Okay, I’m taking all my friends’ sage advice and decided the time was right to get back in the game and see what the Dead are all about in 2009.. We do have the best lineup imaginable at this time with Warren Haynes pulling a lot of weight, in more way than on. In addition, I wanted to get Kathy to experience something like a Dead show and this run of shows seemed like a good opportunity. If I wasn’t with her, I don’t think I would have made the effort.
We got tickets for the show in the mail, took the Friday off from work and figured we would make the day of it checking about Albany, SUNY Albany being college for 6 years, as well as seeing a show. We dropped the kid, I mean dogs, off at her parents house in the early afternoon and by 1:00pm we were on the road. Got to SUNY Albany at 3:30 and decided to check out the old school. I have not been to the campus since I left in 1987. We paid $5 to park in a visitors lot off the grass circle at the front and went to the Podium. It was a gorgeous day and I was expecting the school to be hopping. The grass circle at the front had lots of Frisbee types of activities going on but the Podium was pretty empty. I showed Kathy around, went to the Ratt, which is gone, there is now a mini-food court down there instead with a Wendy’s. I showed her the lecture centers, the tunnels, a building or two and then we headed downtown. We took a stop and parked at Hudson Street and walked in front of my old houses at 496 and one I could figure out which was exactly my house. Nevertheless, the block still looked like fun the kids all over partying. It looked like the house have had no work done on the in 20 years and have deteriorated since. We walked around the block, I snapped some shots, Washington’s Tavern is still there, so is the Ginger Man believe it or not, but we went to eat at the Lamp Post, which is now called something else. They had $0.30 wing happy hours so We split 10 and I had a coke. With Kathy’s water r this was a $6 bill. We strolled to a little hole in the wall Italian grocery at Qual and Hudson that I said used to be Cusatos and I used to get my beer and pizza from them. It kind of looked the same and we went in and they had $2 large slices that were really good. So this was really enough for Dinner.
We got fiully downtown and parked by 5:00, found a great lot that gave us an super quick exit and onto the highway we went. We got into the car after the show at 11:55 and I was in my house in Morristown at 2:30. Thank G-d I didn’t sleep over. Tomorrow’s gonna be a beautiful kayaking Saturday.
See we parked in the sterile parking deck at the arena and found a super crowded Shakedown Street down the hill. We browsed but it was so crowded that it was uncomfortable to shop. Lots of tie-dye, jewelry, imports on skateboards, dogs, kids, glass, ilicit activities, smells, dreadlocks. Police presence was very mellow and so was security at the show. An enjoyable experience from the town’s perspective. Thank you Albany, proves to be a very cool place in everything I encountered.
Kathy and I hung out on the stairs in front for 25 minutes before the show observing and then went in at 6:45. We were amazed at how empty it was for a 7:00 showw. Ooops, it’s 7:30 show. A large beer a popcorn kept me occupied until show time. My seats in section 208 sucked becuase the were on Phil’s side and too close to the stage where the speaker racks blocked my view of Warren entirely and almost completed of Bob. I was with Kathy and we didn’t move and it wasn’t too bad. I know my seats for the two Byrne shows are better.
Show opend with a quick and uneventful Dead. Warrren was forceful and in front. From my seat Both Warren and Bob dominated the sound. Phil and the drummers seemed to be in a contained compressed buss while the guitars tweeted and twatted all over the place. I found this to the be worse part of the musicianship of the show. Too many squeeky slide sounds and harmonics from both Warren and Bob.
Time to finish up the story tomorrow.
- Into the Mystic
- Minglewood – Didn’t like it
- West LA – Didn’t like Warren’s Wah sound
- Brown-Eyed – Space beginning – Good power
- Cumberland – Very hot Warren licks, long intro – close to original structure.
- Viola Lee Blues – Too much like Cumberland from first set?
- Sugaree – This was pretty how
- Other One – This seemed forced too many weird sounds from guitars got annoying. It’s like enough with playing like sound effects, give me something I can relate to.
- Drums – Really good
- Space – eh, but the french frieis were good!
- Comes a Time – Really sweet, vocals and lead by Warren were beautiful.
- Unbroken Chain – Vocally reaaly poor, the PA sounded very midrangey but the progressions and jamming through the songs were interesting and all over the place.
- Throwing Stones – Not good, Warren sounded good
- Not Fade Away – This was the encore and was OK, long jam n the middle of course.
Bolted out of there right at the end of Not Fade, if they played Stephen right out of it I would have missed it, but then again I wouldn’t have gotten home by 2:30. All and all a very fun day with the Dead and probably the last time I’ll see SUNY Albany. I wish the fountains were on, but it was too early I guess.