The Grass Roots

Live at the Fillmore San Francisco 1967 [Vintage Masters]

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This bootleg is actually identical to the one issued on Hyacinth in 2002 under the title Live at the Fillmore '67; bootlegs of two different 1967 Grass Roots Fillmore gigs might be stretching the bounds of credibility. What is astounding, if only mildly, is that the set -- in good if not perfect sound -- shows the band to be a fairly credible live act. It's also considerably rawer than their famous studio hit recordings of the period would lead one to expect, almost verging on garage rock at times. Some well-done renditions of their folk-rock-pop numbers are on hand with "Let's Live for Today," "Look Out Girl," "Things I Should Have Said," and "Where Were You When I Needed You," though the version of "This Precious Time" is not only incomplete, but also sounds as if it's taken from an official live LP. More surprising are blues-rock numbers like "Got My Mojo Working," "Night Time Is the Right Time," and "Have Love Will Travel," as well as a garage-psychedelic "Jam," all of which give the impression the group welcome the chance to be less slick and more earthy in a live setting. Best of all is "Feelings," here done in a far rawer arrangement than the studio version, with thundering bass and a much more explicit similarity to the riffs in the Rolling Stones' "2120 South Michigan Avenue." Overall it's much more interesting and powerful than the average '60s rock fan would expect of a live Grass Roots bootleg, if not wholly representative of what said average fan would expect given their poppier studio releases.