The Grateful Dead Shine A Light On Wall Of Sound Via Road Trips Vol. 2 No.3 – Des Moines, Louisville ’74

The Grateful Dead is back with their Road Trips series which serves as the successor to the Grateful Dead’s Dick’s Picks Series, Now, Real Gone Music Is bringing the Road Trips Series to music retail for the first time with Road Trips Vol. 2 No. 3—Wall of Sound Shines a light on the Grateful Dead’s infamous sound system.

Conceived by LSD chemist Owsley “Bear” Stanley, The Wall of Sound nearly bankrupted the band even as It revolutionized concert PAs: 641 speakers that took three trucks to transport and five Hours to Set Up. With a PA this loud, the band could play softer, freeing them to mesh ever more subtly and intricately.

Road Trips Vol. 2 No. 3—Wall of Sound Excerpts Two Shows, 6/16/74 at the State Fairgrounds in Des Moines and 6/18/74 at Freedom Hall in Louisville that includes: 2-CD set with full-color booklet boasting pictures of the behemoth.

Dead chronicler Dennis McNally’s liner notes to this Road Trip are a must-read, succinctly expounding upon how Bear’s vision of creating a sound system free of distortion morphed into a 641-speaker monster (there’s a great picture of it inside the booklet) that required three trucks to transport and five hours to set up, almost bankrupting the band and causing them to retire from the road for almost two years.

But it was truly a singular sonic achievement, one that, as McNally puts it, “allowed the band to go places they’d only dreamed of.” The two shows excerpted on this 2-CD set, 6/16/74 at the State Fairgrounds in Des Moines and 6/18/74 at Freedom Hall in Louisville, beautifully illustrate the point: with a PA this loud, the band could play softer, freeing them to mesh ever more subtly and intricately.

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