Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Live At The Fillmore East [LIVE]
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
Listen to Samples
Similarly Requested CDs
Special & Unique
Katherine McCarthy | Forest Hills, NY United States | 07/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Maybe it's the 40th Anniversary of the Summer of Love. Maybe it's the Iraqi war and it's uncomfortable deja vu with Vietnam, or George W. Bush's enhanced impersonation of Richard M. Nixon. But lately I've been on a Jefferson Airplane bender. I've been a diehard fan since I was 14, and nothing makes me happier than the recent surplus of live concerts from JA. Since I went to every Airplane performance at the Fillmore East, I'm sure I was at one of the shows recorded for this disc. It really takes me back to a special time and place in my life.
I bought Live At The Fillmore East concert after buying Sweeping Up the Spotlight, the newest concert release. This CD doesn't compare to SUTS soundwise. Live At the Fillmore East should be digitally remastered. The band is playing some amazing music here. But sometimes the vocals are way up front, and the musicians sound like a 9 Volt transistor AM radio. Jorma suffers the most. His guitar occasionally sounds tinny and low. Spencer Dryden's drums are also off in the distance. It seems to phase in and out. It takes a little getting used to. Best played really, really loud!
Sweeping Up the Spotlight does a much better job putting everything in balance, letting Jorma, Jack, Spencer, and even Paul Kantner's under-appreciated rhythm guitar skills, shine. But overall, the sound for Live at the Fillmore East isn't bad, and gets better as the songs play on. Grace keeps asking if a mic is working. Maybe that explains the phase in/phase out quality.
What makes this concert really unique and special is that it captures the Airplane at a really creative and transitional point in their career. The period right after After Bathing at Baxter's and on the threshold of Crown of Creation. 1968. Live versions of Greasy Heart, and Star Track, are worth the price of admission. Also, there are some live Baxter cuts that I hadn't heard before - Watch Her Ride is a highlight. I always loved the studio version, but the live version is played with passion and energy. Very good version of Won't You Try / Saturday Afternoon. Pooneil, a core staple live, is focused and strong, as usual a star piece for Jack Casady to take the bass to heights never seen before or after. He should be required listening for any musician thinking of playing this instrument in a rock band.
Thing, the jam that grew up to be Bear Melt, misses the lyrics and vocals from Grace, but is a lovely space for the band to stretch out and play. You get the feeling from this concert that it was a work in progress, that you get to hear in completion on Pointed Head.
Having the vocals way up front is a blessing, for the most part, and occasionally a curse. As always, sometimes Marty, Paul and Grace stumble all over each other. There are some monumentally flat and off key moments. So what. That was the Airplane live. Marty Balin relies a little too heavily on his upper range for my taste. On a couple of occasions he yelps like a puppy. But he does a beautiful job sweetly singing Today. Not in love with the funked out Other Side of This Life. Wild Tyme is pretty much a mess. Very ragged.
This is definitely Paul Kantner's time to shine. He was the primary writer and singer on most of the stand out cuts, especially Fat Angel, which is as good, maybe better than Pointed Head's version.
But Grace Slick, in particular, is doing some amazing singing. She's in full throttle wailing mode. Her solo turns are off the hook! She demolishes the studio version of Greasy Heart, making this one the definitive version for me. White Rabbit and Somebody to Love are strong and focused. It's possibly her strongest live performance. She's taking risks, and for the most part, they work.
As mentioned before, this is the transitional point from Marty's version of the Airplane to Paul's version. Marty is still very much engaged with the band. As time would move on, he would become more distant, and finally, gone. It's a fun show, on a good night. I even like the goofy audience chatter. Feels like being there again.Sweeping Up the Spotlight: Jefferson Airplane Live at the Fillmore East 1969Bless Its Pointed Little Head"
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 01/15/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Many '60s bands were great in concert- but not all. Some played their hits very much like the original recordings, while others used a live performance setting to experiment, expand, expound and expose their material to fresh ideas, both vocally and instrumentally. If you enjoy the latter, JEFFERSON AIRPLANE LIVE AT FILLMORE EAST will not disappoint you.
Give this group credit for the willingness to mold and morph their songs improvisationally and in public, but subtract points where these well-intentioned efforts made a mess out of what had previously been nicely structured works. The latter results occur far too often in the 1968 concert songs presented here. Grace Slick's "What?" during the start of "Wild Tyme" almost says it all for me. Not only would I ask "What?" of the Airplane, I'd follow that up with a big "Why?" Neither question gets answered here.
TOTAL RUNNING TIME -- 76:22"
M. Denny | Hermosa Beach, CA United States | 01/10/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Often when we are exposed to something from our youth we wonder just what it was that we saw in something.
This music is the music of my youth-- indeed the JA was my favorite band and I saw EVERY concert that they ever did at the Fillmore East, so I was at every performance on this CD! (I would return home to make curfew after the early show and after my parents went to bed I would sneak out and take the IRT subway back down to the Village for the late show.)
With this CD I find out how utterly right I was about this band. The musicianship, the diversity of styles and musical structures, the creativity and the sheer passion are all here. They were as good as I remember!
I put this CD on in my car and soar down the road."