Have you ever wanted to jam with the Grateful Dead? Well, now you can thanks to the new Playing In The Band stem mixer. Available now on the Grateful Dead website, the interactive mixer allows musicians to play along with selections from the band’s August 27th, 1972 Sunshine Daydream concert in Veneta, OR.
Launched on Wednesday, the application features audio of “China Cat Sunflower” > “I Know You Rider”, “Bertha”, “Sugar Magnolia”, and—of course—”Playing In The Band”. Users can play the track and control the audio output from Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir‘s respective guitars, Bill Kreutzmann‘s drums, Phil Lesh‘s bass, Keith Godchaux‘s piano, and all of the group’s vocals on the same channel.
The tool allows musicians to mute one of the instruments and play along with the group, or mute all the other members of the Dead to hear one shine in particular. Ever wanted to hear just what it was Keith was doing during the “China Cat Sunflower” transitional jam? Well, now you can find out with the Grateful Dead’s Playing In The Band stem mixer.
While 1972 is a celebrated year in Grateful Dead history for the group’s legendary spring European tour, the band’s actions stateside on August 27th were just as historic. That year, author, Merry Prankster, and early Dead advocate Ken Kesey‘s brother Chuck Kesey‘s Springfield Creamery was about to go under after a local scandal wherein it was discovered that Chuck was distilling liquor at the same facility where he processed milk for the Springfield Public Schools, per Ken Babbs‘ 2022 memoir Cronies. In came the Grateful Dead and New Riders of the Purple Sage to the rescue, as the San Francisco psychedelic juggernauts were tapped to play a benefit concert that ultimately saved the family business.
The temperature at the Old Renaissance Faire Grounds outside Eugene swelled to over 100°F that day, but that didn’t stop the Dead from putting on a legendary three-set performance that began in the sweltering afternoon sun and stretched into the evening darkness. Among the highlights of the concert were “Playing In The Band”, a particularly exploratory “Bird Song”, a massive 31-minute “Dark Star”, and a heavenly “Sing Me Back Home”.
Check out the Grateful Dead Playing In The Band stem mixer over on the group’s website and stream the full Sunshine Daydream concert from 8/27/72 in Veneta, OR.
Grateful Dead – Sunshine Daydream – Veneta, OR – 8/27/72