Grateful Dead and Sting: 6/26/1993

This was the second of a two-night stand at RFK Stadium. Before the show, we decided to go and check out the National Gallery. On the way there, we had to make a quick exit from the train because my friend must have eaten something that didn’t agree with her. Thankfully, she recovered quickly and we had a good time checking out the art before the show.

The concert was packed, and Sting opened the show. He changed his set up from the first night, only repeating a few songs, which I thought was cool. And again, Jerry came out and jammed with Sting on a couple tunes.

Just like the first night, Bruce Hornsby also played accordion and helped with the vocals. The Dead’s set was solid, and they played “Spoonful,” which was a really nice surprise. That’s not one they play all that often.

They closed the show with “Liberty,” which is not one of my favorite Dead tunes, but I can understand why they picked it as an encore. We were in the nation’s capital, after all.

Here are the set lists.

Sting’s Set

  • All This Time
  • Why Should I Cry for You?
  • Synchronicity II
  • Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
  • Roxanne
  • Fortress Around Your Heart
  • Love Is Stronger Than Justice (The Munificent Seven)
  • Penny Lane
  • Purple Haze
  • When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What’s Still Around
  • Walking on the Moon (with Jerry Garcia)
  • Consider Me Gone / I’ve Been Down So Long (with Jerry Garcia)

Dead’s Sets

Set 1:

  • Feel Like a Stranger
  • Brown-Eyed Women
  • Spoonful
  • Lazy River Road
  • When I Paint My Masterpiece
  • Bird Song
  • Picasso Moon

Set 2:

  • Iko Iko
  • Way to Go Home
  • Playing in the Band >
  • Terrapin Station >
  • Drums >
  • Space >
  • The Last Time >
  • Days Between >
  • Throwing Stones
  • One More Saturday Night

Encore:

  • Liberty

Grateful Dead and Sting: 6/25/1993

I had seen the Dead quite a few times by this point, but never in a stadium setting. I was a little hesitant to brave the stadium crowd, but figured I might as well. My friend Erin wanted to go with me, so we got tickets through mail order. I had a good friend, Julie, who lived in D.C. and offered us a place to stay, so we were on our way.

The drive from Miami to D.C. was long. Erin slept most of the way and I drove through the night, powered by a steady stream of caffeine. We arrived at Julie’s and had enough time to sleep for a bit before the show.

We took the train to RFK Stadium and the place was insane. Way too many people for my comfort level, but they were all having a good time, so it wasn’t too bad. It was very hot and muggy, though. I saw quite a few people struggling from a mixture of intoxicants and heat exhaustion.

We walked around the parking lot for a while, and I bought a couple shirts from vendors. One in particular was really creative and included a bunch of cartoon characters frolicking around. After a while, we headed inside. We had general admission tickets for the field, which felt like we were swimming in a sea of people.

Sting came out and opened the show. He was really good, playing a nice mix of Police, solo material, and some cover tunes. Jerry Garcia came out at the end of Sting’s set and played a little with him, which was very cool. But seeing Jerry in shorts was a strange sight, indeed. Still can’t get that image out of my mind.

The Dead came out and the first thing that struck me was that there were more people on stage than I was used to seeing. I quickly figured out the Bruce Hornsby had joined the band and was playing accordion. It sounded really good and added a unique feel to the music, especially on songs like “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo” and “Cumberland Blues.”

During intermission, Erin and I attended the Wharf Rats meeting, which was unbelievable. It was great to see so many people there. Forming a circle at the end of the meeting was impossible, so everyone just huddled together in a massive group hug which made me feel a part of something larger than myself. It was deeply moving for me.

Second set was great. I’m always happy when I hear “China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider.” For an encore, they played “The Weight” on which they did a round-robin, everyone taking a turn singing a verse, then joining together for four-part harmony on the final verse. It was a great was to close an amazing concert. I was already looking forward to the next night.

Here are the full set lists.

Sting’s Set

  • Driven to Tears
  • If I Ever Lose My Faith in You
  • Love Is Stronger Than Justice (The Munificent Seven)
  • A Day in the Life
  • Fields of Gold
  • Synchronicity II
  • Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
  • Roxanne
  • Saint Augustine in Hell / Straight to My Heart
  • King of Pain
  • When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What’s Still Around
  • Tea in the Sahara / Consider Me Gone (with Jerry Garcia)

Dead’s Sets

Set 1:

  • Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo
  • Little Red Rooster
  • Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues
  • Althea
  • Cassidy
  • Cumberland Blues
  • Promised Land

Set 2:

  • China Cat Sunflower >
  • I Know You Rider
  • Saint of Circumstance >
  • Uncle John’s Band >
  • Corrina >
  • Drums >
  • Space >
  • I Need a Miracle >
  • Wharf Rat >
  • Sugar Magnolia

Encore:

  • The Weight

Alice Cooper: 4/29/2017

My wife is not an Alice Cooper fan, but she made me a promise that if he ever came close to us, she would go with me. Well, this was my chance to cash in on that promise. Cherokee is a relatively short drive (under an hour), and we figured we would make a day of it by touring the village and going to the casino.

We got there early and it was a gorgeous day. The first thing we did was visit the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. It was a cool museum that really gave a broad picture of the tribe’s history.

Afterwards, we walked around a little and went into some shops. Total tourist traps. Every shop had the same bogus crap that was made in China. It was kind of sad. It made me feel that their culture was reduced to mass-produced shit for white people on vacation to waste some money on. The only thing I bought was some coffee from a local coffee roaster. That was actually quite good!

After that, we went to Harrah’s Resort and Casino, where the concert would be held. This was my first time at a casino, so it was a little overwhelming. We had planned to gamble $50 each, but when they figured out we were newbies, they told us we could sign up for a rewards card and get $50 each credit to play. That was a no brainer! We got the cards and started on the slots. We did OK, cashed out that money, then tried our luck at the roulette table. Didn’t do quite as well there, but we still walked away with some money that we didn’t have before, so it worked out well.

We tried to get into one of the restaurants before the show, but there was no way. The waits were ridiculous. We ended up getting some fast-food grub which was disappointing but filled the void. Then we headed over to the concert hall.

The venue was quite nice: decent size with comfortable seats and a big stage. As we got to our seats, we ran into our friend Ari who was in the same row as us. Small world!

Show started right on time and Alice opened with a blistering version of “Brutal Planet.” Then it was classic Cooper for a solid two hours, complete with wild stage theatrics that included a giant Frankenstein monster, trademark snake, guillotine, and a straightjacket. The highpoint for me was definitely “Halo of Flies,” one of his more obscure tunes from the Killer album which I think is a metal masterpiece.

There was one point in the show where my wife got visibly disturbed, which was during the “Cold Ethyl / Only Women Bleed” segment. She felt it was misogynistic and promoted violence toward women. While I have seen that part of his performance many times, I have always viewed it as an acknowledgment of violence directed towards women, but not as a promotion of it. In fact, that part of the act is almost always followed by Alice being apprehended and punished for his crimes (usually by beheading). But, I had to agree with my wife that it could certainly be seen that way. Thankfully, that did not ruin the entire evening for her.

Anyway, here is the full setlist.

  • Brutal Planet
  • No More Mr. Nice Guy
  • Under My Wheels
  • Lost in America
  • Pain
  • Welcome to My Nightmare
  • Billion Dollar Babies
  • The World Needs Guts
  • Woman of Mass Distraction
  • Guitar Solo (Nita Strauss)
  • Poison
  • Halo of Flies
  • Feed My Frankenstein
  • Cold Ethyl
  • Only Women Bleed
  • Escape
  • Ballad of Dwight Fry
  • Killer
  • I Love the Dead
  • I’m Eighteen
  • Elected

Encore:

  • School’s Out

Psychedelic Furs with The Lemonheads: 10/24/2012

This was pretty much a fun nostalgia show for me. The Psychedelic Furs were definitely a big part of the 1980’s pop culture. Songs like “Pretty in Pink” and “Love My Way” instantly transport me back to those carefree days. Thankfully, the band was not just a bunch of lame dudes milking their prior success. They really sounded good, projected a vibrant energy, and had the audience dancing. It was just a really fun time and no disappointments at all.

The Lemonheads were a solid opening act. They were high energy and got the crowd riled. Personally, my favorite song of theirs is their cover version of “Mrs. Robinson,” which they didn’t play. But that’s OK. I was really there to see the Furs; the Lemonheads were just a bonus.

I could not find the setlist from the Orange Peel show, but this one was from St. Petersburg, FL a couple days afterwards. I think the shows were pretty similar, if not the same.

  • Only You and I
  • Love My Way
  • Mr. Jones
  • Heartbreak Beat
  • The Ghost in You
  • No Easy Street
  • She Is Mine
  • Little Miss World
  • All of This and Nothing
  • Believe
  • Danger
  • Pretty in Pink
  • Highwire Days
  • Heaven

Encore:

  • President Gas
  • India

Yes: 7/6/1991

This was a pretty cool concert. I’ve always loved Yes and this time I got to see the classic lineup along with some other band veterans. Essentially, the Union tour was a collaboration between older and newer members. Here is the list of all the musicians who participated:

  • Jon Anderson – lead vocals, acoustic guitar, tambourine
  • Steve Howe – guitar, backing vocals
  • Trevor Rabin – guitar, lead vocals, backing vocals
  • Tony Kaye – Hammond Organ, keyboards, sound effects
  • Rick Wakeman – keyboards, synthesisers, percussion on “Your Move”
  • Chris Squire – bass, backing vocals
  • Alan White – acoustic drums, percussion
  • Bill Bruford – electronic drums, percussion

In addition to the rich lineup, this show was “Yes in the Round.” The band was set up on a circular stage in the center of the arena. The stage slowly rotated so wherever you sat, you eventually had a great view of every member of the band. I was particularly thrilled when Rick Wakeman was facing me. He is one of my favorite keyboardists, second only to Keith Emerson.

I went with my friend Dana, and we had a great time. The music and the show were amazing. One of the high points for me was when they played “Awaken” from the “Going for the One” album. A great piece of music, but not something I would have expected. Jon Anderson played harp on that song, which was just beautiful and moving.

Here is the complete setlist.

Setlist

  • Yours Is No Disgrace
  • Rhythm of Love
  • Shock to the System
  • Heart of the Sunrise
  • Clap
  • Mood for a Day
  • Make It Easy
  • Owner of a Lonely Heart
  • And You and I
  • Drum Duet
  • Changes
  • I’ve Seen All Good People
  • Solly’s Beard
  • Long Distance Runaround
  • Whitefish / Amazing Grace
  • Keyboard Solo (Rick Wakeman)
  • Lift Me Up
  • Awaken

Encore:

  • Roundabout

Grateful Dead: 3/22 – 24/1987

I decided to include these three shows as a single concert memory for a couple reasons. First off, none of the stubs actually shows a date, so it is impossible to determine which one goes with which day. Second, my date-specific memories are somewhat cloudy. And third, it was essentially a three-day concert, in my humble opinion.

My brother Mike was in college in Gainesville, Florida at the time. He told me that he was planning to drive up to this with some of his college friends and invited me along. I of course jumped at the opportunity. A friend of mine, Carlos, also wanted to go, so Carlos and I took a bus from Miami to Gainesville and hooked up with my brother. We were introduced to our fellow travelers and readied ourselves for the long drive up to Hampton, VA.

The next morning we started out. I think we had to take three cars and create a mini caravan. We had gotten about an hour outside of Gainesville when something prompted me to check with my brother to ensure he had the tickets. The look on his face said it all, and the trip was stalled while we had to return for the tickets.

We rolled into Hampton late in the evening. The first thing we decided to do was purchase some beer. We quickly learned about Virginia’s blue laws and we were not able to buy any from the convenience store. Luckily, there were some enterprising individuals who had purchased a lot of beer and happily supplied us for a reasonable profit.

We then went in search of a university (I don’t recall which one). One of the people with us named Nancy knew someone there in the dorms who would supposedly let us stay there. Yeah, that didn’t work out. The guy took one look at us and said no, but suggested we go sleep in the common area, so we did. We were rudely awoken by the RA and a cadre of muscle who wanted to know what we were doing there. It seemed we would be kicked out, but somehow they let us stay on the promise we would be quiet and not leave a mess.

The next day, we went to the show. Spent the day in the parking lot, playing Frisbee and hacky sack. Concert was amazing. Jerry had just recently recovered from his diabetic coma and these were the band’s first east coast shows following the illness, so the crowd enthusiasm was feverish. I recall the stickers being sold in the parking lot: “Jerry takes a lickin’ and keeps on pickin’.”

We were definitely not going back to the college, so we found a hotel nearby and all 11 of us packed into a single room. Outside, there was a large group of Deadheads sitting around playing music. I had a guitar with me, so I joined in and we played music late into the night, with a chorus of people ecstatically singing along. It was an experience that is truly beyond words to describe.

The next two nights were also amazing. Looking back, the three shows melted into one. Some of the high points were “Touch of Grey,” particularly poignant considering Jerry’s near death, Phil singing “Box of Rain,” and of course, I always love a good “Terrapin Station.” Here are the full setlists from each of the three nights.

March 22, 1987

Set 1:

  • Hell in a Bucket
  • Sugaree
  • It’s All Over Now
  • West L.A. Fadeaway
  • El Paso
  • When Push Comes to Shove
  • Cassidy
  • Deal

Set 2:

  • Sugar Magnolia
  • Scarlet Begonias
  • Fire on the Mountain
  • Estimated Prophet
  • Drums > Space
  • The Wheel
  • Black Peter
  • Sunshine Daydream

Encore:

  • It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue

March 23, 1987

Set 1:

  • Touch of Grey
  • Little Red Rooster
  • Althea
  • Me and My Uncle
  • Big River
  • Iko Iko
  • Tons of Steel
  • Feel Like a Stranger
  • Don’t Ease Me In

Set 2:

  • Box of Rain
  • Man Smart/Woman Smarter
  • Ship of Fools
  • Truckin’
  • Drums > Space
  • The Other One
  • Stella Blue
  • Throwin’ Stones
  • Turn on Your Love Light

Encore:

  • U.S. Blues

March 24, 1987

Set 1:

  • Jack Straw
  • Candyman
  • New Minglewood Blues
  • Loser
  • Mama Tried
  • Mexicali Blues
  • Ramble on Rose
  • Let it Grow

Set 2:

  • Gimme Some Lovin’
  • Black Muddy River
  • Playin’ in the Band
  • Terrapin Station
  • Drums > Space
  • Dear Mr. Fantasy
  • Wharf Rat
  • Not Fade Away

Encore:

  • Brokedown Palace

Steve Winwood: 5/9/2017

Steve Winwood was high on my short list of bands/musicians that I had not seen but wanted to see live. So when I saw that he was coming to Greenville, which is about an hour’s drive, I got tickets for my wife and I to go. It was a good thing that I bought them early because the show sold out quickly.

I had never been to the Peace Center, but I heard it was a very nice venue with excellent acoustics. We got there a little before showtime (it was a Tuesday so work prevented us from heading down there early). The first thing was had to deal with was parking. All the public lots were full, which forced us to go for one of the private lots. The woman there collecting money said “$20.” I responded: “$20!?!” She said “Yes, concert is sold out.” Talk about price gouging. I grudgingly paid the exorbitant fee and parked the car. We then walked over to the Peace Center.

The first thing I noticed was the crowd. I felt like the youngest person there, and my thinning grey hair is a clear indicator that I am no spring chicken, but these folks made me feel like I was at a concert with all my aunts and uncles. And they were all dressed up like they were going to the symphony. I looked at my tee shirt and felt oddly out of place; but I didn’t care all that much. I was there for the music, not for a fashion show.

Lilly Winwood. Steve’s daughter, opened the show. She was very good, not just someone riding her famous dad’s coattails. Her songs were interesting and her voice was powerful. I was impressed.

Then Steve came out, and as I expected, he was amazing. His vocals and his musicianship were stellar, and his backing band was solid. He played a nice selection of songs spanning his entire career, from Spenser Davis through his solo works. In fact, the only song I wanted to hear that he didn’t play was “John Barleycorn,” but it was an extremely minor disappointment in light of all the other great music he played that evening.

Toward the end of the show, his daughter came on stage and provided some backing vocals, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It was nice to see father and daughter together, and her voice really added to the songs on which she sang.

Here is the full setlist.

 

Setlist:

  • Back in the High Life Again
  • Pearly Queen
  • I’m a Man
  • Fly
  • Them Changes
  • Can’t Find My Way Home
  • Had to Cry Today
  • The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
  • Empty Pages
  • Light Up or Leave Me Alone
  • Higher Love (with Lilly Winwood)

Encore:

  • Dear Mr. Fantasy
  • Gimme Some Lovin’ (with Lilly Winwood)