David LaFlamme - violin, vocals; Linda LaFlamme - keyboards; Patti Santos - vocals, percussion; Hal Wagenet - guitar; Mitchell Holman - bass; Val Fuentes - drums
This run of It's a Beautiful Day shows is somewhat of a holy grail for fans of the band, as it captures them several months before they recorded their highly revered first album and also features the original lineup. On this Fillmore run, they were opening for the Yardbirds featuring Jimmy Page.
The band had already created a distinctive sound, quite unlike other bands of that era. David LaFlamme and Patti Santos' vocal blend and the band's orchestral approach to arrangements, including using the violin as a primary lead instrument, gained them a large following among people looking for something outside the scope of jam bands in the Bay Area.
This third and final night of this run is absolutely amazing, not only for the performances, but also for revealing several more never released songs from the original band. It begins much like the previous night, with a full bore attack on "Wasted Union Blues," one of their heaviest numbers. The embryonic version of "White Bird" again follows, as does another early version of "Hot Summer Day."
Following this triple whammy, the group veers off into material the LaFlammes had written and performed with their earlier band, Orkustra. Typical trippy, 1967 lyrics abound here, but the music is quite interesting, and these pieces segue into one another with the flow of music going through various stylistic changes. Unfortunately, "Love for You" begins in progress, probably due to a reel change, but we are treated to an early version of "Bulgaria," a track that would later be recorded for their first album. Along the same line is "Heavy Changes," another pre-first album song that has only surfaced on this night's recording.
They end this set with an early arrangement of "Time Is," another memorable number destined to be the closer on their first album. Again, it is fascinating to hear the group experimenting on these classic first album songs months before they were recorded.