June 22, 1991
Roger McGuinn opened
Wang Dang Doodle
B. E. Women
Let It Grow
Foolish Heart> L. L. Rain> Crazy Fingers
> Playin> Terrapin> Drumz> Dark Star Jam> Playin
> Black Peter> Saturday Night
Attendees of this show
This was what "got me on the bus". Sitting between two heads who had seen about a hundred shows between them. Clean at this one and every show since.
Stopped by my little sisters on my way to Chicago, got her and my, then future brother and law, good friend well lit up and with a few stories and such about tour. After my sister had fallen asleep and I was ready to get back on the road when my friend asks if he could come along.... What a silly question.... He told my sis he was going with and we arrived at soldiers field parked and had just enough time to get tix and as it happened to be I had a couple blue unicorns left which we took just before going in. This was his first and only show..... He said it changed his life forever and didn't understand why that was just no real surprise to me at all. I remember after the show I gave him my car to go back home with and I hitch hiked on after that. my head was swimming for days those unicorns were of a very special nature you know.... Hey I never did get my car back or even ask what happened to it.....hmmmm gotta go make a phone call excuse me please.
Ended up at this show by luck, not plan. Got a ticket from a friend a few nights before in Pine Knob. Hitched to Chicago without a ride home (Toronto at the time). Not even a minute after walking into the venue I ran into a friend with a spare seat to give me a ride home. All the tension of the day pealed away and I blissed through the whole show. Very wild night. Crazy Fingers suited the weather and atmosphere perfectly and that encore was a beautiful sendoff!
Somebody started a wave during the set break. It went around 3 or 4 times before we were all too exhausted from laughing to stand up any more when it came to our section. I have been saying ever since that this show was the most fun that I ever had with my clothes on. The Foolish Heart was epic. The fireworks at the end with Jimi Hendrix playing Star Spangled Banner had us all jumping up and down with joy. The boys publicist mentioned in a story in the Chicago Tribune that they had some special things planned for this show since they hadn't played within the city limits for quite some time. Boy was he right - they pulled out all the stops for this one.
A rep from the Chicago Park District said that they loved the fans because they usually arrested more people at a Bear game, and that the band was welcome back. Sadly, it turned out to be the final venue in 95. I was at all of the Soldier Field shows, and this one wins.
As soon as they launched into Shakedown you knew this night was going to be special. Intense Chicago weather set a nice backdrop for the dark Playin > Terrapin >D/S > Darkstar Instr > Playin. The Foolish > LLR was really nice as well. First time I ever saw anything with the words "Dark Star" in the title, even if they didn't sing it.
Five of us drove in a two-door Honda Civic hatchback from West Palm Beach Florida to Pine Knob, where it was in the upper 90s and hot as hell those two days. After rolling into Chicago, and getting lost initially, we found our way to Soldier Field, where it was very cold, windy and overcast. All I had were shorts and short sleeves, so I bought some Guatemalan pants in the parking lot so my Florida-ass wouldn't freeze to death. I clearly remember standing next to this VW Bus when all of a sudden the door opened and this guy staggered out, stood up, stretched and then wrapped his arms around his waist. "Brrrr!" he said. "Hey, can someone tell me if this is fall tour?" he asked, and he was totally serious. "No, Rumplestiltskin," I said. "It's June 22." He looked at me, blinked and said, "Far out," and then walked away. I've always wondered what was going on inside that bus that made the buy actually think he had blacked out and woke up in the Northeast on fall tour.
Anyway, of 50-or-so shows I saw (I came late to the party in 1989 and lived in Florida -- way out of the way of any tour -- for most of the early 1990s) this one stands out to me as one of the deepest, darkest, well-played nights of any I witnessed. Bruce was teasing Dark Star in-between songs all night long, and I also remember the Shakedown Street was deep into the funk. The crowd did the wave at setbreak, somehow snaking its way across the upper-level seats, down to the floor and back up to the seats on the other side. As soon as the wave ended, the lights went down and set two started. This Looks Like Rain was a pivotal moment in my life, as that was the very point in time where me and a girl named Cheri I would be with off and on for the next 12 years first said I love you to each other. I'll never forget it. And LLR was always our song after that. I also clearly remember this is a killer Let it Grow, and while they were playing the Dark Star jam there were a ton of people walking around, to the point someone screamed out, "What are you people doing? This is Dark Star!!!"
Great memories. I miss the band and all of my old touring companions dearly.
I walked into the stadium that I had seen my beloved Bears so often, to hear the Byrds playing, "Hey Mr. Tamborine Man:" and I felt like I was in a time capsule...I was quite schroomed and it was just getting dark, so excited to see the Dead after so many years. We hung out in the lot and partied with alll the heads and had so much fun, and the night was beautiful and the music sent me into a place of magic memories. It was simply the best show I;d ever seen. Jerry hair was blowin all over, it was windly, and i just busted out laughin when they came on, don;t know why, but I guess I laughed until I cried just adoring him so. I miss that special twang of his guitar and only he can do it...the whole scene was just so special. More later maybe.