The Grateful Deadheads, Part 3

During our third and final pass through Colorado, we attended a Further concert at Red Rocks, a beautiful natural amphitheatre a few minutes away from Matt and Renee’s home.  Further is led by former Grateful Dead members Bob Weir and Phil Lesh.

TJ and I wanted to explore Denver, so we were late getting to the venue.  It was an early show on a Sunday evening– the culmination of a series of shows that started Friday– but the six parking lots were already full.  Had been for hours, we were told.  The four of us were forced to park along the road leading out of Red Rocks, a 20-minute walk from the gates.

Red Rocks during the day.

Every type of person was at the show­– goth, hippie, middle-aged sales men.  We missed the parking lot crowd, speed walking to get into the show.  But TJ participated in another Dead phenomenon– spinners.  Spinners are people who spin in a circle to Grateful Dead music as a type of religious experience (think Whirling Dervish.)

The concert was mind-blowing.  Between the music, the venue, the view of Denver, the lightning in the distance and a very *special* cookie TJ and I shared, it was the perfect end to our cross-country adventure.

And it was over by nine.  (Most likely because of people like Matt and Renee who had to be up for work.)

“The crowd was different,” we were told by Renee, as we were getting ready to make the 2,000-mile journey home.  “It wasn’t the same.” Eager to postpone the end of our trip for as long as possible– even if just by a few minutes– I tried to think of a question to ask Renee, but I already knew what she meant.  The crowd was different.  Everyone had either grown up or were the children of the original Deadheads.

Red Rocks at night.

Our goodbye hugs were bittersweet.  It will be a while before TJ and I make it back to Colorado.  But we know, when we return, we will be welcomed with open arms and a warm plate of food.  That is, unless Matt and Renee have sold all their possessions and returned to life on the road.

Which, we are assured, won’t happen until the girls have started college.

-Benjamin Rexroad
Managing Artistic Director


Part 3 of 3 in a series about The Grateful Dead and their loyal following.
Part 1 available by clicking here.
Part 2 available by clicking here.


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