(Posters Warning : CJ told me this blog now has a more diverse focus. I still plan to stick to gambling in some sense. Because I am a problem gambler, this still leaves an immense range of topics about which I can, and will, post. I just felt like writing again.)
I saw a wookie bounce off the hoods of three cars. He streaked past me, with clumped hair flapping and woozy knees wobbling, presumably running FROM something that only he could see. With wookies there's an equal probability that he's running from :
A) The Law.
B) His Past.
C) His Imagination
He'd just run down our aisle when he darted between cars, bouncing off one, into another fender, then off a hood. I thought he got away. I later heard he was slammed down by three cops.
For those of you playing at home, that's "A".
Now, generally I like to get all settled in before wookie watching, but since this is the first Dead tour in years I was prepared for anything. My wife, brother and I got to Greensboro at least 3.5 hours before showtime. Presumably enough time to either drink a dozen beers or wait once in the porta-potty line.
The good news is that most of the salesmen were pretty savvy. That's unusual for a wook. The two most active undercover cops were a big burly guy in a yellow shirt that said "Dead" and another guy, also burly, but at least 6 foot 6 with a crew cut and a blue 'do rag.
I saw douche-rag guy hit up one pipe vendor near our car. Pipe vendor was holding his glass in a black case and strolling down our lane when douche grabs a random pipe and whips out a wad of cash. My car was blasting tunes at the time and I couldn't hear everything said but I saw douche-rag point several times to the "bowl" portion of this young wooks glass. Wook, again, was savvy. The only part of the conversation I actually heard was wook telling cop, "These are for tobacco man. I could hook you up with THAT if you want."
Cop grabbed his money back from the wook, put the glass back, and stormed away without a word.
That's the gamble that is the Dead lot these days. I remember back in the day, we'd see more of everything than you can imagine ( I mean wow, really, everything) and the cops did nothing. It used to kinda freak me out the way cops would just ignore all the obvious, illegal activity at a GRATEFUL DEAD show. Maybe Jerry was responsible for greasing the locals, but the cops ain't cool these days and they haven't been for quite some time.
Granted, like the wookies themselves, some people deserve what they get. One kid, a girl who I'd say was about 17, came by our car holding a ticket in her hand. She showed it to me....busted for drinking in the lot. Now, here's where she got super-extra-mega-dumb. Her girlfriend was in the process of getting busted by yellowshirt guy (who again, could have just worn the uniform for all the subtlety he brought to undercover work) and our kid goes up to give her friend a hug. During the bust. While holding an open beer.
These are tomorrow's leaders.
So once inside we take totally excellent floor seats just to by the soundboard (Philside) and I continue the now standing bet I have with Pauly. We each pick 3 songs for 1st set opener. 3 more for second set. 3 more for encore. I took $20 off him when Phish opened with Fluffhead at Hampton.
We pushed all three for the dead.
Here's the setlist for those who care :
Music Never Stopped
Estimated Prophet >
He's Gone >
Touch of Gray
I Need a Miracle >
All Aong The Watchtower
New Potato Caboose
Help on the Way >
Samson and Delilah
Some notes :
I love Music Never Stopped but am unable to NOT hear Donna scream OHHHH YEAH at crucial parts of the song. I'm not sure what that means. I've never actually SEEN Donna but that's what years of bootleg cassettes will do for a man.
My brother and I really, really, really, really, really, wanted to see Estimated Prophet simply because we like screaming AH NA NA NA NA along with Bobby Weir. We're amused by simple things.
He's Gone was written long before Jerry died but when you're touring without him you do know the audience assumes it's ABOUT him now....right?
Miracle was the highlight of the first set. I got stuck in the beer line during Touch of Grey and missed part. In fact, I missed so much that I missed Truckin'. I was so oblivious to it that I PICKED Truckin' as one of my 3 second set openers with Pauly. It was a dumb bet.
I enjoy the song Shakedown Street very much.
I also Enjoy All Along the Watchtower and Warren Haynes really shredded it up on this one.
Caution was awesome and this is the best thing about having Warren play with the band. He can actually sing the blues. Not the douchey Bobby Red Rooster blues but the good ol' Pigpen brand. If you get to see the Dead this year, hope that they play this song.
During Cosmic Charlie my wife said, "you know the DEAD never played this but all the after-bands (Phil, Ratdog, the Dead) play it all the time. I wonder why."
Then they played New Potato Caboose. Wow. I don't even own a bootleg version of this soon. I couldn't remember the name until it was half-over. I do remember that "touching makes the flesh cry out loud." That counts for something.
The band started the Help>Slip>Frank at 11:30. That's 4 hours in.
My brother and I assumed all day, it being Easter and all, that we'd see either Promised Land (my guess) or Greatest Story Ever Told (his). Samson and Delilah is what we got.
C'est la vie.
This is the kind of crap I blog about now.
It did contain some gambling.