It was pouring rain as I made my way to What Stage to see The Dead. The other photographers and I stayed dry under the stage. You could hear the band come on the stage above from their feet rumbling. Anticipation set in wondering when they would blaze into the first notes. Not knowing what they would play to break in the 2004 summer tour, not being able to see them, and standing right under them,
up'ed the bar of excitement. Then, like lighting the fuse on a space-shot, The Dead busted out into Tennessee Jed, to the crowd's approval. Despite the rain, the better part of 100,000 people gathered to see The Dead perform. The band play a varied selection of classics and suprised us all with, Shine On You Crazy Diamond. The Help > Slip > Franklin's was topped off with a double encore: One More Saturday Night, and Box of Rain.
Since Jerry Garcia was physically with us, this is as good as it gets, camping out and seeing The Dead continue to set the standard as the masters of psychedelic entertainment. Starting their 39th summer together, The Dead took to the stage in graceful form.
Bill kreutzmann and Mickey Hart remain thumping the drums together. Phil was looking and sounding great. Warren Haynes joined Jimmy Herring and Jeff Chimenti as newer members and Bob Weir put all he had into opening night of summer tour as you can tell by all the sweat.
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The setlist for this show is here (setlist.com).