Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #112186  by 1965zoso
 Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:11 pm
Hey everyone,
Ive been to some shows but to young to have been able to see the dead. But im very curious about all these stories ive been told about what was happening at shows. What i mean is all the meta-physical, spiritual things. During the space jams and jerry solos and stuff like that. What events would happen, exactly what would be happening in your head. All the dancing, drugs, psychological synchroncicities all were happening. But what was so transendental about it, im very curious about what happened from beginning to end!
 #112189  by Pete B.
 Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:03 pm
One time at MSG, I was standing in the first seat off the isle about 20 rows up from the floor. I was thinking, this is a good time and place to spark a pre-rolled Jay.
So I light it, take a big hit, tilt my head back and blow out a big plume of smoke.
I look down...
...and the joint had not been lit yet!
:lol: :lol: :lol:
That was nice ha-loo-ee!
 #112192  by Dwarf Rat
 Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:03 pm
Warfield 1980

Marijuana, Cocaine, LSD.

We were in the balcony. The guy with the "I'm Dead" license plate was dancing all night long.
I remember driving north to San Rafael across the Golden Gate Bridge with my gas gauge on E.
We made it home all right. Next day was a harsh crash from the chemicals. I woke up in Sonoma
not knowing how I got there, but the Alex DeGrassi record " Slow Circle" was on the stereo. My life was changed forever by that weekend.
 #112238  by ImJerryToo
 Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:57 am
During SPACE there was something that usually did happen, for me anyway. Maybe not exactly meta-physical, but definately physical. I called it "Finding the men's room".

(Actually I might have taken care of that during Drums)

OK, OK, here's one for ya. I remember (sort of) an outdoor show, I think 83 Merriweather, it was rainy. They were playing the Terrapin outtro jam, and lightning off in the distance was dancing right in time to the licks. It was really cool. At the time, I thought Jerry was doing it.

Looking back on it now, it was probably Ramrod.
 #112243  by gr8fulbluz
 Sat Apr 07, 2012 5:59 am
So much stuff i do not remember mostly because i don't see my old friends from then much anymore. I forget the good times till i see them again.
So 03/19/86 Hampton Coliseum. I believe it had just lightly snowed at the end of the show. For some reason i didn't recognize my car at all in the snow until i tried the key. My buddies were like "hey its your car" I was saying "no its around here somewhere" I think that show changed my vision somehow that night and i grew an inch in height.
Wish i could bottle that!
 #112244  by Poor Peter
 Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:34 am
Alpine Valley '87...Sunday show...During the end of the Jack Straw...A ball of energy came off the stage, you could feel it coming, and feel it pass right through you and beyond. I know it was real becuse the people around me felt it as well. When I got back to our campsite my tour mates were already talking about it. There are only audience recordings of it but if you listen closely you'll feel what I'm talking about.

Greensboro, N.C. '91 Easter Sunday. They opened the second set with a roarin' Samson. At the height of the jam Jerry turned into a HUGE lion...(at least for me)....only his head, the rest of his body stayed it's normal size. Then they drifted off into a 20 min + Eyes that got up and walked right out of the building and is still floating around in space somewhere...
 #112246  by 1965zoso
 Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:43 am
ImJerryToo wrote:During SPACE there was something that usually did happen, for me anyway. Maybe not exactly meta-physical, but definately physical. I called it "Finding the men's room".

(Actually I might have taken care of that during Drums)

OK, OK, here's one for ya. I remember (sort of) an outdoor show, I think 83 Merriweather, it was rainy. They were playing the Terrapin outtro jam, and lightning off in the distance was dancing right in time to the licks. It was really cool. At the time, I thought Jerry was doing it.

Looking back on it now, it was probably Ramrod.
How could ramrod do it?
 #112272  by BillyBrown1
 Sat Apr 07, 2012 7:07 pm
Deercreek 94 I was 14 Trippin scary hard on Jesus Christ whenever someone asked my buddy Chuckarooski what time it was he'd say 730 MAN!!! and they'd take off running(I couldnt figure that one out ) by the time we got to the lawn I was hangin onto the grass to keep from falling off the earth. Huge beach ball and balloon tracers everywhere the sound seemed like a massive angry bee hive and I knew for sure everyone there was talkin about me. Then I saw a huge beach ball tracer land on a light in the tapers section Boom Flash and you know how ya get the green splotch when you look at the sun Well that was everywhere and I couldnt see and thunderous applause irrupted(because everyone there knew I couldnt see) and just when I was sure I was gonna die womp womp womp dun dun da da womp the green splotch fades away and SHAKEDOWN STREET!!! WOOOOOOOOOOO!!! dancing was like a reflex and I immediately felt wonderful and new I was a part of somthin special.
 #112274  by JonnyBoy
 Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:04 pm
It was the funnest times. It was a society. There were super great people, and total asses too. The ratio of good folks far out weighed the negative though. It was self sustaining, self governing, and exceptionally fun! Being in the lot could put you in touch with some awesome people, and people you haven't seen in a long time. Always a feeling of belonging and positive energy to enjoy the music. The best Doses too.

The music inside was the real treat. Phil's bass so loud it would literally shake the cement risers in rhythm with the music, if at an indoor stadium. All of It was so loud and in a good way. Drums/Space was usually a time for me to go out an see folks, go to the bathroom or just hang and smoke. My favorite feeling was the boys pulling out of space into a song, I was usually ready for that. Here we go, Set II! The Wheel was a personal favorite of mine. I wish I stayed more sober for the shows. I could remember the specifics better. You always saw guys getting hauled off, passing out, freaking out. I remember one time all the spinners in the hallway in Atlanta it was like they were a mob of moon fairy's. I really miss the traveling circus of it all. My first Grateful Dead concert I was a part of was in 1988 Philly, My last was Las vegas 1995. I wish I could have been around to see the late 70's and early 80's, but I am happy with what I got. It all changed my life for the better.
 #112275  by Jimaroe
 Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:34 pm
I hesitated to input my experiences with the Grateful Dead live and in person simply because many on here were able to see the boys earlier, more times etc etc. Then I thought hell, here's experience. It's genuine and heartfelt. Started listening to the Dead in the late 80's, turned onto 'em thanks to friend's older brothers. Got my chance to see em live December 92 Mcnichols Arena Denver Co. I was 17 and a senior in HS. Camped out in the local mall parking lot with 2 of the hottest little hippy chics from school. By 92, the Dead were not a secret and tix went quick. Anyways went drove into Denver, I remember the traffic, everybody smiling and waving you could tell who was going where. Years later (Facebook) I reconnect with these gals and the first thing we talk about is that I was scared to go out in the parking lot- lol. Like Billybrown I was everybody knew how f'd up i was. Anyways, I remember Jer doing Peggy-o and these amazing purple lights glowing off of everybody's heads in the audience. Everybody dancin' it seemed in unison. Bobby did little red rooster, the boys came back out for Gloria encore. It was a good time.
 #112283  by tcsned
 Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:31 am
I never got to see a Keith and Donna show but saw my first in Baltimore 82, my last at Deer Creek in 93. For me, those earlier shows 85 and before) were magical for me. The lot scene wasn't the chaotic frenzy that it became after the success of Touch of Grey. I'm sure the older folks will say the same about the 70s or 60s. But being a veteran concert goer, I've seen everything from Sinatra to Zappa to Ozzy, there's something different about a Dead show, it's hard to describe the x-factor that they had but it was a combination of the musicianship, the scene, the culture of the region the show was at, I don't know what else but it struck a chord with me that I haven't felt since. Further, Ratdog, P&F come close but it still doesn't have that feeling. Sometimes that feeling comes back for a fleeting moment and i revel in it when it's there. I'm glad I got to see almost 200 shows.
 #112287  by mgbills
 Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:19 am
What a question! You should find yourself & old Deadhead buddy, and listen to stories for a few hours. There is more than I could type in a year. But here is a couple...

When I first started seeing the Dead, it wasn't because I liked fact quite the opposite. I was strictly a Floyd/Zep kinda kid. Why were all these freaks listening to the weird country music? When will this song end? Why do they never play anything off American Beauty? Will they every play a song I know?

One night I realized that I was standing on the floor and I was doing this wiggly-butt dance. I thought damn...I must look like an idiot! Then I looked to my left. Everybody as far as I could see...was doing the same dance. I looked to my right...same. I figured that made it OK.

I remember a show in Hartford...maybe...I remember a swell from Slip to Frank. I remember the tease, and I remember the wave of energy. The resolution. I was swept up by it. And once I was on the wave...nothing would ever be the same. Majesty in the moment. Bands that played a well-oiled setlist would never seem the same. Devoid of magic.

This has turned into a babble. In those early '80's shows I lost all fear of my inner freak. People were very set in their ways in small NY towns, and freaks weren't accepted. I walked out through that garden gate, and into a broader world. Jerry showed me the way. A million mystical experiences. Lost my traditional religious upbringing. Became a Tree-Huggin' Dirt Worshipper. Knew many a nontraditional beauty. Became a giant Redwood, and learned what it's like to live 500 years. Ate from the Gourd & drank from the Vine. Knew my own death at a core level, and lost even the fear of that.

But I could never show anyone the way, and it was my sincerest desire to do so. "That path is for...your steps alone." But I did meet the Love of my Life on the trail. And that's a darn fine thing.

I have always wished that I could paint a perfect picture (for any who asked) of that thing which is both of the Grateful Dead...and of the Mystical Experience. I have chased ideas that were truth to no one but me. Down secret byways, alleys, and wooded paths.

Maybe the truth is ...Nothing happened at the shows...and maybe everything.