Shakedowns, Miracles, and the show of a lifetime…
After a long month of food pantries, shelters, and cleaning disgusting houses with a highly unprofessional company I decided to treat myself to the night of a lifetime and splurged on a ticket to see Dead and Company at Folsom Field in Boulder, Colorado. I was beyond excited to experience my first Dead show. And it was everything I expected and more. I Ubered to the lot where I met up with some fellow travelers to check out the action on Shakedown Street. The lot was bustling with hippies and dead heads of all ages. People were jamming on guitars and walking around selling pins, patches, and stones. Shakedown Street was tucked back into a shady forest-like lot. After ducking under the trees and following the short dirt path in my world opened up. Giant balloons floating off tanks, the sound of beer cans cracking open, and the sweet aroma of mary-jane. People were dancing and vendors were hustling. I honestly would have enjoyed myself just visiting Shakedown Street if I couldn’t get into the show. But on past the front gates I went.
Magick piece of paper? Check. Badass ninja-hippie warrior crew? Check. Time to take in some rad tunes. And they completely blew my mind. The music, the vibe, the people, the lights, the videos. It was all surreal. This was hands down the best show I had ever attended. The ambiance switched from happy and uplifting, to trippy, to eery, to uncomfortable, to groovy and all of it was fantastic and flowed right out of one category and smoothly into the next before you could even be aware it was happening. Before the night was even over, before we even made it back to the mansion I was house sitting to have our own after-show shindig, I was plotting how to get back in tomorrow.
One way to get a free ticket to a Grateful Dead show is to get miracled in. This is when you walk around the lot with a finger in the air, and if you’re lucky, someone grants you a miracle- a ticket. I headed down to the lot with intentions of manifesting myself a miracle. Friends in the area were sending good vibes my way, along with the two middle aged hitchers I picked up on the way who were drunkenly rolling around the back of the van in uncontrollable laughter simply because they were so enthused to be inside a real live VDub.
A friend from back home gave me some advice on how to increase my chances so I walked around all day drinking, smoking, and socializing with a card board sign in my hand that read “I need a Mayer-Cle”. I received countless comments and reactions and am now a part of many dead heads photo albums- a privilege in itself.
However the gates had opened and the show was starting and I had not been granted a miracle. I ditched my sign in defeat and started my walk back to the car making plans with a buddy to at least hit some after shows on the hill later that night. My friend stops to pick up what he believes to be an itinerary for a show in the area, and finds somebody’s dropped ticket. There is a name but no number, no way to return it. After a few minutes of pondering he sends me to the gate and voila! It works. I, along with my new friends, had manifested myself a way in to night two.
I aimlessly wandered through the stadium looking for a good place to sit in hopes of making some new friends to enjoy the show with. There was a fella a few people in front of me who was walking around eyes to the sky smiling and laughing to himself. He was surely having a ball. He had long curly hair, scruffy facial hair, and round glasses. He was tall, skinny, and sporting an old school dead shirt. My most accurate description of him would be a young Hide from That’s 70’s Show.
After a few times of gazing back at me in laughter he finally introduced himself. He was a fun loving soul who I instantly felt comfortable with; a real happy-go-lucky kind of guy. We grabbed some beers and went to meet his friends. I spent the perfect night cracking up and dancing to tunes that had turned a century. And the friendship didn’t end there. I later visited these new friends in Denver where we played around with mandolins and cloud gazed from the rooftop. It was the perfect end to the perfect story.