Terrapin Station | Alpine Valley | East Troy, WI | 8.03.02 & 8.04.02

photos by Mir Ali | words by Margaret Pitcher
Read a review of the show!

In addition to the Other Ones, there were many quality performances throughout the Terrapin Station weekend. Each of Phil's, Bobby's, Mickey's and Billy's current bands performed on the main stage, and having the second stage at the top of the hill (with the larger-than-life terrapins dancing on either side) was a great addition to the festivities. It seemed that "the music never stopped"... literally.

It was an interesting mix of bands and performers; for instance, Jorma and Bisco on the same bill?? But that's part of the beauty of the "jamband" community: it really touches on many different facets of qualify improvisational music, with one common denominator being that all of these bands thrive on their live performances.

At the risk of sounding too "kum ba ya," I have to say it was cool to go to a Dead festival and see performers of different colors on the same bill. Not that the Dead ever made a distinction between "black" or "white" music. In fact, the versatile and far-reaching nature of the Dead's music has always brought them in touch with musicians in all different genres and of all different backgrounds. This held true for Terrapin Station. It was a good feeling to experience Robert Randolph and Karl Denson in the midst of a Dead show; and at Alpine Valley, no less. Not only that, but these two performers also strongly expressed their delight in being there, and their gratitude for the fact that the shows were not canceled. At the height of the Family Band's heated set, RR called for us to testify that they could not stop the Dead Reunion, mainly because of the power of the community and its love of music. (Can he get a witness? Amen!) And Karl D was also tapped into the vibe as he mentioned the positive nature of the whole event during his characteristically hard-driving set.

Dead Publicist Dennis McNally on the interview stage and at the press conference on the second day of the festival... Despite the serious look on everyone's faces, the mood at the press conferences was relaxed and friendly. Sheriff Graves told a funny story about Lieutenant McClory, the officer who served as a liaison between Deadheads and law enforcement officials in Walworth County. In going forward with the shows, part of the agreement was that local law enforcement would keep an open line of communication with the Dead community, and it was McClory's role to answer questions and provide information via a website set up for this purpose. Imagining being an officer who spends a chunk of his days emailing with Deadheads. But he seemed to pull it off well. In fact, as Graves pointed out, one of their fellow officers who was monitoring the traffic flow reported an interesting site: a sign on some Deadhead's car that read, "Lieutenant McClory Rules!" Now there's a banner day in the history of Deadhead and law enforcement interaction.

What's also interesting is the role that the web played in the success of Terrapin Station. When asked what they attributed to everything running so smoothly, the officers pointed out - and everyone agreed - that the availability of online communication enabled all involved parties to speak openly and directly with each other. This helped ease concerns and frustrations, and gave fans a clear understanding of what to expect, what they should be cautious of and how they could help ensure minimum setbacks. Back when I was seeing the Dead, we didn't even know what the "web" was, and this wasn't that long ago. It shows you how far the scene has come, and how it can continue to go strong if people use their resources in the right way.

[Published on: 8/12/02]

Take full advantage of all JamBase has to offer by signing up for an account!

You'll receive

show alerts

when your favorite artists announce shows, be eligible to enter contests for

free tickets

, gain the ability to

share your personalized live music calendar

and much more. Join JamBase!