Most Cosmic Venue EVER
Let's face it, some venues had a lot more charisma than others -- and still do. Red Rocks probably tops a lot of lists when it comes to personal Grateful Dead power spots -- but what amazing places haven't we heard enough about?
in terms of places where I saw Grateful Dead shows myself, I'd have to say Cal Expo was right up there....Compton Terrace in Arizona and Sandstone in Bonner Springs, KS were pretty cool as well. The best Jerry Garcia Band show I ever saw was at the San Francisco Civic Auditorium (12/22/90), and I love the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, though must admit I only saw Phil and Friends there and not the GD.
...should note the caveat, though, that I was a late-comer to the scene (heck, you can't control when you're born!!) so I missed out on a lot of the older classic venues discussed earlier on this thread. In terms of larger indoor arenas where I saw the Dead, I'd say the Omni in Atlanta and the Philly Spectrum were up there.
peace, everyone. rock on.
... And where ya been. I was never at Red Rocks, but here's my Top 10 that are pretty cosmic to me:
The Fillmore Auditorium- The Avalon Ballroom- The Family Dog at the Beach- The Greek Theater- The Frost Amphitheater- The Carousel Ballroom- The Orpheum Theater- Winterland Arena, and The Polo Fields in Golden Gate Park because of the utter significance of the shows there, such as the Human Be-In, Laughter, Love, and Music for Bill Graham, and the ceremony for Jerry. Last but not least is Cal-Expo in Sacramento, with the Henry J as a close runner-up.
As far as the least cosmic: I'd have to say the Cow Palace, Kezar Stadium, The Oakland Coliseum Arena, and any other football or basketball stadium this side of Lodi.
OK, it was before my time, but it seems like the feel there was what they were going through at Yasgur's farm.
I was 16. First Dead show.
New Riders, Marshall Tucker and the Dead.
A sea of 100,000.
September 3rd, 1977.
Raceway Park, Englishtown NJ.
I have to admit, Red Rocks is probably the most spectacular concert venue I have ever seen.
Lived in Colorado for almost 10 years and got a chance to catch a bunch of shows there.
The dead's deceased archives guy aka Dick Latvella once had a postcard included in with a CD, requesting our favorite"top ten" shows of all-time. I mailed him that and a five page letter explaining how I went out of my way to get tickets to just about every show the Dead played the NYC area [especially Fillmore East] from 1970-71. Fortunately, I had a very hot college girlfriend who lived only 2-blocks from that venue. My 1st "score" was the biggest of all. 4, first row center-balcony seats to the concert referred to in a book as the: "show of shows", including the 2nd time the Allman Bros. Band played there and a fantastic underground LA folk-rock act, Love [with Arthur Lee]. Those series of shows miked and mixed by Owsley aka the "Bear", [by-the-way, that's where the whole "dancing bear" thing started] , especially the last night 2/13-14/70, I attended with a heavily"dosed" audience and band alike. If you've listened to those tapes or legitimate CD release [Dick's Picks #4], that last night particularly, was, in my opinion the equivelant of a West Coast "Acid Test". I couln't move for almost 7-hours except to dance for Pigpens "Lovelight Finale. ". The only time I saw an audience as or more "wasted" on psychadelics, was a year and 1/2 later at the Yale Bowl in New Haven Conn.. Let's put it this way, the 2nd song, in the 1st set was Dark Star and it was about as close to the 1969 "intense" version on Live Dead, I've ever heard. I'm glad to see that some of this first being released on the new "Roadtrips" series. They put the Hollywood Pallladium 6/71 version of Hard to Handle on one of these CD's but that night, they played it nearly as well, because the audience was really into it. I saw so many great shows, those 2-yrs., It's almost like a fuzzy "Purple Haze" to me now, in these later stages of life. SPECIAL NOTE; On 2/11-12/70 the Dead jammed with the Allman Brothers and others. The mix was done on the Fillmore East recording gear in the Basement and once they got the levels set correctly, MAGIC was recorded. I've got only 45 minutes of it on cassette, but with headphones on, my brain feels like it's gonna explode...WOW,is all I can say.
Not necessarly in any order:
1. The Frost
2. Cumberland County Civic Center
3. Alpine Valley
4. Henry J. Kaiser
5. The Spectrum
6. Irvine Meadows
7. Merriweather Post Pavillion
8. The Centrum (Worcester, MA)
10. The Rubber Bowl!
Gotta Be Veneta and the Polo Fields , YEEEEES!
The fairgrounds at Ventura bring back many "cosmic" memories. Nothing like camping at the shows, with the sounds and smells and visions of the ocean right next to you. I always wondered how it must have looked to the band, standing on that stage playing, with all of us dancing in the sun with the Pacific ocean as our backdrop.
I'll always remember being "puddled" by some dude that said "trust me brother, it's all in love", as he squirted a puddle into my mouth, instead of the one drop that I had requested. Stayed up all weekend having the time of my life. Remember the time they announced over PA system that we had set a record for the most people ever being in the town of Ventura at that time, think it was '87 or '88. Remember the band playing my favorite Dylan tune, Masterpiece. I remember being in line waiting for another great Ventura experience when it was announced that Jerry had lapsed into a coma and the shows were cancelled.
The Grateful Dead threw the best beach parties there ever were, guaranteed !!
before ft ord was decommissioned...and there were explosions on the horizon...or should I say, "I don't know it must have been the do@#s"?...gotta love the big grassy hillside, with little sub -celebrations going on here and there... Alpine Valley was pretty kind too though...
There were a few that fit this description quite well....
Fillmore East - NYC
Orpheum Theatre - Boston, MA
Music Hall -Boston Ma
Red Rocks, CO
Marin Civic Center -San Rafael, CA
Fillmore West - San Francisco
Seeing dead shows since 1970, and remember many as if it was yesterday.
Winterland SF... Especially Winterland closing. It was such a magical night!!!!