Terrace Ballroom - September 26, 1970
September 26, 1970
list incomplete, order uncertain
Shame this wonderful show was seemingly lost. The cops repeatedly tried to interfere with the show, threatening to shut the power off if folks didn't respect the fire lanes, in the middle of a ballroom crowd, right. Anyway the interruptions were short, the band just started playing again and the mood went from instant paranoia to instant, well, you know, somewhere else.
This show was absolutely amazing. Everything written in the above comment is true. It was long ago and my memory is a bit foggy due to this being my first Dead show and of course my state of mind. As people were walking into the hall the band was on stage playing really good music with the lights still on, saying were just tuning up. What a way to start. The first set was all acoustic. Due to my unfamiliarity with their songs at the time I cannot remember specific songs but they did something I have never heard them do in any other show. The whole first set, as I remember, was a medley of songs from American Beauty, which had not been released at the time. There was a theme through the whole set of going back to your mothers arms. Just incredibly sweet and mellow. I never had known music could be so comforting and happy. After the break the disruptions started. Just before the band started someone jumped on the stage, grabbed the mike and said "They're busting people in the back." Immediately everyone in the audience stood up, really really pissed off that they'd be arresting people for participating in the wonderful, awesomely peaceful performance we had just experienced. Everyone was ready to fight. Only lasted for a few seconds, then the band started up and the feeling went within 1 second from anger to utter ecstasy.
The second set tore my head off. I still cannot remember any specific songs except it seems that they kept coming back to what seemed to me afterward the high points from "Morning Dew". Every the time the band stopped playing the cops, dressed in red velvet dinner jackets, kept coming back trying to establish artificial fire lanes in the crowd and threatening to shut down the show. Then the band would start up again and immediately the mood would go from anger to utter ecstasy. That night I learned how powerful music could be. This show was one of a few really transformitive events in my life. I actually thought at the time that the music might go on literally forever, that this was God's way of taking us to heaven. They played "Truckin" for the encore, during which the whole crowd became one giant conga line. They would have kept playing much longer if the law hadn't dictated the show end at midnight, I believe it was. What a shame there are no tapes of that one. Interestingly a few weeks after that show Pink Floyd played the same venue and the disruptions were much worse. They set up these tiny folding chairs (with fire lanes) and lead pipes were added to the dinner jackets. They actually put notes on each chair saying something to the effect that "We are the Establishment (they used the actual word) and we will keep control"
PF had just started playing, after some really crazy pre show effects, "Astronomy Dominie". Immediately after Nick Mason's opening drum riff the power got shut off, lights came on, and all these cops in the dinner jackets and lead pipes were walking through the crowd, dragging people off around the edges of the crowd etc. I really thought there was going to be a riot. They let the band play later on and they tried to calm things down with mellower music. A guy cut a hole in the roof and broke his leg trying to climb down into the show for free.
We've still "got some things to talk about" as Jerry so aptly sang.
Really apologize for not putting this up earlier as I really do feel this was one of the band's best shows for the way the Dead just completely overcame and had victory over the fascists multiple times during the show. From fear and paranoia to utter ecstasy---instantly. No violence, no threats. They just couldn't do a damn thing about it.
Would love to hear from anyone else who was there or anyone else viewing this page. If your looking at the page for this show might actually have some things to talk about.
First set was acoustic, second set was electric...Pigpen was there...and I got on the bus...