Suburban Robots That Monitor Reality

The Dead & Devo in Las Vegas

Suburban Robots That Monitor Reality

by Jim Ruland

In 1989 I was an acid-eating, tie-dye t-shirt wearing, hacky-sack playing college freshman, so if you’d told me that in 35 years I’d get to see the Dead and Devo, and that one of them would be performing in the most technologically innovative music venue known to man, and the other would be playing in a parking lot, I would have been dead wrong about who was performing where. 

Over Memorial Day weekend I went to see Dead & Company at The Sphere and Devo at Punk Rock Bowling, the annual music festival and bowling tournament in downtown Las Vegas, on back-to-back nights. 

I’m a recovering alcoholic and I’ve been sober for 15 years. You might think Las Vegas would be triggering for me but it isn’t. Las Vegas is the people watching capital of America. But I’d be lying if I told you I haven’t wondered what it would be like to experience hallucinogens again. The dark majesty of lysergic voyages, whimsical excursions into psilocybinlandia, the shot-from-a-cannon feeling of mescaline. I loved it all and I was always up for a trip.

My only bad trip was at a Grateful Dead show during Chinese New Year at the Oakland Coliseum in January 1993. I should clarify that I am not, and never have been, a Grateful Dead fan. I was there for the drugs.