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Monday, September 19

Since Last Week was the Anniversary of the Egypt Shows, it's only Natural to Watch the Other Pyramid Shows: Video and setlist Memphis, TN 4-2-95

  After so many years of travelling around to get to see the Grateful Dead, it was almost hard to believe they were coming to Memphis.


Some of the best words I had heard in my young life were " Oh hey Greg, The Grateful Dead are going to play the Pyramid." They came from my girlfriend's father and I heard them about 6 months before they were scheduled to play. See, he was on the Board at the Pyramid because he was the Mayor's right-hand man. I knew right then a:) I had to find a phone and b:) tickets were going to be no problem. The first night we got to go in the executive entrance and sat in the mayor's box and the second night we were about 20 feet from Phil on a riser to the side. When I called all my friends to tell them, they said "whatever dude, never gonna happen" and I just smiled on the inside knowing that they would have to eat a huge plate of "I told you so" in a few months. 

Because he was on the Board I also learned a couple of other things that are normally inside baseball. Number one, the contract the band brought to the table was massive compared to other bands. And about 80% of it had to do with the fanbase. The GD management didn't just let people follow them, they made sure the venue's were extremely prepared and made sure the fans were taken care of as best as possible. This was even more upsetting when I saw the riot at Deer Creek. I knew how much effort the band put into taking care of it's fans and it made me sad to see those same "fans" spitting in the band's face.  "Gatecrashers Suck" stickers soon popped up on lot and I totally agree.

Second, I learned that after the run was so successful, the band reached out to the Pyramid to schedule 5, FIVE, shows in 1996, but it wasn't to be. These shows were some of the best of that Spring Tour and consequently, some of the best of 1995. The first night and second night both have their contingents. Each one has it's high points. Everyone thought the band would do something special for April Fools Day but nope, just a s show.  However, the energy and playing were great with a "Standing on the Moon" that peeled the paint baack. On the second night, the band came out and started the show strong musically with "Shakedown Street" but listening now, Jerry badly blows the lyrics but the band was still on fire. It seemed whenever he would blow a lyric, he would put a little more into the solo or whatever guitar run he was playing. The whole run (both shows) had musical nods to Memphis. The first night had "Candyman" the second, "Tennessee Jed". The first Bobby sang the first "Take me to the River" and on the second, "Stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again". Needless to say, the band enjoyed being in Memphis and liked playing there. The energy in the building was so high that the crowd lifted the band up and helped them get over any bad humps in the show. It's sad to say you could see Jerry was already having a tough time. When they played, "The Last Time" I had a feeling in my guts, it would be the last time.  Well, the last time I would see them in Memphis. 

The Sunday show felt shorter than Saturday night but it was about two and a half hours. I'm not sure, maybe I never wanted it to end. Although it felt like the rest of the band was carrying Jerry more the second night, he still pulled off a beautiful "Crazy Fingers". I love the song "Here Comes Sunshine" but that new opening they were doing in 95' that was just the vocals before the band came in after sunshine, you could hear the strain in Jerry's voice. The second set was definitely shorter but had a wonderful "Estimated Prophet" and the next highlight for me was the stretched out, "Wharf Rat" that Jerry poured his heart into and then the "Not Fade Away" that led into a chant that almost lifted the building. What happened next only happened nine other times and heads who have seen many more shows than I, never got to see. It was the first and only "Unbroken Chain" encore. I remember hearing the rumor if they ever played it,it meant they were done. I don't know where that came from but like so many other things in the GD world, it was a synchronicity that was hard to forget.

I thought about posting the version but for this show, there is actually video so this is the first show I've posted that actually has decent video of the show. So, without anymore commentary here you go' the Grateful Dead in Memphis, TN 4-2-95

Written by: Greg Heffelfinger

OneShakedown Street ;
The Same Thing ;
Althea ;
Stuck Inside Of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again ;
Tennessee Jed ;
The Promised Land
Here Comes Sunshine ;
Eternity ;
Crazy Fingers >
Estimated Prophet >
Drums >
Space >
The Last Time >
Wharf Rat >
Not Fade Away


Unbroken Chain

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