Jerry Garcia - lead guitar, vocals; "Pigpen" McKernan - vocals, organ, percussion; Bob Weir - guitar, vocals; Phil Lesh - bass, vocals; Bill Kreutzmann - drums
In one of the earliest Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane excursions outside of the United States, Bill Graham financed the presentation of these two seminal San Francisco bands for a week of shows at Toronto's O'Keefe Center.
This final night of the run is a perfect example of primal Grateful Dead, recorded five months after the release of their first LP and a mere month before they would begin work on their most ambitious and experimental album, Anthem of the Sun.
The recording begins in progress with Pigpen leading the band on "Turn On Your Lovelight." At this point in time, Pigpen was certainly the dominating force and front man of the band. His ability to improvise vocally was certainly a major factor in the group's sound and no doubt contributed to the experimental freeform approach the band was beginning to fully embrace in concert.
The set ends with a very early rendition of "Alligator," a song written by Pigpen and Robert Hunter that would be featured prominently on their next album. This is one of the only examples of this song played alone, and although not as extensive as it would soon become, this performance oozes with psychedelia. Not unlike the bone crunching jam of "Viola Lee Blues" from the previous night, a propulsive jam ensues after the initial verses and the band is really soaring, with musical ideas flying in multiple directions simultaneously. Garcia's guitar is drenched in reverb and his playing is particularly explosive leading into a pulverizing ending of the song.
As was their fancy this particular week, they follow this with a quick take on the Warner Brothers cartoon theme "Looney Tunes" to end the set.
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