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  • February 8, 2018 - 9:28am
    hishopper
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    Death don't
    Shoreline was always my favorite venue. The sun setting through the spinners, the vibe of the crowd, good sound.. and mostly because they always seemed to kill it there. September 29, 1989 was no exception. China rider into set 2 was sweet, terrapin into drums and space was crazy... but when Jerry dropped his glasses to the end of his nose, looked at Brent like a father about to give his boy a whoopin, then pushed them back up and started Death Don't... ho - ly - shit. I still get goosebumps. Leaving the show I remember the buzz - the simultaneous elation over the fact they just pulled one out they hadn't done in almost 20 years (giving credence to the hope they would someday do more than tease St. Stephen or others) and a sort of panic trying to figure out what it meant.. quickly overridden by the aforementioned elation. Brent was gone 6 months later.
  • January 20, 2018 - 10:10am
    Turtlelips
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    Life changing show
    Didn’t see the Dead until 1972, so am a newbie. But my life changer was Fare Thee Well. Yeah, hokey, I know. Must have been half a million Deadheads in downtown Chicago. No, Jerry didn’t do the lead work, but they were back. The old and the young laughed and cried together. A five month old baby in headgear to protect his hearing, sat thru his first Dead concert, behind me. I felt in a very timeless place, watching a new birth. Love to all
  • January 12, 2018 - 6:45pm
    drb888
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    Life Changing Show
    9/21/82 MSG. It wasn't my first show, which was also awesome (3/9/81),but although I already considered myself a deadhead, it was the first show where I let the music take me totally away. OK, the red gels helped, but I had dosed many times before. It was a magical night, opening with PITB, and the first set ending with an astounding China>Rider. And the second set was great too- I recall a really soulful Black Peter. Someone mentioned east coast vs west coast deadheads. Growing up in NYC and the environs in the 70s and early 80s, when you saw someone with a GD shirt, there was an instant connection, like we were brothers or sisters. When I moved to California in 85, it was very 'so what'. Strange.
  • March 13, 2016 - 4:13pm
    Roczilla
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    Best Of Both Worlds
    For Me , the life changing show was Jerry Garcia Band and Bobby and the Midniters at New Haven back in 1982. The reason was I was able to see both sides of the coin,as well as have it stand on end! Jerry and His band opened and played extensive sets.Then Bob Weir came out and did the same, then both bands jammed for a tremendous encore set or two! If anybody has the set list for this show please reply to this comment. The reason it was a life changer, was I found out that their music inspired me to appreciate what life is all about!
  • October 23, 2015 - 10:59am
    Heywood Jablome
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    March 19, 2012
    It wasn't a particular show
    It wasn't a particular show for me it was the copy of Bear's Choice I got in the cutout section of whatever the record store was at the time. I must have played side 2 a thousand times, Smokestack Lighting and Hard to Handle. Then flipped it over to hear Katie Mae and the rest. That was in 1974 I was 14 and I never looked back. Even today I don't listen to much else besides the Dead, I'm currently on a 74' kick streaming every show for that year, pretty much the best year in their history.
  • June 6, 2015 - 7:44pm
    UncleJoe
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    This thread has been Dead for
    This thread has been Dead for awhile so I'm going to bring it back to life. :) Had the chance to see my first show in '78 but passed it up. I was familiar with the Dead but wasn't INTO it yet. First show was The Spectrum in Philly in the spring of '82. We were only a couple hours early so I didn't get to do much of the parking lot scene but what I saw really intrigued me; all the circle jams everywhere you looked. Came home and put a guitar on layaway. It was paid off by mid summer. Spent the fall and winter learning with a chord book and the GD Anthology. Back to Philly in the spring of '83 with my new guitar and looking to jam. I wasn't disappointed. I wasn't very good yet but I knew some songs. I wandered around to the different circles hoping to hear a group playing something I knew. The second group I stopped to listen to asked me to sit down and join them. I mentioned that I had only been playing for about 6 months and wasn't very good. They just blew it off and told me to sit down. They asked what songs I knew and then played them just to make me comfortable. When it came time to pack up and head inside I'd made some new friends and partially learned a few more songs. That was it. I became Deadicated that day. Went on to tour up and down the East coast through the summer of '91. I pretty much learned to play guitar in venue parking lots. So many shows. So many good people. So many memories. I am so Grateful to have been able to be a part of the whole scene. If I could go back in time, I would do it all over again.
  • July 27, 2012 - 4:32pm
    marye
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    May 26, 2007
    sounds like
    you landed in the right place!
  • July 27, 2012 - 3:48pm
    slo lettuce
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    i know, i know
    it was during the "decline" of the band (or maybe the crowds) as i guess some people have put it, but that beautiful june day in '92 at soldier field changed my view of the dead and my life profoundly and permanently. Up until then i had only been listening to their music when a friend of my ex said to me "you have to see them in concert because there is nothing else in the world like a grateful dead concert". That's all i needed to hear!! i scored tickets from the local ticket disaster outlet and scooted on over to chi-town. I was sitting in traffic on lake shore drive (ironic isn't it?) looking at the parking lot and knew instantly i was home. It wasn't just the psychedelics, i had plenty of experience with them starting in '79 and it wasn't just the music. for me it was 90% the heads themselves. I have never, ever in my life been in such a swirl of colorful, beautiful, caring, fun,accepting and like-minded people in my life and highly doubt i ever will again. The entire experience simply blew me away,left me sobbing in tears of joy, and created a "smoking crater" in my brain that has only been able to be filled by dead heads and the music of the dead. "see how everything lead up to this day!!" harry houdini may have been a great magician in his own right, but what kind of universal cosmic magic did it take from albert hoffman's bike ride all the way until these collections of stardust convened together in the early to mid sixties to form the experience that was presented to me in june of '92???? Cosmic f@&^%ing magic indeed!!!! God i have loved the dead and all those that are orbiting in this brief space of time we are blessed with between birth and death ever since. love to all and take care
  • January 26, 2012 - 12:16pm
    Mike Edwards
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    June 17, 2007
    All questions are rhetorical
    cosmicdavid, the only thing I see that's out of place in your post is you don't mention that you were 12 when this happened until the end of your fourth paragraph. That's a key piece of information that a reader needs right away in order to effectively envision the scene you describe. Whether it's inappropriate or not is for others to decide; as a writer, I'm mostly concerned with effectiveness.
  • January 26, 2012 - 11:53am
    cosmicdavid
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    P.S.
    It might be inappropriate and if it is, I will take it down and let me know as to never do it again, but I also remember having to drive home with my dad after the show and I was still HIGH AS A KITE. He just sat there sighing, laughing at me, looking over, giggling and then he would sigh some more. We've since talked about it and he has told me he was really disappointed that I had done that to myself but he didn't want to "send me on a bummer." What a guy. Karma will get me back for that one and others I'm sure.
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Which would it have been? Most life-changing, for whatever reason.
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Seems like Alpine Valley stands out for me. In 1986 I realized that if I played my music around town we could create a good scene that didn't exist in our town-IT WORKED! In 1988 my wife and I realized we were going to have our first baby-if that ain't life changing I don't know what is!
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I would have to say buckeye lake 94 the last show i ever saw. I can listen to the show now and it's really not that good but there was just a feeling around like change was coming . and there was the next year I found myself married and jerry was dead I've been to 15 shows total but if i could go back to at lest one more show that would be it
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Buckeye Lake 94 was my first show. Even when I went to that show, I wasn't completely into the Dead but that show changed everything for me. I know that it was not the best show by any stretch of the imagination, but what got me was that after the heavy rain, the temp dropped and it was cold. I remember standing there shivering and not moving although I was enjoying every minute of the show. Of course just about everyone else was grooving away, I wondered how and why that was happening to everyone else. Then during Althea, Jerry and the boys went into the post-lyric jam and I don't know what happenned, but I went into some type of mini trance and I was grooving too. I didn't know it until the song ended. When the music stopped, I openned my eyes and I caught myself finishing a little groove manuver. I never had that happen to me before and I can unequivically state that at that presice moment I became a a Deadhead. Rick Do or do not; there is no try.
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I would have to say Barton Hall in May of '77 and the following night in Buffalo. We were up front for Barton Hall (gereral Addmission) and had 3rd row for Buffalo. I'd been seeing the Dead since '74 and they were all-ways amazing but there was something truly special and Magical about these nights. there is no way to put into words what was happening between the band and the audience, any desciption would limit the experience. I felt a connection to spirit and timelessness that I had never felt before or since. It was in that moment that I decided to throw caution to the wind and move to San Francico, with no job, no friends, and really no plan at all. I just knew deep in my Soul it would all work out. The Dead those nigts gave me the courage to trust my intuition, and for that I will all-ways be Grateful Maybe you'll find direction around some corner where it's been waiting to meet you!! I Did Paul
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Our usual crew (10 years so far) all made it. I was cruise director as usual. We came down from a good RIC show the night before.However, Set II, Shining Star - Garica et al. manage to get all ~11,000 of us to sing the chorus in unison a cappella. It was the polar opposite of a NFA chant or something like that, we were really SINGING!!!! You could hear a pin drop between words. He was band leader, guitarist, crowd orchestra leader all in one, and never missed a beat in the song. His maneuvering to get everyone on the same beat and note and timing was just, and still is, basically mindboggling. Although I should really know better. We are talking about Jerry Garcia. It was so moving that at the end everyone was hugging, smiling, trying to grasp what just happened. I have never seen nor heard anything like that ever before or since. And I certainly know now, that I will never see anything of that magnitude again. It still gives me goosebumps to listen to that show. And the show itself was awesome (Lay Down Sally, Dont Let Go, Lucky ol Sun, etc..) Only Jerry! Cheers~! JG
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hard to say exactly which show... hard to remember which shows I went to, actually. I was never very good at saving stubs, and I never kept records or stuff like that. (much regret in my voice) but the 'experience' at A show which changed my life... it might have been my 5th or 6th or 7th show, (might have been the 17th??-- not important) but up until that night I had always been with at least one buddy, or a group of friends. I never liked to eat lunch at school by myself. and I had never been to any concert all alone. I was a youngin' just getting into the scene, just getting into all of the music. I do not even remember where the show was, (somewhere east coast) but for some reason I went alone. maybe everybody else wasn't willing to make a long drive to go to another show, maybe my buddies had to go back to something; but I had tix, and I was on the road all by myself. so, point of the story is; I cruise into the lot. all by my lonesome. the CC Joe of yore was actually a very shy guy in real life. but no sooner did I park, was I able to get into the groove with a group of total strangers. and then another group, and then another... naturally we had much in common, and deadheads are an easy going bunch but it was that welcoming quality of heads that really clinched it for me as far as a life changing experience. the music was always the deep reason, but the scene was the spice. I suppose life/attitude was different for the west coast or Haight heads, but as a child from the harsh, cold streets of NYC, it was a most special experience for me. this experience generated my life work and my life quest: to stop no less than one stranger every single day just to shake their hand no matter where I am. (and to smile smile smile... while doing so) peace. "The highway is for gamblers, you'd better use your sense Take what you have gathered from coincidence"
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Literally bumping-into the same guy at every show for years during space walks - turned into hugs - never spoke, never knew his name........Finding myself alone on the side of a road in an altered state somewhere in Ohio wearing only a pair of shorts and no shoes, then rescued, showered, clothed, fed, driven, and show-ticketed to the next city by anonymous Heads......let a Head I never met before sleep on my hotel floor, ran into him a year later when I was tour-broke, he bought me a plane ticket home, two years after that, I heard he was in trouble, ended-up bailing him out of jail.....getting stickered by Mikel at shows, writing each other forever, and then not getting to see him again before he died.....lost my ticket, got a miracle, found my ticket, laid the miracle on someone else...... Like never before and never again since then.
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My first concert. I was fifteen. My brother Kevin took me after his wedding that morning. I remember him warning me that not all concert's were like this, and that he might be starting me off at the top of the mountain. Pure magic that night. The music went right through me, right into my essence. It stayed there. How lucky I am. Thank you Kevin. ;)
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i started listening the dead in the early '80's. i was completely absorbed by their music - my life has never been the same. i wonder how many other heads wonder what direction their lives what have gone if they had never gotten into the music. i never had much of an opportunity to see them, so i am forever thankful of the shows i got to see. i didn't plan on 09-26-91 being my last show, but WHAT A WAY TO GO OUT! the setlist speaks for itself, and the last ever "bid you goodnight" should hold a special place in dead history. take care!
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.... But it was my first show! Of course!
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Def Hampton Show when the DEAD billed as the Warlocks.........seeing the Police and their completely FREAKED OUT look when they realized the DEAD was back...and all the LOVELY FANS...try as they may stop the train from rolling in your town and we will survive...I realized then all things are possible and no one tells us where we can and cant dance...THIS IS AMERICA HOME OF THE FREE..Be Brave Be Kind BE DEAD...I handed out 3 miracles that day....as i was passing one of the GOLDEN tickets to a stranger this cop said you cant sell tickets this close to the coliseum...I GRINNED FULL FROM THE CREEPING CID...no worries good man this ticket has no price..you see its PRICELESS...cannot be bought or sold only shared with nothing expected in return but a SMILE..."DAMN DEADHEADS HE SNORTED" thas us the the damned the dregs of society practicing random acts of kindness and picking up our trash when we leave....sorry to clutter your space with my chaos....HAVE A NICE EVENING OFFICER...true power and grace flows when you know you heart is pure.......MAY THE 4 WINDS BLOW YOU SAFELY HOME.......tony
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I did see a couple of Brent shows, and Brent has and will be my favorite Dead keyboardist.I actually saw his last 2 in Chicago. However, the most life changing one for me was in Richfield, OH, 9-8-1990. I had been in college for a couple of weeks, and just saw the 2 in Chicago a couple of months prior. Couldn't pass it up. The Second Set was brilliant! Eyes> Estimated> Terrapin> Drums> Space> All Along the Watchtower Stella Blue Throwin' Stones> NFA *Saturday Night I have listened to this show, probably more than my 77s. The crowd was awesome. The power cut out for an instant in the beginning of Eyes. (17 1/2 minutes!) Bobby tears it up vocally on Estimated, rushing the edge of the stage. (14 1/2 minutes) The Terrapin blew the roof off of the place. 46 minutes, 3 songs, enough said. Thanks! Iam
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I was just 15 at the time and didnt know the Grateful Dead's music......I lived in nearby Fontana and attended all the concerts at the Swing I could....I dont remember much about the music but I do remember being totally blown away by the crowd!!
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9/18/1993, Madison Square Garden... I was a sophmore at URI and wanting desperately to take my then girlfriend to her first show. I called my late Grandfather who had some connections, asked him if he could do what he could to get me 2 tickets, good seats. He said OK I will try. Well he came through for us and told me to pick them up at the MSG Box Office. I asked how the seats were, and he said I told the guy this is for my Grandson, don't f*&k this up! We show up at the Box Office and pick them up... and I nearly began to cry. We walked into the arena and our seats were FIRST ROW on the floor, DIRECTLY underneath Jerry's microphone. I nearly cried at this point, but I actually did shed a tear when they came out and he started singing 1/2 step standing right above me. I screamed my head off after the first track and he looked right down at my girlfriend and I and was grinning from ear to ear. I have seen DOZENS and DOZENS of concerts since this time... but yet whenever anyone asks what my all time best show was there is no hesitation from me... it's 9/18/1993 all the way.
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Laguna Seca, Ca. 1988. My first show, I was hooked. Almost 20 years ago and I am still a die hard fan. Following the Dead were some of the best times of my life, they shaped who I am today.
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1981 Landover MD. that's when i first understood what it was all about... :)
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Cape Cod Col, October 28, 1979 ... a day that turned my head around! Somewhere in mid-to-late first set I decided I needed to be closer to the stage. As intermission broke I made my way forward into a wall of people. Not a path opened and I shuffled the edge of the mass until I walked right into a Hell's Angel. "Where the hell are you going?" he demanded. With a huge grin on my face I blurted out the most nonsensical thing that came to my head and he broke into laughter. Now grinning ear-to-ear, he waved me through and a magical path opened up right ot the front of the stage!I was pressed elbow to elbow and thought I was suffocating from the heat. I closed my eyes and heard, very distinctly, "come on up here where it's cool!" Suddenly I was OBE in a sort of 3 dimensional darkness, surrounded (I felt) by many loving, happy, laughing people. I knew inside that at that moment I could ask anything at all and get an answer. Did I ask about life, universe, and everything? Well, sort of. I asked a wholly nonsensical question that made perfect sense to me at the time and wise heads pondered. I got my answer ... And suddenly I realized I'd squandered my opportunity! Instantly I was back in Cape Cod Col and the band was playing Ship of Fools, and oh my did I ever feel the fool! I spent a lot of time trying to find that magical space again until I realized I'd never left it. But something happened to me that night, something special, and it took a long time to piece it together. Went back all those many years later to see The Dead on their first Summer Getaway. Only then did I realize that on that night in Cape Cod did I become a member of the tribe, and had always been since that night. It was me who forgot in those fallow years after 1995; but I was then and am still as dead as I can be. And loving it!
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It's impossible to pinpoint an individual life-changing show (there were too many) because both your life experience intertwined with the Dead experience continue to evolve. It's a lot easier to single out life-changing shows when you introduced someone, particularly a skeptical nonbeliever, to the Dead and saw their life change forever. Decades later they still can't stop talking about it and thanking you for converting them. It goes without saying that, no matter what their previous concert experience or musical preference was, they had never been to anything like that Grateful Dead show. Even today, I clearly recall seeing newborn deadheads' eyes light up the first time they saw the Dead burst into a memorable improvisational jam. You just knew they were transformed when they walked out of the venue in silence and could hardly speak for an hour or so after the concert.
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Of course everyone has heard the 11/1 show and probably recordings of 11/2, but my GF, my best friend and I drove through horrendous rain and traffic to get to Richmond in time for the first night. Traffic through DC was so bad, we only arrived and parked like 10 minutes before the show was to start. The parking garages were mostly devoid of humans by this point and I was panic-ing. We knew our seats were pretty good, first level, in front of the stage, Phil side. We got our seats, quickly ingested some shroomies, and sat back. After the Dancin-Cold Rain opener,through to the Jack Straw, by then many bites of fungus later, we were amazed at the energy in the coliseaum. It was so damp from the rain and everyone was chill-focused on the music. Almost New Enland show like, which the band seemed to notice too. THe 2nd set started with Sampson, definitely NOT one of my faves, I would trade one of these for the lamest of China-Riders or Scar-Fires.....SO I danced whilst grumbling. When they went into High TIme. the entire place erupted and everything went into frenetic slow motion. From that moment on it was just amazing. Nothing was contrived about it until the frickin Day Job. Comes A Time! Gloria for Christ's sake! That parking lot energy after the show was amazing. Everyone knew they had just witnessed some real love our way from the boys. We were all geared up for the next night expecting a nose dive and we were all sober (well a few beers and smoke wisps). At this point I couldnt even count how many times the show or two after a peak show was average and just them playing along. Boy was I shocked when the second night was strong too! The Candyman in the first set was incredible. The second set From Estimated through Dew was seriously wonderful. Plus that slow motion frenetic thing was still apparent. First night I blamed the shrewmz, the second night I blamed the band! Anyway, this was life changing for me as from then on I enjoyed every show no matter what they played. It made touring more fun, instead all competitive and road icked annoyed cuz they played Wharf Rat for the 223535232 time or some other whiner crap! Of course there was that show in Niagra falls in fall 84 when me and this chick had sex under the bleachers during drums - life changing in that "oh my god, I am having sex at a dead show" kinda way - Thank God for Pnchos!
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I decided during El Paso to see where it would take me. A long strange trip indeed. . .and it continues. . .
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Trader X This was my 2nd Dead show, I was very interested after my 1st show (12/30/77-Winterland) but the hook hadn't been set yet. I was a Freshman at UCSB, and we camped out all night to buy tickets. Pacific Alliance - No Nukes Benefit. We got thirteenth row seats (8 of us). On the glorious day, we prepared ourselves appropriately, piled in the cars and drove to the gig. The interior of the theater was beautiful - faux starlit sky ceiling, spanish courtyard facade sides with balconies. There we were - 13th row on Friday January 13th. Things got interesting after someone sitting in the row in front of us lit up, and a security goon rushed over and began hassling him. No lighting up at a Dead show? Come on. So we waited until the lights went down and imbibed discreatly. The show was incredible - the band was full of energy, and rocked the place! Even though Jerry lost his voice half way through Wharf Rat in the 2nd set , he just stepped back and began jamming like a demon possessed. It was my revelation of how great a guitarist he was - me and my friends were dancing and gyrating wildly to the music. We were totally spent after the encore, and fell limp into our seats. Bill Graham came out and made an apology about the "hassling by event security" that night. He offered to allow anyone with a ticket free admission to the next night's show in Bakersfield. I gladly gave up my ducat stub to a grateful person who was following the band. Needless to say, and some 200 shows later, the hook was definately set deep that night......
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The Spectrum in Philadelphia holds a lot of great memories for me. Like, Frank Rizzo's mounted police, a suprise first mini-set where the entire band played percussion and many trips. Strangest among them was walking out of a show (year?) to discover that several inches of snow had fallen. Lots of underdressed freaks trying to figure out which snow covered car was theres. Million laughs.
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Not the first and maybe not the finest but special in a special way. We decided to take our 8 year old son to the show. We had to take him out of school early that day to drive down to London and were upfront with his teacher..'we want to take our son to a Grateful Dead show'..to which the unexpected reply was 'see you there' !! He was mesmerised from start to finish…well almost…he did fall asleep during a very long and very weird drums/space (if you listen to the show you can actually hear him snoring!). It was such a massive joy to have the Dead back in the UK for the first time since 81,and I can’t really remember those shows much ;-). As we shuffled happily out the arena we got talking to some US deadheads over for the tour. One of them said ‘Hey I wish my dad had taken me to see the Dead when I was 8’. Those few words lifted us both 10 feet high and we still talk about it today. If you are there and can remember friendly guy here’s a thank you to you Years later my son and I sat together by the side of a country road in Wales having just heard that JG was gone. Disbelief and joy too at having been a tiny part of it all. Still are I suppose!
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January 28th, 1987. A particularly moving set of Garcia arpeggios from Space into Eyes of the World triggered a perception of the white light of being. "Study as if you were going to live forever. Live as if you were going to die tomorrow." -- Maria Mitchell
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This was the first time I had seen the band after Jerry's coma recovery.. Hadn't seen them since the June 86 Greek gigs. A solo show for me... The Black Muddy River bookended by Dancin and Playin... wow... The Dancin> Black Muddy River> Playin trio really got me. Seeing Garcia basically singing his epitath but alive and kickin! Gave me deep insight on just how fragile the band really was and how incredilble it was to have them here and playing... and me there witnessing it... it was beautiful and very moving.
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For me it's not so much entire shows that stick out in my mind as life-changing, but moments... you know the kind, the ones that etch their beauty and grace into your soul so deeply, you never really get over it... ...The first time I heard Jerry sing Stella Blue... ...a stellar Morning Dew at The Spectrum the day before Easter (and I feel really stupid but I'm blanking on the year) where, totally straight, my soul literally flew overhead and danced, and my God was there... ...a JGB show at Eel River in CA, where it was so hot people sat and laid down in the river, and I walked right up to the makeshift stage and sat at Jerry's feet all afternoon, and one of the beverage ladies brought me cold lemonade and salt packets so I wouldn't get dehydrated (maybe none of that is uncommon, but on the East Coast it was!) and during the acoustic set Jerry played the "Morning Star" song (not sure if that's the title, sorry) and I cried, and the whole day he kept looking down at me like he couldn't quite figure out why I wanted to be there watching HIM... very humble, and a little bemused. Or maybe the sun was just in his eyes. But either way, it was amazing. ...an Iko Iko when my feet filled with such joy my heart nearly exploded (in a good way)... ...every single time I ever had the privilege of hearing "Peggy-O" from my first show in 1980 until Jerry left us. Something about the way he sings it, something about the lyrics... I don't know. But if I ever had to pick one song... that would be the one. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Sometimes the songs that we hear are just songs of our own."
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*** Englishtown- -September of 1977- -why this event was life changing cant even be put into words
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there where at least a few......they weren't necessarily truly life changing...but for those few moments life couldn't have been better. hartford 5-28-77 my first the first night of cape cod 10-27-79 hartford "earthquake" 1982 Augusta,ME the pair of nights Fall 1984 they are truly a band beyond description.........
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I had seen the Dead a couple times before but never really considered myself a "Deadhead"--just someone who appreciated the band and the scene. I went to Alpine Valley in 1988 with several buddies and had one of the best four days of my life. The shows were aweseome, the scene was incredible--just fantastic. The steal your face was stamped on my brain from that day forward. I started getting bootlegs, buying their studio albums, and voraciously listened to the Dead for years following.
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Weren't all the shows life changing? I would definitely say yes! I would bet that from each and every show I attended, there was something that happened to me that caused me to look at a situation in different way. I can't pinpont any show that I would call life changing. But, the level of acceptance I felt from other Dead fans at every show was completely overwhelming to me. That is what I would call life changing. No matter who you are or where you are from, you are home at a show.
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i started following the dead in 1968 from 68 to 72 they were everything to me it wasn't just a show but an entire experience saw the dead around 70 times quite often every nite of the stand usually at the FILLMORE EAST memorable shows 1970 Feb. with ALLMAN BROS and the following May swows all tripped out and the shows started at midnight and a few times when we left it was morning with the sun out. when pig died a lot of me died too. tc was a vital part of that 68-69 tripping experience my business card says "GET ON THE BUS" which is right from THE OTHER had real long hair than am now bald oh well still listen to the dead all the time but my last show was 1980 at the BEACON in NY finally attended many dead benefit shows for the HELLS" ANGELS" at a theatre called THE ANDERSON THEATRE very wierd don't live in past but miss those years
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The last note of Phil's roll into The Other One on 10/27/79 simply overwhelmed the cosmos. It seemed to go and on - universes were born, flourished, and died before that note failed. Every time I listen to the show I can still hear vestiges of that note, and what it caused.
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I had seen a couple of shows before but this was my first cosmic adventure with the band and I was sold!!! I was living in nearby Ithaca so the next morning I walked to the corner, stuck out my thumb and began hitchhiking to Hershey, Pa then on to Merriweather Post and so on and so on for another hundred or so shows for the next ten years. Along the way there were more magical moements but there's something always very special about the first time....
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Seattle Center Arena -1970 (I think) TheGrateful Dead, New Riders of the Purple Sage and Ian & Sylvia, Garcia played steel for I & S and NRPS. I was 15 years old and had been into it since the Beatles and the Stones in 64 through Hendrix, The Doors, Cream etc. etc.and any other variations of rock I could get my head around but this was "different". I felt like I witnessed musical telepathy and was in on it (and I was straight this time). I left that hall and hitchhiked home with a musical buzz that I still carry today. It all seemed to imply possibilities that were not clear to me before that. I've seen them 7 or 8 times in the years since- but none of those shows seemed to have the total connectedness that that one had for me. But just to know that that exists and lies within the realm of possibility will leave me forever "Grateful" :) Robert Swanson
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Baltimore 72....wow. I remember borrowing my parent's VW and driving up with my friend Mark...we were juniors in HS. Nothing had prepared me for the madness, the sheer energy. I'd never seen people reacting to the music at a concert in quite this way and it never left me. Then, the last, RFK in 94 during horrendous thunder storms, whick of course only added to the zanyness. Our favorite place to sit in RFK was typically available - upper deck, first row, directly back from the stage which normally sat where 2nd base WOULD have been if DC had a baseball team then! Shortly after we moved to Omaha, our next chance to see the band was going to be St. Louis in summer of 95. That turned out to be a disaster - remember the gate crashers and the tragedy that followed? We decided not to go since our daughter was only 2 and it would have been an 8 hour road trip, not fun for the little one. Geoff
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I had already been to a few shows, and of course my first show (Pittsburgh 4/18/78) was certainly amazing, but as I recall, waiting on line to buy tickets for the 11/20/78 show at Cleveland Music Hall was truly life-changing. I was in my second year of college and it was the first time I had waited in line to buy Dead tickets. A lot of people were relying on me, so I got on line about 3pm the afternoon before the the tickets went on sale (at 9am). There were already about 20 people on line and I immediately felt a kinship. My college buddies would occassionally drop by with some food and hang out, but for the most part I was with alone with a bunch of people I had never met before. By the morning, we were all friends. I spent the night on the sidewalk partying, listening to Dead music, exchanging stories and partying some more. It was an amazing experience. For the first time, I truly felt part of a fun, important and yes, cosmic scene. Thereafter, whenever I went to a show, I felt like I was home. I wound up with like 10th row center seats, by far the best spot I had up to that time. So the show itself (which was maybe a month or so after I bought the seats) was also important and is a great memory. When Jerry came out jammin at the start of the 2nd set while Weir was puking off stage, it felt as though JG was playing solely for me. Although I have heard some people express their dislike for this show, I loved it, and still listen to it today. Next night went to Rochester, saw alot of the same people and never was the same.
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First saw The Dead early 70's at Nassau with NRPS. Was hooked but seeing mid to late 70's shows-Cornell,Buffalo,RPI,UVM,Rochester-that sealed the deal.The jamband scene today is definetly cool-but for those who were there-social conditions,fertility of music in general-what other decade produced recordings like Electric Ladyland,Layla,Blood On The Tracks,Santana,all Dead-not to mention 4 Way Street and Waiting For Columbus and ABB Live at The Fillmore East. Bands beyond description.
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7/21/72 at the Paramount Theater. Available in the Download Series! I had seen them before on 11/17/68. Interestingly there is no set list available for that show so everyone else must have been in a similar state of mind. But back to 1972. They were just back from Europe. "Ace" had been recently released. We missed Pigpen (who doesn't?) but were pleased to find that Keith and Donna Jean were in the band after hearing them on Ace. Highlights: Bobby's "attempt" at the Weather Report Suite Prelude. China Cat/Rider:Always a highlight. Truckin' - The Other One. Jerry "This is but a dream we dreamed one afternoon long ago." Box of Rain Lyrics by Robert Hunter Music by Phil Lesh
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I had a lot of memorable shows . . .by the time i started getting into the groove of feeling like the calendar evolved around the familiar seasons of the boys playing around the bay area i would always have this feeling at the end of the 3rd show in a series of three that any type of angst or stress i was having the week previous always seemed to be worked out i was renewed recharged grounded and ready to handle "normal" life again . . . One of my first really memorable shows was at Cal Expo 5/4/91. The first set closed with a smoking music never stopped - i was with a bunch of my good friends down in the dirt in front of the stage - everyone was grooving HARD so hard that the whole place was thick and dusty from all the foot stompin' - i was utterly amazed at all of the energies coming through us at that moment . . . 5/19/95 - i decided i would take a solo mission to the front of the stage for second set opener - i had my camera case w/camera, a fat j and a $5 bill in my possession . . .i was very considerate and conscious not to bust in on anyone's space as it was a bizillion degrees and i knew all those peeps were there early to get their spots . . .the boys busted out Here Come Sunshine - everyone started dancing it was eloquent i knew i was right where i was supposed to be - i did not communicate a single word to the 10 or so people in my immediate radius, no words were necessary - kind eyes about - the j appeared and was shared amongst my new like minders and even tho i already knew i was family this moment was one of many confirmations for me . . .. I can remember an amazing jerry/bruce space solo at shoreline in june of 92 maybe - my soul was so high from those sweet sounds it was incredible . . . I took a good friend of mine, Helene, to her first show at Oakland prob. 93 december - she had tied glow sticks to her belt loops - which was great cause i could visually keep track of her when she wandered off during space - when she came back she told me the coliseum had turned into the spaceship enterprise and SHE WAS THE PILOT . . . when we hit the lot after the show the first thing we saw was a girl dressed up in star trek clothes selling spaceship enterprise pipes . . . holy shit . . . :) ~KRISSY~
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This was my third show. The second set from this night was so friggin' amazing...a steamy night, good smoke and a young mind ready to be shown something new combined with Lost Sailor > Saint Of Circumstance > Drums and completely turned my universe upside down. Standing at the top of the hill during Dear Mister Fantasy, I found myself standing next to the biggest, bad-ass biker dude I've ever seen. I was 17, tall and skinny, and felt very out of sorts. He scowled directly into my eyes, Then grinned from ear to ear and gave me the biggest bear hug in my life. I'll never forget it. This show most definitely changed my life. I've passed on the soundboard recodings of this night, as the mix on the soundboard has Jerry low in the mix, and no crowd noise whatsoever. The crowd energy, as with every show from the Summer of 1985, is an essential ingredient in the presentation. God, has it REALLY been twenty two years since the magical Summer '85 tour? "Woah-oh, what I want to know...where does the time go?" Sean K.
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CMG my first show (83) i had no idea who the gratefuldead were... grateful dead, molly hatchet, deaf leopard, (all bands i had never listened to) sounds all the same to me... well, i didn't know who that fat man was; i had no idea what it was to be DEADICATED, but that night i had to confront the decision of weather or not i believed in 'god' and weather i would never listen to this band again or weather i would keep coming with the desire to be a key to help this thing go the 'right' way! this truly changed my life and i did become DEADICATED! December 16 1986 also blew me to a new level of spiritual growth that spiked at the chinese new year show of '87 at san francisco civic. boy , that show was the most intense experience of my life! i couldn't even talk about it for 2 years! witout my whole body going into the shakes! then there was another flow of transformation i experienced at the Frost in april30?, 1987, which peaked at the laguna raceway the day the band made the 'Touch of grey' video. that show was personally incredibly transforming...i still wonder what was in the bag 'they' left by me as i was meditating! i came across'that bag' at several other shows after monterey... most noticably at angel's camp in august '87, which stands out again in my list of most transformative shows. i pretty much stopped going after '89
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Warlock show in Hampton 1989. I had seen a couple of shows but the Dark Star was another Dead epiphany. I saw then just how much impact a song can have and the collective good feeling when the band and fans are on the same page. Once in a while you can get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right
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JGB...Great Woods, Mansfield, MA...September ??, 1989. That was the one I still think about the most. There was one moment when someone blocked my view for a few seconds, and my entire world came crashing down. But he moved away, and everything was alright again. That was a close one. (in hindsight, I think I was bothered more by the change in accoustics, rather than the view).
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Each and every show attended had memories Some good some bad The ones that really stick out were 7/2 and 7/4 87 Drove during the night on 7/1 to Rochester and got there early morning had to wait till 9:00am to check into the hotel had a good show met some friends from tour and other townies The fun began on the ride back to Wally world We had stopped off at a rest areas near the CT border on the Pike Saw several other heads hanging out etc They were on the way to Foxboro for the Dead /Dylan show I told them I lived in the next town and only few minutes away soon I had twenty vehicles following me down the pike to the front gate of the stadium I said my goodbyes and told them I would hopefully see them the next day The next day I had my local friends people from PA, NJ , NH, NY, and CA staying at my parents house in total 70 people that lived as a community. We had tents floor space microbuses cars and trucks and a trailer those out of state friends were treated to my towns display of fireworks the night before the show and they stated they never seen nothing like it in their towns but the thing was not only were my parents astonished but so were the neighbors and a relative who just happened to be there for the good old fourth of July Two of my friends played acoustic guitars and my neighbor joined them playing some CSNY tunes for the folks that I had gathered I was stoked my dead head community was stoked it was by far one of the best dead times I had in my life and one that I will never forget Peace to my brothers in sisters; for those I still hang with, those who we have lost along the way, and those I meet along the path of the never ending journey. At least I am still enjoying the ride The CAT
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Santana was opening for the Dead. Two concerts in the middle of the blazing hot Las Vegas summer, held at the UNLV football stadium, during which time a wind storm blew dust all over everyone - making the lives of those who wore contact lenses a living hell! We were up near the front towards the left of center - right where both Carlos Santana and Jerry played - we were close enough to watch their fingers working the strings. Towards the end of the first set a young lady next to me passed out and collapsed on the ground. She wasn't breathing. Her boyfriend was horribly scared. Fortunately there was a dude standing right there who was a veterinarian, he turned her on her side and hit her back and got her to breathe. But she was still unconscious and her face was a bright blue - totally freaky! I pulled my poncho vest off and held it above her to give her shade while several people crouched down around her to swathe her face in t-shirts dipped in cold water. The vet ran to get help. As we were waiting for the medics to show up, Garcia came to the front of the stage and announced that their old friend Carlos Santana was going to come onstage and play with them. And so he did. They started playing "Bird Song". Jerry came over and looked down on us - we were very visible to him. He played his guitar and sang into the mic and looked right directly at the unconscious girl's boyfriend and me holding my poncho above her. He sang: "Don't Cry Now, don't you cry, don't you cry any more... "Sleep in the stars, don't you cry, dry your eyes on the wind... "La la la laaaaaaa...." And man, that is exactly what I started to do! I started to just cry my frikkin eyes out! Jerry was being soooo compassionate and soooo concerned about what was happening there to us. I could feel the warmth coming from him as he sang to us to be cool, relax, wait, and it'll all be okay... A few minutes later the medics showed up, pushing their way through the crowd with a stretcher. They got the girl on it and she and her boyfriend disappeared forever from my life (I never knew their names or who they were). At that point the song ended, and so did the first set. I sat down and looked at the little puddle of white puke, and I told my friends that I had to go spend some alone-time by myself. I arranged to meet up with them later. I ended up waaaayyyy up in the bleachers of the stadium - where it wasn't so crowded. I came across a group of about a dozen girls all dressed in hippie clothing and sitting in a circle chanting a beautiful chant together. I knew this was where I needed to be. So I sat near them, tucked my head into my knees and let it all come out. I cried very hard for about 3 or 4 minutes, just letting go of all that tension. Then the Dead came back out for the second set, and started tuning up their instruments. The girls quit chanting. I wiped off my face and stood up. And then, one by one, those chanting girls came over to me and each one gave me a huuuuuge and beautiful hug - no words - no trips. They each just hugged me and gave me good sweet beautiful juice energy. And then went back to dance for the second set. And I said to myself: "This is why I come to these shows..."
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It was my first show and I was hooked. "Beer is Living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." Benjamin Franklin
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Was never into saving stubs, nor do I remember the exact dates of all of the shows I saw-was more just into the whole experience than the fine details, BUT two highlights were Brent's last show, where my friend and I were thanking our lucky stars that we caught that one (same year as Stevie Ray Vaughn's helicopter crashed into the hill at Alpine Valley. Was at HIS last show too with the same friend as at Brent's last show, any my show buddy and I almost decided that we should stop seeing concerts before more artists died), and one fine evening in Alpine Valley (I think) in the mid/late 80's when it started to pour. Crowd was sort of bummed, but kept on dancing. Then the summer evening shower was over as suddenly as it began, and the sun came out. Band switched immediately into Sunshine Daydream, and the world was great!
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I was at the US festival Labor Day weekend 1982 to see the Police and Fleetwood Mac. I didnt even know untill I got there that the Dead were on the bill. Seems Uncle Bobo fit them in at the last minute. So that was the "1st one" It was'nt life changing at the time, but I would come to thank my stars I got to see what "it" was about. I "got it" in 1987 when I went to see Dylan in Anahiem and of course he was doing the "Dylan & Dead" thing that summer.Walking through the parking lot and being altered I understood our community. I listened to the 87 NYE show on KLOS in LA and knew that I needed to be a part of that sceene. Life happened and it would be a year untill another show for me. My friends and I got tix for the Long Beach shows in 12/88 and Ive been on the bus since. Most of the 12/88 shows I can only remember parts of. I have put that on the shows threads here. The worst experience (yes we've been here) was at Starlake (Burgettstown, PA) 92. I got some bad shrooms and went to rock med to find out I was in bad shape. I made the call to leave in the 2nd set and as the ambulance pulled out, I could hear Vince sing..."Its a long,long,long,long way to go home"... Realizing this was my wakeup call to be done with all that, I got on the next flight (after the night in the hospital) and made the Chicago shows. When the time came to get that dropper again, I thought twice, smiled, and let my neighbor smile more...