DC Dead: College Park
My early Deadhead days were in college (1989-1994), and 3 of those years were spent in College Park, MD at The Univ. of Maryland. College Park was a pretty cool scene for Deadheads, especially on Tuesday nights. Tuesday nights at the Paragon (later renamed Terrapin Station) were Blue Miracle nights. Blue Miracle was the house band of the Paragon, and whenever they played there, it was hippie-heaven. They covered mostly Dead and Allman Bros. tunes, mixing in a few others (including some originals) as well. One of their best covers actually was "Peace Frog" by The Doors. I was pretty much a regular there from'91-'93 and loved those guys.
The Dead themselves only played once in College Park, at Cole Field House (i.e. God's Country). As a basketball season ticket holder for over 10 years, Cole will always hold a very special place in my heart, very similar to how I feel about RFK. Originally built in 1955, at the time, Cole Field House was the second largest arena on the East Coast next to Madison Square Garden. It hosted 2 Final Fours, too many amazing basketball games to list, including the very last game there which I was in attendance for. I also graduated there.
To think that The Dead actually played in that old, cavernous arena on 3/7/81 still blows my mind. The acoustics challenges there must of been horrible, even with the ingenious Dead Sound Team working on it. Word is that the band thought it was an awful show, but listening to it (even average AUD Tapes) and it really wasn't that bad. The Sailor>Saint on that night was particularly hot. Why couldn't they of played there when I was there? :(
Oh well. Ben The Deadhead, was it his Deadhead prime while living in College Park. "Gone are the days..."