The band played one of only 4 of its shows in 75 at Winterland, which by then had become the band's home venue. The band give the long-awaiting crowd something to be both grateful and hopeful for, as it surely indicated the magnificent things that were to follow in 76 and 77. Although it is interesting to note that all 75 shows drastically depart from both surrounding years, 74 and 76.
June 6, 1975
San Francisco, CA
Help on the Way -> Slipknot! -> Franklin's Tower, Blues for Allah -> Drums -> King Solomon's Marbles -> Blues for Allah -> Sugar Magnolia
(Note: Help on the Way starts at disk 1, track 7.)
The Help on the Way they start out with here is out of this world incredible. No lyrics are sung but the song and the following song progression are debuted here. This Help is interesting because with the absence of the lyrics the band can play it any way it wants with fewer restrictions on where they can take the song. The following Slipknot is opened up quite a bit for a good deal of space-music exploration. The band forms a musical tightrope and cautiously puts on a show at the top, with everyone playing as if one poor move could cause everything to come to a screeching hault. The band eventually does fall but finds more room in another jam and really takes this direction with a good deal of enthusiasm before they again run into a wall. This Slipknot is certainly one of the better ones played, as its open-endedness allows the band to fully utilize this often-overlooked song's potential. The band soon finds the ending Slipknot jam and triumphantly march into the first Franklin's Tower. Jerry doesn't really command control of this Franklin's until after about the 3rd verse but once he does, his presence is immediately felt. The entire latter part of the song is completely Garcia-dominated and serves as a sign of how the entire song would develop into his own masterpiece.
The Blues for Allah the band embarks upon next conjures up primal dead psychadelia and pure, poetic playing of the 70's. The band plays with such an eerie vibe it seems like they were probably producing their own fog, allowing it to permeate throughout the entire place, claiming it in the name of the Dead. The band drudges along uphill, with everyone doing their individual best to ensure the wierdness of the trip. The drummers then take center stage, but only for a short amount of time before Phil begins playing the lines to King Solomon's Marbles. The whole band enthusiastically returns for a true spectacle, in which they tackle head on this amazing song. Garcia reasserts himself at the forefront and blazes a path for the entire band to follow, which they do, although not quite as elegantly as he does. The band ultimately find a TON of space at the end of this song and really get out there, before they return to the Under Eternity portion of Blues for Allah. This part of the song is delivered with sheer excellence and Jerry's guitar is played with a bubble sound evoking thoughts of perfection. As he triumphantly announces the ending of the song, the tapers are overheard expressing uncertainty as to their next move. I'm sure any questions they had were laid to rest as the band launches into a frollicking Sugar Magnolia to close the second set out with. This version is delivered with pride and joy as the band realize they have just played their hearts out for two hours.
The opening Crazy Fingers, first-time played, is also phenomenal.