“All right?” Aretha Franklin asks. “Are we moving in the right direction?” The answer, supplied immediately by several members of the crowd and preserved for all eternity, is yes. Scratch that – the answer is “YES!!!!” Those fans’ entire lives have been moving in the very rightest of directions to put them in that room, on that night, in shouting distance of Aretha singing “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”

It’s March 5th, 1971, a Friday night in San Francisco. American dreams are falling apart everywhere: tin soldiers and Nixon still coming, war spreading to Cambodia and Laos, the utopian ideal of the Sixties wheezing out its last gasps. The venue whose rafters Aretha is currently shaking, Bill Graham’s Fillmore West, will shut its doors forever a few months after this show. These are some grievously troubled waters, and it takes a singer with Aretha’s forceful kind of grace to calm them. – Simon Vozick-Levinson, Rolling Stone