Grateful Dead
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What A Long Strange Trip It's Been

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One of the greatest American Rock Bands of all Time, The Grateful Dead, are back and better than ever for one last run. The highly anticipated 50th reunion shows dubed "Fare Thee Well" began last night June, 27th in Santa Clara, California. 

Earlier this year it was announced the bands "Core Four", Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh, and Bill Kreutzmann, would reunite to commemerate the 50th anniversary of the Grateful Dead. Joing the boys in the lineup is part time band member Bruce Hornsby on piano, Jeff Chimenti on organ, and Trey Anistasio on lead guitar. Bruce Hornsby was a member of the Grateful Dead from 1988-1995, while Jeff Chimenti has been touring with the various members of the band in Ratdog, Furthur, etc. The big question was always who would fill the role of Jerry Garcia? Trey Anastasio, lead man of Phish, was an interesting choice due to his lack of experience with the music, but one that is exciting. There is no question to Anastasio's musical ability. Although there was controversy in the Dead Head community about Trey, I think we can all agree that his dedication to the music will shine bright at the shows. Trey has said that he does not intend to try and replicate Jerry, but instead to pay tribute to his greatness through his playing.

Controversy continued to surround the event and promoter Peter Shapiro through release of tickets to the California and Chicago shows. Paying homage to the spirit of the Dead, ticket presale was done through the traditional mail order way. Demand was higher than expected as 60,000 plus envelopes were recieved for the three Chicago shows on July 3rd, 4th, and 5th. As crazy as that is, the release of tickets on Ticketmaster was even crazier. Tickets sold out in minutes as Dead Heads broke all Ticketmaster records for volume of users for a show. Upon this demand two more shows were added to the celebration on June 27th and 28th in Santa Clara.

The final three Fare Thee Well Shows will be held in Soldier Field in Chicago. This is special as it serves as a centeral meeting place for all Dead Heads. The site also holds some spiritual value as it was the venue of the last Grateful Dead concert on August 1995. All of this combined with the longevity of the Grateful Dead fan base surley make this special event in the history of rock, and one of the biggest anticipated concerts of all time!

July 27th was the night of the first show, and it had people wondering if it was 2015 or 1965. The Dead kicked off the night with the autobiographical song of Truckin, and carried out the show with many old classics. In fact, the theme of the show was to commemerate the early days of the Dead as not a single song played was written after 1970. The highlight of the night for many was the apperance of a Rainbow over the stage right at the end of the first set, it is safe to say Jerry is smiling upon us. The second set was very exciting as the boys really found their groove and started to open it up. It was amazing to see all the band members interacting and having fun on stage once again. It is hard to believe they are in their 70s! Also as expected Anastasio did not dissapont and had many highlights during the night. Although I would like to see him open up some more as the shows go on and take the lead. The second show starts 6:00pm pacific time and I am very excited to see what they bring tonight. All of the shows can be watched on a variety of live streaming options listed ibelow. It can also be purchased on YouTube and listened to on Sirius XM chanel 23.

June 27th:

“Truckin’”“Uncle John’s Band”“Alligator”“Cumberland Blues”“Born Cross-Eyed”“Cream Puff War”“Viola Lee Blues”“Cryptical Envelopment”“Dark Star”“St. Stephen”“The Eleven”“Turn On Your Love Light”“Drums / Space”“What’s Become of the Baby”“The Other One”“Morning Dew”Encore: “Casey Jones”Read More: Grateful Dead Kick Off 'Fare Thee Well' Shows With An Eye on the Past |