Touring Party Vol. 1 (Dog N Cat DAC-079)
Pacific National Exhibition Forum, Vancouver, Canada – June 3rd, 1972
Disc 1: Brown Sugar, Rocks Off, Gimme Shelter, Bitch, Tumbling Dice, Happy, Honky Tonk Women, Loving Cup, Torn And Frayed
Disc 2: Sweet Virginia, You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Ventilator Blues, Midnight Rambler, All Down The Line, Bye Bye Johnny, Rip This Joint, Jumping Jack Flash, Street Fighting Man
Touring Party Vol. 1 on Dog N Cat is another presentation of the first show of the 1972 tour in Vancouver, British Columbia. They chose to begin on the west coast and to work their way east to end almost two months later in New York, a similar itinerary as the tour in 1969. Vancouver was chosen because it is on the west coast but far enough away from the bigger cities San Francisco and Los Angeles and allowed the band to tinker with the set list. This show proved to be problematic even before the band hit the stage. In their last visit to the city on July 19th, 1966 Richards swung his guitar and hit a police officer after the power was turned off, an incident which made the police reluctant to allow the band to even appear in the city.
On the day of the show Marshall Chess, the famous record producer and owner of Chess Records, handed out free tickets in front of the venue causing a riot by fans attempting to catch them, inflaming an already paranoid police who experienced a similar riot several months before by fans wanting to buy tickets to see Led Zeppelin in a show that was eventually cancelled and moved south to Seattle. Despite this one fan was able to tape the entire “dress rehearsal” and this important tape has seen several releases on compact disc. It is a fair to reasonably good mono audience recording that provides a good record of the events on stage. One of the earliest releases of this tape can be found on Vancouver First Night (Off Beat Records CD20) which is missing the beginning tuning, “Tumbling Dice,” and places “Honky Tonk Women” after “Street Fighting Man” giving the impression it is an encore.
Vancouver 72 (Idol Mind 022/23), released about fifteen years ago, is an improvement over the Off Beat Records version since all of the songs are present in the proper order. Vancouver First Night (SODD 038/39) came out last year and put the tape into “fake stereo” and brightened the tape up considerably. Some have commented that the SODD was “too bright” however. Touring Party Vol. 1 sounds closer to the earlier releases. It isn’t as bright as SODD and the sound quality is closer to the Idol Mind. In the opinion of one expert, it sound to be at least one generation better.
DAC also restore “Ventilator Blues” to its proper place in the setlist. The SODD played the song after “Torn And Frayed” but, according to several websites such as Rocks Off and Complete Works, it was played after “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”
The Province writes, “Traditionally rough and messy and strong, the Stones were rough and messy and strong on Saturday, launching into a set that caught fire – and then gradually flickered out. Familiar to begin with, the central segment relied on slow blues and new material from the Exile on Main Street album – much of which, lyrically inaudible, left little impression except as an extension of Rolling Stones style. And, when they had almost lost the energy, almost rolled to a point of musical inertia, they saved themselves with familiarity again – something recognizable to cheer for, songs that one knew the words to so it didn’t matter if the sound was turning to spaghetti halfway down the room.” The set list contains eight songs from the new album all making their live debuts.
Two songs, “Torn & Frayed” and “Ventilator Blues” were dropped after this show never to appear again and “Loving Cup” would disappear after the Seattle shows the following night. This latter cut is a shame since “Loving Cup” is an excellent live piece which could have developed in time. It also gives pianist Nicky Hopkins a chance to be heard in the mix since most of his contributions are buried under the other instruments. It is packaged in a double slimline jewel case with thick glossy inserts for the artwork. Since this is dubbed volume one, it begs the question of what could possibly be the second volume?