Grateful Dead: 9/12/1987

This stub was from the second night of a three-night series of Dead concerts at the Capitol Centre in Maryland. After the first show, my friends (Julie and Miriam) and I went to crash at someone’s apartment, this guy Harmon that Julie knew from high school who was attending college in Maryland. I immediately caught a bad vibe from this guy and his friends. But I was grateful for a free place to sleep, so I laid down and closed my eyes. But as I was somewhat over-stimulated from the night’s festivities, I lay there, staring at the insides of my eyelids. It was during this time that I heard Harmon and his friends talking amongst themselves, making crude and disparaging remarks about my friends, while also talking about what they should do to them. I felt the anger swelling inside me as I entertained visions of kicking their asses. I kept still, pretending to be asleep. Eventually they shut up and went to sleep themselves. I decided not to say anything to Julie and Miriam about what happened, but figured I would just stay aware in case any issue arose.

The next day, we went back to the Cap Centre for the show and met my brother Mike and our friend Jon. Like the previous day, the Prince George’s County police were out in force, only this day, things got ugly. As we were entering the arena, the police were mounted on horses and had formed a gauntlet. As semi-conscious hippies fumbled to find their way inside, the police made the horses stomp and kick at the people to keep them in line. I was terrified and appalled. These were not people who were acting violently or being unruly. It was just a blatant example of authority using Gestapo tactics to intimidate people and ensure that they stayed in line. We made it through without incident and found some seats inside.

The show was very good and unique in the sense that the band played two songs for an encore—something which I had not seen the Dead do before. High points for me were “Hey Pocky Way,” “Truckin’,” and “Morning Dew.”

After the show, I had the joy of being the person who had to drive the intrepid crew back to Harmon’s Hell Hole. This proved challenging. For those of you who have driven in the DC area, you know about the traffic circles. These were not things that we had in South Florida. So I ended up inside one of these circles and struggled to get out of it. I kept driving around and around and around for what seemed an eternity. Eventually, I safely veered the rental car out of the loop and we made it back without further difficulty.

Here is the full setlist from this concert.

Set 1:

  • Hell in a Bucket
  • Loser
  • Me and My Uncle
  • Big River
  • Ramble on Rose
  • Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues
  • Hey Pocky Way
  • Cassidy
  • Might As Well

Set 2:

  • Cumberland Blues
  • Samson and Delilah
  • Ship of Fools
  • Man Smart/Woman Smarter
  • Drums > Space
  • Truckin’
  • I Need a Miracle
  • Morning Dew
  • Turn on Your Love Light


  • One More Saturday Night
  • Black Muddy River

4 thoughts on “Grateful Dead: 9/12/1987

      • Sweet. I had a modified fender Twin that weighed a ton. So I left it behind with my youth. Now I have a Ross guitar amp which I really like but it’s older too, so the pots are noisy and unreliable. Either I get it fixed or just get a better computer so I can play directly thru my PC without latency. So many free FX on computer these days… It’s amazing. But latency is a hassle.

        Liked by 1 person

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