A crew of about 25 Grateful Dead fans gathered outside the Capitol Theatre Friday where tickets to Mickey Hart went on sale at noon.
Swapping stories, greeting old friends and reveling in the fact the legendary drummer is coming to town kept the Deadheads warm on a cold damp morning. Music played from a parked car nearby and words like “back-stage” and “I saw that show” could be heard from enthusiastic followers.
First in line, Chris Ray, a fan since he was 13-years-old, had been there since 9 a.m.
“This is great,” he said, “a home town show. I’ve never seen that before. Usually, we have to travel.”
Travel they did. Rich Hill saw his first show in 1977 when he was 19.
“It was great, I mean, I went on tour after that – so did most of these people,” he said. “If you ever put yourself in front of the Grateful Dead, you’d understand. It’s hard to explain.”
Hooked on the scene that has become folklore, Hill has seen hundreds of shows coast to coast with the last one being in 1995 at Shoreline outside San Francisco.
Rod Hawkins followed the Grateful Dead on tour for almost a decade seeing about 100 shows.
“It’s about the magic, the people and the environment,” he said.
And that’s what drew most of them to the Victoria Street line-up. Claiming this is “how it’s done” and saying how they “haven’t’ stood in line for Grateful Dead tickets forever,” they weren’t taking any chances with online or phone sales.
More people arrived shortly after tickets went on sale and as those who’d braved the line-up exited tickets in hand, there was already talk of a sell-out.
Mickey Hart plays the Capitol Theatre Feb. 19 with a new line-up of talented musicians – delivering the famous music he’s revered for. Half of the celebrated drumming duo known as the Rhythm Devils, Hart and Bill Kreutzmann introduced fans to percussion instruments from around the world in excursions that highlighted Grateful Dead shows.
It’s a rare general admission show with no reserved seats.
“Deadheads don’t sit,” said Ray who was thrilled to score eight tickets.
All 426 tickets sold out by 2:30 p.m.on Friday.
Mickey Hart plays the Capitol Theatre on Tuesday, February 19. The show is presented by The Royal.