John Dawson - guitar, vocals; David Nelson - lead guitar, vocals; Jerry Garcia - pedal steel guitar; Dave Torbert - bass, vocals; Spencer Dryden - drums
This is the third night of the Grateful Dead and The New Riders of the Purple Sage last run of shows at Fillmore East. Unfortunately, the first half of the NRPS set is missing from this recording, but what remains is an example of the band at a peak moment in their musical history. The chemistry between Dawson, Nelson and Torbert, the primary songwriters, was arguably reaching its apex between 1971 and 1973. With former Jefferson Airplane drummer, Spencer Dryden now on board and Jerry Garcia flavoring their music with his distinctive pedal steel, their sound was really beginning to jell and become a distinct entity outside the Grateful Dead.
Like all of their sets on this legendary run, this set primarily focuses on classic material from their first, self-titled album and from their follow-up, Powerglide, with a few choice covers thrown in for good measure. In addition to album staples like "Last Lonely Eagle," "Sweet Lovin' One" and "Runnin' Back To You," the band delivers compelling cover versions of John Fogerty's "Lodi" and The Band's "The Weight." A preview of "Gypsy Cowboy" also surfaces in the form of "Sailin.'" The version of "Louisiana Lady" that closes the set is particularly strong and a perfect example of the NRPS totally hitting their stride.
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