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?
Cosmicbadger, I think you and I are on the same wavelength.
Not only the common love of the Dead, but Emmy, now the Rainbow and your reference to Little Feat (the other BIG band in my life) and the many great reggae gigs there too.
I can't add to or improve on your description of the Rainbow, which was THE temple for the best London gigs of the 70's. My ultimate gig of alltime was Little Feat opening for the Doobies on the Warners Tour in 1975. The only time I have ever seen an audience shout down the house lights and force an opening act to do a third encore.
do you have that show?????? my hometown dude!!!!
nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile
Alpine Valley is and will always be the BEST venue to see the Dead at!! I lost my virginity at the last night of the summer 88 run during Blackbird!
Penn's Peak in Jim Thrope ,Pa That place is awesome. A huge barn, very cool :)
Saratoga was always bizarre; the pilgrimage over the ravine, the stage area which looked to be the Mothership readying to take flight and the top of the hill with it's Greco Roman pillars and buildings that gave the impression that some Illuminati were secreted inside watching the proceedings....not to mention the man who danced there after reportedly losing his soul at a Dead show there some years before which came back to him during the last Fire on the Mountain the Grateful Dead played at the SPAC.
it was an unusually warm spring nigt in Hampton Virginia. the pre-show parking lot was exceptionally magical and it seemed that everyone was having schweet, positive mind experiences to get what was later proven to be a legendary evening.
Hampton again prooved to groove with a melodic sound system which JG and the entire gang played off of each other and melted into/outof every tune. the second set opened with a scarlet>fire>estimated with every voice in the crowd singing every note as if we wrote it ourself.
the set ended with every single person, boy, girl, old, young dancin to Good Luv'n then all together took a relaxing break to mellow down organize our minds and begin to anticipate what they could stir up and serve us for an encore?
as we were trippin down, relaxing and smile'in as one... there was the faint sound of thunder and the flash of lightening through the small>blue>triangular> windows like crashing saphires that encircle the ceiling of the Hampton Coliseum.
they eased us into a powerful U.S. Blues encore and when all wrapped up we left as one body as we left the building for the parking lot. We were fully expecting and anxiously awaiting to enjoy a warm, April thundershower. BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT HAPPENED, it was actually cold with no wind, no lightening, no rain, no sound....nothing!
as i looked around all my brothers and sisters were doing one of two things (1) standing still looking up at the sky or (2) laying down looking up at the sky. Eventually, it seemed that all 20,000 of us were laying down and looking up at the sky as we were in the EYE of a very organized storm GoD and GD layed out just for us that night.
we soaked in a perfect circle in the sky with the most brilliant stars of diamonds and pitch black around them with a brilliant and bright sunshine moon. we could see and faintly hear the lightening and thunder way off in the distance outside of our personal circle but that was of no concern to any of us at that moment.
it took about 20 minutes for the storm center to pass over and we then enjoyed our belated, refreshing, spring thundershower. We were given a schweet and magical gift that night in Hampton-84 not to mention and never forget the MUSIC!
that is how i remember it....anyone else remember that MAGICAL NIGHT?
stay safe and feel good!
I would have to say I had a great experience in/around the Long Beach Arena. The back of the lobby was huge so you could dance and hang out or go inside to hear the band. Shakedown was right outside and you could camp minutes from the ocean (I know not like Ventura but still...) Gotta love Oakland arena(s) too (right Marye?)
The outdoor places that come to mind is Shoreline (80s shows. Athough the traffic/security was improved later it became a hassle to get in and out of the area and you couldnt have much fun outside of the venue) I also liked Cal Expo for this reason too. From what I can tell Deer Creek and Alpine Valley had the same vibe. I would have enjoyed Burgettstown PA more with its surroundings but the band only had their one stop there and it was a logistics nightmare at this point as many venues had become in the 90s
I have to mention the Fillmore. Such nice decor which rivals many little theatres and to be able to walk up from to the stage and then into the back for a beer at the bar is something I always enjoyed.
West Anchorage High School
It has to be the Scranton Masonic Center
Formerly the Astoria, this theatre was built in the 1930s with an insane magical fantasy Arabian Oasis theme. The whole interior was a trip in itself. With facades of adobe houses, palm trees and a blue ceiling pierced with the lights of a starry sky. Before shows and during intervals it was great just to look around the place.
Host to 100's of extraordinary shows over the years from everyone who was anyone. I remember Little Feat, a whole series of heavy heavy roots reggae shows and of course the Dead. They were supposed to play there on their way home from Egypt (it would have been so appropriate given the decor), but pulled out very late on, apparently to complete work on Shakedown Street (bad deal all round, I'd say). Anyway they paid us back with a series of shows in March '81 (including my first show and on my birthday too) and another series in October too. Oh to revisit those crazy nights in that trippy theatre (or was it the other way round!)
The Rainbow is now a church of some kind! But the owners have apparently lovingly restored the interior. Take a look inside