Grateful Dead

Uptown Theatre - December 3, 1979

Uptown Theatre

December 03, 1979

Chicago, IL US

Average: 4.8 (4 votes)

Set List:

Alabama Getaway
Promised Land
Brown Eyed Women
El Paso
Ramble on Rose
It's All Over Now
Lazy Lightnin'
Music Never Stopped

Scarlet Begonias
Fire on the Mountain
Samson and Delilah
Terrapin Station
Playin' in the Band
Lost Sailor
Saint of Circumstance
Wharf Rat

Johnny B. Goode

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Joined: Aug 2 2007
This was my third show as

This was my third show as the physician for the Dead and sitting around back stage and enjoying the whole scene from that perspective. Ramrod grilled some great steaks on a small grill out side the back door and I recall sipping Heineken Beer to accompany the food. Jerry warmed up separately and after the rest of the band and was very social, ie did not seem as shy or keeping to himself as he sometimes did. Mo Morrison (road manager at that time) had recently gotten married or had a child or something along that line, thats alittle fuzzy.The show was amazing and full of energy. Jerry told me he loved playing the small venue like the Uptown. Bob and Jerry had fantastic counterpoint that night and Billy was particularly animated on the drums. What wonderful memories. TCM(Dr Feelgood)

Mythical Ethical Icicle Tricycle's picture
Joined: Jul 26 2007
Eh, Jer...

<< Jerry told me he loved playing the small venue like the Uptown. >>

LOL @ Jer --it's my understanding that the Uptown holds/held the second most seats of any theatre on the planet (second only to Radio City Music Hall, I believe) at about 4200.

So wuddya mean small, Garcia?!? But of course he only meant "as compared to the Spectrum, MSG, Cap Centre," .et. al.

Anyway, loved the anecdote, Doc. ;)

Joined: Aug 2 2007
Uptown Theater

If you've ever been to the Uptown, it has a very small feel; auditorium style and old flavor like an opera house. Very cozy and small compared to "larger arena" and open air venues , football stadiums, tennis stadiums, McCormick place, etc. Stage is very small and tight thus a good feel!!!!!!!

Joined: Jun 3 2010
Wharf Rat Changed My Life

OK, that title might be a bit overstated, but not too much so ...

I was in about the 12th row, toward the left side. I was going through a lot of intense things in my life; I'd changed my major three times in two years, and seemed to be caught on a treadmill where time was forging ahead and I was fulfilling expectations without knowing why.

Hearing this song plunged me into a powerful state of self-reflection. Obviously the protagonist is hardly a confused university student, and I didn't have any illusions about Jerry Sending Messages or anything, but it did speak to me.

They were the right words at the right time: "I know the life I'm living's no good ... I'll get a new start, lead the life I should ... I'll get up and fly away ..."

It was during this song that my decision crystallized. I'd leave school (no matter what The Parents might say) and just take time to breathe, to look around me, to figure out who I was and what I wanted. To make a new start, lead the life I should.

When the brand broke into Truckin', it was such a joyous sense of affirmation and promise. I knew everything would be all right. Again, I didn't have any woo-woo mystical sense or anything, but yeah, the synchronicity was perfect.

I can't say I wouldn't have come to the same decision without that night and that Wharf Rat. But for me, this was the moment when it all came together and gelled.

I have the show digitally and that Wharf Rat really is a haunting version. Truly beautiful. It's such a strange thing to listen to it, so many years later, and know that my younger self is right there in the 12th row or so, making a life-changing decision as Jerry sings and the notes tumble over each other like sweet rain and cleansing thunder.

It would turn out to be exactly the right decision.

Joined: Apr 2 2018
For Sure

I must have seen 7 or 8 shows at Uptown. It felt like the band was in one's living room. Very intimate feel. Those were among the best nights of my life. I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to the guy in front of me line for asking about the contraption he had in his possession. As he was explaining that it was a special recording device security came and busted him for it. He bitterly thanked me but they were obviously looking for him because it wasn't even in view. I'm apologizing anyway because I'd sure love to hear that show again.


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Uptown Theatre - December 3, 1979