Saturday, April 16, 2022

Europe 72 Revisited Part Five

Europe 72 Volume 5


An excerpt from EUROPE 72 REVISITED: 4/16/72

The Grateful Dead headed east across the sea to Aarhus University, also in Denmark. They played in Stakladen, an extremely intimate venue for a band on a major tour. Stakladen was a college cafeteria with low ceilings. Inside there were 45 cafeteria tables and 400 chairs to go along with 700 students on hand for the show. Now just add the Grateful Dead, crew, and tons of gear to this jam-packed scene. Imagine how powerful the music must have been! The Dead did their best to tee off like it was any other night on tour. The collegiate crowd seemed to put the band at ease, as if they were playing in a student union somewhere in California. 



Weir delivers the first lesson of the evening, “Greatest Story Ever Told,” and the jam soars. There’s a free and easy approach to the music on this night. “Black-Throated Wind” and “Tennessee Jed” are impressive in the fourth and fifth slots. The band is delighted to share these unique tales with European students—once upon a time in America. A card game turns violent as the Dead end the set with the first “Dire Wolf” of the tour. Prior to “Dire Wolf,” the students of Aarhus receive a sonic degree in psychedelic intensity courtesy of “Playin’ in the Band.” Jerry and Phil streak down separate paths until they meet in the middle, and then a series of rolling volcanic eruptions ensue—lava flows and glows.

Pigpen raps another provocative version of “Good Lovin’” to open the second set—good morning, little schoolgirls! There are two things you should know about the second song of set two, “Cumberland Blues.” It’s insanely hot, right up there with the Empire Pool version that made the album, and the band doesn’t play “Cumberland” again until the last show of the tour. The set continues with “El Paso,” and “Deal,” as Aarhus is reintroduced to another time and place in America.

                                 EUROPE 72 REVISITED  

Check out COVID Blues, a new novel by Howard F. Weiner about a group of almost famous musicians making it come alive in the thick of a global pandemic. 



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