Written by: Meredith Berke
Photos by: Scott Harris
reCAP :: Robert Hunter :: 2013.10.05
Oct 06 / Sunday
Robert Hunter, long time lyricist for the Grateful Dead, played an acoustic guitar set at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York. Hunter, dressed in black with just a stool, a guitar, a mic, and a table, played for a loving crowd for close to two hours on Saturday. I was overcome with a palpable feeling of gentleness in the theater as I walked in. Hunter was on the stage, the ushers were all wearing tie-dyed shirts, and the bars had relocated from the lobby area for more dancing space. The quietness of the acoustic guitar singer on the stage made it so you had to pay close attention to Mr. Hunter’s singing. As a Deadhead myself, I knew most of these songs by heart, sung by Jerry Garcia. I knew each inflection, each rhythm, and each note of Jerry’s singing. Hunter sang his songs slightly different then I knew them. This was the poet singing his songs the way he heard them in his head. There were subtle differences, but they were there.
Left and right of the aisles and back in the loge were middle-aged hippies doing the jig or even slowly spinning. It felt like family. The Capitol Theatre is well known for housing the Grateful Dead family through out the years, and this night was no different.
Hunter’s singing voice was not faulty. He was not mind-blowing, and certainly didn’t sing as strong as Garcia, but he did sing a rousing “Box of Rain” and “New Speedway Boogie.” He ended the show by walking off the stage, still playing his guitar. The crowd went nuts, the clapping and whistling was deafening.
During the encore, Hunter sang “Ripple.” With water projected onto the walls of The Capitol Theatre, Hunter looked out into the crowd, up into the balcony and onto the walls, and he looked happy. He looked like he was having the time of his life. He looked strong and healthy. Although this may have not been the crazy party The Grateful Dead brought to The Cap in the seventies, this was still just as special.
Bertha, Scarlet Begonias, Deal, Dire Wolf-> Peggy-O-> Brokedown Palace, So Many Roads
Wharf Rat, Standing on the Moon, Talkin' Money Tree, Friend of the Devil, Keys to the Rain, Silvio, Days Between, Ship Of Fools, Box of Rain, Sugaree, Candyman, New Speedway Boogie
Ripple, Boys in the Barroom*
* a cappella
The Capitol Theatre Photo Gallery
Photos by: Scott Harris
[gallery link="file" columns="4" orderby="rand"]