Classic concert: Grateful Dead concert video 1972 Denmark

Grateful Dead concert video 1972
Grateful Dead live Denmark April 1972

“There was a challenge for us, playing for people not familiar with what we were up to. But we were ready for fresh ears. We were hot.”
– Bob Weir

Grateful Dead concert video from April 1972 in Tivoli Concert Hall Copenhagen Denmark.

As far as I know this is a partial multi camera Danish (or French) TV pro-shot with graphics to fill in the missing video to make a complete show with great quality and great music! Not the full concert of course, but a very fine selection. The closing medley is sadly lacking, but can be found on the album release.

There exists a bootleg DVD with the full concert  it is fantastic (many more glorious minutes)! …but only these 13 tracks were filmed, the rest is audio only.

The highlights of the show for me are Big Railroad Blues and Truckin’ (starts at about 63 inn).

From Rhino (from when The Dead released all 22 concerts both as a box set and individual albums):

Grateful Dead slipped the shores of America and crossed the pond for its first-ever major European tour in April 1972. The legendary 22-show run spawned Europe ’72, a live triple album that remains one of the band’s best-selling and most beloved releases. A tour this momentous deserves a boxed set of historic proportions and has stamped your passport to relive every note from the European tour with EUROPE ’72: THE COMPLETE RECORDINGS—an individually numbered, limited edition collection that includes more than 60 discs with over 70 hours of music featuring every show from what is arguably the Grateful Dead’s greatest tour.

grateful dead

Setlist (TV Broadcast):

Set 1
Me And Bobby McGee
Chinatown Shuffle 6:16
China Cat Sunflower 9:04
I Know You Rider 15:15
Jack Straw 21:11
He’s Gone 26:07
Next Time You See Me 33:02

Set 2
One More Saturday Night 37:05
It Hurts Me Too 41:52
Ramble On Rose 49:17
El Paso 56:24
Big Railroad Blues 1:03:29
Truckin’ 1:06:56

From the liner notes for this date from the Europe ’72 box set Blair Jackson writes,

“Video and film representations of the Dead in the early ’70s are few and far between. We’ve got a few songs of ’70 Dead from the film Festival Express, a pair from ’71 in Fillmore and, of course, there is all that magnificent ’74 GD in The Grateful Dead Movie. But for the epochal year of 1972, we’ve had to mainly rely on bootleg versions of Sunshine Daydream-the trippy film of the Dead’s magical Springfield Creamery benefit concert on August 27, 1972-and the video that Danish television shot of the Dead at the Tivoli Concert Hall in Copenhagen, April 17, 1972.

“The 13 songs [more on that later] shot in Denmark that night, using multiple cameras, give us perhaps the best unfiltered look of the Dead in that era. We’ll probably never know why we only have the songs we have from that show on videotape-why we don’t have such tunes as “Playing in The Band” [We do!], “Casey Jones” [Ditto!] and “Black-Throated Wind” [Double Ditto!] when so many other songs from the first two 50-minute-plus sets were captured. (We know that the cameras weren’t on for the third set-which included a truly inspired 31 minute-“Dark Star”, leading into “Sugar Magnolia”, then “Caution”, and capped with “Johnny B. Goode”. File that under “One that got away”; but at least the multitrack was running!)

“What WAS captured really shows the band at work in the most intimate possible way in that era, with lots of close-ups of fingers on fretboards, the band members communicating through glances, musical ideas being tossed around with confidence and a surprising lack of self-consciousness given the presence of cameras. The beautiful Courtenay Pollock-designed tie-dyed amplifier coverings are the only visual reminder of the band’s psychedelic roots; otherwise they just look like a workin’ band in street clothes. Oh, and there’s the “Laughing Jack” skull & lightning bolt banner hanging in front of Pigpen’s B-3, before that symbol became a ubiquitous trademarked logo.

“Pig is well-represented on three tunes: On “Chinatown Shuffle” he accompanies himself on organ; then, later, he steps out front for “Next Time You See Me” and “Hurts Me Too”, both of which feature him blowin’ solid harp beneath his trademark worn corduroy hat. That last tune also has Jerry on one of his rare slide solos.

“Bobby, just 24 when this was shot, is in full hippie Adonis mode-almost impossibly handsome, broken strands of his long ponytail flipping across his face, a little smile never far from his lips as he throws his head and upper body into the rhythm of each song. Standout versions of “Me And Bobby McGee” show his country his country side in bloom and give Jerry a chance to show off some nifty Bakersfield guitar chops on his Strat. And Bob is at his best on a rockin’ take of “One More Saturday Night” augmented on the video by the graceful hippie dancing of Rosie McGee right behind Jerry, lest we forget that Europe ’72 was a GD “family” affair.

“Solid versions of “Truckin'” and “China Cat”>”I Know You Rider” wonderfully show the interaction between Phil and Jerry and Bob, and also how the deft rhythmic support of Billy and Keith anchor the ever-shifting frontline players. And it’s also a treat to see what a good time they have on a song played for the first time that night onstage: “He’s Gone,”
still an unfinished work-in-progress, but already a winner. (Now, that’s fearless-introducing a song on TV!)

“But it’s the version of “Big Railroad Blues” that makes this telecast. First, Billy dons a very strange alien rubber mask that has a phallic nose that he strokes briefly before laughingly tossing the mask aside. Then Bobby puts on a funny nose/big-mustache/bug-eyes-and glasses ensemble; dashing! Phil, Keith, and Pigpen all don wigs with baldpates and bright, crazy Bozo hair, and then there’s Jerry-the last guy you’d ever expect to get in the spirit of this masquerade. “This is for the TV cameras, you must understand”, Bob tells the, no doubt, confused audience. Jerry initially has trouble getting his clown wig to stay on over his bushy hair and looks embarrassed by his failed attempts, but finally manages, and then starts up “Big Railroad Blues”. It’s the Bozo & Bolo Bus Revue in all their glory, sounding pretty damn good! Jerry’s getup (mercifully) falls off as he begins his second solo, but the rest of the band carries on as if everything is completely normal for the rest of the tune. And for this tour, THAT passed for “normal”.

The full set list (from the bootleg DVD (12Gb), search the web and yay will find!):

Set 1:

Cold Rain & Snow (05:43)
Me And Bobby McGee (05:57)
Chinatown Shuffle (02:47)
China Cat Sunflower > (05:43)
I Know You Rider (06:23)
Jack Straw (04:55)
He’s Gone (06:54)
Next Time You See Me (04:59)
Black Throated Wind (06:42)

Set 2:

Casey Jones (05:49)
Playin’ In The Band (09:23)
Sugaree (06:41)
One More Saturday Night (04:42)
It Hurts Me Too (07:24)
Ramble On Rose (07:06)
El Paso (07:03)
Big Railroad Blues (03:28)
Truckin’ (11:18)
Dark Star-> (30:38)
Sugar Magnolia > (07:08)
Caution (Do Not Stop on Tracks) > (23:41)
Johnny B Goode (04:18)

Grateful Dead (1972)


  • Jerry Garcia – lead guitar, vocals, pedal steel guitar (on “Looks Like Rain”), organ (on “Good Lovin'”)
  • Donna Jean Godchaux – vocals
  • Keith Godchaux – piano
  • Bill Kreutzmann – drums
  • Phil Lesh – electric bass, vocals
  • Ron “Pigpen” McKernan – organ, harmonica, percussion, vocals
  • Bob Weir – rhythm guitar, vocals
  • Robert Hunter – songwriter

– Hallgeir