It is now time to tell you of my latest adventure(It's kind of a long one, but it provides great insight into my life, maybe even the most important post on this whole blog). Which involves much music. For you see Furthur is essentially the Grateful Dead. It's the rhythm guitarist Bob Weir, and the Bassist Phil Lesh with a group of very talented musicians playing pretty much only Grateful Dead tunes. But that could be a whole story itself.
So it all started out in May. when I heard Furthur was going to be touring. We bought our tickets early and then I had to sit around all summer waiting for the day to come. and it came! the first show we saw was in Salt Lake Wednesday 9/28/11. So my father and I traveled up there with our good hippie buddy Larry Harper and his girlfriend Megan. We were planning on meeting Brad at the show (he was driving down from Pocatello). So we got into the show and they started pretty much right on time. I was completely blown away at how good they were sounding. It was so crazy! they played tons of old stuff that the Grateful Dead hadn't played in like 25 years! not to mention they played the entire Terrapin Suite! It was a phenomenal show (here's the Set List if you're interested). After the show we walked around Shakedown Street (the name of a dead song, but also what we call the gathering place where everyone is selling shirts, jewelry, veggie burritos, drugs and such). I decided I wanted to buy a T-shirt for every show we saw. Then it was off for home. got there about 2:00 a.m.
The next morning I decided to wake up at 6 and go to seminary. then it was back home and off to Colorado to see Furthur play 3 more shows. We traveled pretty much the whole day (Brad, My dad, and I). We stopped in Silt Colorado to spend the night at my aunt and uncles house. The next morning (friday) we woke up and drove to Morrison, Colorado which is just outside of Denver, and is the home to Red Rocks Amphitheater. A truly remarkable place. It's a natural amphitheater, with a red rock wall behind the stage and up both sides of the venue as well. It's considered to be one of the most beautiful concert venues in the world. We had traveled there a few years earlier to see Mr. Bob Dylan. Anyways, we got there to find that all the camping sites in the area were either closed or full. so we back tracked to a town called Central City. Here's some pictures of it.
Basically it was an old mining town up in the mountains. It's a really neat/strange place. you feel like you are in a western movie with all the old buildings. All of them are pretty much casinos though. which is probably how the place has survived. Anyways, we then headed back over to Red Rocks for our dinner reservation at their lovely restaurant. after which we proceeded to our seats for the concert. And what a show it was...again. They were just as great. And of course they played all kinds of crazy stuff again. But different stuff. Cause that's the thing about the Grateful Dead, they don't play the same songs very often cause they don't need to. They have so
many songs it's not even funny. and when they do play the same song, it's different cause they're a jam band. That's a reason they have such a devout following, cause it's so diverse and you never know what you're going to get. anyways here is a picture of us that first night.
and this blog is being very uncooperative with picture placement. anyways, The show was 3 hours long (cause that's how long they always play). here's the Set List for that.
The next day we woke up, headed over to Johnny Z's, one of the casinos for breakfast. said you had to be 21 to enter...good thing for facial hair. I just walked right in. after breakfast we headed up into the mountains just outside of town to the cemetery. which turned out to be cemeteries. there were at least 4 different ones. tons of old graves mostly around the 1800's, tucked back in the golden aspen trees. After we went walking around the town a little. Then it was back to Red Rocks for another great show. I went on the quest for more shirts and was successful. What an amazing show that was too! get your Set List here.
Sunday morning we had to run Brad to the Denver airport so he could attend his mothers funeral the next morning. She passed away the morning of the salt lake show. Which is really good timing, cause seeing the Dead can help you get through anything, but I'll talk about that more in a minute. After we dropped him off, Dad and I headed to the Denver Museum of Art. I'd been there a few years earlier on a school trip and wanted to return. Sadly it wasn't as good as I had remembered it. but we had nothing better to do anyways. I bet you'll never guess what we did next....headed back to Red Rocks for the last show that we'd be seeing on their tour. It was a little earlier than the other two shows. And it wasn't sold out like the last two. Right before the show we were down at Shakedown street looking for more shirts and this guy was selling a Calvin and Hobbes Standing on the Moon shirt. So I bought it. and My dad was saying "now that you've got that, they're totally going to play Standing on the Moon tonight". Which is such an amazingly beautiful song. I love it. and what do you know, they played it! it was an amazing show. nother Set List . also here's a picture of us that night. they pulled out all the stops. every song they played was just sooooo good.
I was left completely speechless.
That night we drove back to my Aunts house. Monday morning we got up and headed for home. Listened to the Salt Lake show over and over the whole ride back. That's one of the cool things about the Dead, you can buy the show you just attended a few minutes after its over. Sadly I only bought that one then, but I have all of the others now.
Now for the wrap up. There is no way to describe a Grateful Dead concert. It is a super spiritual experience. this is my personal experience to the best I can attempt and explain. When they play, my soul is overfilled with joy. Literally bursting. Pure concentrated happiness. And the whole place is lifted to a different planet, you don't have a care in the world aside from the beautiful music that's happening. Your mind becomes clear and all the terrible things that have ever happened completely vanish. Yet it's also a time of reflection, tend to think about all the things you want to change and do better at. Don't ask me how you have mental clarity and reflection at the same time, cause I have completely no idea how it happens, just that it does. I'm a witness of it. You'd have to glue your feet to the ground to keep from dancing and it's literally impossible not to smile. one of my favorite things to do is look around and see all the happy dancing people. I feel more at home at a Grateful Dead concert than anywhere else I have ever ever been(including my home). It's truly feels like the heavens are opened, you want to be the very best person you can be. I have not been to a single show of theirs where I haven't cried during a few songs because it's so spiritual and moving (especially the Sunday night show, cried the whole way through Standing on the Moon and a few others). I can't do it any justice. In fact no words can. It's not just me either. all the other dead heads I have conversed with have said similar things. And no I do not partake of any drugs or alcohol at such events. Sure I've been offered all kinds of stuff like weed, acid, cocaine, Molly (pure ecstasy), Nitros balloons. But you just pleasantly refuse them. man, I love that community so much! everyone is there for the same reason, to have a great time and be uplifted. It's just fun to be around so many colorfully dressed people that are all radiating the same joy as you. Quite a few characters around too. After the shows, everyone congregates around Shakedown Street where people are selling all kinds of stuff, trinkets, patches, food, shirts, and other stuff. Just trying to get money to travel to the next show. Yes, there are people that have followed the Grateful Dead their whole lives. and that's another thing, the diversity of the crowd is awesome! old people, middle aged, teens, and small children. Nerds, jocks, geeks, business men, hippies, everyone you can think of. and no one is frowned upon. everyone is embraced by the community with open arms. often times literally. You always get hugs from complete strangers. So much love! It's just super chill. I mean you can go pee by the side of the road and no one cares (yes I have done that many times). Even just listening to their music at home makes me want to be a better person. I've found that the days I listen to the Grateful Dead in the morning end up being so much better than when I don't.
Changes my whole outlook and mood for the day. I've also found it extremely helpful for doing homework. I can focus so much better while listening to them and not get stressed out. Which is super great for right now since I'm making up the mounds and mounds of homework I've missed this month from adventures. They've been such an influence in my life. You see, the Grateful Dead aren't just a band, they're a way of life, a higher quality of living. In fact, without them, I may not even be alive and certainly not the person I am today. But that's a different story(ask me sometime and maybe I'll tell you it) At this point, I'm sure you're all running to your phones to have me committed to an asylum, thinking "this guy is crazy! there's no way what he's talking about is true!". All I have to say is: you need to experience it for yourself. and maybe it won't have the same affect for you, but what have you got to lose? (but I do have to warn you, you'll probably end up wanting to listen to nothing but the Grateful Dead for a while afterwards, cause no other music reaches the magic affect I've been talking about).It's certainly changed my life for the better.