Leslie West - guitar, vocals; Felix Pappalardi - bass, vocals; Steve Knight - organ; Corky Laing - drums
One of the best American hard rock bands of their era, Mountain was in top form this evening, and gave a performance as remarkable and special as the occasion deserved. The group was modeled on the legendary English power trio Cream, with whom bass player Felix Pappalardi produced and recorded.
The set begins with a powerful take on "Never In My Life," featuring the massive guitar tones and distinctive vocals of West and the powerful rhythm section of Pappalardi and Laing. Having dedicated the next number to Bill Graham, the band continues with cover of Jack Bruce's "Theme From An Imaginary Western," featuring Pappalardi on vocals.
Next up we get an intriguing guitar solo by West, played with a remarkable amount of restraint and thoughtfulness, that segues into a heavy rockin' version of "Roll Over Beethoven." A highly expanded, improvisational treatment to "Dreams Of Milk and Honey" follows - in many ways the highlight of the set. This is classic Mountain at their best, with a memorable call and response section between West and Pappalardi and Corky Laing's drumming firing on all cylinders. The energy level is astounding and the performance remains imaginative throughout its 15-minute length. Pappalardi again takes over on vocals for the set closer, "Silver Paper," one of the more melodic tracks from the Climbing LP. The audience demands an encore and Mountain obliges with an incendiary version of their one and only hit, "Mississippi Queen."
All in all, this is a remarkably fluid, energetic set, free of the overindulgence that often marred Mountain's live performances.