One hundred twenty thousand fans… wait, scratch that. One hundred twenty thousand Deadheads descended upon Oracle Park in San Francisco in July to see the final concerts of the Dead & Company. One of those people was Shreveport’s Monica Collinsworth.
The legendary band’s improvised concerts helped define a generation. When Collinsworth agreed to the spur-of-the-moment trip to California with her old college friends, there was at least one comfort, they had done this before.
In 1993, the group of college students went on a summer drive and camped across the western United States. “We went to see the Grateful Dead as well as the Jerry Garcia Band in those travels,” Collinsworth said. “It’s a part of us.”
This trip was shorter than the original one, only three days. They stayed in the Union Square neighborhood and rode a cable car for a short excursion to Chinatown, but everyone knew that there was only one real reason for this vacation: the concert of a lifetime.
From Oracle Park, home of Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants, there are views of the San Francisco Bay. During the concert, 600 drones filled the sky creating the “Steal Your Face” skull, also known as Stealie, and moving dancing bears in a lightshow of color and animation.
“Being in that stadium overlooking the bay and watching a band that has had such influence on my life with friends that have been by my side over 30 years, it was very moving,” Collinsworth said.
That night, Collinsworth wore a pink sweatshirt with the famous last line of a verse from the song “Truckin'”: “Sometimes the lights all shining on me; Other times I can barely see. Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip it’s been.”