Soldier Field - July 9, 1995
July 09, 1995
Jerry Garcia's last show.
Last non-medly, two-song encore: 11-03-91  - fireworks display set to Jimi Hendrix's "Star Spangled Banner" after the show - The Band opened
Set 1: Touch of Grey
Little Red Rooster
Lazy River Road
When I Paint My Masterpiece*
Set 2: Shakedown Street
Samson & Delilah
So Many Roads
Samba In The Rain
Corrina > Drums > Space > Unbroken Chain
Black Muddy River
Box Of Rain
Attendees of this show
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Amen to that! Jerry was soooo moving, troubled, frail & beautiful. I had moved back to Chicago from SF for a job & west coast friends had made the shows. Fireworks a bonus. Got the heartbreaking news on the radio at my desk days latr. Impromptu vigils in Chicago parks warmed my heart.
No need to be a hateful ass, many of those fools crashed the fence because they were being beaten by overzealous asshole cops. Those punks shouldn't have been there without tickets but unless you were outside and witnessed whatever triggered the first asshole to throw a bottle at police we will never know why.
This show was my first non psychedelic show in a long time, including scores of other bands, but I still enjoyed it. The first set was fairly forgettable but I will always remember the 2nd set thebest so many roads ever and sure the songs have always beenfull of death but that double encore was so eerie in retrospect.
I got the pleasure of 382 shows,and I remember leaving the lot saying,wow man,what a freaked out tour,and was wondering what was gonna happen for fall tour..Then in San Fran,a month later,we attended the Memorial in the park..BOR was 2nd set opener in my first show RFK 90,and it was the last played at my last show..Phil orginally wrote the song over his dad's death..Believe it if you need it,if you dont just pass it on..
An unforgettable evening that was. A tribute to our men who served and currently serving the country.
a few more comments from me on this show and then no more, probably. First off before I forget I'd like to note my agreement with sweendog67 regarding music and the need to teach others. In a side note to that on Facebook and another site lately I made mention of the scene both then and now, the need to teach others, and the recent spike in rude audiences talking over the music regarding every issue other than anything to do with the music or scene. Boy, how some of these so called heads have jumped down my throat. just shows the quickest way to be misunderstood these days is to text and forget about joking. I made the mistake of referring to those that had been around since some of the earliest eras as elders. Maybe I should've started by explaining that for several years I have lived on the edge of a reservation and at least for the last couple of years have worked for the tribe and have added several more people of native descent to my group of friends and maybe that helped color my language a bit. I couldn't find any of my old fashioned dictionaries right now but decided to double check the definition of the word and there didn't seem to be anything insulting or arrogant about the word the average definition stated something to the sense of ...usually an older, respected member of a tribe or family with wisdom or knowledge and some degree of authority. Maybe the small minds freaked at the word of authority. Without even being asked how long I had been on the bus the few berated me for acting superior and looking down on newer fans. Neither the case exactly, a little down on the fact that with the huge influx of newer heads each consecutive tour and fewer "elders", due to a myriad of reasons my main two were all the busts and people I knew who just stopped going, and with fewer folks from the 60s and 70s and even early eighties who would teach the newest the proper etiquette and lifestyles. Sure music was first but it was not all of it. We had so much more than just the perfect soundtrack. We had our families, our tribes, unique food, clothing, spiritual quests, partying of all types, traveling, camping, millions of different opinions but so much in common, LOVE, acceptance, helping each other and strangers and not just heads, multiple generations, the band and their families and friends, and of course the music again. Outside of the Bay area and probably NY in its own way it had gotten very ugly everywhere. I mean for one local facility who remembers the Rosemont scene in 1993 and even in 1994. Or Deer Creek on one of those years where something like 140 heads had been busted for spreading the scene's most sacred chemical or two. I hope that I didn't sound mean spirited but one of those attacking me supposedly has been going to shows since the early 70s at least. If that individual felt that they had nothing to teach the creeps that were gate crashing, at more than one facility I might add, then maybe this person was either deluded or actually had nothing to give back. I never said gurus or rulers, just elders or teachers both terms of respect. The best elders held back and let us find our own way and never told us what to believe. Unless of course we were way out of line. Enough said.
About the show. I just started to listen to it for the first time in its entirety in over 10 years, I think. Of course my reaction now is far different than it was the night of the show, from Aug 1995-2000, 2000-2004, and now. I won't go into how or why I broke it down like that but it's rather personal especially 2000-2004 but I will say that from 2001-2004 I sort of self-destructed in slow motion. Touch of Grey-lyrical flubs, nothing special. Little Red Rooster-there has never been a song they did that I hate but it is my bathroom break song now, so I skipped it. Lazy River Road-I really loved and still love this song and even here the music isn't so bad, it still makes my head revolve, and I was surprised to hear how strong and sure Jerry's voice sounded but then he hit multiple lyrical miscues and flubs...damn. Masterpiece-very good IMO, I need to go back and listen again but I think Bobby cut a Jerry solo short or maybe Bobby cut his own playing short, need to re listen but it still sounded great and Jerry joined in vocally at the end and I didn't recall that. By the way this had been my first show free from psychedelics for a few years prior. Some herb at the show and only other shows for me that weren't "electric" or "fungal" were my first two and some that had very good baked goods. After Masterpiece you can hear the beginning to SMR. Childhoods End-sounded good on my re listen, for the most part. Cumberland Blues-sounds ok, not good but not bad. I was surprised to hear Bobby singing a verse. Has he always done that or did I just convince myself overtime that it was totally Jerry's. Need to go back to my other shows and also ones that I was not at. Promised Land-sounded rather strong, I couldn't recall that I had seen it this night and then I realized why. Many lyrics F'd up but of course this time it was Bob messing up where I had never heard him flub before. Had something distracted him? I don't recall anymore if I ever did know. Can hear the audience cheering like we did on occasion. Shakedown-much less impressive than I thought it had been and also Vince's voice is loud in the recording and it wasn't his singing voice. Samson and Delilah-sounds fair to ok to me maybe better I already forgot, need to re hear it again. I liked it the night of the show especially since we had missed it one week earlier thanks to the fools who actually were trying to "tear this Whole building down" at Deer Creek and those of us that cheered them on. I admit that my one buddy, that had been with me before a number of us met up in Chicago, and I had cheered but in our defense I cheered only because at the time it appeared that those fools were not breaking in as much as escaping an ugly scene outside. I regret that the band took it that we were cheering them on in their actions and from a position near the fence the only one's I recall seeing tear down the fence were those that had come over it. I know there were many responsible and don't mistake me if I sound like I am condoning their actions but the police were heavy handed on the roadways there, random sniff and searches and rude behavior. Too much drinking in that hot sun we were probably one of the first two hundred cars there and the day was very long, which could be fun but even then I remember thinking "too much alcohol" and back then I was still a drinker but I had one beer and realized that water and juice were my friends. I don't think anyone knew about the death threat yet but it was obvious there were a lot of cops, lots of searches, lots of police dogs. I don't know or care who "drew first blood" and it no longer matters but it was just one more place we lost, one more bad news story, and another link in the tour from hell as it was already being called. I'm sorry to the band that I cheered but it was a case of "We always did feel the same, we just saw it from a different point of view" and the old hindsight is 20/20. I remember seeing tear gas, helicopters, and hearing horror stories like a police dog attacking at least one person that was doing no wrong but who knows in that confusion. Sorry, that belonged under Deer Creek and maybe I'll edit this later and put it there but I branched out from Samson and Delilah. SO MANY ROADS-this might not have been the prettiest sounding version of this song but it was the most emotional and heartfelt one ever, I remember tearing up then and even to this day I do. It is the one song from this show that I have heard in every year, every phase of my life since that day. Especially after finding the full version on you tube. Samba in the Rain- for some reason I never minded this song, the lyrics weren't Hunter's Best but I loved the flow of the words and the music and it was another song for Vince. This version I just started over again to freshen my memory and it actually sounds good. Jerry isn't so bad here when you can hear him in the mix and I'm assuming it is Jerry playing his Midi here. Corrina- Another commonly disliked song that I had no problem with. This version starts with a sour note from Jer in the mix but progresses much like every other version but other than Jerry's voice I have trouble hearing him do much until the solo/jamming part sounds a little weak but he does sound like he's trying then he drops out for a few seconds starts up a little again but Bobby comes to the rescue and now Jerry is playing some different type fills here and there in addition to Bob's unique style. Had forgotten that they had played this on this night. Song is still playing as I type and it actually keeps sounding better. I don't know, maybe absence does make the heart grow fonder. Drums/Space does sound great here and during the bands final years this was a strong part of the show for me unless my bladder interfered too much. Unbroken Chain-Too bad Phil took so long to break this song out it really could've matured musically to rival the lyrics. I recall feeling more let down at the time or maybe it was the vibe from the flash I had experienced in St. Louis. I knew that death was knocking. I had seen something onstage there that I won't go into here. I knew Jerry didn't look good and his playing and lyrics were all over the place. Had even heard the Heroin rumors prior to summer tour but I felt that this thing either wanted Jerry or Vince. I tried to reason or convince myself that Jerry would get better and that Vince was too new to go but this vortex like thing wanted someone and it wasn't any of the other four. I told my closest friends after the tour and my buddy that night, I think. I sort of touched on it anyhow, I guess even after I wrote that I wouldn't. I definitely felt freaked afterwards and that may have been why I didn't trip on that final night. After Unbroken Chain Jerry was going to play something. It is cut off this recording though. I read not that long ago, somewhere, that Jerry had told someone that he had wanted to play Morning Dew at the final night. I remember that I thought that I had heard what sounded like Comes a Time but that may have been wishful thinking. Back to Unbroken Chain-while re checking I noticed that Jer was sort of all over the place. Obviously nothing stellar but one minute he either seems to be doing a low level fair, other times hitting or playing notes that sounded bad, and other times just not playing much. Sugar Mag/SSDD-not terrible not great. Sounds a little out of tune and seems to falter towards the end. Seems to be playing a little slower than the rest of the band. Black Muddy River--he does sing Last Muddy River, never caught that before. Did he actually know like we've suspected through the years. For those that don't know or don't believe psychedelics can open doors and some of that is telepathy, foresight, etc. who knows, outside of the band or closest to him, when his last trip had been. Did he see from it. Did he just have a prophetic dream? Did his health plus the shit happening just make him feel that way? Doesn't matter anyway...he's been gone too long. BMR-vocally strained sounding. Box of Rain-don't need to repeat the other comments about the eeriness of it all but then again weren't the songs full of death real or ego death all along. Nice version, Little more upbeat musically but boy did that noise hurt the ears that night. I was gonna sum it up but I already carried on so much. Getting to hear the show through fresh ears all these years later the music didn't seem as bad as I had recalled. Then again, very little from that night stayed with me though I was basically sober. It definitely wasn't their best but to say worst might be focusing too much on personal feelings at the time. Maybe I'm being more generous after learning of his carpal Tunnel and after hearing it again it doesn't sound like he's nodding off anywhere. Playing not as magical as years past especially 89-90, even 90-93 lesser degree, also great to me was 81-82, 77, late 67-74. though every year had great shows, even 95, 83-84, 85, 78, and 76 for different reasons mainly getting back into the groove of having Mickey back made some shows sound cumbersome. Take Care and thank you all
Was working at a group home and decided an activity/ trip to Buckingham Fountain would be a good activity for the night! No tickets but heard a good show ( right down the street from Soldier Field)
It is sad to think this is the end of such a wonderful way to live for so many years. I myself did not see this show and have never listened to it in entirety. Maybe NEVER listen to the whole show because 1st off I did not like what the scene had become and 2nd I did not like the sound that had become either. I realize that doesn't make sense "the sound that had become."
I too saw these guys well over 400 times but that was back in the early 80's threw till 89. I just can't bring myself to listen to this show. Maybe it's like when you lose a loved one and just can't look because you want to remember them they way they were in your minds eye before the end.
This show (not knowing that it would be the last, of course) was so very significant to me for a lot of reasons that I couldn't even begin to list. One thing, though, did make it special - my daughter had followed the entire Summer tour, and we were to meet in Chicago before heading home. To be able to share this last show together was wonderful and did create a certain kind of spiritual bond between us. I had heard a few people refer to this tour as being "cursed" for a number of reasons. I was aware of the two previous shows having problems - at Deer Creek, the venue was crashed by a number of people without tickets - knocking down the gate at the back. This caused The Dead to cancel their second night's show - the first time ever because of the "fans". At Riverport, in St. Louis, the show experienced a tremendous storm & tornado. Then there was Chicago, which, after 30 years, brought us the end. I can't help but recognize that the two encores that night (Black Muddy River & Box of Rain) were both about death & dying. It was indeed "The Last Bolt of Sunshine."