April 10, 1987
Set List:Shakedown Street
Little Red Rooster
Me and My Uncle
Brown Eyed Women
Don't Ease Me In
Looks Like Rain
Box of Rain
The Other One
Around and Around
Turn on Your Love Light
Attendees of this show
My first show, so I have to give it 5***** just on principle...treats from the parking lot...noticing that I was holding a hotdog but wasn't really hungry...recollections of watching from an aisle, looking out over the floor and wondering how so many people all decided to wear blue shirts or caps on the same night...trying to find a drink of water during intermission...enjoying the auxiliary light show that the ushers made on the ceiling with their flashlights...realizing that I actually knew a song as it was being played (he's gone)...loving the kind soul who handed me a cold beer on my way out of the show...instant camaraderie with a bunch of strangers who were also looking for "the hotel"...sitting up real late on the balcony listening to bits of drifting conversation, hearty laughter, and the gentle, steady rain of empty beer cans tossed to the hotel roof below... -nathan
My friends an I are from Chicago. Our best buddy died exactly one year earlier, this day. We got mail order seats 8th row center. Song List was Brutal. Damn I miss that Head.
I was there for this one... of the 60+ shows I saw, this easily ranks in the top 3.
It was the 2nd night of a 3-night stand in Chicago, the first time they'd been there since the Uptown Theater closed in the early 1980's (1982?). People were REALLY excited.
The first show was very strong. I was staying with 10 or 12 other heads in the city...one guy I knew invited friends from all over the country to all stay with him, so there was quite a lot of us all under one roof.
We all got to the parking lot of the UIC Pavilion, agreed upon our meeting place after the show, and all went our separate ways. I dropped in the parking lot while makng new friends, and said they'd play Box Of Rain, which was still rare at the time; my new friends politely said I was nuts.
Got in the show with my friend Brad, who I was taking to his first shows. We found our seats... first row balcony, about 30-50 feet above and next to Brent. We were basically looking down right on top of Brent. Being tall and feeling mellow, I put my feet up on the railing and enjoyed resting my bones, after so much dancing the night before.
They came out and the energy was instantly palpable. The opening chords to Shakedown rang out, and there was an amazing cheer from the entire crowd. I recall sitting there, taking it all in, and taking my eyes off the stage for just a moment to see all these freaks dancing like mad all around me. It was really cool.
The first set was just fantastic... there were no exceptional selections song-wise, but everything was played with perfection. The Candyman was particularly notable; Jerry was just in his coma a few months prior to this show, and when he sang "Won't you tell everybody you meet that the Candyman's in town!" the place just went berzerk.
Set II was just as strong. Phil walked out on stage with his arms outstreteched in front of him, like Frankenstein. Everybody on stage was smiling and goofing off, clearly having a good time. a Strong Aiko to open, followed by the best Looks Like Rain I ever personally saw...there was just an earnestness to it I hadn't heard before (not to mention the light show was brilliant).
Then, Phil steps up to the mike with a big shit-eating grin. He looks out over the crowd and starts nodding his head up and down liek a bobblehead doll, and says, "YOU GUESSED IT!" Then they start playing Box Of Rain. I know it wasn't the case, but I can't help but think he was talking to me, given my prediction in the parking lot before the show.
He's Gone was very tight, and the post-song jam into drums was characteristally soulful, with all of the guys singing and Jerry moaning, "Woahhhhhhh, NOTHING'S gonna bring him baaa-aaa-aaack...."
The Drums > Space segment sounded like a jungle, with Brent getting these tropical bird chirps out of his keys and Bobby making these pterodactyl-like noises with his slide. Mickey came down from his drumset and just started literally banging on Brent's keys, making them sound like a wild jungle bandersnatch or something. There's a point in Space where Bobby is getting a low-sound loop going, and Garcia starts playing off of it, complimenting it...that was quite interesting. All this led into a very dramatic Other One.. it was just dynamite.
Black Peter... "One More Day I find Myself Alive.." nuff said.
Then Round & Round.. Brent lays down this honky-tonk piano solo that would make Jerry Lee Lewis proud. Truly something.
Just a dynamite night all the way around.
Made it back to our group's designated meeting place after the show, and discovered that after everybody went our separate ways before the show, we ALL had dosed. We were all in awe of what we'd just witnessed. The evening ended at my friend's apartment with all of us watching an old black-and-white movie on TV. We had the volume turned down and we were making our own dialogue. THAT was almost as much fun as the show was.
One of the greatest nights of my life.
Hey alpine, There you go!