Throughout several iterations of the band and over several decades of touring, the Grateful Dead’s many performances in St. Louis are revered among Deadheads. And a new 3-CD set of a performance at the city’s Fox Theatre, recorded in 1971, does much legitimize that reverence.
Fox Theatre, St. Louis 12.10.71 captures one of the most influential bands of the 20th century at the peak (or one of the peaks) of their power, performing at the Fox Theatre a little over a year after the release of American Beauty, a seminal work in the Dead’s canon.
Including distinctive versions of beloved Dead tracks like “Sugaree”, “Big Railroad Blues”, “Casey Jones”, “Truckin”, “Sugar Magnolia” and more, the album comes with several essays about the shows, including one by Sam Cutler, the band’s tour manager during that era, and another by Grateful Dead scholar Nicholas G. Meriwether, among others.
“There are a only few truly great eras in the Grateful Dead’s performing history that span more than a year and one of the very best is the transitional period that covers December 1971 through Fall of 1973,”says David Lemieux, Grateful Dead archivist and the set’s producer. “This was a period during which the Dead solidified their touring format (several distinct, somewhat short, geographically defined tours every year), where every night the Dead would wow their fans with a mix of over six years of music that clearly demonstrated their many transitions and transmutations.”
The Jacksonville Music Experience has two copies of the 1971 Fox Theatre 3-CD set to give away. Send us an email at email@example.com.