Looks Like Rain: Cloudbursts, Pittsburgh, and the Grateful Dead

DW Dalrymple

DW is a Proud West Virginian from the top of the middle finger, a former political hack/public servant and alleged rock-n-roll savant. Forever a student of the School of Life. You can find him on Twitter @BIG_DWD

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6 Responses

  1. Mike Dwyer says:

    I had tickets for that 1994 show at Buckeye, which would have been my first time seeing the Dead. My buddy was supposed to drive and a few days before his car broke down. There was no way my junker was going to make it but he had a friend who wanted to go and would drive. So I sold him my ticket and they went without me. I just assumed I would see them some other time. As you relate in the OP, that was not to be the case. I have seen the Jerry Garcia Band, Ratdog and the Other Ones since, the last being the closest thing to the original experience, but obviously I will always feel like I missed out.

    I’m quickly closing in on my 100th concert since 1993. As much as I love the album experience and I think it’s one of the truest art forms, there is just something about a live show that really re-affirms your love for music, the musician and your fellow fans.

    Thanks for this post.Report

    • DW Dalrymple in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      The early to mid-90’s had some tremendous tours going on. Lots of good bands were out. Buckeye was a good time except for getting lost afterwards. Parking was an organizational disaster. When we left the Jeep we used a giant teepee on top of a hill for a landmark. It was gone when the show was over. I told my wife I was going to punch a trooper just so I could have a place to sleep in jail rather than walk another minute. It was right about then we saw my brother-in-law laughing sitting on the hood of the Jeep… I almost killed him! Haha

      Thanks for reading..Report

  2. Em Carpenter says:

    Never saw the GD, but I went to a few Phish shows in college. Basically the same thing, right?

    Seriously though, great piece. I love the shout-out to the Star Lake Amphitheatre. I don’t know what boring corporate name it goes by now (KeyBank Pavilion, last I heard), but it was, is, and always will be the Star Lake Amphitheatre to me. I’ll even accept Coca-Cola Star Lake Amphitheatre. Man, I had a lot of fun there, some of which I even remember.Report

    • DW Dalrymple in reply to Em Carpenter says:

      They are the same and NOT the same I suppose. Lyrically different, but each falls in that “experience” category when it comes to shows. You can’t just buy an album, listen and say you’re a fan, you really have to take in a show—Buy the ticket, take the ride…
      As for Star Lake; I grew up less than 10 minutes from it (when it was a Boy Scout Camp) and worked there in its early days when grunge was exploding across the world and classic artists were coming out to tour-they can rename it whatever they want, it will ALWAYS be Star Lake to me too.
      Hands down, my fav concert there was The Eagles in August of 94. It was a perfect night..but there were many more nights there, some working in the pit (Lollapalooza) some as just as a fan & some a little bit of BOTH!

      Thanks for reading.Report

  3. So I’m not a big “jam band” fan but the Dead have cross my musical path several times. Interestingly enough I first new of Jerry Garcia and some of the others because of their daliances in bluegrass and root music in their various side projects over the years. I like stories like this though, and I’ve found that bands I might not listen to at home I’ve found their concerts amazing to see live. The elements here are an amazing thing. Thank you so much for sharing this story with us.Report

    • DW Dalrymple in reply to Andrew Donaldson says:

      My taste in music was broadened by my stint at Star Lake by being exposed to music I would have never considered to listen to before that time. That’s not saying I enjoyed it all because there were a few that got old real quick (along with the fans) but overall the takeaway from that part-time job was a positive experience. From being under “attack” by Ministry Fans rushing the house/stage at Lollapalooza, along with the sod tossing, lawn cup/blanket fires of the Skynyrd shows to the laid back vibe of the Parrot Heads, I saw a lot in those few summers. The Dead was an experience that went beyond the job obviously. My wife and I had a lot of fun in the 90’s!

      Thanks for encouraging me to write about it. I had fun reminiscing as I put it all together.Report