Linda Tillery - vocals; Paul Fauerso - keyboards, vocals; Pete Shapiro - guitar; Steve Dowler - guitar; Bob Kridle - bass; George Newcom - drums; Todd Anderson - saxophone; Pat O'Hara - trombone
Although they never received the critical acclaim or record sales that bands like Tower of Power, It's A Beautiful Day, or Cold Blood accomplished, The Loading Zone was one of the popular Bay Area-based horn groups often found playing gigs at venues like the Fillmore West and Winterland. Lead vocalist Linda Tillery and keyboardist/founder Paul Fauerso were the core members of the eight-piece band, and led the group through two different versions between 1967 and 1969, and again in 1970.
This show was part of a two-night stand at the Fillmore in February, 1968, when the band was opening for Arlo Guthrie. The Zone (as they became known) never became much of a headlining act, but opened for acts as popular and diverse as the Grateful Dead, Santana, and Cream. They signed with RCA Records but the band's sole LP was a bust, both commercially and critically.
The band often did remakes of popular blues and soul hits from the period, and at this show opened with an energized version of the Muddy Waters classic, "Got My Mojo Working." The rest of this opening set was made up of mostly Loading Zone originals, among them "Danger, Heartb Break Dead Ahead," "No More Tears" and an incomplete version "I Can't Please You." Though there is solid musicianship represented here (mainly by the rhythm section of bassist Bob Kridle and drummer George Newcom and saxophonist Todd Anderson), some of the show now sounds a bit dated. Tillery's vocals verge on screaming for shock effect, and are less about power and control. Still, if you want to absorb the real musical vibe that was San Francisco at the end of the '60s, this show by The Loading Zone is a great representation.