Although the Grateful Dead had already played one memorable gig in France in June of 1971 at the (“Honky”) Château d’Hérouville recording studio, that was more of a spontaneous hippie “happening” than a concert performed in front of a ticketed audience. It wasn’t until 1972 that the group properly toured Europe. By then there was a lot of pent up demand to see the Dead and the band was inspired by the reception they received from their non-English speaking fans.
One stop, well two, along that legendary trek occurred at the Tivolis Koncertsal in Copenhagen. The band played the Tivolis on April 14 and then three days later they returned for a second concert that was broadcast live—part of it, at least—on Danish (some sources say French) television, with the remainder of the material shot that night getting an airing in August of that year.
As “formal” visual recordings of earlier Dead shows in their entirety (or close to it) are not exactly in abundance, this show has long been prominent among tape traders in varying levels of quality (As seen here it’s very, very fine). It’s probably the final professionally videotaped show of Pigpen playing with the band.
Although it starts off slowly—the group’s improvisational nature seems hampered slightly due to having to fit their set into the allotted TV time frame—stay with it, the energy level rises as the set goes on.
Me And Bobby McGee
China Cat Sunflower >
I Know You Rider
He’s Gone (first time for this onstage)
Next Time You See Me
One More Saturday Night
It Hurts Me Too
Ramble On Rose
Big Railroad Blues
Eventually all of the Grateful Dead’s 1972 European tour was released as the 73 disc box set, Europe ‘72: The Complete Recordings. It ain’t cheap…