SBDs of 9/28 are incomplete,* but there’s great stuff in there, and I rank the main, 20-minute “The Other One” passage as one of the best improvisational explorations of the era. The song’s undertow never quite goes away, but a tender counter-melody dominates, recurring and beautifully developed.

The “China Cat” is by itself, because “I Know You Rider” spliced into a bad audience recording – but it’s a really good “China Cat” with an extended intro. And it’s always nice to come across early 1970s versions of Bobby’s improbably-built, angular tunes (“Greatest Story” and “Black Throated Wind”), on which the band totally finds the double-jointed groove, and Weir’s vocals aren’t too yelpy. The “Greatest Story” here features a good version of the “St. Stephen”-style riff at the climax.

*P.S. - Since I made this mix, I seem to have picked up a nearly complete soundboard, with the complete "I Know You Rider," and a "Half-Step that maybe should be on this mix. Oh, well... 

Shortlist philosophy: Start with a good soundboard of an unreleased show, and keep only what you honestly want to hear again and again. Be song-agnostic; look for outstanding performances of anything and everything, and reject an average performance of any song, no matter how grand that song’s generic status as a big deal may be. Whatever’s left, edit out the tuning and other delays, and arrange everything into a pleasing sequence. Share the results in lossy mp3 format, in the spirit of the cassette tape trading of my youth, diligently not trying to compete with or annoy Grateful Dead Enterprises, whose property this music is. 

4 responses
Yes! What a great pick - I do prefer a gentler, more melodic TOO. (As always, what a shame Keith is not higher in the mix). Landed here looking for Portland 74, which is/was a big hole in my collection. Loving your selections - hard drives full of Dead and I just can't remember what I like and what I don't. Your choices are obviously based on real and extensive experience, and it shows. Fascinating stuff - keep up the good work, please! While I'm here, a shout-out for Slipknot / Cow Palace 76 - what a unique piece of beauty. Many thanks.
Thanks, Tony! Always fortifying to have someone post a favorable content. My "project" here is motivated by exactly the problem you mention: Too many complete shows to ever really get to know them and discover stuff you want to hear many more times. Let me know if what I provided from Portland isn't enough, and we can figure out a way for me to share the whole show with you - maybe just with a link here in the comments. I've recently become a convert to more of 1976, including "Slipknots" that I used to complain spaced out too much.
Interesting. I listen to 1976 a lot but I don't think I've ever heard another Slipknot remotely like it... there's a project: Spaceknots! (Portland is fine as is, but thank you for the offer).
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