Boston 1973 (Sigma 73)
Music Hall, Boston, MA – March 14th, 1973
Disc 1 (68:24): Careful With That Axe Eugene, Obscured By Clouds/When You’re In, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, Echoes
Disc 2 (66:03): 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
In 2005 the Joe Maloney archives began to trickle out into the tape trader communities and among the first to come out was the Pink Floyd show in Boston on March 14th. It is an excellent audience recording taped close to the stage emphasizing the high end.
There is some minor distortion like at the beginning of “Echoes” and the louder portions of “Money” but that is the reality of cassette recorder technology in the early 70’s. Maloney used an internal microphone on the recorder which simply couldn’t handle all of the sound coming from the stage.
It was pressed on Boston 1973 (Siréne-056) and sold out with a month. Siréne beefed up the bass and brought in a more dynamic sonic range. Boston 1973 on Sigma is a remaster of the same release. There are several improvements made to his version. First, it has the correct channel imbalances and volume differences between tapes. Tape flips, gaps, and dropouts have been smoothed over. There is the correct channel frequency response asymmetry, the speed and equalization has been adjusted and dynamics in compressed areas have been restored.
While the Siréne is very good, Sigma is a significant improvement. There are much better dynamics and a nice liveliness to the tape not present on the older title. It’s worth the upgrade.
The spring of 1973 was the most important in the history of Pink Floyd, all hinging upon the release of the Dark Side Of The Moon LP. They went from being cult act to being a cult themselves. The new music was part of their set for over a year at this point, but had taken on the polished form of the released LP.
An additional musician brought in to realize the music onstage including Dick Parry on saxophone necessary to perform the LP on tour and this show in Boston is stunning.
They open with “Careful With That Axe Eugene” which is unique to this show since ”Echoes” was the usual opener. Basically they flipped those two numbers in the set list.
“Obscured By Clouds/When You’re In” has that unsettling drone at the beginning and great jamming by the band. The second half of the show is the focal point, however, and Boston is blessed with one of the tightest live versions from this tour. The audience are mesmerized (and quiet, unusual for Boston crowd) and attentive as they play the suite.
Of particular note is “Any Colour You Like.” It has already begun to take on a life of its own in the live setting. Glimour jam on guitar sounds absolutely devastating before the creepy finale with “Brain Damage.”
“One Of These Days”, one of the favorites from Meddle, is an excellent encore leaving the audience drained.
Boston 1973 on Sigma is a significant upgrade over the old Siréne release and is definitely the preferred version of the show. The front cover utilizes the same stage shot with Mao Zedung on Mr. Screen. The back has a closer shot of the one used on the old title, and the insides have new photographs.