Grateful Dead: 3/31/1989

While this show is also fuzzy, I remember more about it than I remember from the previous night’s show. We had general admission tickets for this one, so we were on the floor, which always adds to the surreal experience. I can still envision dancing in smoke that was thick as the Mists of Avalon. A thriving mass of movement, swirling and swaying to the free-form flow of the music. And the lights seemed unusually vibrant.

I recall the second set being exceptionally good. Brent kicked it off with a killer version of “Hey Pocky Way,” which was included as part of the “So Many Roads” compilation set. Then we had “Truckin’,” “Terrapin Station,” “Morning Dew,” and “Good Lovin’,” with “Brokedown Palace” for an encore, which in my opinion is a great encore song.

Anyway, it was yet another night on the long strange trip. Here’s the full setlist.

Set 1:

  • Hell in a Bucket
  • Sugaree
  • Minglewood Blues
  • Peggy-O
  • Me and My Uncle >
  • Big River
  • Loser
  • Victim or the Crime
  • Standing on the Moon

Set 2:

  • Hey Pocky Way
  • Truckin’
  • Terrapin Station
  • Drums > Space
  • I Will Take You Home
  • All Along the Watchtower
  • Morning Dew
  • Good Lovin’

Encore:

  • Brokedown Palace
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Grateful Dead: 3/30/1989

The two shows in Greensboro are somewhat blurry, but there are snippets I remember. I definitely recall hanging with my friend Nancy, and I’m pretty sure I was with my friends Jon, Julie, and Miriam, although not totally sure about that. What does stand out distinctly is the sheer chaos in the parking lot scene before each show. Way too many people, many of whom had no tickets and were looking for a miracle or just there for the party. This led to problems in a town that did not seem like it was ready to host a psychedelic circus of freaks. There was a news story where an irate resident near the coliseum expressed his dismay at the fact that someone actually squatted and took a crap on his front lawn. It really seemed like the people who were getting on the Dead caravan were losing touch with reality.

I wish I had more to share about this first night, but I don’t. I am including the setlist though, which looks like it was a good show, but again, no way for me to tell. Maybe I should give the show a listen via ETREE.

Set 1:

  • Bertha
  • Jack Straw
  • Row Jimmy
  • Blow Away
  • When I Paint My Masterpiece
  • Bird Song
  • The Promised Land

Set 2:

  • China Cat Sunflower >
  • I Know You Rider
  • Looks Like Rain
  • He’s Gone
  • Drums > Space
  • The Other One
  • Stella Blue
  • Sugar Magnolia

Encore:

  • Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door

Roger Waters: 7/18/2017

My brother who lives in the Greensboro area is a huge Pink Floyd fan, so when I saw that Roger Waters was playing in Greensboro, I asked him to grab me some tickets. That was about nine months before the show. But finally the day arrived and it was time to take the drive to my brother’s.

My daughter and I set out on what should have been a two-and-a-half hour drive, but we were beset with rain, hail, accidents, construction, basically everything except an earthquake and a plague of locusts. But eventually we arrived, ate a few slices of pizza, and then piled into two cars to drive to the show (since there were six of us altogether).

We arrived at the coliseum where they were charging a criminal $20 per car to park. As we pulled up to the fee booth, my brother asked the guy working there if we could get a two-for-one deal, since the car behind was with us. And the dude actually said yes! I was kind of shocked, but my brother has always had a touch for finagling things like that.

We parked and headed inside. I went and checked out the shirts, which looked cool, but the cheap ones were $40, and a tie dye shirt was $75! I’m an old timer, and I just couldn’t bring myself around to spending that much money on a tee shirt.

Our seats were straight back, which was great because we got the full visual experience, which was amazing. The concert was heavy on the “Dark Side of the Moon” and “Animals” material, which was fine with me. The earliest piece he played was “One of These Days” from the Meddle album. That song always gives me the chills.

While the music and the stage show were both awesome, there was one big bummer about this concert: we had a screamer in the row behind us. This woman, who was obviously fresh from a trailer park, was raving about all the Xanax she took before the show. Then once the lights went down, she started screaming, and screaming, and screaming, at the top of her lungs. I am all for people getting psyched about a show, but this was ridiculous. About halfway into the second set, I said something to her, to which she nastily responded “Shut the fuck up!” and just screamed even louder. I debated escalating the situation, but decided it was not worth it. We have to choose our rock and roll battles.

Anyway, in spite of that, I had a great time. The show was political, but not overly so (lots of images of Trump as a pig in the second set). Having seen Waters about four times now, I have to say that this was one of his better shows. If you have an opportunity to catch this tour, you definitely should. Here is the setlist for those who are interested.

Set 1:

  • Breathe
  • One of These Days
  • Time
  • Breathe (Reprise)
  • The Great Gig in the Sky
  • Welcome to the Machine
  • When We Were Young
  • Déjà Vu
  • The Last Refugee
  • Picture That
  • Wish You Were Here
  • The Happiest Days of Our Lives
  • Another Brick in the Wall Part 2
  • Another Brick in the Wall Part 3

Set 2:

  • Dogs
  • Pigs (Three Different Ones)
  • Money
  • Us and Them
  • Smell the Roses
  • Brain Damage
  • Eclipse
  • Vera
  • Bring the Boys Back Home
  • Comfortably Numb

Dead & Company: 11/14/2015

DeadCo_11-14-15

This is the newest stub in the collection, and I figured I would post while the memory is fresh.

Sometimes, something magical happens at a concert, and that was the case with this show. First off, it was almost 35 years ago to the day that I saw my first Grateful Dead concert, so there was some definite nostalgia happening. But it was also special because I went with my youngest daughter and it was her first time seeing a “Dead” show. She was very excited and she pointed out that although I had taken her to some great concerts over the years, this was the first time that it was just the two of us, so it was really great father/daughter bonding.

We drove to Greensboro, which is about a two-and-a-half hour drive. We got there early and decided to grab dinner first. Hops burgers place was highly recommended, so we went there. It supposedly has the best burgers in the country. Don’t know about that, but the burgers were pretty damn good!

After we ate, it was a short drive to the Coliseum. The first thing I noticed was that parking was $20! Talk about sticker shock. That was less than what I paid for many of the concerts I’ve seen over the years, but I paid my dues and we got a nice spot right near the exit.

In keeping with Dead tradition, there was the typical parking lot bazaar with vendors selling all kinds of stuff: some legal, some not so much. I bought a couple tee shirts and my daughter bought a nice hoodie. I marveled at the throngs of people who were still desperately trying to keep the legacy alive.

We went inside and our seats were on the side of the stage: not bad, but we could not see the screens that made up the background. We decided to move to some open seats, which ended up being fine because no one else came to claim them. The move afforded us a great view of the band and the colorful light show.

The band sounded great. John Mayer did a nice job playing lead guitar, and the rest of the band sounded relaxed and together.

So here is the magic moment. My daughter’s favorite Dead song is “Friend of the Devil.” The Grateful Dead played it the first time I saw them and I was hoping, for her sake, that they would play it this evening. The first set ended, and no “Friend of the Devil.” I told her that it was highly unlikely they would play it, since I have only ever heard the song played in the first set. She seemed OK and was really enjoying the music and the dancing. Second set ended, which was an amazing set, but still, no “Friend of the Devil.” Then Bob Weir and John Mayer brought out acoustic guitars for the encore. I figured “Ripple,” but no, they played an amazing acoustic version of “Friend of the Devil.” I could see the joy and excitement bursting from my daughter’s happy eyes. I felt like they played it just for her. It was truly one of those special concert moments when the unexpected happens and it makes the live concert experience something transcendent.

Anyway, here is a video clip of the encore from the Greensboro show, a moment that will live on in my memory as one of the best concert experiences ever.