Tomorrow marks the Grateful Dead's third annual Meet-Up at the Movies. In theaters across the country, they'll be showing an 80-minute video recorded on April 21st, 1972 that was originally televised on a German television program called "Beat Club." Above, you can watch the performance of "Playing In The Band" from the video. For more information on the movie theaters, check out Fathom Events.
Clocking in at over 9 minutes, this version of "Playin' ..." is certainly an extended version of the song that first appeared on the self-titled Skull and Roses album in 1971. However, it isn't close to as exploratory as the 20-30 minute versions of the song that would happen later in the '70s. It's enough time for the band to work through a spacey jam with Jerry riding a nice wave of energy that pushes his guitar into unique and slightly unsettling harmonic territories before everything comes back home for the comforting country-rock ending.
This is a Bobby song, and Bob Weir stands front and center. Jerry Garcia looks stoic in the back, wearing a dark leather jacket and playing his custom "Alligator" Fender Stratocaster. Off to the side, Ron "Pigpen" McKernan can be seen doing some guiro percussion. It's one of the rare shows when Pigpen and his eventual replacement, Keith Godchaux, played together on keyboards. Pigpen was already diagnosed with congenital biliary cirrhosis in 1971, and was forced to stop touring in 1972 before passing away on March 8, 1973. While he doesn't look great in this video, he was still an important part of the band and his legacy lives on with every performance of "Turn On Your Love Light" to this day.
The video work is top notch, as is the sound quality. The band is on point, with the rhythm section of Bill Kreutzmann on drums and Phil Lesh on bass staying tight and pushing things forward while never repeating themselves. Donna Godchaux (Keith's wife) doesn't even mess up the vocals too badly when she comes in for the chorus.
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Source: Rolling Stone