The Syndrome - November 27, 1970
November 27, 1970
The show opened with "Casey Jones," closed with "Lovelight," rest of order uncertain - list incomplete.
Attendees of this show
The band played Alligator that night. Right?
I have a hand writ list from way back that is my approximation of what was played. Someone said "They played Alligator right?' At the time I dont think I was too familiar with that. My notes do say that 'an instrumental tied together several of these songs' I think I took this as Cryptical Envelopment. The notes indicate Not Fade Away might have appeared further ahead [not together with Mona as said below.]
Casey Jones Hard to Handle Chinca Cat Brokedown Palace Know You Rider Candyman Trucking Cryptical Envelopment Black Peter Goin Down the Line Mona - Not Fade Away Sugar Magnolia Smokestack Lightning Me and Bobby McGee St Stephen Good Lovin Goin down the Road Uncle John's Band Lovelight
This show featured a really hot TURN ON YOUR LOVELIGHT. A contemporary review (Cincinnati Billboard 12/12/70) stated:
The group's fans started dancing and shouting from the first chords of "Casey Jones," and didn't slow down until the final shouts from vocalist Pigpen on "Turn On Your Lovelight," which one person aptly described as the "closest possible thing to Nirvana."
... and second Acid trip! I was 15 years old! New Riders and the Purple Sage opened. When the Dead took the stage - they put the house lights up full and left them up bight for the whole show with the announcement "Usually the people get to see the Dead, tonight the Dead get to see the people!" this was probably in response to some kind of fire/safety thing, the place was just way over packed - all general admission, over sold - hot as hell, stuffed in an aging former sports and wrestling stadium/barn formerly known as Chicago's Coliseum, torn down shortly after this or should I say...left to decay some of the façade which looked like and ancient castle remained standing for a couple of more decades! Which made the performance of Brokedown Palace take on an 'extra' more profound meaning - well at least to me at the time! By the way I will swear that Brokedown was either the encore or the closer meaning that Lovelight was in the other slot but it definitely wasn't near the beginning or the middle as the commenter above puts it but we all have foggy memories but I do remember it was at the end.
Because the house lights were up full blasting bright and it was a sit, stand get squashed on the floor - no chairs kind of thing, it became a massive dance floor with the whole crowd pulsating and dancing with each other as a whole. People and groups started forming spontaneous 'strings' of dancers that hooked on to each other in long swirling lines and moved through the crowd throughout the whole floor and place and somehow managed to find their way back to where they began! and this just went on and on and on - I thought this band that my brother had dragged me to see were some kind of Magicians, not mere musicians, no for I entered into an endless space.
It was beyond a mind bending, life-changing experience - well it was exactly that, but it was like an initiation into a different consciousness - the right of passage from which I would never return. The bus came by and I got on that night and for more than 30 years and more than 200 shows (how many more I don't know), the Lovelight would never burn out or fade away! So it is too bad that no one has recording of this show (of all shows!) or the exact set list - but in my mind it was and will be forever absolute magic, the day I discovered the 'secret' that only 'we' knew!