Dead Again

Lots of déjà vu last night, starting when I got to West Falls Church Metro and was walking up from the north bus bay and there was Jill walking towards me. She had a CPR class in DC and had decided to head in about the same time, but she left on the next train as I was waiting for Stuart to get there. We headed downtown, and met up at Legal Sea Foods with Pete and Susan, both of whom I met on Edhead cruises. With their friends we had a nice little preshow party, along with some nice carbonated beverages and some of Legal’s tasty chowder.

I only saw the Grateful Dead once, in 1994 as I just was getting into heavy concert going (1994 was my first 100 show year), but when Jerry died the next year I didn’t have much opportunity. It was a pretty good show, and I had no complaints. Their next incarnation as the Other Ones for some reason didn’t appeal to me that much, even though I started seeing a number of other jam bands (Dave Matthews Band, Blues Traveler, Phish, Widespread Panic, etc.). When they decided they wanted to get back together as a band and became the Dead again (dropping Grateful out of respect), I decided it was time, and Stuart and I caught them out at Nissan in 2004. That show was very heavy on covers, not nearly enough classic tunes of their own, so I was up for more, and last night was their first public area appearance since then.

There was time for me to grab a dog and a beer before they started, and they got right into it with a good version of “Cassidy”. Several others I wasn’t familiar with, then “Lazy River Road” (which I’d just listened to that morning) and “Alabama Getaway” to finish off the set. We had a long intermission, then a short acoustic set and another (shorter) intermission. The third set was very jam-my, with a long jam that led into “Dark Star” and eventually into “Drums -> Space”. I’m not a fan of the extensive jamming when you’re not doing it around a melody (like Dave Matthews Band does), so not even hitting Come Together before going back into “Dark Star” was exciting me that much. But they pulled it off by sticking the ending, first ending the set with “Sugar Magnolia”, then going for the one two puch at the encore: “Uncle John’s Band” and Ripple (nice to finish with my favorite Dead song). I wasn’t a big fan of some of it, but still a win overall. It’s already online if you want to take a listen.