Picks Vol. 7
Horton Field House
Illinois State University, Normal, IL
Dave's Picks Vol. 7 is a complete concert from the spring
1978 tour performed April 24, 1978, at
Illinois State University, Normal, IL.
general comment about the release is that the sound has a good separation in that you can hear each of the members
contribution quite clearly, but certainly not the fidelity of Rocking
the Cradle from later in year. What seems to dominate in the mix
more than normal is the two drummers. So a bit charm of the release is their
contributions, both as they add accents and highlights, as well as drive the energy with unstoppable force.
The first set has many awesome moments. In fact there are four songs that are performed as well as one could want. Starting with the Jerry tracks,
"Friend of the Devil" electric versions in my view are
exceptional in 1978 and this version is a testament as such. He also delivers a gorgeous rendition of
"Maybe it was Roses." Bobby delivers a version of "The Music Never Stopped" that is
over the top in excellence, and "Cassidy" is just as tight. With both
Bobby songs, the drummers really add an intensity, and get all of the transitions just right.
in set one,
There is much discussion of the little disco tease of "Staying Alive" that precedes, "Me and My
Uncle," and the way they blend the melody a bit into "Uncle."
Don't overlook during "Big River" before the vocals, Bobby fancies up his rhythm
that hints of "Staying Alive," Jerry counters by playing the melody, Staying Alive,
Staying Alive. That part was way cool as it really shows the band
listening to each other and throwing musical ideas off of each
The second set takes up discs two and three. I prefer the Garcia song selections, Weir's are all fast rockers. I'm not the biggest fan of "Not Fade Away" or "Around and Around," and these version did not change my mind. Now to Bobby's slide playing. I do not care for it most of the time. In
songs like "Brother Esau" where it is written into the composition it works, but just jamming on it like he does throughout this concert, well, not good.
The opener, "Scarlet Begonias" > "Fire on the Mountain" has tons of great moments, but there are a few segments where the slide is bothersome. During Black Peter," the use of slide is shorter in duration, and the riffs Bobby
uses it for blend in nicely yielding a really stellar rendition; "Terrapin Station" is near perfect."
The encore is a Warren Zeon cover, "Werewolves of London." Musically it is laughable, but the band is having fun, take it for what it is.
in all, I probably won't replay the second set much, though "Terrapin Station" and "Black Peter" are
The first set has a handful of near definitive versions of several
by Barry Small