There are several color variants of this extremely rare poster, during a year when few posters were used to promote the Dead or any concerts (promoters used FM radio and newspapers). Originally scheduled for just August 4th, a Sunday, the second show on Monday was hastily added and some posters have that information scrawled on them.
These concerts used the legendary Wall of Sound to back the band. The completed Wall of Sound made its touring debut on March 23, 1974, at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California. It was used for about 34 shows and four semi-trailers and 21 crew members were required to haul and set up the 75-ton Wall which consisted of more than 550 speakers. There were multiple sets of staging and scaffolding that toured with the Grateful Dead. In order to accommodate the time needed to set up and tear down the system, the band would perform with one set while another would "leapfrog" to the next show.
The Wall was very efficient for its day but suffered from more drawbacks than its sheer size. Ultimately, The rising cost of fuel and personnel, as well as friction among many of the newer crew members and associated hangers-on, contributed to the band's October 1974 "retirement". The Wall of Sound was disassembled, and when the Dead began touring again in 1976, it was replaced with a more logistically practical sound system.
Dick’s Picks Volume 31 comprises both shows, which took place just days before Richard Nixon resigned his position as President of the United States to avoid impeachment.
The Civic Center was an art deco design, completed in 1931 in the early years of the Great Depression. Four times the building served as the site of national political conventions and hosted, in addition to professional basketball, college sports and pro hockey. But by the time the Dead played there, the Civic Center was in the midst of a long downhill slide, which the opening of the Spectrum in 1967 had precipitated.