St. John Arena - September 30, 1976
September 30, 1976
Set List:Peggy-O Crazy Fingers Lazy Lightnin' Supplication It Must Have Been the Roses Samson and Delilah St. Stephen Not Fade Away drums Wharf Rat Not Fade Away St. Stephen Around and Around Morning Dew
Attendees of this show
I was at this show with my fraternity bros. It was definitely at OSU's Mershon Auditorium. I thought I saw another show at the same venue alone...that could only have been the April show from the same year but I'm a little fuzzy on that one.
Yes, the venue was changed day of the event, from St. John's Arena, where the basketball team played, I'm thinking twelve to fifteen thousand capacity to Mershon, which i think is around one thousand. Did not research the numbers here, just guestimating, but, i did attend events at both venues. This was my first show. Was more of a Jefferson Airplane/Hot Tuna fan, and only had the commercial releases and a King Biscuit show, but was pleasantly surprised, and began a rather long, strange trip that continues today. Gotta love a St. Stephen at your first show, but, I didn't really appreciate it then as I did years later.
If you get confused, listen to the music play!
st john's arena holds 13,000 but rock concerts were not allowed to seat in the upper deck, thus reducing the capacity. Bands were still charged the full fee for rental, however. This contributed to the swotch to Mershon, which has around a 2500 seat capcity. This show was in my hometown, but i was 8 years old at the time and didn't get on the bus until my freshman year in high school. (1985)
If the thunder don't get you, the lightning will!!
Definitely was at Mershon. I had to be held down by big (6) police on the sidewalk on High St after the show for no good reason.....wife talked them out of arresting me....thankfully....
anyone remember that?
Tickets sales were real slow for this one, they couldn't have filled St. John's if they had wanted to. School was almost out, exams were being finished up, so the conservative camous students--most of whom probably had no clue,--or didn't care-- who the Dead were, didn't turn out.
Columbus was NOT a music town in the mid-70's. Even The Agora Club was either closed down or just being run as another college bar at the time. So Mershon Auditorium was a good venue for them.
This was my last Dead show and by this time I had grown weary of the band. I had always expected them to get BETTER, TIGHTER, BLUESIER, OR SOMETHING! Liked them better during their 69-73 period, when songs from American Beauty, Workingman;'s Dead and Europe 72 were predominate. Long, noodling jams were not my cup of tea. Alas, they were also a stadium/arena act by this time for the most part, and I was working, so couldn't travel to see them or wrangle for tickets anymore. So I said "goodbye" to the Dead, at least as a concert goer. I didn't even purchase another Dead album until about 1982!
I was sitting in the upper balcony..bleagh. Sound quality was just okay, Jerry's guitar was too bright and tinny sounding as usual. Song selection was not my favorite. JBG band played the Ohio Theatre during the previous fall, so I was not surprised by the lackluster stage presence. Goodbye hippe days...it was time for me to grow up.
Yeah, the memory plays strange tricks on you these days. And I don't even do drugs, ha!
This show was in September, and the campus was just starting the school year,probably why ticket sales were so slow.
So, I take that part back! LOL
That would mean the JBG played the Ohio Theatre the previous spring--yeah that's the ticket, and not in the fall, as i mispoke earlier --Well shut my mouth!
Everything else still holds, however, this was not a favorite show, for lots of reasons, but mostly because I had fallen OUT of love with the Dead...sigh! i think my favorite band at the time was still Steely Dan or something...
I wonder how the Dead would have sounded thru a bunch of Marshall stacks? Hmmm....and if Jerry hadn't been sampling all that Persian...
I was working in the stereo store across the street from Mershon and clearly remember the first announcement on the radio that the Dead were going to play in Columbus. They would play at Mershon, across the street. What's more, tickets were on sale, at the box office, across the street, at Mershon, right now. An eerie silence came over High Street as people began to converge on the box office. An energy vacuum had been created and started pulling us into its vortex. There was no mention of Saint John's ever. It would be hard to believe the Dead would ever consider playing St. John's which had a tin roof and sounded like a tin can. Mershon had an awesome acoustic, was a small intimate theatre and you cannot imagine a better place to hear the Dead. Jerry played a black Mesa Boogie head with two 1x12 Boogie cabinets. I was there for before sound check. The Promoter, was Rob Friedheim.
The show was the most intimate and beautiful show I have ever heard. At one point, the band was singing a cappella and the crowd just went "Ooooooohh."
Previously, The Garcia Band played the Ohio Theatre. Jerry played the white Travis Bean Artist and wore a black velvet sport jacket, probably in honor of the theatre's ornate gold-leaf filigree.
And just to correct the record about the Agora, It was an active venue which held a standing room of 1500. There were two national acts a week in the place and bar bands the other nights. Some of the acts I remember from the period are Hall and Oates, AC DC, Ambrosia, Eddie Money. I know this because I did the house sound there. Also, the story had it that the Dead had played the Agora back in the sixties which is unconfirmed.
The shows at Mershon were recorded and can be found here:
The set list is as follows:
The Music Never Stopped, Sugaree, Minglewood, Ramble On Rose, LL Rain, Peggy-O, El Paso, Crazy Fingers> It's All Over Now, Scarlet
Begonias Lazy Lightning-> Supplication, It Must Have Been The Roses, Samson & Delilah-> Saint Stephen-> Not Fade Away-> Drums-> Wharf Rat-> Not Fade Away-> Saint Stephen-> Around & Around, E: Morning Dew
This was one of the last small-venue shows in Ohio and therefore a good one. There were a few more shows at Cleveland Music Hall in 78 and the early 80's but after that it was all hockey halls, outdoor bowls and the like
Thanks for the link. This was a grateful show as evidenced by the recording. Sparkling energy and inventive improvisation. Sorry for those who missed it or who could not appreciate it. (~):} Mick