Fare Thee Well
January 17, 2015 3:59 AM   Subscribe

"Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead" at Chicago’s Soldier Field on July 3rd, 4th, and 5th, 2015. "To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Grateful Dead, the four original members — Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, and Bob Weir — will reunite at Chicago's Soldier Field, nearly 20 years to the day of the last Grateful Dead concert, which took place at the same venue. 'Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead' will occur over three nights on July 3, 4, and 5, 2015, marking the original members' last-ever performance together. The band will be joined by Trey Anastasio (guitar), Jeff Chimenti (keyboards), and Bruce Hornsby (piano). The group will perform two sets of music each night." Jerry Garcia's daughter Trixie Garcia announced the shows.

Ticket Info. Artist Info. Shows FAQ.
"In the tradition of the original Grateful Dead Ticketing Service, tickets will be available via a first come first serve mail order system starting on January 20th, followed by an online pre-sale through Dead Online Ticketing February 12th and will be available online to the general public on February 14th via Ticketmaster."

Grateful Dead Reunion Q&A: Bob Weir & Trey Anastasio on How It All Came Together (Billboard)
Grateful Dead’s Core Four to Reunite for Final Shows with Trey Anastasio, Bruce Hornsby, Jeff Chimenti (relix)
Grateful Dead to celebrate 50 years at Soldier Field this summer (Chicago Tribune)

Grateful Dead at Soldier Field on 1995-7-9. Or here.
posted by cwest (24 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
20 years...20 years...20 years!? Wow. I got old. But hasn't Bobby been canceling shows recently due to health problems? I hope he is doing ok.
posted by Literaryhero at 4:27 AM on January 17, 2015

Brings back fond memories of The Who's last-ever performance on December 17th, 1982.
posted by fairmettle at 4:35 AM on January 17, 2015 [4 favorites]

I have been going to shows since 1977. I am going to try to catch one or all of these shows, but it is going to be a circus. I like the choice of Trey, but that will add to the circus. What about having picked Warren Haynes?

I would like to make the call of a first night, first set opener of Shakedown Street. Phil will let out some of his opening Phil bombs and away they go. Probably a second set due somewhere of Playing in the Band --> He's gone. Will they do the obligatory One More Saturday night encore on the 4th or play US Blues instead? Furthur certainly mixed up the traditional songs for each set and even broke up such combinations as Chinacat--> Rider so I imagine these shows could be big surprises.

As for Bobby, he canceled a lot of shows in the fall and late 2014. I think they used the term "exhaustion". Make your own implications there.

Phil still sounds good. He looks old, but he sounds good. Saw one of the shows at the Cap for the NYE run. Very impressed.
posted by 724A at 5:52 AM on January 17, 2015 [3 favorites]

It's about time LSD made a comeback...
posted by Devonian at 6:13 AM on January 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

Damn, Jerry's been gone for twenty years?
posted by octothorpe at 7:23 AM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yeah, Warren Haynes would have been a better Jerry. Still, would love to go.
posted by Windopaene at 8:08 AM on January 17, 2015

Someplace I have the San Francisco paper with the giant headline announcing Jerry's death, bought for me by my sweet deadhead bestest girlfriend. She'd just turned me on to the GD earlier that year and we'd had several talks about going to one of their shows when BANG, wasn't possible.

I think it's fitting that they are playing these shows to take a final bow. I hope they are beyond legendary, because all those who have followed this band and the various projects related to it across the decades need to have this moment.

Truly the end of an era is upon us.
posted by hippybear at 8:17 AM on January 17, 2015 [3 favorites]

I wonder if they even invited Tom Constanten or Donna Jean Godchaux. They even have another keyboard player performing with them...
posted by koavf at 8:34 AM on January 17, 2015

Mickey Hart is not an "original member." He was added to solidify Kreutzman's weak backbeat.

That said, I was a roadie for a SF rock band for 42 years, both Phil and Bob are longtime friends.

In 1992 I took a mountain bike ride with Bob Weir and Gary Fisher to the top of Mount Tamalpais in the middle of the night, where we sat and chewed the fat while my tape recorder documented the conversation. I later transcribed that conversation and it ran in a mountain bike publication.

The chapter in my book about how I met Gary Fisher at the Grateful Dead office in 1971 is available online as an excerpt.
posted by Repack Rider at 9:00 AM on January 17, 2015 [10 favorites]

Oh god I would love to go. The Dead was my very first show at age 6.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:06 AM on January 17, 2015

Brings back fond memories of The Who's last-ever performance on December 17th, 1982.

In 1982 Roger Daltrey was 38 and Pete Townshend was 37. OTOH, as of now, Phil Lesh is 74 and has had a liver transplant and Bob Weir is 67 and has had recent health problems. There's a pretty good chance this is their last go round.
posted by cwest at 9:11 AM on January 17, 2015

Mickey Hart is not an "original member." He was added to solidify Kreutzman's weak backbeat.

by playing all around the backbeat, but not on it - as if phil was ever going to lock in to those guys anyway

i don't know - everything just worked differently in that band, i guess
posted by pyramid termite at 9:34 AM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

Make a note to stay off of Lake Shore Drive those nights.
posted by goethean at 9:37 AM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

I am surprised at the amount of emotional churn this announcement is causing me. On the one hand, yes, these guys should absolutely take the stage for one more weekend of shows, and I should be there to soak it in if I can swing it. Going to shows was a huge part of my life right up until Jerry died, although frankly almost every show after '92 was pretty tough sledding, with only one or two exceptions. But their music, warts and all, has been the soundtrack for a huge swath of my life.

At the same time, this definitely stirs up some stuff that I haven't thought of in a while -- memories of friends that have passed, friendships that have ended, people that have moved away or moved on to other things in their own lives. It's hard for me to think about going to a Dead show without also remembering those folks who made the experiences special for me, and that often had little to do with the musicians on the stage, apart from their presence as facilitators.

One good friend, who had been to even more shows than I had, always had the same answer when you asked him which show was his favorite: "The next one." Seems like that ends in July, although, of course, it really ended 20 years ago. But that hurt now feels fresh again.

They are billing this event as a celebration, but in my mind I am seeing this as equal parts celebration and wake, and it's the latter that is giving me issues. If I do end up going, I will need to come to terms with that. It's been a long, strange trip, and it's hard to believe that trip is really, truly over.

Never had such a good time
in my life before
I'd like to have it one time more
One good ride from start to end
I'd like to take that ride again

posted by mosk at 12:14 PM on January 17, 2015

Personally I'm looking forward to the Scorsese-produced documentary. I hope that between that, and these concerts, and other 50th-anniversary events and articles, a lot of new people will get turned on to the Dead. They're not for everybody, but those who have ears, let them hear.
posted by uosuaq at 1:38 PM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

Neil Kimmock would have been a good choice to be fake Jerry too.

I am really glad they are doing the mail order thing. I remember going to get money orders, going to the post office to get a hand cancel and sending out for mail order tickets and waiting by the mail box hoping I got my pair. Loved the ticket designs too. It appears as if they are planning a "commemorative ticket" that is part of the (high) mail order prices. I was never very good at drawing a picture on the outside of the envelope to get picked, I just wrote "Please send me tickets" as neatly as I could in magic marker on the back.

50 years is a long friggin time. I am very glad for those of us who are Deadheads, the music has stood the test of time. My kids were brought up on it. I remember my 4 year old daughter in her little sun dress doing the spinny twirls to Tennessee Jed in the living room of our apartment in Chicago 16 years ago. Now, although she is not a Deadhead, she was the first to text me with the news and with a link to Cold Rain and Snow, my current favorite song. My 18 year old and I play name that tune whenever we are in the car and listening to Sirius 23. Even my country loving son will say whenever El Paso comes on, "Not quite Marty Robbins, but it will do." (Me & My Uncle -->Mama Tried)

Obligatory, "What a long strange trip its been..."
posted by 724A at 3:08 PM on January 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

The Who, 1982.
That was fun

A Little "The Who" chrono bonus

"In ensuing confusion, Keith misplaces his clothes
Police arrive – Party in full swing
Keith suddenly decides to leave party in great haste
Keith jumps into Lincoln Continental & releases handbrake
Car rolls backward through fence and into deep end of swimming pool
Keith greeted at gunpoint by police as he surfaces"

there is controversary about the pool.
posted by clavdivs at 8:50 PM on January 17, 2015

posted by clavdivs at 8:56 PM on January 17, 2015

"The wise man laments neither for the living nor the dead." - Bhagavad Gita
posted by telstar at 12:11 AM on January 18, 2015

Oh god I would love to go. The Dead was my very first show at age 6.

Not the mefite I would have predicted... Not sure why though.

I got into The Dead in the late '80s, after Touch of Grey (but not because of it). The timing was partly because of my initial experimentation with psychedelics, and a few years later, because I was finally old enough to travel elsewhere to see a concert. The best show I attended was the 2nd time they came back to Vegas at the football stadium in the '90s, which IIRC were three shows in late spring, before the oppressive summer heat set in. They played all of Terrapin Station, plus The Music Never Stopped, and were tight and really together, including Jerry (think he was fresh out of rehab). Other years in Vegas were more problematic and not as cohesive, but opinions will vary widely with archival live Dead sets.

I always favored Lesh & Kreutzmann more than Weir & Hart, but they're all integral, and it's hard to imagine Space without Hart's insane percussion, or a complete Dead set without a rocker or three from Weir. Personally, I think Steve Kimmock does better at filling in the hole Jerry left than anyone else, but it will never really be the same anyway, and Trey has likely earned the opportunity as much as anyone.

Wish it were closer to where I live, but it's not doable for me otherwise.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:30 AM on January 18, 2015

This is going to sound like a crazy question, but how can I get the earliest postmark possible? If I drop my letter off at the post office, will it get an earlier postmark than it would if I dropped it in a normal mailbox? Can I show up to a post office right when it opens and ask the person at the counter to postmark it ASAP? Or will they just look at me funny?
posted by evil otto at 9:28 AM on January 18, 2015

You might look into "hand canceling" which is a long-standing PO practice.
posted by telstar at 8:14 PM on January 18, 2015

You do not want an earlier hand cancel or any early postmark. It has to be done on the day they list. Earlier is a huge negative from the GD offices standpoint. Go to post office and ask for hand cancel. In the old days, my local post office worker knew exactly what was going on.

From the website:

The first send in date (postmark) for these performances is Tuesday, January 20, 2015.

Please do not send in before Tuesday or your order may not be filled.

posted by 724A at 5:25 AM on January 20, 2015

My greatest GD highs and lows.

Low. Sending in a personal check to GD for the silver ticket first full play through of Blues for Allah, I was in high school and they returned the check, money orders and cashiers checks only. My best friend went because he did it "right"

High (many) but my first GD concert was Englishtown 1977. I was a fan for along time after that. I don't remember much to to intoxication, but I do vividly remember Weir taking out and putting on a double neck guitar for Terrapin Station. He then took it off before they started the sequence. I never had this confirmed, but it was such a vivid moment. I even posted on the GD forums, but there was no response.

I spent some time dancing in my living room with my 20 month old to GD a few days ago, the day after the shows were announced, brought back too many memories to include. I imagine it will be great fun to go to one of these shows, but I will "hear about it" after the fact Im afraid.
posted by silsurf at 1:14 PM on January 20, 2015

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