Knickerbocker Arena - Albany, NY
Grateful Dead at Knickerbocker Arena
08/26/2015 @ 3:56pm
Anyone make it to this show and catch New Speedway Boogie?
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August 26, 2015 4:28pm
September 2, 2015 4:06pm
Thanks for bringing this memory back and posting this. I was there. I was 18 years old and it was my 24th Grateful Dead concert. Can listen to the whole show at
Anyway, every show was (and is) special, but this felt like a particularly important moment, even at the time. Just in terms of the music, this was only the third New Speedway played since... 1970. See
. The band had just revived revived the song after a 21 year hiatus a few weeks earlier at the February Chinese New Years shows in Oakland. See
. They had played it a second time a week earlier at the Cap Center, but I had missed that.
Now the revival of New Speedway wasn't quite a monumental event like, say, the return of Dark Star a few years earlier. But it was a very cool and welcome blast from the band's Americana roots. The song stayed in fairly regular rotation until Jerry's death and was one of the few songs that appeared almost equally in the first and second set.
Relistening to this, you can tell that most of the crowd has no idea what song they're going into at the beginning,
September 2, 2015 4:13pm
which itself was a novelty at the time. I also do think this song in particular would have benefited from Bruce Hornsby's touch (Bruce wasn't at these shows or the following shows at Nassau).
But the particulars of the show and the song weren't what I remember most about this show. I had been raised in Woodstock, perhaps an hour's drive from the arena, and the Knick was a really new venue at the time. I had been to to the Knick the previous year, but as a senior in high school. This time, as a freshman in college just a couple hours away, my new Deadhead college friends and I had made this spring tour our first big road trip. And now, in Albany - my backyard - I was effectively playing host. New Speedway ended the first set on the first night, a Saturday, and couldn't have put a bigger smile on my face.
for bringing this back.
September 11, 2016 4:10am
yes! so much fun.
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