At The Stadium (Screamer-05040/41)
Tampa Stadium, Tampa, FL – June 29th, 1973
Disc 1: Obscured By Clouds/When You’re In, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, Careful With That Axe Eugene, Echoes
Disc 2: Speak To Me, Breathe, On The Run, Time, Breathe (reprise), The Great Gig In The Sky, Money, Us & Them, Any Colour You Like, Brain Damage, Eclipse, One Of These Days
At The Stadium 1973 is the second Pink Floyd release on the general Screamer label and is sourced from the master tape recently posted online. Their spring tour was played in theaters, but this tape captures the band right at the beginning of their arena rock era after Dark Side Of The Moon hit number one. The tape is very good for its age. The instruments and fans around the mic are nice and clear. The only negatives are the “thinness” and upper register distortion that occurs in loud parts. It sounds exactly like the tape for Led Zeppelin’s May 5th concert at the same venue and pressed on Pigeon Blood on the Flagge label.
The same taper did it so the quality is identical. In fact there is some controversy surrounding who actually made these tapes, but that is not important here. Just like with the Zeppelin show, the comments are clearly audible throughout this one too like before “Careful With That Axe Eugene” he says to some girl: “It’s like that thing off The Dark Side of the Moon. ‘The lunatic is in my head…’ You don’t like ’em, do you? …huh. That’s ’cause you’re not stoned. You’re a fool.” The comments only occur between tracks thus not interfering with the music at all, and the audience is very demonstrative like at the scream in “Eugene”.
The concert itself is amazing and is essential to own. The “Obscured By Clouds/When You’re In” is one of the best openings for a concert with the pastoral electronic drone followed by the band crashing in with some of their heaviest riffs. “Set The Controls” is another stand out track being one of the best versions of the piece I’ve heard. It has an almost “Welcome To The Machine” quality in some of the keyboard passages in the middle. The Dark Side suite is performed perfectly as is “Echoes”. The beginning, end and part of the guitar solo are still cut on this tape however.
Screamer claim they didn’t remaster the tape but left it untouched. That’s a plus since I think that would have ruined this recording, great as it is. This label has released many impressive titles this year and I never hesitate to pick up anything they put out. The packaging is a bit bland with two well-known photos and a picture of pyramids on the back. The cover picture of Roger standing in front of the gong has seen a lot of circulation recently, also appearing in Sirene’s Damn Braces: Bless Relaxes and Boston 1973. Packaging isn’t their strong suite but presenting excellent sounding titles is and this is a title worth having. (GS)