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    marye
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    Let's face it, some venues had a lot more charisma than others -- and still do. Red Rocks probably tops a lot of lists when it comes to personal Grateful Dead power spots -- but what amazing places haven't we heard enough about?

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  • zard0z
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    RFK 1973

    I was there with a bunch of friends from Philly. I remember lots of great acid and fire hoses cooling down the crowds. Got the official Electric Factory poster 30 years later at a RATDOG show.

  • PatrickJP07
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    Another vote for Saratoga Performing Arts Center !!!

    It wasn't the first place I saw the band, but to me, SPAC definitely had the best vibe of the various New England venues where I saw them. The summer 1985 show was a crazy good time, and 1988 wasn't too shabby either. I liked that the venue was in a state park where the freaks could frolic, both before and after the show. I'm also glad it's still around, and well kept for future generations to enjoy.

  • nitecat
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    Late to this conversation...

    The Warfield Theater in SF was pretty fine. Lovely old art deco movie house Bill converted into a Rock Palace. Cal Expo at night with grass under my feet, perfect weather and billowing white clouds filling the sky was memorable. Of course Red Rocks, and the Frost can't be forgotten. Winterland was my beginning with the band, so there's special memories, and I loved the Berkeley Community Theater, too. Grass Valley CA was a fine woodsy outdoor venue in 83, also.

  • SimonM
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    Alexandra Palace, Wood Green, London, September 1974

    A great historical Victorian hall on a hill in the middle of parkland. The Wall of Sound, Phil & Ned, twirlers and a central rose garden. Site of the 14 Hour Technicolour Dream, April 1967 - what? Look it up.

  • hockey_john
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    To many to name Kaiser every year
    Way to many places to name but will throw a few of my favorites out here. Starlight 82 , 84, 85. Park west in 83, did not like it in 87 to many people. Boise most wild outside and inside scene. Lake Placid 83 of course all the Red Rocks shows 15 total for me. Ventura 82 , 83 , 84 , 85 87 again to many people but still there. Places I enjoyed do to the ride to the show or the place itself. Morgantown 83 ,U V M 83 , Telluride because as someone said the entire town was the show. Check of the http://youtu.be/g4xXMmhjG6Qvideo . To may to post as far as Dead Shows. Jerry Band For sure the Stone in SF, Berkeley Stone ,Community theater Berkeley French's camp, Music mountain 82 Cape Cod coliseum both Dead and JGB Brandies university 8 Ocean State theater Providence The Cage U mass , Dunsmuir House and Garden , Russian river , Key stone Palo Alto and of course the Frost. Throw in the Oklahoma Zoo amphitheater too.
  • puroshaggy
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    Only because I was so very
    Only because I was so very lucky to be in college at the time, and thus could take a semester off and splurge my hard earned sandwich shop job money-> Le Zenith in Paris. The venue, the surrounding locale, the people- a slice of European Dead heaven. That, or Cal Expo in Sac.
  • Deadbuggy
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    Well, i primarily saw the Dead in the Bay Area, and my shows are from mid 80's on. Greek Theater is my top outdoor choice, seeing the Berkeley Campanile with the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate bridge. I used to head up to the top part of the venue stage right where the sun set on the venue last. There were always a bunch of sun worshipers and we'd hollar when the sun set, usually over the Golden Gate, grooving away. The most magical moment for me there was during a Franklin's Tower, during the verse "roll away the dew", a little cloud passed over and sprinkled the crowd on an otherwise clear day. The place just lit up! Frost Amphitheater - the parking lot party was among the Oak and Eucalyptus trees outside the venue, Inside it was lined with trees and gently sloping grass~100 yards to the band. The Henry J Kaiser Auditorium for indoor. It felt like a giant high school gym, one of my favorite shows was there, Nov 8, 1987...a great confluence for me..... one other show i remember dancing in the halls that spiraled around the place since they placed speakers out there, I spent nearly the whole show on the periphery...particularly remember He's Gone and just grooving with all the smiling people. saw many great shows at other venues, but those three above had the magic vibe for me. thanks, mb
  • songsfrown
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    Grateful Dead power...
    Well...going at this directly...Fox Theatre, Atlanta, GA, every time I saw them there I had some really great moment...none quite as dramatic as the night prior to the show that ended up on the Dick's Pick when I asked my wife if she was ready to go. She said yes. We walked down to the front row without saying another word...got down on our hands and knees at the orchestra pit...and they broke into broke down palace for the encore... Hampton Coliseum...again, too many moments, collectively the east coast comeback shows from the first night Black Peter (sick sick energy...you know what I mean)...thru the 3rd night when I thought the place would lift off during Terrapin. Greek Theater, Berkely, CA...when Jerry hit the first notes of the first Watchtower the boys played in 87 a psychic growl seemed to go out around the universe. And well, home turf...Omni, Atlanta...They just seemed to own that space... Sometimes the songs that we hear are just songs of our own. SongsfROwn
  • Josh
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    MCU Park - Brooklyn
    Just saw Furthur there, and that is an incredible place to see a "GD" show.
  • Bus
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    BK3 with Tara Nevins
    it's great
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Let's face it, some venues had a lot more charisma than others -- and still do. Red Rocks probably tops a lot of lists when it comes to personal Grateful Dead power spots -- but what amazing places haven't we heard enough about?
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My exposure to the Dead at different venues was admittedly rather limited. Only saw them 8 times and at 3 different venues. My first show was at Hampton and saw a grand total of 5 shows there (plus 1 Jerry band show). There was something special about those shows. It started in the parking lot and continued inside at the show. I never felt the energy anywhere else I felt at Hampton. Part of the magic may come from the size of the place. It held enough people to generate a lot of energy, but was small enough you felt intimate contact with the band from anywhere in the place. Obviously the band felt there was something special about the place also. Never got to see the Dead at Merriweather Post but did see Bob Weir and Rob Wasserman (with Hot Tuna opening) a number of years ago and just saw Phil and Friends there (with the Allman Bros) on 9/30/08. These were special shows in a great venue. Always wished I had seen the Dead there.
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Saratoga Springs NY is a great venue with excellent sound, in 85 the Dead set an attendance record that stands today.
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Veneta's the one that sticks with me too. I love the Greek, I love Red Rocks, but the moon rising over the trees after the '82 show still haunts me.
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The Spectrum, Cumberland County Civic Center, Alpine Valley. "Circle songs and sands of time, and seasons will end in tumbled rhyme, and little change, the wind and rain."
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Marye were you there the year that they brought back Dark Star for the firsttime in years and if you were high enough (!) up there was a shooting star that went straight over the shell - it was absolutely perfect... "when life looks like easy street, there is danger at your door"
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I think I missed the actual star, but who's complaining... I saw enough incredible sunsets there that there's no point fretting about a shooting star.
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Having mostly traversed the East coast for the majority of my 80+ shows, I unfortunately can't speak to the lavish beauty of more organic show settings (like Deer Creek, or Alpine). But I will always have a special spot in my soul for the urban antiquity that was RFK stadium in Washington, D.C.And it's a wonder that we never set that ton o' dynamite and live artillery off at the armory next door with all our stomping and spinning! I always enjoyed the cloak that nightfall would put on the old arena, as the second set started to take shape. The oddly curved open dome would seem to richocet the light show out into the starry universe. Somewhere deep into the set the entire building had the feeling of an interstellar Ark preparing to launch for an intergalactic journey. And anyone who has ever been there, for a concert or rowdy football/baseball/soccer game will never forget the sight of (or participation in) the literal rocking and bouncing of the concrete on the lower level. It's an amazing sight to look out and see the frenzied gyrations of the fans actually bending the structure like a rolling wave. Seemed my friends and I always gravitated to the "Center of the Universe" directly across from the stage, tucked just under the upper deck. The sound quality was always pristine. I know the old stadium has passed it's usefulness to the D.C. area as a functional arena, but when they finally go to tear that old building down I will be looking to purchase a couple of those awful orange stadium seats for my music room.
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Like Curly, I loved being at Englishtown. It wasn’t that the place was all that great – but the performances and the overall vibe were both amazing. The spring of 1977 was a heady time too. Not only did I get to catch the Dead on 5/4/77 at the Palladium in NYC (a great old theater in its time) and then just a few days after that on 5/7/77 at Boston Garden (a wonderful dump, which, like the Palladium is long gone), I also got to watch as my apartment building burned to the ground about a week later! Being suddenly without a lot of possessions changes you, at least for a while. So realizing I had nothing better to do (having dropped out of college only a week before), I decided to head out to California to see what I could see. My wanderings brought me to Kansas City a week or so later, where I learned that the Dead were planning a 3-night stand at the Winterland in San Francisco in just two weeks. I went to a Ticketron outlet and snagged seats for the second night, 6/8/77 and continued my way to SF. I found SF to be a really fun city. To make money, I hung around Fisherman's Wharf and sold soapstone carvings I'd made. It was enough cash to keep me going and I met some new friends while I was doing that. On the afternoon of 6/7/77, one of my new friends wandered over to where I was selling my stuff. She asked me if I was going to catch the Dead that night. I told her I had a ticket for the 6/8/77 show, but not for that night. "Let's go get you one then!" she said as she pulled me along to the bus station. I protested, arguing that the show had to be sold out already. She laughed at me and then gently explained that Bill Graham always left a few hundred tickets at the door to be sold a couple hours before show time. Sure enough, when we got to the Winterland, there were tickets being sold at the window and I bought one. We went inside and discovered that Bill Graham was on-stage with a mic in his hand, calling out relay races that were being held on the floor. Teams of folks from different cities were there in an informal round-robin tournament, competing for free tickets to the next night's show. It was a fun time and Graham seemed to be having a ball calling the races, urging on the runners, and hyping up the crowd. In between races, I went back into the Winterland lobby just as a horde of motorcyclists came roaring up to the front entrance. They began unloading themselves and what appeared to be an endless supply of cases of beer. It was the Hell's Angels. Bill Graham's security people went out to tell them that they couldn't bring the beer inside. "It's okay" said one of the bikers as he hefted a couple cases under his arms, "Jerry says it's alright." No it wasn't, the security people responded quietly. You can't bring beer into the Winterland. "Well then" said the same biker, "Then Bill says it's okay." Realizing that a riot with 40 or so angry Hell's Angels was going to put a real damper on the evening, the security people backed off and welcomed the Angles in. The Angels for their part happily offered free beer to the security people (and to anyone else who was around) and peace reigned supreme. It was an excellent evening already and the band hadn't even taken the stage. "When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest!" - Bullwinkle Moose
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The Fillmore was my everything and the Avalon was about as cosmic as it comes but as the concerts went on, going to Winterland was like stepping into a giant mushroom that vibrates and sings. Full of music! Grate place.
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What's more cosmic than not sleeping for a couple of days in Vegas with the Grateful Dead in town? "When the smoke has cleared she said, that's what she said to me. You're gonna want a bed to lay your head and a little sympathy"
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"As we enter a Realm of the New Spirit of Partakement of ShakeDownment that Transcend Time,Being,Place and the Spirit of Past Manifests itself in "Joy of Being" Part of Once was, As Is and Always will Be...a Special Force of Uplifting Energy Channeled through the Ages as a "Kryptical Envelopment of our Souls."
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But the Ultimate Venue, was never played (there are a few others) by The Grateful Dead but I would have to say Sedona, AZ at the top of Schnebly Hill Rd. was the greatest venue of all time by far bar none. Ok, so maybe where they played, and I saw, I would say, right now, there is no doubt about The Greek....so close to the Redwoods you could smell them in the rain. So I agree with UncleJon I go Greek here! _____________________________________________ Will you come with me? Once in awhile you can get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right!
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Hard to top Redrocks as far as being in a venue,, but when the whole town of Telleride became a venue,, well you just had ta be there,,
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1983 great shows all year, but for all around great vibe the hult center-eugene ore. gotta say my favorite though was the downs of santa fe-wavy gravy welcoming us all as we pulled into the campsite the night before the shows, dancing in the rain, then a beautiful rainbow emerges behind the boys as the rain comes to a stop. phil wearing a huge sombrero and stepping to the mike for harmonies on cold rain and snow-first time i'd seen him sing in a long time. what a tour though-park west-spent the night in utah in a cave up in the hills-one more labor day night. still looking for cd's and any related merchendise (stickers, shirts, et.) from 1983. any help would be greatly appreciated. heading down to charlottesville in 2 days-looking forward to seeing the boys with warren
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The 1st venue of the taxi tour 3/30/09 NYC, this place was awesome!! Photobucket
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That picture posted huge!!! Ha ha!!The place was so cool!!!
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Downs run only 40 min from my home Santa Clara Pueblo Reservation, magic shows both yrs. old hippies frm the various mountain havens ,Ojo Sarco,Dixon, Taos mountains,all those burnouts from back at the old communes up there in the Sangre de Cristos. and alot of my native brothers and sisters from the diffrnet rezes all16 of em within a 2 hrs, drive Looks like rain , while it rained ,brilliant colors in the fading daylt. Autzen 94, great run ,very mellow vibes by were we camped by the railrd tracks across the river frm the main prking lot, Frisbee area roped off in a huge grassy area,great people , hot weather n sizzlin doses. all nite bash. veneta 96 furthur fest cool vibes n zero securiy,except for those 2 OLD Hippy dudes in security t shirts, magic glowing sunsets n soft meelow vibes in the evening, thanks to those 3 girls who piked me up while i was hitchiking to San Francisco, forgot ur names, but still have the pics, oh yeah, how were yhose phish shows in red rocks?
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Roosevelt StadiumDevore Field Chula Vista (grass up to your ankles!) Cal Expo (more grass) Ventura Fairgrounds Marin Ctr. Palladium NYC Telluride Red Rox Angels Camp, CA Fairgrounds Grass Valley, CA Oakland Aud/Kaiser Greek! Frost Stanley Theatre Sheas Theatre Boston Music Hall Cape Cod Coliseum Fairgrounds Lewiston Maine(mega grass) Radio City Music Hall Fox Theatre Atlanta Fiesta Hall San Mateo
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What about Starlight in KC? pretty cool venue, small with towers on each side of a copper awning with comedy and tragedy on the face of the towers. early 80's shows, on our tapes we called one reckless and hot....because it was reckless and hot! I remember the boys starting good lovin and me starting to dance and leaving my body until the song was over and I'm on the other side of the venue!
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without a doubt veneta 82
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one magical place, with the historical building and the interior painted like a desert oasis, the twinkling stars and clouds in/on the ceiling. you could feel the cool breeze blowing intinate about 3500. none like it!z.
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Hampton - Warlocks Baby. Alpine Valley as organic as it comes. Hershey Park was pretty surreal.
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best: maybe my first "theater" show 11/29/79 stanley in pittsburgh, or my best theater show 11/30/80 (front row, killer show) fox atlantabest shed: SPAC '83 best outdoor vibe: Greek '85 or Maine '88 worst arena shows: Utica '79 and Billerica '79 best topless fellow female show-goers: Las Vegas early 90s
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Most Cosmic: Saratoga SpringsMost Powerful: Red Rocks Most Iconic and Beloved: Greek Theater Best Small Indoor: Great American Music Hall Best Medium Indoor: Warfield Tie for Best Large Indoor: Kaiser and Bill Graham Civic Best Coliseum: Philly Spectrum Best Never Thought I'd See the Day Venue: Phil and Friends at Fort Mason a few years ago. I could see the Golden Gate Bridge from where I was up on the hill, while Phil and the band played sweetly below. A perfect moment in time that brought tears to my eyes.
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-The best outdoor amp. has to be Highgate VT.....-The most intimate setting.....The Palace,Auburn Hills,MI. -The sweetest of coliseums is definetly Hampton,VA,Jerry once reported that Hampton,VA was one of his favorite venues to perform. -The best backdrop is tied...Red Rocks and Alpine Vally. -The place where they rarely let us down,no doubt,R.F.K Stadium,D.C. ....in fact,all the venues had things that stick out,so its hard to put one ahead of the other,they rocked the house no matter what town they came to invade!
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Just saw Furthur there, and that is an incredible place to see a "GD" show.
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Well...going at this directly...Fox Theatre, Atlanta, GA, every time I saw them there I had some really great moment...none quite as dramatic as the night prior to the show that ended up on the Dick's Pick when I asked my wife if she was ready to go. She said yes. We walked down to the front row without saying another word...got down on our hands and knees at the orchestra pit...and they broke into broke down palace for the encore... Hampton Coliseum...again, too many moments, collectively the east coast comeback shows from the first night Black Peter (sick sick energy...you know what I mean)...thru the 3rd night when I thought the place would lift off during Terrapin. Greek Theater, Berkely, CA...when Jerry hit the first notes of the first Watchtower the boys played in 87 a psychic growl seemed to go out around the universe. And well, home turf...Omni, Atlanta...They just seemed to own that space... Sometimes the songs that we hear are just songs of our own. SongsfROwn
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Well, i primarily saw the Dead in the Bay Area, and my shows are from mid 80's on. Greek Theater is my top outdoor choice, seeing the Berkeley Campanile with the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate bridge. I used to head up to the top part of the venue stage right where the sun set on the venue last. There were always a bunch of sun worshipers and we'd hollar when the sun set, usually over the Golden Gate, grooving away. The most magical moment for me there was during a Franklin's Tower, during the verse "roll away the dew", a little cloud passed over and sprinkled the crowd on an otherwise clear day. The place just lit up! Frost Amphitheater - the parking lot party was among the Oak and Eucalyptus trees outside the venue, Inside it was lined with trees and gently sloping grass~100 yards to the band. The Henry J Kaiser Auditorium for indoor. It felt like a giant high school gym, one of my favorite shows was there, Nov 8, 1987...a great confluence for me..... one other show i remember dancing in the halls that spiraled around the place since they placed speakers out there, I spent nearly the whole show on the periphery...particularly remember He's Gone and just grooving with all the smiling people. saw many great shows at other venues, but those three above had the magic vibe for me. thanks, mb
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Only because I was so very lucky to be in college at the time, and thus could take a semester off and splurge my hard earned sandwich shop job money-> Le Zenith in Paris. The venue, the surrounding locale, the people- a slice of European Dead heaven. That, or Cal Expo in Sac.
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Way to many places to name but will throw a few of my favorites out here. Starlight 82 , 84, 85. Park west in 83, did not like it in 87 to many people. Boise most wild outside and inside scene. Lake Placid 83 of course all the Red Rocks shows 15 total for me. Ventura 82 , 83 , 84 , 85 87 again to many people but still there. Places I enjoyed do to the ride to the show or the place itself. Morgantown 83 ,U V M 83 , Telluride because as someone said the entire town was the show. Check of the http://youtu.be/g4xXMmhjG6Qvideo . To may to post as far as Dead Shows. Jerry Band For sure the Stone in SF, Berkeley Stone ,Community theater Berkeley French's camp, Music mountain 82 Cape Cod coliseum both Dead and JGB Brandies university 8 Ocean State theater Providence The Cage U mass , Dunsmuir House and Garden , Russian river , Key stone Palo Alto and of course the Frost. Throw in the Oklahoma Zoo amphitheater too.
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A great historical Victorian hall on a hill in the middle of parkland. The Wall of Sound, Phil & Ned, twirlers and a central rose garden. Site of the 14 Hour Technicolour Dream, April 1967 - what? Look it up.

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The Warfield Theater in SF was pretty fine. Lovely old art deco movie house Bill converted into a Rock Palace. Cal Expo at night with grass under my feet, perfect weather and billowing white clouds filling the sky was memorable. Of course Red Rocks, and the Frost can't be forgotten. Winterland was my beginning with the band, so there's special memories, and I loved the Berkeley Community Theater, too. Grass Valley CA was a fine woodsy outdoor venue in 83, also.

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It wasn't the first place I saw the band, but to me, SPAC definitely had the best vibe of the various New England venues where I saw them. The summer 1985 show was a crazy good time, and 1988 wasn't too shabby either. I liked that the venue was in a state park where the freaks could frolic, both before and after the show. I'm also glad it's still around, and well kept for future generations to enjoy.

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I was there with a bunch of friends from Philly. I remember lots of great acid and fire hoses cooling down the crowds. Got the official Electric Factory poster 30 years later at a RATDOG show.