Ringing the curtains down in Fillmore West, garage rockers give their all – and then some.
Bill Graham might have been in two minds about this band, but when it came to one of his famous venues’ final bow, the proto-punks seemed to be a perfect choice for a highly charged performance. And they did deliver it, as the songs collected here suggest, even though such a heady mix of covers and originals will challenge today’s perception of the group’s greatness. Yet as far as lo-fi legalized bootlegs go, the energy produced by Cyril Jordan, Roy Loney – it was his last show with them – and their comrades is enviable.
From “I Can’t Explain” to “Walkin’ The Dog” with a deliciously wild takes on “Louie Louie” and “Shakin’ All Over” in between, there’s relentless rocking and rolling, while a few tracks from “Teenage Head”- including its psyched-up title number – and an early airing of “Slow Death” raise emotional bar up several notches. The 11-minute romp though “Road House” an epitome of the ensemble’s tight-but-loose interplay and improvisational mindset, there’s also an underlying sensation of seriousness these players were capable of, yet their collective future didn’t give the group a chance to realize it in full.