One of the highest moments in Grateful Dead history came on September 16, 1978, in front of the Great Pyramid of Gizeh, when a rhythm and percussion choir led by Mickey Hart’s friend Hamza El Din opened for the band’s second set by playing his song “Ollin Arageed.” As they sang and percussed, the moon went into eclipse. One by one, the band members drifted on to the stage and joined them, eventually going into “Fire on the Mountain.” It was pure magic.
A new, cavernous San Francisco concert venue was put to use by Dead & Company on Dec. 30, and while it is the biggest indoor venue in Grateful Dead-hometown history, the party was no less enthusiastic. On New Year’s Eve, balloons would drop and a vintage plane would fly through the arena at midnight, but here on the 30th, the penultimate night of the year, Dead & Company delivered a big, powerful show worthy of review.
By 1987, the Grateful Dead had lived many of their nine lives but were about to embark on one not a soul had seen coming. In The Dark , their first studio album in seven years, had spawned a hit (A TOP 10 SINGLE FOR THE GRATEFUL DEAD?!) and "Touch Of Grey" begat a new generation with their fanny packs and their MTV and their undeniable quest to join the party already in progress. And boy, did the Dead let them in! But not without fine-tuning their sonic vibes to meet the new demand.
Hold on to your hat, we’re coming in strong with one from the Windy City that’ll have you movin’ and shakin’ from start to finish. DAVE’S PICKS VOLUME 31: UPTOWN THEATRE, CHICAGO, IL 12/3/79 signals a true rebirth of the Grateful Dead, reimagining classics and foreshadowing their 80s sound. This is as much in part due to freshly-minted member Brent Mydland bringing the organ back in as it is to Jerry finding new vivacity with his custom Wolf guitar. New guy, new guitar – it all makes for a heck of a good time!
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.