John Cipollina - guitar, vocals; Gary Duncan - guitar, vocals; David Freiberg - bass, vocals; Greg Elmore - drums
This recording, taken from the second night of a two-night, four-show run, with Quicksilver opening for Electric Flag and Steppenwolf, is essential concert listening. Fans of the quartet lineup that recorded the first QMS LP and Happy Trails will love these sets, as they took place right between the production of those first two LPs.
On this set, the first LP material is represented both by their cover of Hamilton Camp's "Pride Of Man" and their own "Dino's Song." These were both regional hits in California at the time, and easily accessible for new audiences, which New York City was for QMS in 1968. We're also treated to a cover song, "Back Door Man," that was recorded during the first album sessions, but rejected in favor of original material. Here it is played with aggressive enthusiasm. Even though the setlist is relatively tame, the band is obviously giving it their best in order to win over the NYC audience.
They return to the first album for their set closer, "Gold And Silver." This number is one of the finest performances by the original band ever captured on tape. Loosely developed from Dave Brubeck's irresistible "Take Five," this song is just as infectious. With blazing guitar solos interweaving, powerful counterpoint bass playing and the unusually swinging drum rhythms, this tune truly smokes. If the audience wasn't convinced of QMS' originality prior to this song, this final number must have finished the job - and this recording stands as proof.
They close with another tour de force, Bo Diddley's "Mona," which includes some inspired jamming with hints of "Maiden Of The Cancer Moon" and "Calvary", clocking in at twelve minutes altogether. This is not only another hot performance, but gives one great insight into where they would be heading musically on their next album, Happy Trails.