2 February 2005, gsparaco @ 10:49 pm
California Stockyard (Siréne-136)
Anaheim Stadium, Anaheim, CA – May 6th & 7th, 1977
California Stockyard is another of Siréne’s comprehensive archive collections presenting all of the surviving audio and videotapes of Pink Floyd’s visit to Anaheim in 1977. The May 6th show has two audience recordings. The first surfaced on vinyl in the seventies as the famous California Stockyard (On The Road) (PF400 – PINK I&II A/D & PF200). This was a two LP set with most of the show (“Sheep”, “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 1-5″ and the encore “Money” are missing) and was reissued many different times. Sirene includes this audience source on disc five of this set and also on the bonus cdr with the cover from the old vinyl. This is copied from vinyl and contains obvious surface noise but is still very good and clear and the best sounding tape in this collection.
The second source used on the first two discs is a good to very good complete mono recording. There is a cut at 10:09 in “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 1-5″ with no music lost. This is a great concert occurring right before the famous Oakland shows at the end of the first half of this tour. It is unfortunately plagued by one of the rowdiest audiences captured on tape. Fighting erupts during “Dogs” and the chaos continues throughout the entire show. Before the intermission Roger says, “Stop fighting. It’s hard to play when you’re all beating the shit out of each other.” Nothing really improves in the beginning of the second half with constant shouts and a sizable section of the audience going into a “down in front” chant during “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 1-5″.
“Welcome To The Machine” pacifies the audience somewhat (I guess the drugs were kicking in) and the band delivers a better show to the end. There is a bouncy and happy solo in “Have A Cigar” that sounds very strange but appealing. Gilmour’s and White’s jamming at the ten minute mark in “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 6-9″ has been singled out for praise and it is good. The tape is very good in capturing the quadraphonic effects with the staccato notes bouncing around the Big A. “Money” contains a very subdued guitar solo and ends with Roger Waters’ goodnight and good byes. There is no evidence they played the second encore “Us & Them”. A very good show despite the insanity going on in front of the band.
Discs three and four cover the second night on May 7th. This is the very first release of this tape on silver disc. The tape generation is unknown but is thought to be close to the master. It is similar to the previous night’s complete source, being good to very good and clear. The high end is a little distorted and sounds brittle and has a cut at 10:38 in “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” and in the last verse of the encore “Money”. There are also similar audience problems with more shouts of “sit down” at the beginning, but not as violent as before.
The silver pressed dvd included in this set is listed on the cover as being from the May 6th show but really comes from May 7th and is a good hand held audience recording. It has only nine minutes worth of fragments but capture clearly the exploding pig, Mr. Screen during “Welcome To The Machine” and the audience problems during the show. The crowd at the front of the stage block the band and make me want to shout “down in front”. The summer of 1977 consistently produces shows with rowdy audiences and these are among the very worst, up there with Zeppelin’s Chicago show on April 6th and ELP’s in New York on July 8th. Regardless this is another fantastic release by Sirene and is highly recommended.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)