From the Vault: 1973.11.11 Winterland Arena
In the second installment of ‘From the Vault’, I will share with you one of my favorite segments from the Dead in ’73 – the “Dark Star” -> “Mind Left Body Jam” -> “Eyes Of The World”> “China Doll” from the Winterland on November 11th.
This segment reaches a level of transcendence that, at times, appears to be controlled by some sort of divine intervention. “Darkstar” – dubbed “the thinking man’s Darkstar” – carries a very relaxed vibe, allowing each member to fill their own respective space in the jam. The playing is delicate – Jerry’s notes seemingly float through the music, each dripping with soul. The music surrounds you and draws you in.
Following a period of deep space, the tempo picks back up while Jerry begins to explore a more psychedelic path aided by his wah-wah pedal. The jam travels to far-off places and then crash lands in an uptempo version of the “Mind Left Body Jam”. Unlike most other versions, Jerry chooses not to use a slide in this one. Instead, he traverses the neck with his fingers painting the jam with a jazzy psychedelia. The theme eventually fades and we seamlessly enter the introduction of “Eyes”.
Jerry’s playing evokes a calming grace as he delicately applies a noticeable effort to each individual note. It’s as if he is playing right in front of us,the recording has captured his playing so perfectly. This is also one of the better recordings in terms of hearing Bobby – who is very on during this entire show. With the band responding so well to one another, Jerry is left to venture out without having to comp for any rhythmic gaps. The soaring playing that characterizes this entire segment carries through the jam until the band effortlessly winds into “China Doll”.
Those who have not heard this, prepare to be drawn in by one of the finest moments in Grateful Dead history.
“Dark Star” -> “Mind Left Body Jam” -> “Eyes Of The World”> “China Doll” (11.11.73)