Existing on Shakedown Street

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Since I was a kid I would hear my parents talk about the magic of going to Grateful Dead shows when they were younger. They would talk about being surrounded by a group of people there for love and music. They are a group of people that immediately upon meeting they become family- the type of people who will give you a killer grilled cheese sandwich, a crystal, and ultimate good vibes. The lot was equally as amazing experience as the show itself. My parents would tell me some of their favorite memories were of their time going on “tour.” Growing up the Dead was a staple in my family, but with the death of Jerry (yes I remember the day he died vividly) I never thought I would be experience the magic my parents talked about first hand. Then along came Dead and Company. Original Grateful Dead members, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann joined forces with John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge, and Jeff Chimenti, and once again live Dead music once filled stadiums. I finally had my chance to experience the life I longed for.

My first show I attended (out of utero, because I definitely count that one) my soul was filled with a joy I could hardly describe. I felt so at home. My parents took me to carnival where I got my first official lot beer, tshirt, and a hysterical story that will remain one of my favorite memories thus far. The show itself was such a blur. I don’t think a smile left my face the entire time. I danced to my hearts desire, hugged new friends heart to heart, and was finally able to experience the Dead first hand. Show two, just as good. I had probably the best quesadilla of my life. I got to hear a few unique songs and they encored with the song that my older sister was born to.

The most recent show was slightly different as I got to experience the lot carnival sans my parents for almost two hours. As I wandered around vans, busses, and hippies, I was able to meet some incredible humans and dogs, ate the most INCREDIBLE quesadilla (again) and officially got concert nickname from a guy I kept bumping into the entire concert. The band played some songs that even my parents considered rare to the live shows they’ve attended. I got to see Dead and Co play Ripple for the second show in a row. I once again danced to my hearts content. I was surrounded by my people. I felt happier than ever and felt as always like I had found my home. The Grateful Dead is so much more than music. The people who flood the stadiums are a family held together by a common thread- good music and an even better vibe. I am forever thankful and proud to call myself a dead head and cannot wait to one day be able to go on tour.

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