About this time, I should be sweltering in the sun amidst the growing crowd in Folsom Field, waiting for our second show of the weekend from Dead & Company.
Of course, due to COVID cancellations, that is not what I’m doing. Too bad. Every July for the last 4 years, the Boulder pilgrimage has been a big part of my summer. After the Fare Thee Well shows of 2015, we thought the whole run was done. Then word leaked out about a new line-up with John Mayer playing some dates that fall. Skepticism abounded among Deadheads. Some folks felt stung by this post-“final show” surprise, especially people who had ponied up a pretty price for what we all thought was the end of the Long Strange trip.
I didn’t mind but was admittedly skeptical — until I saw some of the videos. By the time they announced the 2016 dates in Boulder, I was all in. A return to Folsom Field after seeing the Grateful Dead’s 15th Anniversary shows there in 1980 definitely appealed to me. Although uninterested in going to the shows, Sara certainly liked the idea of escaping the Texas heat for a quick getaway. Albert would meet us at Rory’s for the shows.
We opted for tickets up in the stands at the back. I was worried about standing for a whole show and happy to have a place to sit between songs. While the view wasn’t the best, the sound was outstanding.
Day 2 of the run, my old friends, Tracy & Dale, joined us up there despite having floor tickets. Us old farts gotta stick together sometimes.
By 2017, we had moved to Cañon City, significantly shortening our drive.
Our friend, Shawn, joined us for the shows as well as Rebecca. Sara stayed home this time. For the second year running, we stayed up in the stands.
2018 saw Sara return to Boulder with me but we had to stay elsewhere than with Rory, since he and his family were out of town that time. After 2 years in the stands, Albert & Rebecca & I went for the floor tickets this year to get closer.
Standing turned out to be no real issue, and any concerns I had about feeling too crowded turned out to be unfounded as well.
The sound was fantastic and the view was great — most of the time, that is.
Last year, Albert & I hooked up in Dallas for the show before Boulder and then drove up together, just like old times.
In Boulder, we met up with a number of Austin folks from our DeadEye tribe who had rented a house within walking distance, but Albert & I stayed with Rory. Us old farts need some down time away from the Fun Vortex to rest and recharge.
So, I am disappointed not be out in the sun right now, waiting for tonight’s opener.
Meanwhile, the quarantine means more and more musicians are livestreaming new and old shows. And that means I have the opportunity this evening to watch my old friends, DeadEye, or to return to Folsom Field, Saturday night 2018, thanks to Dead & Company’s ongoing series. Pretty sure the guy with the hat won’t be in the way this time!
One more Saturday night!