Grateful Dead

Winterland Arena - March 19, 1977

Winterland Arena

March 19, 1977

San Francisco, CA US

Average: 5 (9 votes)

Set List:

Mama Tried
Big River
They Love Each Other
Looks Like Rain
Tennessee Jed
Estimated Prophet
Terrapin Station
Playin' in the Band
Samson and Delilah
Playin' in the Band

Eyes of the World
Dancin' in the Streets
Wharf Rat
Franklin's Tower
Sugar Magnolia

One More Saturday Night

Uncle John's Band

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Joined: Feb 26 2008
this was my first time to see them

I arrived to SFO from Japan in early Feb. 1977. Attended University at east side of the bay.
How excited I was to see them!

I miss Winterland.

Joined: Aug 17 2007
stage-front aerobic dancer

"Dancin' in the Streets" featured a tall aerobic yogini (long-blondehaired, if I remember right) dancing at the front of the stage (slightly stage-left? of center) (in a maybe silvery-light-bluish leotard). In quick rhythm momentum with the tune's backbeat (I think; that seems to match my visual memory with listening to the performance again these years later), she alternately swung each leg upward, SIDEWAYS, to complete vertical extension above her head, throughout? the jam if not during the entire tune. (I can't recall that I saw her from the beginning of its playing or not.) An amazing demonstration of limber and mighty power and joy. I don't know who she was.

Joined: Dec 1 2013
March 18, 19, & 20 1977 Winterland Shows

Fantastic shows. I miss the volleyball before the shows.. So fun. I am looking for show pictures that show the front of the stage for the March 18th, 19th and 20th shows. I saw many other shows that year, at Winterland, including New Years. But those three were my favorites that year. My long lost friend and I were up front just off center stage (to the right), and I am hoping to get a picture or two that shows us... Any help would make this old Deadhead a very happy person.. Peace!!

Joined: Aug 8 2017

We took the acid in San Anselmo and headed south down 101. Crossing the Golden Gate, the towers of the financial district shown in sharp relief against the blue of the bay and sky - the city!

By the time we parked the car we were coming on heavily. Our first assignment was to meet up with a mate in the lobby. This proved more daunting than it sounds. The scene in Winterland was frenetic, crackling like the air before a thunder storm. The lobby was packed as people milled incessantly, filled with expectation. We made it across once before abandoning our quest.

Making our way on to the dance floor we entered a Felini-esque scene. Theatrical lighting illuminated a volleyball court erected in the middle of the hall lending a hyper-real glow to the proceedings and plunging the rest of the arena into darkness. The announcer called the score through the Dead's sound system, his whispers thundering "Winterland 12, Fresno Deadheads 11". The Fresno team leapt and spun like ballet dancers, making impossible diving saves and double setup spikes. The Winterland crew, including Uncle Bobo himself, appeared as centaurs, stomping their hooves and snorting steam from their nostrils. On it went - "Fresno 14, Winterland 13" - the Fresno boys an image of grace in motion, Winterland puffing chests and shouting intimidations, back and forth until at last Winterland emerged victorious.

Seemingly instantaneously the teams and net vanished leaving a large empty space in the middle of the floor. This was our chance. We strode out to dead center and pitched our camp. The crowd quickly filled in behind us. Richard Manuel's plaintive voice filtered out of the PA "Oh, you don't know the shape I'm in" as I imagined how the quipies felt after hoisting Phil's dual 18s, four 15s and a stack of 12s along with four Macintosh 2400s into place.

Presently the boys appeared, drummers tightening heads, Garcia and Weir tuning up. Phil turned to the crowd lifted an eyebrow and smirked. Turning to his stack of amps he cranked the gain, thump, thump thump. The rafters heaved. More gain and another smirk. THUMP, THUMP, THUMP. Now the whole place was shaking. They hadn't even started playing yet! The chemicals worked their way into my nervous system rendering the sound pressure unbearable. Discretion being the better part of valor we abandoned our post for some seats in the back just under the balcony.

Facing their amps, the boys began noodling as they found their intonation, slowly building into full-on prankster music. Then, simultaneously turning and stepping towards the audience, they were into Bertha as if the music had been going on continuously but silently until they merely tapped into it. Following with Mama Tried it became obvious that this was no ordinary night at Winterland.

Somewhere in The Loser my mind descended into the unconscious. Am I the loser? Where am I? What exactly is going on here? Turning to my companion I pleaded "make a sentence Peter." The sound emerging from him resembled a gargle through a phase shifter. This was not good. The pauses between songs spread out into eternity. What is this place? I thought myself to be living some sort of Orwellian nightmare - the whole world as densely populated as the inside of the auditorium. We were not at a concert but rather living in an abandoned hulk of a hall with 5000 other lost souls. Surely we had descended into Dante's ninth circle.

"We've got to find some water and a warm place to sleep."

"No, it's ok. Just stay right here."

"We've got to get out of here Peter. This whole scene is about to implode."

"No, no. Really it's ok. Stay here."


Try as I might I couldn't convince him of the urgency of the situation.

Then I heard something.

It seemed miles away across the chaos of the hall. It sounded good. There were lights illuminating some people with musical instruments on a platform. "What is that?" Not "Who is that?" or "What's that song?" but "What is that?" Those guys over there are organized. They have lights and sound equipment. They're trying to get something together, to help folks. Weir was singing "Have you ever wakened to the sound of street cats makin' love and guessed from their cries you were listening to a fight?" My addled brain didn't hear this as a love song but rather as an observation of the apparent madness before Bobby on the floor. Maybe I could do something like that too. Wait a minute. I do do that. I had been a gigging musician since high school. A sudden flash of clarity like surfacing for a breath after being towed under then just as suddenly back into the murky depths - but there was light up there. Then it happened. The moment any guitar playing deadhead fears and simultaneously longs for. I confused myself with Jerry Garcia.

The Dead marched on! At this point my grasp of reality however shaky was returning. Tennessee Jed was a mash of music mixed with audio hallucinations of ah-ou-ga car horns and jazz whistles. I marveled at how seamlessly the "sound effects" blended with the music reminding me of the soundtrack to an R. Crumb cartoon. Despite my return to relative sanity I was still unable to totally grasp the situation.

The boys launched into an odd metered reggae-ish tune I'd never heard. It seemed to me to be about an earthquake "don't worry about it, no, no don't worry about it no." I didn't realize he was saying "don't worry about ME" but I was coming back. Yet another unknown piece emerged. Something about a sailor and a soldier and counting stars by candlelight. The band was pulling me up from the depths. Somewhere in the jam between Playin' in the Band and Samson and Delilah I finally surfaced. I'm at a fucking Grateful Dead concert!

As the second set opened with a high-steppin' Eyes of the World, I stomped and whirled through the crowd feeling like my feet never touched the ground. I danced like it was the last night of the world all the way through One More Saturday Night until the boys brought 'er into the station with a splendid Uncle John's Band - "Come on along or go alone. He's come to take his children home." Emerging into the cool, early morning air of the Filmore district I was home indeed!

There is nothing like a Grateful Dead Concert!


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Winterland Arena - March 19, 1977