The Grateful Dead closed out their infamous Europe ’72 Tour on this day back in the spring of 1972. The run of international shows came to a close with a four-night stand at the Lyceum Theatre in London on May 23rd-26th. It was during the final show on the tour, on this day 47 years ago, where the band performed a pair of songs which would be recorded and put on the Dead’s Europe ’72 live double LP with “Truckin'” and “Morning Dew”.
The performances of both longtime Grateful Dead fan favorites came at the start of the show’s second set. Following a loaded first set which included early-Dead setlist staples like “Sugaree”, “Mr. Charlie”, “Playing In The Band”, and “Jack Straw”, the band returned to open their second set with “Truckin'”. As fans who’ve heard the show’s recording already know, guitarist Bob Weir introduced the song by proudly stating its position atop the radio charts in Turlock, CA. Their performance of “Truckin'”that night would also go on to be stretched out to an impressive 18-minute jam. Following their performance of “The Other One”, the band slowed things down to emerge from the psychedelic jam into their cover of Bonnie Dobson‘s indie folk tune, “Morning Dew”.
Recording engineer Dennis “Wiz” Leonard revisited the band’s performance of “Morning Dew” that night during a segment of the 2017 documentary Long Strange Trip. Leonard had been brought along to Europe to record the band’s performances throughout the tour. During the final show when the band began playing “Morning Dew” however, Leonard wasn’t in his mobile recording truck while the song was being performed. Leonard mentioned in the film how he awkwardly exchanged glances with Jerry Garcia during the performance as the guitarist realized that no one was in the truck to make sure the song was being recorded. Yet, Garcia didn’t seem to mind Leonard being away from his post, if only that it meant he could be right there in the moment with the band while they delivered a fantastic rendition of their trademark cover ballad.
Listen to the entire show featuring a second set “Truckin'” and “Morning Dew” below.
Grateful Dead – Lyceum Theatre – 5/26/1972
[Video: Jonathan Aizen]