"I've been looking forward to this for a long, long time," said John Denver during this live recording for RCA at the California Universal Amphitheater in August/September of 1974. He also tells the audience, most attentive to say the least, that he worked on his songs late into the evening on the beach's lifeguard stands the first time he arrived in California in the late '60s. The album begins with Denver's song of encouragement, "Farewell Andromeda." Then it's off to the races with the uptempo Beatles cover "Mother Nature's Son," which Denver receives much praise for playing. "Summer" takes the listener to their favorite vacation spot in the midst of a memory-filled season. A song about Denver's uncle, "Matthew," brings to the listeners a lesson "that joy is the thing you should be raised on/And love is just a way to live and die." Denver gives the audience his version of Jim Connor's "Grandma's Feather Bed," another crowd pleaser. As the record shows, the list of songs flows with a great emphasis on highs and lows, like the momentum of a roller coaster. A wonderful version of "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" ignites the audience, as does "Take Me Home, Country Roads" and his most well-known hit, "Rocky Mountain High." This is a must even for the casual John Denver listener. Only by fully taking in the music can listeners see his vision of good music and passion for protection of the environment.
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AllMusic Review by Shawn M. Haney