Ron "Pigpen" McKernan - vocals, orgran, percussion; Jerry Garcia - guitar, vocals; Bob Weir - guitar, vocals; Phil Lesh - bass, vocals; Bill Kreutzmann - drums; Mickey Hart - drums
This is the final set of a marathon show, with the Dead sharing the bill with Quicksilver and Jefferson Airplane. Legendary LSD chemist and Dead soundman (and their resident recording fanatic), Owsley "Bear" Stanley, had serious legal issues to deal with around this time, so many shows went unrecorded off the soundboard in 1970. There are large gaps in the Dead vault's 1970 inventory, which makes the shows that do exist in professionally recorded form all the
more significant. This one captures the group at a pivotal time between the heavy exploratory late '60s psychedelic sound and the new song-based sound of Workingman's Dead, which began showcasing the great songwriter/lyricist Robert Hunter's contributions to a stronger degree.
It's a strong performance overall and everything is played with enthusiasm, but several things stand out. First is the rarely played cover of James Brown's "It's A Man's, Man's World," featuring Pigpen leading the call and an adventurous jam in the middle. The "Dancing In The Street" (here played in the original Martha & the Vandellas arrangement, NOT the disco flavored late 1970s Dead arrangement) really gets cooking and features an infectious jam in the middle that swings and flows along in a manner they'd much later explore in "Eyes Of The World." A beautiful version.
However, the peak of this entire performance occurs in the most unlikely place, right smack dab in the middle of the drum solo that leads into "The Other One." Following the "Cryptical" opening to "The Other One" suite, they typically let the drummers do their thing for a few minutes. At 41 seconds into this unusual drum solo (in fast eighths), Phil Lesh and Jerry Garcia begin riffing along. Within seconds, the whole band has tapped into something they can't deny and they dive full tilt into it. It is one hellacious jam that cannot accurately be described and the type of experience that improvisational musicians treasure.