Back in 1983, Trey Anastasio was just finding his way in the world. A young man of 19 years, he attended a Grateful Dead concert at the Hartford Civic Center on October 14, 1983. Reflecting on the experience later on, Anastasio said, “It was like getting hit in the head with a baseball bat.”
Here he is recounting his first-ever Dead concert to the band’s own Bob Weir:
Trey Anastasio Tells Bob Weir About First GD Experience
That fateful night occurred 36 years ago, on this date. To celebrate, we invite you to listen to the moment that ultimately wound up shaping the music of Phish, below:
Grateful Dead – Hartford Civic Center – 10/14/1983
[Audio: Grateful Dead]
Considering Anastasio performed with four of the surviving band members for their 50th anniversary, we’d estimate that he became a something of Deadhead after this show…
Note: After sharing this article, fan Russell S. Glowatz made a very interesting point that 10/14/83 was probably not Trey’s first Grateful Dead concert, despite him saying it was during an interview with an actual Grateful Dead member!
An awesome Phan pointed this out and dug this up from The Phish Book and other sources:
“I was still into Led Zeppelin and heavy metal when I transferred to Taft [prep school]. My next-door neighbor there, Chris, was really into the Dead, but I just didn’t buy it. He took me to a show, and I didn’t even pay attention. It was too boring for me. Then he took me again, I took a couple hits of blotter, and I got it.” Trey in Richard Gehr, The Phish Book, 1998, p. 116.
Since Trey was in prep school (grades 9-12) during his first Dead shows, he couldn’t have been 19, nor was it 1983. Trey fumbled in that interview and rewrote history. Let’s rewrite it again…this time correctly!
After watching the Trey/Bobby interview again, it occurred to me he actually does say he was in Taft prep school at the time of his first Dead show, which is further evidence that he misspoke on the year, since he was college aged in 1983.
Also the kicker is a Relix article, conveniently published online yesterday, that states Trey’s first show was indeed in May of 1980 at The Hartford Civic Center when he was 15 years old. The quote: “Anastasio—who saw his first Dead concert at 15, in May 1980 at the Hartford Civic Center in Connecticut…”
So without further ado, here’s that other non-life-changing concert that Trey saw back in 1980:
Grateful Dead – Hartford Civic Center – 5/10/80
[Audio: Grateful Dead]
[Originally published 10/13/16]