I saw so many great shows at the Syria Mosque that it is hard to remember I also saw a lot of great shows at The Pittsburgh Civic Arena. Jethro Tull, The Who, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana and Traffic just to name a few. This was the first time I saw the Grateful Dead.
On September 23 1973 I saw the Grateful Dead perform for the first time. They played at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena. You can hear the concert here if you attended the show or are just interested.
They were for a long time one of my favorite bands and I have seen them play a number of times in a variety of venues. This first show was special though not only because of the band but because of the venue.
I only saw Zappa play once. It was at the Syria Mosque in 1974 with Sal Valquez, Jean Luc Ponty and the Tower of Power Horns. Truly one of the best shows I ever saw. I miss Zappa and still listen to his music and that of his son.
In 1974 I bought my first telephoto lens. It was a Vivitar 135mm lens and actually not very good so later in the year I bought a Nikon 200mm lens. It was good enough however to take this picture of The Grateful Dead at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena in 1973. You can see other concert images on my commercial site by clicking here.
Currently they are dismantling the old Civic Arena in Pittsburgh. It is kind of sad for me, I saw so many great concerts there and also, of course, The Pittsburgh Penguins. I only saw Ian Anderson and Jethro Tull play once and it was at the civic arena. I remember after the warm up band, all these roadies cam out dressed in British Trench Coats and set up the equipment for Tull. It was great concert from the Thick as a Brick Tour. You can buy a copy of this print in my commercial gallery by clicking here.
Last year I saw Jean Luc Ponty play with Return to Forever at the Beacon Theather. The warm up band was Zappa Plays Zappa and Jean Luc came out and played “Fifty Fifty” with the band. I had only seen him play once before and that was with Dweezil’s Dad at the Civic Arena in Pittsburgh. You can buy a T-Shirt of this image at Red Bubble.