Friday, May 13, 2022

Europe 72 Revisited Part Sixteen


Lille Fairgrounds May 13, 1972. An excerpt from Europe 72 Revisited:

Set two brings more symmetry as classic Dead combos open and close the set. “Truckin’” kicks off the festivities. Jam one steps out, plateaus, and then explodes. The next instrumental leads us to an inspired drum break. As this tour rolls along, the second jam in “Truckin’” has become more contained. The madness unveils itself in “The Other One,” and the 5-13-72 performance is quite mad.

Phil’s earthquake blastoff rumbles and crumbles Lille. Nothing is grounded as the sonic boom whirls the band’s sound round and round. Garcia’s freewheeling; dreaming and shredding, shredding and dreaming. He peels off those licks that make you laugh out loud. This made me think of my friend Doug. We were novice Deadheads, and when we’d hear a jam like this he would laugh, point to the speaker, and ask, “How does Jerry think of this stuff?” Forty years later, we still ask each other that question, but the answer is blowing in the wind.

Back in Lille, “The Other One” jam slows down—the acid’s kicking in. As a listener, you can feel that even if you’ve never dabbled in heavy, mind-altering chemicals. It’s a nice change of pace, but the jam stays on course until they reach “Spanish Lady.” On the other side of “The Other One,” the Grateful Dead plug in the psychedelic meat grinder. The sonic texture is weird. The music’s driven by gods. Eventually, Garcia eases out of mind-melt city and strings together fetching melody lines. The band pounces on this cue and plays with “Caution”-like intensity as Garcia mirrors their passion. It’s amazing how the Grateful Dead veer into these hot jam pockets.

The propulsion of this segment eases. Jerry’s licks drip like a leaky faucet back to “The Other One” melody. A few minutes of savage yet scintillating playing ensues before the band’s escaping through the lily fields. Yes, this is one of the elite “Other Ones” of Europe ’72.

The Other One > He’s Gone handoff is perfect. “He’s Gone” is finding its niche as an early second set transition song. A break in the music is followed by a blues blast. Pigpen and company channel Elmore James with “It Hurts Me Too.” “Sugar Magnolia” takes no prisoners. As Weir leads the jam with odd chord phrasing, Jerry steps on the gas and then slams into auto reverse. Laugh in awe as the jam storms on. This is a sweet “Mag,” but the band steps on the jam brakes too soon.


                                                                EUROPE 72 REVISITED


COVID Blues, a new novel by Howard Weiner. Field of Dreams meets Almost Famous in the thick of a global pandemic. 



No comments:


  In honor of the anniversary of Music Mountain, here’s chapter two from my latest work, The Grateful Pilgrimage: Time Travel with the Dea...