Band Grateful Dead
Venue Kinetic Playground
Location Chicago, IL
Date 11/27/68 - Wednesday posters tickets, passes & laminates
One Cryptical Envelopment > The Other One > Cryptical Envelopment ; Alligator
Comments The Kinetic Playground is the same venue as the Electric theater where they played in April of 1969. It was trashed by a fire sometime in 1970. It is not the same place as the Syndrome, where they played on 11/27/70. The setlist information was provided by Ron Ramsey, an eyewitness: "I was at the 11/27-28/68 shows at Chicago's Kinetic Playground aka Electric theater. My memories of the setlists are quite sporadic, although, these being my first Live Dead shows, as I heard each tune for the first time, it was if another Veil of Illusion was being removed... like stumbling upon a Burning Bush and seeing the Face of God, or walking on a beach and finding the Seashell of Buddha. Those memories are indelibly etched forever. There might have been an initial opening band...but for certain Procul Harum preceded the Dead. While watching Procul from the edge of the dance floor, I noticed a guy in front of me with a long ponytail stuck down the back of his shirt. My God, it was Bob Weir! a lot of us tucked our hair away back then... this was, after all, 1968 Chicago--Mayor Daley's Cop Fiefdom - things did get a little hairy out there from time to time. I had the strongest impression that Weir was watching Procul Harum and thinking: "Shit, we're better than these guys." Anyway, Weir opened the show on the 27th with a jolly: "Happy turkey Day!" it was thanksgiving. I know for sure they did: 'That's it For...The Other one' that first night, as I remember my jaw dropping when I heard the opening notes. Also on the 27th: Alligator. As for the rest of the songs, they did pretty much the standard repertoire for late 1968: Doin' that Rag, Dupree's, Dark Star > Saint Stephen > the Eleven > Lovelight, Feedback, etc. But other than the two mentioned, I cannot say which nights they did what. Sorry. (They did not, to my eternal regret, play New Potato Caboose either night... I never did get to hear that tune live.) Other factoids: Both nights were two set shows, with the Dead as the closing act. The Dead's amps all had tie-dye front covers. On the back of the amps was stenciled a white lightning bolt on red/blue background surrounded by the words: Spirit of Creation. I guess this was before the skull/bolt motif. A guess: about 200 people attended. Ah, the Old Days... I probably recall what they wore more clearly than the specific song order. T.C. had on one orange sock, and one green. Weir had on a belt with "Bobby" stitched in beads across the back. (At a later show, my friend showed Weir a photo he had taken of this, and Weir responded: "Oh my God...the Bobby Belt.") Jerry Garcia was wearing a woolen poncho. After the first night-first set, I stumbled upon Garcia off by himself near the refreshment stand. Compelled to say something to him, I ended up asking for clarification of lyrics I couldn't understand from Anthem. Jerry was very gracious. Anyway, I got to shake the hand that shook the Hand. One other anecdote: on the 2nd night, my same photographer friend, tripping, somehow found his way upstairs to the dressing rooms. He sat next to Weir, who was reading the Seed (our underground 60's Weekly). At some point he asked Lesh how he could get into the Road Crew. Lesh responded "You just want a way to get to California." Then Lesh pointed to a huge heavy wooden table and said: "If you can levitate that, you're in." Alas, my friend missed his Golden Opportunity."
Recordings None in circulation as of 2/02.
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Contributors Ron Ramsey , DeadBase XI, Brian Pollard
Caretaker David Sorochty email update