Grateful Dead: 9/11/1982

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I’ve accumulated quite a few Grateful Dead ticket stubs over the years. This one is from the second time I saw them, back in 1982 at the West Palm Beach Auditorium in South Florida.

There was a large group of friends with whom I went to this show. I seem to recall we had maybe two cars crammed with people. I cannot remember the names everyone who came along for the ride, but I am certain there were a lot of us. We pulled in to the parking lot and were greeted by the colorful intrepid carnivalesque caravan of the Deadheads. We found a place to park and immersed ourselves in the parking lot festivities.

When the band took the stage, I was ecstatic. They opened the show with “New Minglewood Blues,” which I thought was a great opener. My friend Cindy became instantly enamored with Bob Weir. Throughout the whole show, she kept reiterating how hot he was.

At the start of the second set, my friend Mike and I decided to go up front. The rest of the crew remained in the seats. There was an open floor and we managed to get pretty close to the stage, right in front of Jerry Garcia. What I recall most vividly about being up near the front was when the band segued into “Fire on the Mountain.” The stage was bathed in rich red light that gave the impression that there were actual flames emanating from the stage. This combined with the heat from the pulsating crowd caused me to begin sweating most uncomfortably. It was not long before I couldn’t stand the heat any more. We returned to the comfort of our seats and our friends.

The other thing that made this concert special for me was it was the first time I saw the Dead play “Terrapin Station,” which is still one of my favorite Grateful Dead songs. It was also the first time I heard them perform “Truckin’.” Another treat.

Thanks to the obsessive need for Deadheads to document the details of every concert, along with the wonders of the internet, I am able to include the complete setlist from this concert. “What a long strange trip it’s been.”


 

Set 1

New Minglewood Blues
They Love Each Other
Me and My Uncle
Big River
Dupree’s Diamond Blues
C.C. Rider
Loser
Looks Like Rain
Tennessee Jed
Let it Grow

Set 2

Scarlet Begonias
Fire on the Mountain
Lost Sailor
Saint of Circumstance
Terrapin Station
drums > space
Truckin’
Stella Blue
Around and Around
One More Saturday Night

Encore

It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue

Grateful Dead: 11/26/1980

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This ticket stub is from the first time I saw the Grateful Dead, who would become a major creative influence in my life. I figured it was appropriate to write about this stub today because next week, almost 35 years to the day, I’ll be taking my daughter to see Dead & Company, with surviving band members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann, along with guitarist John Mayer.

I suppose I should first say a little something about the infamous Hollywood Sportatorium. The Sportatorium, fondly referred to as the Sporto or the Sport-hole, was located out in the boonies of what is now the Pembroke Pines area of South Florida. Back then, it was the sticks. You drove past miles of cow pastures on a long road that was only one lane each way until you reached what looked like a huge barn in the middle of nowhere. The parking lot was a mud pit, the acoustics were wretched on a good night, the facilities were poorly maintained, but this was home for concert goers when I was growing up in Miami.

I’d started listening to the Grateful Dead at a young age. I had a friend whose nickname was Ola and he introduced me to the band, making me my first cassette tape that included songs like Morning Dew, Truckin’, and China Cat Sunflower. I started buying records and immersing myself in the music, sitting for hours with my guitar and learning the songs. When I heard that the Dead were coming to the Sporto, I rushed out and grabbed a ticket.

I’m not 100 percent sure, but I am fairly confident that I went with my friends Mark and Dean to this show. What I do remember was the feeling I had when the lights went down and the band came on stage. The band unassumingly walked out and began their tuning session while the audience energy began to build. I felt my heart rate increasing, anticipation crawling over me. Finally, after the short eternity, the band turned and faced the crowd and launched into “Alabama Getaway.” I was so blown away that I nearly fell backwards off the chair I was standing on. From that moment, I was completely hooked.

Years later, when I started collecting tapes of Grateful Dead shows, I acquired a copy of this show, which allowed me to relive the experience of when I first saw the band whose music continues to inspire me today. The tape has long since deteriorated, but thanks to the digital age, I was able to easily find the setlist online. My daughter told me last night that “Friend of the Devil” is her favorite Grateful Dead song. They played it the first time I saw them, so it would be truly special if they play it again next week.

Here is the setlist from the Sporto show, 35 years ago.

Set 1:

Alabama Getaway
Greatest Story Ever Told
Friend of the Devil
On the Road Again
Jack-A-Roe
Minglewood Blues
It Must Have Been the Roses
The Race Is On
Althea
Lost Sailor
Saint of Circumstance
Deal

Set 2:

Cold Rain and Snow
Samson and Delilah
China Cat Sunflower
I Know You Rider
Estimated Prophet
Eyes of the World
Drums
Space
Wharf Rat
Around and Around
Good Lovin’

Encore:

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction