Grateful Dead: 9/13/1987

This was the last of the three-night series of Dead shows at the Capital Centre in Maryland, and frankly, I was glad it was. While on the previous day the Prince George’s County police had engaged in Gestapo-style tactics, today proved to be more of the same. I witnessed a phalanx of officers advance aggressively through the parking lot, actively assaulting and intimidating concert-goers. The worst incident that I saw was a cop walking up to someone who was holding a bottle of beer, taking his nightstick, and smashing the bottle in the person’s hand without any warning. It was so sickening that I felt like throwing up. Thankfully, I was savvy enough to avoid any confrontation.

My brother Mike and our friend Jon, who were with us for the first two nights, had left to head back to Florida. It was just Julie, Miriam, and me. We made it safely into the venue for what turned out to be a great show, in spite of all the violence and tension outside. The parts that really stood out for me were “Fever” in the first set and “Throwing Stones” in the second set. I would learn later on that this was the Dead’s only performance of “Fever,” which Bob Weir sang. As far as “Throwing Stones” goes, the crowd sang along with such fervor and anger directed to the authorities outside and the politicians in nearby DC, that the anti-authoritarian sentiment was palpable in the air.

The next day, the three of us would catch a train to New York City for four more shows at Madison Square Garden, but that part of the long strange trip is for another day and another stub. For now, here is the full setlist from the last night at the Cap Centre.

Set 1:

  • Iko Iko
  • Little Red Rooster
  • Brown Eyed Women
  • Fever
  • Stagger Lee
  • When I Paint My Masterpiece
  • Bird Song
  • Promised Land

Set 2:

  • Scarlet Begonias
  • Fire on the Mountain
  • Playin’ in the Band
  • Drums  > Space
  • The Other One
  • Stella Blue
  • Throwin’ Stones
  • Good Lovin’
  • La Bamba
  • Good Lovin’

Encore:

  • Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door