Concert Review

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The Grateful Dead

The Palace, Auburn Hills

June 27, 1995

Trying to explain to someone who has never experienced a Dead show the feeling you get from being a part of it... this would be no easy task. But for their legion of fans across the country, they know why they keep coming back. It is simply the most fun you could ever have. It doesn't matter if you seen them only a couple of times or over a hundred times, as many of the Deadheads have. Everyone will tell you that after your first show, you're hooked. You're left with the feeling that "I've got to come back and be part of this again."

As you're in the middle of the traffic jam leading into the concert grounds, looking around, seeing Dead stickers on all the vehicles, the anticipation starts. As you pull into the parking lot you realize, "Yes, I'm in a different world now." Among these thousands of followers, it is one big brotherhood of fans, and everyone makes you feel at home, as if you're one of them. And you know that on this day, your normal life has been left behind. You have stepped back into the '60s as we knew it. And here is the biggest travelling party there is.

Many Deadheads would agree that the band's outdoor shows are the best part of it. It's more free-spirited with the outdoor setting. But tonight, the band brings a change for them during the tour. Playing in arena settings like The Palace, they're able to show off their incredible stage show, with lighting in comparison to a Pink Floyd show. As for the music, they deliver what the people want -- a different set list for each show. Two sets of over an hour-and-a-half in length. Duo drum solos by Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann. A mind altering guitar piece by Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia called (appropriately) "Space." Then there are the nightly highlights of the show. Most fans are always in hopes of catching that one "very special night" to remember. As for this night, they included a new 15-minute version of "Sugar Magnolia" with lots of improv solos and the Rolling Stones' song "This Could Be the Last Time" to wind up the night.

- Michael Fuller

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