Alligators, Boots, and Dead Heads in the Poudre Canyon? Oh my! - Mishawaka

Alligators, Boots, and Dead Heads in the Poudre Canyon? Oh my!

With skulls and roses adorned by band members and patrons alike, last Saturday marked the Mish’s first three-band performance of the season — during which, Grateful Dead anthems bellowed through the Poudre Canyon and Dead Head legends took to our stage. 

The night was filled to the brim with an energy of passion, belonging, and nostalgia that can only be defined as authentically and unapologetically Dead. The Alligators got the energy flowing with the river during an Impromptu in-crowd dance encore from lead singer, Pete Corona. Followed shortly by an overflowing sea of patrons singing along to the final songs. Their hour-long set left the crowd of gator lovers hungry for more music. 

The dynamic energy kept truckin’ on through the night, with no sign of stopping, as Dead Floyd took to the mountain-cradled stage. The crowd and river raged on as Division Bells, saxophones, and sweet melodic harmonies filled the air. Dead Floyd’s masterful music fostered a lively and loving crowd unlike any I have witnessed before. The energy whispered a sense of belonging into my ears as the crowd engulfed me, and any patron listening along, in their clan of dance. It’s safe to say that the canyon was overcome by nostalgia during this hour-long set.

This nostalgic undertone rippled through the crowd’s roars as Melvin Seals, a longtime member of the Jerry Garcia Band, took to the stage with his bandmates. These legends were welcomed onto the stage by the one and only, Boots Jaffee. The second this iconic grouping of rock Allstars took to the stage the crowd was in uproar…clinging to every note, cheering at every note from Melvin’s keys, and singing along to each word uttered. 

The music, much like the river and the crowd, was utterly alive Saturday night — an ironic twist to the Dead themes. The melodies that echoed through our canyon were effervescent and forever irreplaceable. This show will go down in Mish history. And it will live in my Dead Head heart forever. It was a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to have Melvin Seals and the JGB, Dead Floyd, and The Alligators play my first lineup at the Mishawaka Amphitheatre. 

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