Grace Slick - vocals, organ; Marty Balin - vocals, percussion, bass; Paul Kantner - vocals, guitar; Jorma Kaukonen - lead guitar; Jack Casady - bass, rhythm guitar; Spencer Dryden - drums
This Fillmore West set was recorded at the peak of the classic lineup's powers, as their fourth album, Crown of Creation, was climbing up the charts. Playing to a hometown audience, this set is arguably even better than their live album, Bless It's Pointed Little Head, recorded around the same time.
They open with a cover of Donovan's "Fat Angel," now transformed into a ragafied journey into deep space with Jack playing rhythm guitar and Marty on bass. They follow with a "Rock Me Baby" that points in the direction that Jorma and Jack would take with Hot Tuna the following year. Strong versions of their two biggest hits, "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit," follow, but due to a reel change, "Won't You Try," which falls in between, is mostly missing.
They then stretch out and conclude with one of their greatest performances. The extended improvisational treatment given to "Ballad Of You Me & Pooneil" includes a ferocious bass solo by Jack. Following the reprise, they dive directly into "House At Pooneil Corners." This is an inspired pairing up of songs that combines for a truly powerful performance.
Written by Alan Bershaw