Music Hall, Cincinnati, OH, USA – April 23, 1972
Disc 1 (45:09): Speak To Me (:12), Breathe (2:45), On The Run (5:17), Time (6:27), Breathe Reprise (1:04), The Mortality Sequence (1:49), Money (6:40), Us And Them (7:51), Any Colour You Like (6:54), Brain Damage (3:56), Eclipse (2:19)
Disc 2 (54:38): One Of These Days (7:44), Careful With That Axe Eugene (12:31), Echoes (19:51), A Saucerful Of Secrets (14:30)
With frigid weather blanketing Northwest Ohio it seems fitting that the music of choice on this blustery day is Pink Floyd’s concert from Cincinnati in April of 1972. The band’s first trip to American in spring 1972 was made up of 17 dates beginning April 14 and lasting until May 4, this tour is notable as it would feature the band playing their work in progress Eclipse, aka Dark Side Of The Moon. There are a couple of shows that have been released in silver from ChicagoIL, and HollywoodFlorida but for the most part it seems the Japanese and European tours seem to take prescience from bootleggers. Thankfully the folks at Godfather have addressed this, first by issuing the Columbia, South Carolina show as part of their Massed Gadgets Of Hercules box set (The Godfather Box 09) and with this new release (this show has seen a release on Pro-CDR as Speak To Ohio 1st Gen Tape, I do not collect CD-r releases so cannot comment on this title). The sound is a good mono audience recording, there can be small amounts of distortion heard at times and there are a few cuts in the recording. The guitar and drums are slightly lower in the mix with the keyboards and bass more to the front, the vocals are clear and well heard throughout and there is a small amount of hiss present that is common with tapes of this age, the performance is standard for this time period. The band was still honing the Dark Side portion and these early versions are not as confident sounding as the ones from September to December 1972 where the band was really hitting their stride with the piece and gearing up for the recording process.
The recording begins with just a snippet of Speak to Me and the full sound begins with Breathe, all instruments are nice and clear and we can really enjoy Roger’s bass playing. On The Run has Gilmour’s guitar pushed to the background but Wright’s keyboards come through clearly, thankfully because he is the driving force behind the jam. Gilmour’s guitar sounds as if it is underwater as the band move into the long intro to Time, Mason plays some interesting fills throughout that are quite nice. Time sounds quite melancholy and reflective, the soft melody and harmonizing of Gilmour and Wright is wonderful. The first tape cut is during The Mortality Sequence at 1:48 towards the end of the Lord’s Prayer, the cut also eliminates the sound of coins and 13 seconds in is where the band joins Waters introductory bass riff.
Money really breaks the still air so to speak, one could say it is the real rocker of the whole performance, the middle jam features some nice playing from Gilmour who is the lead instrument the song, Waters’ bass is also a force to be reckoned with as he keeps a solid foundation throughout. The band does a nice fade out and some guttural groans are heard before the quiet beginning of Us And Them, it sounds like Roger sings some of the second verse beginning with “Black…and Blue”, the song is certainly dramatic as the band play soft and then like a thunderstorm most effectively. We can also enjoy Roger’s playing during the transition into Any Colour You Like, the very beginning sounds a bit awkward then Dave steers them down the right path but the song seems to meander around and never really gets off the ground. Thankfully the rest of the piece is intact, the recording has all the church bells and siren at the conclusion and a somewhat bewildered audience politely claps.
The second set begins with One Of These Days, there is a cut about 1:38 in and the fade in comes just before the echo bass solo spot and the middle section sounds a bit like A Saucerful Of Secrets and is quite fascinating, Waters’ bass brings it back together for Nick’s vocal delivery. The taper pauses the machine between tracks eliminating any tune ups or comments from Waters and starts the machine just before the first notes of Careful With that Axe, Eugene. The haunting keyboards have a dramatic effect on the audience as the song builds to the muderistic climax of Roger’s bloodcurdling screams, you can hear the audience’s reaction and the song garners a nice ovation at its conclusion, thankfully we get a “Thank you” from Roger before the pause button is hit.
The very beginning of Echoes is cut, the fade in is smooth but the pings and first notes by Richard Wright are missing, thankfully very little is absent. The song seems to have a soothing quality about it and the violence of the previous song, there is a cut in the tape at the 15:22 mark but thankfully little is lost and the sound actually sounds clearer after the cut making me wonder if the taper switched the location of his gear, unfortunately the song is cut at the 19:50 mark eliminating the rest of the song. The recording begins again with Roger saying “Thank you for coming this is called A Saucerful Of Secrets” much to the delight of the audience who eagerly anticipate the song to start. Clocking at about 14 minutes it is relatively short compared to 70-71 versions and although they would play it sporadically throughout the year its obvious that the band felt the song had run its course. The Syncopated Pandemonium / Storm Signal sections has some nice moments and sounds almost scary at times and Celestial Voices brings the piece to a wonderful conclusion, complete with Dave’s scat style vocals. Not what I would call a killer version but it is complete and does garner much applause from the audience…and listener.
The packaging is typical tri gatefold sleeve adorned with various pictures of the band along with some acid show bubble effects coupled with bright colors, there are accurate (as always) from Alex The Gnome to boot. In the day where it seems like many companies continue to re hash the same concerts over and over with the promise of upgrades and so forth, it is really great that there is someone out there thinking of something different and putting out something NEW. Great title and most certainly highly recommended.