Dead & Company wrapped up the final show of their 2019 Summer Tour this past Saturday at CU Boulder’s iconic Folsom Field. A venue frequented by the Grateful Dead throughout the 1970s, the Grateful Dead first touched down at the University of Colorado Boulder in the spring of 1969, and while the Dead wrapped up their final performance at Folsom in June of 1980, the spirit of the band has lived on throughout the city.
Dead & Company announces the third annual Playing in the Sand, an all-inclusive Caribbean concert vacation in partnership with CID Presents. The event – January 16-19, 2020 - features three nights of Dead & Company - Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, John Mayer, and Bob Weir, with Oteil Burbridge and Jeff Chimenti - playing on an intimate, white sandy beach in Mexico, just feet away from the Caribbean Sea.
It really wasn’t just “One More Saturday Night” even though it was. Yes, the show was on a Saturday night, and I was really happy about that. Having been to at least one and sometimes two shows since the band began touring together in 2015. Most of those shows had been in NY, one in South Florida and now, one in Atlanta. I knew this one would be special and it was a new adventure; my first show in Atlanta.
Despite their emergence in the mid-sixties at the height of the counterculture era, the Grateful Dead were never considered an overtly political act. While no friend to the corporate establishment or a cog in the government machine, the band left the protest songs to musicians such as Bob Dylan. That’s not to say that their lyrics don’t touch on the thematic landscape of America’s political woes, but like poetry (and beauty), interpretation is in the eye of the beholder.
When Uncle Billy has his hat on, you know you are in for a heater... Saturday night delivered just that at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA The Dead faithful showed up in the usual fashion to the home of Tom Brady. At every turn on shakedown you ran into a stealie with the Patriots’ iconic symbol replacing the bolt. But upon entering the stadium, you have a different feeling, a new vibe. After speaking with multiple venue employees and hearing how excited they are for the jam juggernaut to take the stage.
It was 36 years to the day since the first SPAC Grateful Dead concert on June 18, 1983. The anniversary seems to have gone mostly unnoticed by most attendees at the June 18, 2019, SPAC Dead & Company concert. The tour faithful seem to have the philosophy of living in the moment. Those of us that attended the 1983 show will talk about it reverently. We live in the past and the present.
Rolling into Chicago on a Saturday night, there was a hazy fog blanketing the city. Lake Michigan was rolling side by tide towards the shore and people were still out on the lakefront despite the weather donning ponchos or umbrellas. Seemed like 20-minute intervals when the fog would get too heavy with precipitation and turn into a downpour. The friendly confines turned into the people’s ivy-covered park on the day Dead & Company came to town. There was no opposing team, just a real good time waiting inside.