Last night I had a most enjoyable experience listening to the Cause, a Greatful Dead, Beatles, Dylan etc. cover band that also tossed in a few of their own (notably "Never Alone" written by Pappy, the lead guitarist). During my 25 years in Santa Cruz and San Francisco I was fortunate to see the Grateful Dead several hundred times and was (nearly) always pleased by how "live" the band was in a very improvisational jazz kind of way. Their ability to adapt the set list and melodic interpretation to the current moment in time and space, incorporating the venus's atmosphere, the crowd and their own personal path was remarkable and so very often spot on. And there were multiple instances in last night's performance that brought that immediacy and fragile awareness into the mix of heady music and powerful vocals.
What also made if enjoyable was just going out to listen to some music, as after becoming a parent and moving to Pittsburgh, I found myself going out far less than I used to. So it was a special occasion, and I thank my friend Dave for suggesting this event to me. To top it off, the crowd - and the band - was incredibly friendly, reminding me also of the Deadhead community prior to the Touch of Grey hit of 1987, bringing with it crowds that took advantage of the scene rather than contributing to it. (Hmm... yet another reminder of how pervasive the Prisoner's Dilemma concept is - but more on that in another post.) The only thing missing last night was my wife, Elaine, to share this experience with me.
Fortunately, the Cause plays here every few months, so that can be remedied in the not-too-distant future.
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