The Radiators: 4/21/1989

Woody’s on the Beach was a Miami South Beach club owned by Ron Wood from the Rolling Stones, and a place where I often went with friends to hear live music and party until the wee hours of the morning. As such, details are often sketchy at best. This show falls into that category. I recall seeing The Rads at Woody’s, and I know I was with a bunch of my friends, but that’s all I can remember.

For those of you who are not familiar with The Radiators, they were one of the coolest New Orleans bands at that time, right up there with the Neville Brothers. I went to see them every opportunity I had, and even had some good bootleg tapes of theirs back in the day when collecting tapes was the thing to do. I have a great memory of driving up to Daytona to catch a free Rads show on the beach with my friend Todd and a couple other folk. Fun times!

Wish I had more to share, but alas, that’s all I got. If anyone out there has a setlist from this show, feel free to add it to the comments.

Grateful Dead: 10/26/1985

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The day after seeing the Dead at the Hollywood Sporatorium, we set out in the rented RV to see them at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa. The drive there was relatively uneventful and we took turns napping. We arrived with plenty of time to entertain ourselves in the parking lot before going in to see the show.

The concert was amazing, and since this was my first time seeing consecutive Dead shows, I was really impressed at the complete diversity between shows, this one being entirely different from the previous night. It was almost like seeing one long two-day concert. Anyway, I’ve included the setlist below. High points for me were “Gimme Some Lovin’” opener, “China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider,” “One More Saturday Night” to close the second set, and an incredible version of “In the Midnight Hour” as the encore.

After the concert, we drove a little bit until we found a campsite where we could park the RV overnight. We were still wound up from the concert, so we sat inside the RV and talked late into the night. One of the guys who was with us (a friend of my co-worker Tom), I found out later was a professional stand-up comedian, which explains why he had us laughing uncontrollably for hours. I distinctly remember laughing to the point where tears were streaming down my face and I had a stitch in my side like I had just run several laps.

The next morning, we started our drive back to Miami. I was designated driver for most of the drive while others slept in the back. I was OK with that, listening to cassette tapes while I cruised along the flat Florida highway. But after a while, I noticed the temperature gauge climbing into the red zone. I called to the folks in the back, but no one responded, so I threw a soda can and beaned someone in the head. After a quick huddle, we decided to pull off and deal with the situation. It took a while to cool the engine down, and then we went to a gas station and added more water to the radiator. This did the trick, and I just made sure to drive a little slower the rest of the journey home.

Set 1:

Gimme Some Lovin’
Greatest Story Ever Told
Dupree’s Diamond Blues
C.C. Rider
Stagger Lee
Me and My Uncle
Big River
Big Railroad Blues
Looks Like Rain
Don’t Ease Me In

Set 2:

China Cat Sunflower
I Know You Rider
Man Smart, Woman Smarter
He’s Gone
I Don’t Need Love
Drums > Space
Comes a Time
Throwing Stones
Going Down the Road Feelin’ Bad
One More Saturday Night

Encore:

In the Midnight Hour

Grateful Dead: 10/25/1985

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This concert has a couple special memories associated with it. To start with, it was the first time I saw the Dead perform “Morning Dew,” which is still one of my all-time favorite Grateful Dead songs. Second, while this was not my first time seeing the Dead, it does mark the first time that I took a road trip to see the Dead. So while this particular show was a “home” show, I was traveling with a few people to Tampa the next day in a rented RV to see the Dead again. So this was essentially the beginning of what would be a long, strange trip indeed.

I went with my girlfriend Lisa, a friend from work, and some other people I really didn’t know. We all chipped in money and rented an RV, which was pretty comfortable. We parked it in the field which served as the parking lot for the Sportatorium and went around buying shirts and stuff from the various parking lot vendors.

The band sounded great! I had a cassette tape from this show and I used to listen to it a lot, remembering the nuances of the show. There were no weak spots, and the “Morning Dew” to open the second set was phenomenal.

After the show, we parked the RV at my friend’s house. Lisa and I slept in the RV and others slept in the house. In the morning, we heading on down the road to the next show at the USF Sun Dome, but that’s another stub and another story.

Here’s the setlist from the Sportatorium show.

Set 1:

Deal
Little Red Rooster
Iko Iko
El Paso
Dire Wolf
It’s All Over Now
Loser
Let It Grow

Set 2:

Morning Dew
Estimated Prophet
Eyes of the World
Drums > Space
I Need a Miracle
Black Peter
Sugar Magnolia

Encore:

It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue

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

Gratefully Yours: 10/26/1991

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The world is full of Grateful Dead tribute bands, but this one was unique because it featured Tom Constanten, original keyboardist for the Grateful Dead, along with David Nelson from the New Riders of the Purple Sage.

Summers on the Beach was a stereotypical Fort Lauderdale beach bar, but they used to get some decent acts in there. Being a life-long Dead fan, I was not going to miss this opportunity to see Constanten perform. Also, I do love me some NRPS, so I was psyched to see Nelson too.

The show was a lot of fun. The band sounded great and they really dug deep into the repertoire, playing some choice songs like “Mountains of the Moon” and “The Eleven.” I knew a lot of people there, since South Florida had a pretty close-knit Deadhead community. We all danced and sang along. It was just a fun night of great music.

The coolest thing, though, is that Tom Constanten came out after the show and mingled with the audience, chatting and offering to sign autographs. As you can see, I got my ticket stub signed by him. It was the perfect ending to a great night of live music.

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