#GD50

Last weekend the Grateful Dead (or just the Dead, if you don’t want to insult Jerry) played two shows at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, 80 miles north of here, and this weekend they’re playing three shows at Soldier Field in Chicago, a few miles further. These five, swan-song performances mark the 50th anniversary of their founding. They haven’t played together in years and likely won’t again–so we went to both Santa Clara shows.

Considering Levi's Stadium holds nearly 70,000 people and these were mostly sold-out shows, getting into the place wasn't terrible.
Considering Levi’s Stadium holds nearly 70,000 people and these were sold-out shows, getting into the place wasn’t as terrible as expected.
Long security lines (with bag checks and metal detectors) gave us plenty of time to check out the scenery.
FARE THEE WELL
You'd think a band would get lost in a stadium, but the stage was HUGE.
You’d think a band would get lost in a stadium, but the stage was HUGE.
We knew our seats were "restricted view" but thought we'd be okay since we were on the side. Nope. Huge screens blocked any view of the band. So Saturday night's show was like being at a weird simulcast.
We knew our seats the first night were “restricted view” but thought we’d be okay since we were on the side. Nope. Huge screens blocked any view of the band. So Saturday night’s show was like being at a weird simulcast.
Not being able to see the band (and having a slight aversion to watching them on the big screen), I took the opportunity to people watch. I don't think I've ever
Not being able to see the band (and having a slight aversion to watching them on the big screen), I took the opportunity to people watch. So much good stuff. This dude danced the entire show with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen. Whether that was prompted by chemicals or the music, I don’t know. Why not both?
The costumes people wear at Dead shows could best be described as "circus hippie."
The costumes people wear at Dead shows could best be described as “circus hippie.”
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It’s nice to live in a state that didn’t just humiliate itself over gay marriage (now called “marriage”). Also note the guy trying to fly a kite.
There were Dead flags, too.
There were Dead flags flying, too.
Gumby.
Gumby.
The crowd turned and looked into the sky behind the stage. I thought they'd heard some kind of pot dog whistle, but ends up it was a rainbow.
Toward the end of the first set, the crowd turned and looked into the sky behind the stage. I thought they’d heard some kind of patchouli dog whistle, but ends up it was a rainbow. A double-rainbow, actually, though it’s hard to see the second one in this shot.
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So. Many. People.
So. Much. Weed.
So. Much. Weed.
So. Many. Colors.
So. Many. Colors.
The seats for show number two were much better. The performance was, too.
The seats for show number two were much better, if not further away from the stage (this is zoomed in).
My friend Evan is involved in an effort to create a huge natural swimming pool in the middle of Houston. This beach ball was my Kickstarter reward.
A friend is involved in an effort to create a huge natural swimming pool in the middle of Houston (called Houston Needs a Swimming Hole). Thought I’d spread the word out here by sending this ball on a journey.
It made it all the way to the front of the stadium.
It made it all the way to the front of the stadium.
Hey, look who it is!
Hey, look who it is! Circus Hippie! And he wasn’t the only person we recognized from the first show.
We don't know these people.
We don’t know these people.
Things got more interesting after dark.
The 80-mile drive back home each night sucked, but it was worth it for a couple of pretty amazing–and colorful–shows.

2 thoughts on “#GD50

  1. Harry Jones

    So wanted to be 25 again while watching the Cinder Cone video…..WOW!!!
    And…..I know my Texas friends think Texas is the end all/be all, but there is NOTHING like this in Texas…

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