Welcome To The Machine (Cannonball CA-2004017/18)
Alameda Stadium, Oakland CA – May 9th, 1977
Disc 1 (65:25): Sheep, Pigs On The Wing (part 1), Dogs, Pigs On The Wing (part 2), Pigs (three different ones), Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 1-5).
Disc 2 (70:14): Welcome To The Machine, Have A Cigar, Wish You Were Here, Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts 6-9), Money, Us & Them, Careful With That Axe Eugene
This concert has the distinction of being one of the best recorded from Pink Floyd’s In The Flesh 1977 US tour. The clarity and balance makes it possible to hear every note played perfectly and even the giggles between Roger Waters and David Gilmour in “Have A Cigar”. This show was released several years ago as Mr. Pig which utilizes (so it was claimed) the first generation reel-to-reel masters. Highland uses compression and heavy equalization to bring out the high end on the tape making everything louder.
Cannonball used a different tactic with this release. They didn’t use the compression or any form of dressing up of the tape to make it sound much more natural and dynamic. The highs aren’t as shrill as on the other one making it sound very nice. Furthermore the crowd reactions such as they are not as audible either. It could be that Cannonball has used the DAT clone of the master wheras Highland used the reel to reel copy of the master.
Whatever the case might be this tape is the best sounding from this particular Pink Floyd tour and is essential. The Oakland crowd were well behaved enough to not throw firecrackers and upset Roger (how many times did he yell at audiences during this tour?) Both Animals and Wish You Were Here are played perfectly. David Gilmour in particular is on fire here. Of particular note is his solo in “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” where he throws in some middle-eastern scales adding an exotic oriental feel to the piece. A unique event in a Pink Floyd concert!
To thank the well behaved crowd the band reward the audience with the extra encore “Careful With That Axe Eugene”, the only time the song was played during the tour and the final time ever by the full band. It’s a short version and the scream isn’t as blood-curdling as in the past. It is however very nice to hear the mature band pull out this early classic.