As mentioned previously, I went to relive some of my youth by seeing The Dead on Easter weekend. The irony of going to a Dead show on Easter is not lost on me, I promise, but it was loads of fun.
I went by myself but had plans to meet up with friend from my Moms Group and her husband around dinner time. I arrived at the parking lot around 3:00 in the afternoon, got a great parking spot and proceeded to walk around, shop the vendors and people watch. Believe it or not, I really enjoyed going by myself. I just wandered the crowd, feeling a little at home and a little out of place all at once.
You see, I haven’t been to a Dead show since ’95. I saw them in DC the summer that Jerry died and it was my 13th show. Lucky number, I know. But after being there, “back in the day” as it were, it was a little strange to be there in 2009. There weren’t as many vendors and those selling items and not food were mostly businesses that looked like they packed up their store and brought it to the parking lot. There were a small few who were selling things they had made themselves.
The food was more expensive, too. A good friend of mine and I had made plans for the spring tour of ’96 (the semester after we graduated from college) to follow the Dead selling grilled cheese sandwiches for $1. Obviously, that never happened and now they’re $2 each. Inflation at a Dead Show – who knew?
People watching was so much fun. There were many who looked like they hadn’t changed a bit in the last 14 years. I found myself wondering where they had been all these years. I’m guessing following bands like Phish, String Cheese Incident, Widespread Panic and Yonder Mountain String Band.
I also saw many people (and I fall into this category, too, I think) that looked like they belonged, but you could tell they had to dust off their “show clothes” before getting there.
And I saw some who were there for the “party”, there for the “scene” and there because they had heard what shows were like and thought it might be fun to go.
All in all, the parking lot was great fun but definitely not like it used to be. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.