While the “Fare Thee Well” Forth of July at Solider Field announcement from the surviving members of The Dead have fans nationwide in pandemonium, California’s Bay Area has already begun celebrating fifty years of Grateful Dead with a number of intimate events. Guitarist Bob Weir has returned to performance with some stellar extended-for-network-TV jamming with host John Mayer on The Late Late Show.
It’s been two weeks since the surviving members of Grateful Dead announced that they would be performing a final farewell three-day concert event over Fourth of July weekend at Chicago’s Solider Field. The most important psychedelic rock band in history turned fifty years old this year. Another equally significant anniversary for 2015 is twenty years ago this July were the final performances of the Grateful Dead with lead guitarist and bandleader Jerry Garcia.
So many years after the disbandment of Grateful Dead that in turn relocated tens of thousands of devoted tour followers to various other acts and bigger life purposes, folks still crave that familiar feeling that kept them on tour. It didn’t only come from the music that Garcia and the gang connected with so many people through, but the sense of community and thriving weirdness that expanded continuously over decades of different intersections.
If achieving a balance in diversity is a music festival’s key to success, then Dave Frey and Peter Shapiro have truly created the most dynamically integrated festival experience of all time. The Lockn’ Music Festival isn’t another colossal gathering from bandwagon fans there to see a couple of big name headliners mixed in with who-else-knows.
Instead of sweating getting his wallet even fatter or having his name rolling off more folks’ tongues, Warren Haynes puts hammers, nails and efforts of kind-hearted, hard working Habitat for Humanity supporters where his guitar is to improve life for others. “Sweat Equity”, which simply means an individual needs to do for themselves and community to have the community return the favor is the driving force behind Haynes’ efforts.
After kicking off what some are calling the Fare Thee Well Tour with two nights at Red Rocks, it was clear walking up the ramps that there was a sustained energy ready to boil over on Saturday night. After three consecutive late summers on the rocks, Furthur brought out all of the tricks on this run, and finally decided to not only give us the best of, like they had in previous years, but also lots of songs they’d never dusted off in Colorado.
Saturday provided everyone at Lockn’ Festival with day three of bright blue skies, a warm late summer sun and a string of performers that left everyone with their eyes wide open and their jaws dropped. Love Canon, The London Souls and The Punch Brothers got the day started off on a great note, performing energetically and en