So, Dead & Company came to Deer Creek last night. The musicianship? I have a question. If you gathered six guys who had never played instruments before, made them stick it out for 50 years, perform thousands of practices and concerts and recording albums to boot, do you think they be at least pretty good? I think so. And if these guys were already talented before they formed a band? You figure it out.
What songs did they play? Only a few Susan recognized. Apply the first paragraph with the unknown songs and they were still pleasing to hear. My wife surprised me when she said the two she found most interesting were Drum Solo and Space Jam, songs by the drummers that brought silence to the crowd. They were the groovy-hippie-outofsight-dude-I’m-so-weird tunes you’d expect from the hippie era.
The crowd? How much pot can 24,000 ( -2 ) people smoke? ¡Ay caramba! but it was pungent last night. Back in the day, I didn’t mind going one toke over the line, but as much as I liked the noble weed, it never liked me. At a concert there isn’t really much to look at if the band plays and sings and little else, so it’s OK to observe the crowd around. One poor fella right in front of us was plusdrunk and spent the show with his head in his hands. His wife didn’t think a thing of it, it probably being a replay of an old tape recorded long ago in their marriage. Then midway through Going Down The Road Feelin’ Bad, he springs out of his chair and gyrates wildly until the song’s over then yells in his saintly wife’s ear. They left shortly after. One young lady near us was doing ‘the trippy dance’, raising her hands as though she’s reaching for fairies or bubbles, just slow and (semi)graceful. So she had that going for her. Susan was impressed with the lady a few rows up who was dancing as though she’d let go of everything that had happened in her life. We were in the last row of seats so when we turned around there was the crowd on the hill. It was fun to see the heads bobbing up and down and back and forth and left to right and back again. Between them and us was the walkway for people who wanted to walk. And dance. And dance. The first song of the second set was Dark Star, a fine tune but obviously the favorite of the guy who danced every second of it. I mean danced like possessed by a voodoo doll. It was oddly satisfying to watch him flail about in the beginning but uncomfortable to see him not having let up 20 minutes later.
I didn’t hear a discouraging word last night. The crowd was there to relax and let loose. Writing on this web log has made me sensitive to finding things to write about as it concerns the Church. I wondered whether a church could get ever get this type of following, people who could sing along to the music, dance, and movin’ to the groovin’, not through drugs or juice but through pure joy like King David …
2 Samuel 6:12-22
Now King David was told, “The Lord has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God.” So David went to bring up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing. When those who were carrying the ark of the Lord had taken six steps, he sacrificed a bull and a fattened calf. Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.
As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart.
They brought the ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and David sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before the Lord. After he had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord Almighty. Then he gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and a cake of raisins to each person in the whole crowd of Israelites, both men and women. And all the people went to their homes.
When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”
David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”
King David’s wife, Michal, wasn’t impressed with David’s near naked display of worship to his Lord. Maybe she grew tired of what she thought was another one of his antics or maybe she just didn’t know she could let loose and praise God as her husband. Maybe it’s the same with us. We stand and sit and bow and, (sometimes) kneel, and sing, response, and (sometimes) chant. There isn’t anything wrong with these but does anyone ever behave like they do at these concerts? Though they sang and played and drummed and stood they didn’t say one word to the audience; no hello, no goodbye, no hey it’s great to be in Indianapolis, no nothin’, but I felt they had respect for me and was glad I was there. They obviously have a talent for connecting with humans … and this is after 50 years. I will keep this in mind if we have a guest pastor or Pastor Sattler retires and is replaced. Running clergy out the door is sport for some congregations. God’s called deserve time and patience.
Anyway, I give Dead & Company 10 out of 10 glowsticks.