Entries tagged with: Grateful Dead

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by Andrew Sacher

Paul Kantner

Last night the rock world suffered yet another tragic loss, the death of Paul Kantner, co-founder, guitarist, singer and songwriter of psychedelic rock pioneers Jefferson Airplane. Both the Airplane and their neighbors the Grateful Dead celebrated 50th anniversaries last year, and while the Dead gained a larger following over time, it was the Airplane who had the more fruitful career in the 1960s era of peace, love, and psychedelic rock. They're best known for "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love," two songs that Grace Slick brought with her to JA from her previous band The Great Society (the latter written by her brother-in-law Darby), but those songs are just a small sample of what this band achieved.

Paul Kantner became increasingly crucial to the band's songwriting as they went on, and he continued to contribute his own lead vocals to some of the band's best songs. Some of his greatest achievements came outside of Jefferson Airplane too. His 1970 sci-fi concept album Blows Against the Empire (credited to Paul Kantner and Jefferson Starship, but recorded with a much different lineup than his band Jefferson Starship who formed four years later) is an overlooked classic of that era. The better-known concept albums of the time were mostly by British bands (The Who, The Kinks, Pink Floyd, The Pretty Things, etc), but BATE had a who's who of the San Francisco scene giving those bands a run for their money. Before officially starting Jefferson Starship, he knocked out two more great albums with Grace Slick, 1971's Sunfighter and 1973's Baron von Tollbooth and the Chrome Nun, the latter of which was credited to Kantner, Slick and Quicksilver Messenger Service's David Freiberg. He had some fine moments in early Jefferson Starship, but that band's slicked-up production didn't do him much justice. His strongest era was from 1967 to 1973.

To honor the passing of yet another rock visionary, here's 15 essential Paul Kantner songs from that era...

Continue reading "15 essential Paul Kantner songs (from Jefferson Airplane & more)"

Bonnaroo

Last night, the Bonnaroo 2016 lineup briefly leaked on the Bonnaroo app (part of it at least), and it was quickly taken down but not before someone could grab it put it on Reddit. A commenter suggests it's just the first wave, and the artists listed as headliners -- (Grateful) Dead & Co., LCD Soundsystem and Pearl Jam -- are just speculated headliners. (The poster also has misspellings like "Fidler.") The rest is listed in alphabetical order, and includes Big Grams, Blood Orange, Bully, Clutch, Death Cab for Cutie, Dungen, Father John Misty, Jason Isbell, Kamasi Washingotn, Kurt Vile, Lamb of God, Leon Bridges, M83, Mavis Staples, Miguel, Purity Ring, Shamir, Tame Impala, Vince Staples, Waxahatchee, Ween and more.

The lineup will officially be announced on Tuesday, January 19 on an episode of Conan, airing at 11 PM EST on TBS. The fest happens June 9-12 this year in its usual home of Manchester, TN. It's the festival's 15th anniversary, and in honor of that they're introducing some new improvements:

For the first time, Great State Park, home of Bonnaroo, will now feature its own permanent water line, allowing for the installation of more than 400 permanent toilets (38% of the total toilets onsite will be flushable), hundreds of permanent shower stalls (35% of the total shower stalls onsite), and a large number of water filling stations newly installed throughout the site.
More improvements for the 2017 festival are being planned too.

Tickets go on sale January 22 at noon EST.

photo: Phil Lesh at GD50 (more by Jay Blakesberg)
Grateful Dead

Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh has announced a couple of NYC-area birthday shows (he's turning 76). The shows will go down in Port Chester at the Capitol Theatre on March 17 and 18, and his band (aka "The Q") will feature Warren Haynes, Jimmy Herring, Rob Barraco and John Molo. Tickets for both shows go on sale Friday (1/15) at noon.

Phil has some other shows coming up, including a show at Terrapin Crossroads in California where they'll be playing the same set from the Dead's Terrapin Station show in 1982.

In other Dead news, Dead & Company, which features other remaining Dead members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann and Bob Weir, along with John Mayer, announced from the stage at their LA show on New Year's Eve that they have more dates planned for 2016, Billboard reports. Their 2015 tour included three MSG shows.

In related news that you probably don't care about, John Mayer is also back in the studio (yaaaaaay).

Check out Phil Lesh dates and a video of Phil's last run at the Cap, below...

Continue reading "Phil Lesh announces 76th birthday shows with Warren Haynes and more; Dead & Company promising 2016 tour dates"

Cass McCombs
photo by Rachael Pony Cassells

Cass McCombs released the rarities comp A Folk Set Apart: Rarities, B-Sides & Space Junk, Etc last month, and he's got new material on the way that he'll preview some of at his upcoming Bowery Ballroom (1/7) show in NYC. He talked to Relix about it:

You are currently working on a new studio album. Would you say that project continues the jammy, Grateful Dead feel of your recent work?

I would say it is a continuation of that groovy shit. The songs maintain that Dead influence. What I love about the Dead--you see it on their early posters. They were "Grateful Dead Dance Concert." That's built in into what they're trying to do. Even on the slowest tunes, like "Stella Blue" or whatever, people are still dancing. You know, you take your shoes off, and you fucking get your rocks off. Whether it's slow or fast, you can dance to it, find the groove. That's what I learned.

He also said he's been recording in New York and LA with past collaborator and Dead Family associate Joe Russo, longtime band members Jon Shaw and Dan Lead, and producer Rob Schnapf (Kurt Vile, Beck, Elliott Smith). He says he'll "definitely be trying out some of the new songs" at the Bowery show, and regarding the live lineup it's Cass, Jon, Dan, and...
Jesse Lee has been playing drums with us now here in New York. Ryan Sawyer, another drummer and percussionist--I don't even know how to describe his role--will be with us. We're trying to get some people to play with us onstage. Soldiers of Fortune, who are old buds, are opening for us in New York, and I am hoping Matt Sweeney and Mike Bones and all of those dudes will sit in. It's going to be cold outside--at least I hope so given the weather recently--and I hope people can come warm each other up. That's the idea--this wintertime orgy.
Tickets for the wintertime orgy are still available, and we're also giving away a pair. Enter to win, below.

Right before the Bowery show, Cass also plays the Bernie Sanders benefit happening Wednesday (1/5) and Thursday (1/6) at Baby's All Right in Brooklyn with Jana Hunter, Okkervil River, Will Sheff, Gang Gang Dance, Kevin Devine, Frankie Cosmos and many more. Daily lineups will be announced day-of. Tickets are still available.

That Relix interview also talks about Cass' love of Phish and his collaboration with Phish's Mike Gordon on "Texas" (which appears on that new rarities comp). Phish just played four MSG shows and their 1995 live album A Live One is one of the albums getting a 33 1/3 book this spring. Author Walter Holland will discuss it in NYC on Saturday (1/9) at City Winery. Tickets are available. The Grateful Dead's Workingman's Dead is getting a 33 1/3 this spring too, as is Blondie, Geto Boys, Sleater-Kinney, and New Kids on the Block.

The Relix interview also mentions that Cass McCombs and Joe Russo are contributing their cover of "Dark Star," which they played at Max Fish in 2015, to The National's Grateful Dead tribute album. Check out a clip of that song from the Max Fish show, below.

Continue reading "Cass McCombs promising new music & guest appearances at Bowery show (win tix!); Phish 33 1/3 being discussed in NYC"

photo: Lockn' Festival (more by Jessica Giovanetti)
Grateful Dead

The Grateful Dead celebrated their 50th anniversary this year with their "Fare Thee Well" shows in Chicago and Santa Clara that they recorded and released on CD/DVD, picked up a Grammy nomination for a different box set, and continued to play shows with their various related projects. On top of that, Netflix put out a Bob Weir documentary.

Now Bobby is executive producing a "limited bio-series" on the band with Dead roadie Steve Parish, author of Home Before Daylight: My Life On The Road With The Grateful Dead, Deadline reports. Amazon Studios is developing the series, and Bernie Cahill and ROAR will also be executive producers, while Stephen Emery is a co-EP. According to the article, Bob Weir is overseeing all aspects of music for the series. No title or writer has been revealed yet. Stay tuned for more.

Grammy

The 58th Annual Grammy Awards nominees have been announced. Album of the Year nominees include Alabama Shakes for Sound & Color, Kendrick Lamar for To Pimp A Butterfly, Chris Stapleton for Traveller, Taylor Swift for 1989 and The Weeknd for Beauty Behind The Madness. Record of the Year also includes Taylor ("Blank Space") and The Weeknd ("Can't Feel My Face"), plus D'Angelo ("Really Love"), Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars ("Uptown Funk") and Ed Sheeran ("Thinking Out Loud"). Song of the Year has those same Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran songs against Kendrick's "Alright," Little Big Town's "Girl Crush," and Wiz Khalifa ft. Charlie Puth's "See You Again."

Alabama Shakes' album is also up for Best Alternative Music Album, along with Bjork, My Morning Jacket, Tame Impala and Wilco. Kendrick's album is also up for Best Rap Album, along with J. Cole, Dr. Dre, Drake and Nicki Minaj.

Other nominees include Courtney Barnett (up for Best New Artist), Florence + the Machine, Bob Dylan, The Chemical Brothers, Flying Lotus, Skrillex & Diplo, Caribou, Disclosure, Jamie xx, Bill Frisell, Ghost, Death Cab For Cutie (Best Rock Album), Jeremih, Jazmine Sullivan, Miguel, The Internet, Kehlani, Leon Bridges, Fetty Wap, Kanye West, Big Sean, Common, Jidenna, Kacey Musgraves, Robert Glasper, Punch Brothers, Mavis Staples, Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell, Jason Isbell, Buddy Guy, Bettye LaVette, Glen Hansard, Patti Smith, Amy Poehler, Wyatt Cenac, Louis C.K., the Hamilton soundtrack, David Bowie, Snoop Dogg, Elvis Presley, Father John Misty, The Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead, The Decemberists, Joni Mitchell, The Bird and The Bee, Blake Mills (Producer of The Year for Alabama Shakes' Sound & Color), A$AP Rocky, The Dead Weather, Pharrell Williams, Amy Winehouse doc Amy, and many more.

Kendrick Lamar picked up 11 total nominations, and The Weeknd picked up seven. The ceremony will happen February 15 at the Staples Center in LA, and air live on CBS.

Check out a fuller list of nominees below and the whole thing here.

Continue reading "2016 Grammy Awards nominees (Kendrick Lamar, Alabama Shakes, The Weeknd, Tame Impala, Caribou, MMJ, Bjork, Wilco, Dr. Dre, Drake, Flying Lotus, Courtney Barnett, more)"

Christmas Roundup

It's that time of year again. Like "All I Want is Christmas is You," holiday shows in NYC are omnipresent. We've already posted about NYC Hanukkah shows, now here's a roundup of just about everything else.

Darlene Love is playing four "Love For the Holidays" shows like last year at BB King Blues Club on December 20, 26, January 2 and 16 (tickets). Another Phil Spector associate, Ronnie Spector, is doing her annual Christmas shows this year at City Winery on December 22-23 (tickets).

India Arie is doing a Christmas show at Irving Plaza on December 15 with Johnathan Reynolds, and tickets for that show are on sale now.

There are also plenty of options for your holiday burlesque needs. Le Poisson Rouge is doing a few Christmas burlesque shows: Burlesque-A-Pades: Sleigh Ride on December 12 (tickets) and It's A Hot Pink Christmas on December 20 (tickets). Elsewhere: The burlesque troupe Wasabassco is putting on a late "Holiday Season Spectacular" at City Winery (tickets). Wassabasco will also be at Bell House on December 4 for a 70's themed Christmas show (tickets).

Mariah Carey is doing a run of holiday shows again this year at the Beacon Theatre on December 8-18 , and tickets for that are on sale now. For slightly less moolah and slighty less actual Mariah, there's a FREE Mariah Carey-themed party called "Party Like It's 1999: All I Want for Christmas is Mariah Edition." at The Bell House on December 5. Meanwhile, Union Hall is also doing a Holiday Pop Singalong on December 18 that promises to feature Mariah prominently, along with Bowie, Bieber, Wham! and more (tickets).

Speaking of The Bell House, they might be the kings of holiday shows. (Makes sense: the place is the ski lodge of NYC music venues.) Look at all these:  Buzzfeed's Kwanzaa Show on December 5, which is a sold-out taping of Buzzfeed's "Another Round" podcast with musical accompaniment by Jean Grae. The next night (12/6)  is "Landlady Holiday Spectacular," with people like Nels Cline, Eli Paperboy Reed, Cassandra Jenkins, Nick Hakim and more, which features live music and production of Landlady's holiday play Red Velvet: An Ill-Conceived Santa Story (tickets).

Lots and lots more holiday shows are listed below...

Continue reading "A guide to NYC holiday concerts and events"

photo: Matt Berninger w/ EL VY over the weekend (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Matt Berninger

We mentioned earlier this year that The National began recording their long awaited Grateful Dead tribute album in Woodstock at Dreamland Recordings. A new Stereogum feature on the band reports that the wait will finally be over in early 2016, and that they'll once again be teaming up with the Red Hot organization to release it (the same organization the Dessners did Dark Was the Night with).

More details since the initial announcement on who's contributing to it keep coming to. The band told Stereogum that the album has "somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 contributions," now including Perfume Genius, Tunde Adebimpe (of TV on the Radio), Marijuana Deathsquads (doing "Truckin'"), Unknown Mortal Orchestra ("Shakedown Street"), Fucked Up, Daniel Rossen (of Grizzly Bear) on two songs including "Terrapin Station," Phosphorescent main man Matthew Houck, Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus and more. Plus there's all the previously-mentioned names like Bon Iver, Sharon Van Etten, Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Ira Kaplan (Yo La Tengo), Kurt Vile & J Mascis (doing "Box of Rain" together), The War On Drugs ("Touch of Grey"), and of course The National themselves (including their take on"Peggy-O," a traditional the Dead played a lot). The latter two have been played live before, and you can check out videos of those below.

The wait for this compilation has been long, but it sounds like it'll be worth it. The National's Bryan Devendorf said, "Some of the interpretations of the songs, you hear it, and you go, 'My god, this is fucking killer.'" With a solid group of some of the best indie artists out there covering the Dead, it's hard to go wrong.

In other "indie musicians covering the Grateful Dead" news, Real Estate's Alex Bleeker and his band The Freaks doing another of their Dead tribute shows, and this one's in Brooklyn. It happens at Rough Trade on December 30. Tickets will be on sale on Wednesday (11/18) at noon. Alex Bleeker & The Freaks just played Brooklyn Bowl last week and are currently on tour in support of their new album.

All of The Freaks' upcoming tour dates are listed, with the National and War on Drugs videos, below...

Continue reading "The National reveal more details on Grateful Dead tribute; Alex Bleeker doing Dead in Brooklyn"

photo: GD50 in Chicago (more by Jay Blakesberg)
GD50

Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann with Phish's Trey Anastasio and more said "Fare Thee Well" earlier this year with Chicago and Santa Clara shows. The recording of the Chicago shows comes out on CD/DVD and CD/Blu-ray on November 20 (pre-order). There's also a two-disc "best of" version due out that same day, and NPR is now hosting a full stream of that. Listen below.

The Dead members were just in the NYC-area too. Phil did Cap shows on 10/30, 10/31, 11/1, 11/5, 11/6 and 11/7, and the other three (with John Mayer) did MSG shows on 10/30, 10/31 and 11/7.

Phish will hit MSG for four nights on and around New Year's Eve.

Continue reading "stream The Grateful Dead's 'Fare Thee Well' best-of double-LP"

photos by Jessica Giovannetti, words by Andrew Sacher

Lockn Fest
Lockn Fest

Virginia's Lockn' Festival continued on Saturday (9/12) after kicking off on Friday. After yesterday's Jefferson Airplane set, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady returned to the stage early for an acoustic Hot Tuna set in the afternoon. I caught a bit of that and they sounded great as always, but like Friday I didn't fully start my day until later on.

The first full set of the day I saw, and maybe the best thing I've seen this weekend so far, was Robert Plant & the Sensational Space Shifters. The band includes keyboardist John Baggott, who's worked with Massive Attack and Portishead, and bassist Billy Fuller who works with Portishead's Geoff Barrow in BEAK>, which makes a whole lot of sense considering how modern the Sensational Space Shifters sound. Even when they played an old blues song that Plant said dated back to the '30s, they threw in futuristic synths that made it sound unlike any particular era. All of the Led Zeppelin songs they played were revamped to fit into their set too. They simplified the "Black Dog" riff, but made it thicker and just as fun. They played up the trippy elements of "Dazed and Confused" with airy atmospheres and lengthy solos. Plant told a story of the inspiration Zeppelin took from the blues, and then played "Whole Lotta Love" as a medley between Willie Dixon/Muddy Waters' "I Just Want to Make Love to You" and Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love?".

As much as there's a desire to hear those songs exactly the way you remember them, the new arrangements really did breathe new life into them. And when you're seeing songs that classic mixed with new material, it's pretty common to get bored during the new ones. But the stuff the Sensational Space Shifters played off last year's lullaby and... The Ceaseless Roar was genuinely great. Plant's working with a super interesting band and that undoubtedly helps, but he's also still a total star on stage, he's funny, and his voice is in killer shape. Plant does it again at Lockn' tonight, this time as the headliner.

After Plant it was the very jammy Widespread Panic, who were pretty undeniable at times but could get kinda boring at others. But the real treat of their set was when they brought out reggae legend Jimmy Cliff to sing lead on their last six songs. They played exclusively off Cliff's classic The Harder They Come, including the title track, "Sitting In Limbo," "You Can Get It If You Really Want" and "Many Rivers to Cross," and then ended with two covers: The Clash's "The Guns of Brixton" and Johnny Nash's "I Can See Clearly Now" (a huge 1993 hit for Cliff via the Cool Runnings soundtrack).

Bob Weir
Lockn Fest

Then it was more Grateful Dead, and a lot of it. Bob Weir sat in as a guest lead singer/guitarist for his bandmate Bill Kreutzmann's band Billy & The Kids, and like Phil Lesh did on Friday, they loaded their set with Dead staples. I liked Phil's setlist more, but having an actual Dead member handle the vocals (rather than a Black Crowes member) pushed this one over the edge for me. We got the Dead classic "Wharf Rat," a good amount off Weir's Ace album, the frequently-covered "Dancing in the Street" and "Not Fade Away" and more. Like with the previous day's Phil Lesh & Friends set, all the musicians were on point and all the extended jams sounded like the Dead's old days. More so than Phil's set, Billy & The Kids went off into triiiiiiiippy territory too. For the last two songs, the amount of Dead members on stage was upped when Mickey Hart came out to join them. And while Phil sadly did not, they did segue set-closer "Not Fade Away" right into the Phil Lesh & Friends set that started immediately after on the adjacent stage.

Friday's Phil Lesh & Friends set was great, but not nearly as star-studded. Fellow San Francisco legend and Woodstock alumnus Carlos Santana was on lead guitar, and they also had Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers Band, Gov't Mule) splitting lead vocals with Dead family keyboardist Rob Barraco. Not that the Dead were ever the most technically skilled singers, but they had a specific style for sure and Warren and Rob nailed it. After "Not Fade Away" they went right into the night's first stone-cold classic, "Scarlet Begonias," followed by a couple covers and then right back to the Dead faves. Strangely enough, even with Bob Weir in the house, Phil finally took the mic to do Bobby's "The Other One," which they took into the timeless "Fire on the Mountain."

The best moment of the set wasn't a Dead song though, but a cover of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower." More than any other song, that's the one where it clicked that I was watching Carlos fucking Santana on lead guitar. I'm sure Trey was great at the GD50 shows, and maybe John Mayer will be good at the Dead & Company shows, but I doubt the Dead members will have a better guest lead guitarist at a show this year than they did last night. Santana ripped those "All Along the Watchtower" solos like the true master of his form that he is. He took cues from Hendrix's version, but he made it his own. Just watching his fingers go brought you right back to Abraxas and made you forget that "Smooth" featuring Rob Thomas ever happened. To close things out, Phil & Friends gave us a rendition of the beloved "Dark Star" and then brought things full circle by reprising "Not Fade Away."

More pictures and setlists below...

Continue reading "Lockn' Fest day 2: Robert Plant, lots of Grateful Dead, & more"

photos by Jessica Giovannetti, words by Andrew Sacher

Phil Lesh & Friends at Lockn' (photo via BV Instagram)
Phil Lesh

After being forced to cancel Thursday's performances due to weather, Peter Shapiro and Dave Frey's Lockn' Festival began successfully on Friday (9/11). Some of Thursday's cancelled acts were rescheduled, so the day kicked off bright and early with The Doobie Brothers and The String Cheese Incident's collaborative band The Doobie Incident, and music continued until after 2 AM. I didn't get over to the stages until The String Cheese Incident were playing their own set, a concoction of bluegrass, rock, disco and at least five other styles (sometimes in one song) that really had the place moving when they got into their fast grooves. (Their slow songs, less so.) But the real highlights of day one for me were two sets related to two San Francisco bands who both turned 50 this year.

First it was The Grateful Dead's Phil Lesh playing one of his Phil Lesh & Friends sets, joined by vocalist/guitarist Chris Robinson (Black Crowes), Neal Casal (Ryan Adams & the Cardinals), Adam MacDougall (Black Crowes), Eric Krasno (Soulive, Lettuce), and Tony Leone (of Chris Robinson's other band Brotherhood). Chris Robinson handled lead vocals and even if I wish Phil sang a bit more, they were still fantastic. Like most Phil & Friends shows, the jams stay true to the Dead's style and they packed the set with staples: "Shakedown Street," "Brown-Eyed Woman," "Bertha," "Playing in the Band," "I Know You Rider" and more were all played. We also got their sprawling rendition of The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter" which had the place going wild. Phil does it again at Lockn' today with Carlos Santana, Warren Haynes and more. The other three core GD50 members have sets today too.

After Phil, Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady and friends played a 50th anniversary set for their former band Jefferson Airplane. Paul Kantner (who went on to form Jefferson Starship) has been playing Airplane sets on tour all year but the Hot Tuna guys were doing it at Lockn' as a one-off. They were joined by Rachael Price (Lake Street Dive), frequent Tuna member Teresa Williams and Furthur's Jeff Pehrson on lead vocals, plus other frequent Tuna members GE Smith and Larry Campbell on guitars and Justin Guip on drums, and a special guest appearance from The Grateful Dead's Bill Kreutzmann on drums for the last few songs. The biggest problem anyone doing an Airplane set without the officially-retired Grace Slick will run into is of course that no one can replace her. (Jeff wasn't exactly Marty Balin either.) But once you accept that, Jorma, Jack and friends were on fire. As Phil Lesh did immediately beforehand, they packed the set with the songs that defined the San Francisco Sound. Of course we got "White Rabbit," "Somebody to Love" and "Volunteers," but plenty of other favorites too.



Jorma took lead vocals on two traditional songs he arranged for the Airplane back in the day, "Good Shepherd" and "Come Back Baby." They opened the set on full blast with "3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds" into "Greasy Heart." They gave us "Plastic Fantastic Lover," "Eskimo Blue Day," and still more. Just like at a Tuna show, the best part of the show is watching Jack and Jorma when they really lock in. Phil Lesh is obviously a terrific bassist, but he never got as heavy as Jack, which Jack reminded us during the extended "Volunteers" jam when he kicked up the gain on his amp and just went off. It sounded as dirty last night as it sounds on the recording of "The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil" at Woodstock. Day 1 of Lockn' was full of treats, but this set felt extra special.

I didn't catch the Joe Cocker (rest in peace) tribute that happened next, but I did head over to the Blue Ridge Bowl side stage for a late night Umphrey's McGee set. I was a complete Umphrey's novice besides checking out a few videos that never piqued my interest, but I was convinced by a few friends to see them and their live show is pretty undeniable. It's at times almost metal, at other times bouncy and danceable, and at other times nothing at all like either of those. And the crowd was eating up all of it.

A few more pictures below...

Continue reading "Lockn' Fest 2015 day 1: Jorma & Jack play Jefferson Airplane, Phil Lesh & Friends, and more (pics, review)"

Lockn' Fest grounds (photo via Garcia's at The Cap Instagram)
Lockn' Fest

Peter Shapiro and Dave Frey's Lockn' Festival in Arrington, VA was supposed to start today (9/10) but the grounds were hit by a storm yesterday that caused all of today's performances to be cancelled, and the campgrounds have not been able to open yet. The festival organizers wrote last night:

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT FROM THE LOCKN' ORGANIZERS: Opening of Campgrounds Delayed, Thursday (only) Performances Cancelled

Earlier this evening, a severe thunderstorm with high winds passed over Lockn' and caused damage to the festival grounds, particularly the parking and campground area. The good news is that no one was injured and the entire team is focused on cleaning up and preparing for a great festival. The unfortunate news is that we will be forced to delay the opening of the campgrounds and cancel Thursday's performances in order to give the team the time necessary to make sure the festival grounds are safe for both our guests and our artists.

Despite the inconvenience the storm has caused, we count ourselves lucky that everyone is safe and that we have three great days of music ahead of us. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Stay tuned for new campgrounds opening times and other updates.

This morning, they added:
Microburst delays Lockn', there will be no show on Thursday
Lockn' organizers are asking concert-goers to be patient while crews work to rebuild and replace equipment and other necessary elements. We are working diligently to resolve all matters related to guest and artist safety, and will make a further announcement two hours prior to the opening of the campgrounds.
Today's cancelled acts include Grateful Dead drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann's respective sets, The Doobie Incident (String Cheese Incident + Doobie Brothers), Deer Tick and more.

Assuming everything gets going on Friday, the fest runs through Sunday and includes other scheduled performances from Mickey and Bill, plus fellow Dead members Phil Lesh and Bob Weir. Also on the bill is Hot Tuna, Jorma & Jack playing a Jefferson Airplane set, Robert Plant, Carlos Santana, Jimmy Cliff, FIshbone and more. Full schedule here.

photo: GD50 in Chicago (more by Jay Blakesberg)
Grateful Dead

Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart & Bill Kreutzmann recently announced two MSG shows as Dead & Company (with John Mayer and more). Those shows both sold out, and now the band have added more tour dates. They play Albany, Philly, DC and Mass. shows around the MSG dates, LA on New Year's Eve, and San Francisco right before that.

Full tour schedule and ticket info below...

Continue reading "Grateful Dead members & John Mayer add more tour dates"

photo: Grateful Dead in Santa Clara in June (more by Jay Blakesberg)
Grateful Dead

Now that the Grateful Dead's Fare Thee Well shows are over, members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann are continuing on as Dead & Company with John Mayer and more. They already announced a NYC show for MSG on Halloween, and now they added another for November 1 at the same venue. Tickets for both shows go on sale Friday (8/14) at 10 AM.

Watch a video of the Dead in '81 below...

Continue reading "(Grateful) Dead & Company add 2nd MSG show"

photo: GD50 in Chicago (more by Jay Blakesberg)
Grateful Dead

There was a rumor that the Grateful Dead would be touring with John Mayer. That rumor is now basically confirmed, though Phil Lesh isn't taking part in it. Surviving Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann are teaming up with Mayer (plus RatDog/Furthur's Jeff Chimenti and Allman Brothers Band's Oteil Burbridge) as "Dead & Company." Their first confirmed date is NYC's Madison Square Garden on Halloween. Tickets go on sale Friday, August 14 at 10 AM with an AmEx presale starting Monday, August 10 at 10 AM.

With Phil Lesh's absence, it remains true that the Chicago shows were in fact the final ones with all four of them. Phil is also playing his own NYC-area show on Halloween at the Capitol Theatre, which is part of a six-show run at that venue.

In related news, Bobby, Mickey and Bill were recently added to Lockn' Fest, which Phil was already confirmed for (though they're billed separately). Hot Tuna (playing a Jefferson Airplane set and an acoustic set), Robert Plant, Carlos Santana (playing on his own and with Phil Lesh) and more are also playing. Tickets are still available.

photos by Jay Blakesberg

Grateful Dead

After a show focused on the '70s and a performance that leaned on the Dead's later years, the Fare Thee Well septet pulled from nearly every era of the Grateful Dead's touring career on Sunday.

The energy at the sold-out football stadium was through the roof as the band took the stage and assembled for a deep bow. They then huddled at the middle of the stage for a group hug. Each member took their spots and "China Cat Sunflower" began. Bruce Hornsby and Trey Anastasio shared lead vocals on "China Cat," which the Grateful Dead played over 500 times between 1968 and 1995. A few of Robert Hunter's lyrics tripped up Anastasio, but he had no problems instrumentally as the guitarist added his own signature flourishes to the iconic transition that leads into "I Know You Rider." All four main vocalists shared the "I wish I was a headlight" verse which Garcia always sang so powerfully at Grateful Dead performances. Hornsby provided a perky, upbeat piano solo in "Rider" as a crowd including celebrities Bill Murray, Perry Farrell, George R.R. Martin and Bill Walton roared its approval.

...Show organizers had one more setbreak surprise in store on Sunday as a full fireworks display was fired above Soldier Field.

The band returned to the stage towards the end of the fireworks show to open the second set with "Truckin," the first song they performed eight days earlier at their Santa Clara debut. A repeat of "Truckin" gave the audience of Deadheads a final chance to scream and shout the "what a long strange trip it's been" lyric. [Jambase]

After the Grateful Dead's 50th anniversary 'Fare Thee Well' shows in Santa Clara, they played their three final shows at Chicago's Soldier Field this past weekend. Like in California, surviving members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann were joined by Phish's Trey Anastasio, former Dead collaborator Bruce Hornsby and Jeff Chimenti of Bob Weir's band RatDog. As the above review points out, each night had a different theme setlist-wise, and you can browse all three setlists below. Pictures from the first night are also in this post.

The second night, July 4th included projected footage of the Empire State Building on the screen at Soldier Field as the Dead played "U.S. Blues." The building's light show, mostly in red, white and blue, was synced to the song. Video of that is below too.

Grateful Dead

NYC Taper was in attendance, and he's got audio to stream/download of the first two shows at his site (July 3 and July 4). You can stream "Passenger" from the first night and "The Golden Road" from the second, below. Dead.net has you covered if you're looking to buy the official CDs and DVDs.

Did you make it to any of the shows? If so, did you get one of the 100,000 roses FTD gave out? Was it tie-dyed? What about a balloon? Did you visit any other historical Dead sites while you were out there? How did you get your ticket?

Levi's Stadium photos HERE and HERE.

More pictures from Chicago night one, along with the three Chicago setlists, song streams and video, below...

Continue reading "Grateful Dead said 'Fare Thee Well' with three Chicago shows (all 3 Solider Field setlists, night 1 pics & the audio tapes too)"

photos by Jay Blakesberg

Grateful Dead

Night two of the Grateful Dead's Fare Thee Well run-up got off to a funky and ferocious start. The cobwebs were shaken loose, the groove found its pocket in opener "Feel Like a Stranger," and all was well in Deadhead land as the truly faithful showed for the second night in a row and a slew of new nostalgia seekers and first timers got their twirl on. [Billboard]
The reunited members of the Grateful Dead (along with Phish's Trey Anastasio in Jerry Garcia's spot) played their 2nd of two reunion shows in Santa Clara on Sunday night. The next three happen in Chicago this July 4th weekend (Can't be there? There's always YouTube, Dead.net, SiriusXM, Brooklyn Bowl, etc)
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You saw the setlist and pictures from the first night. More photos and the setlist from the second, below...

Continue reading "Grateful Dead @ Levi's Stadium (night 2 pics & setlist) "

UPDATE: We've also got pictures from the second night.

photos by Jay Blakesberg

Grateful Dead
Grateful Dead
Grateful Dead
Grateful Dead

There are two kinds of Deadheads.

Those who think the Grateful Dead experience should have died with Jerry Garcia.

And those who think it can go on with a pinch-hitter in the band's MVP seat.

If ever there was a time for those in the first camp to come back and check out the Dead 2.0, it was this weekend at Levi's Stadium, the band's 50th anniversary and the last time the surviving four members would play together. A chance to pull out the tie-dyes one last time, see some old friends and wish the boys a fond farewell.

And the band delivered a set seemingly tailored for the old-timers, three and a half hours of their most classic songs, not one written after 1970. They plucked rarely played gems off of their 1967 debut album, and played one song --1969's "What's Become of the Baby" -- that the Dead had never played, with or without Garcia.

And this Dead, complete with that pinch-hitter -- Phish's Trey Anastasio -- did a pretty fair job of regenerating the kind of cosmic energy the original Grateful Dead was able to summon up during its 30-year lifespan. [San Jose Mercury News]

We already talked a bit about the first of two Grateful Dead shows in Santa Clara this weekend (rainbow and setlist included). Now here's some photos. They continue HERE and below...

Continue reading "PICS: Grateful Dead @ Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara"

UPDATE: And here are PHOTOS

The Grateful Dead @ Levi's Stadium 6/27/2015 (photo via @lishkersch)
Grateful Dead Santa Clara, CA 2015

"I can't tell you how good it is to see all of you all again, this has been so magical for us," Lesh said before delivering his well-known donor rap before the encore. Bruce Hornsby finally handled lead vocals for a rousing rendition of "Casey Jones" that closed out the first night. After the music ended Billy came to the microphone to acknowledge the rainbow that formed at setbreak and tie it into the Supreme Court decision regarding gay marriage on Friday.

Who would have guessed during the "Truckin'" opener that it would be the most recently introduced song in the Grateful Dead's repertoire? With a nod to the early days of The Dead, this group trying to overcome first-night nerves and meet lofty expectations, if nothing more made the anticipation for the next four shows even stronger than it had been before. -[Jam Base]

The first of The Grateful Dead's "Fare Thee Well - Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead" shows happened Saturday night (6/27) at Santa Clara, CA's Levi's Stadium, featuring the "core four" (drummers Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart, bassist Phil Lesh and guitarist Bob Weir) as well as Phish's Trey Anastasio, plus Bruce Hornsby and Jeff Chimenti on keyboards. This was the first time this band had played a concert together and some kinks were working themselves out, but a rainbow forming over the stadium between the two sets was surely a good sign. The show opened with a jam that soon turned into "Truckin'" and the setlist stuck to the band's early days, wrapping up with "Casey Jones." Setlist is below. Pictures ARE HERE.

The second of the Santa Clara "Fare Thee Well" happens tonight (6/28) and then next weekend they move to Chicago for the final three.

Continue reading "first "Fare Thee Well - Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead" shows happened in Santa Clara (setlist)"

photo: Lee Ranaldo w/ Sonic Youth in 2011 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
Lee Ranaldo

Sonic Youth's Lee Ranaldo has a few live appearances coming up this year. He's got a Grateful Dead tribute in Chicago with Alex Bleeker, members of Yo La Tengo and more, a Mass. show with Oneida, a free Lincoln Center Out of Doors show in August (also with Yo La Tengo), and one of the Storm King Art Center shows in New Windsor, NY.

Before any of that happens though, he's got a show this month here in NYC. He's currently working on a new record with Barcelona producer Raül Fernandez Refree, and the pair will play "Barcelona Sounds" at Joe's Pub on June 29. The show is presented in collaboration with the Institut Ramon Llull & sponsored by Estrella Damm. Tickets are on sale now.

Watch a Lee Ranaldo video below...

Continue reading "Lee Ranaldo playing shows, including 2 in NYC, a Grateful Dead tribute in Chicago & more"

snake tickets

Tickets for Coachella 2016 go on sale at 11 AM PST / 2 PM EST.

RSVP for the free Pusha T and Vince Staples show at House of Vans opens at noon.

Tickets for the Chris Cornell show at Beacon Theatre go on venue and Chase presales at 11 AM. Password = SOCIAL.

Tickets for the eight Steely Dan shows at Beacon Theatre go on venue presale at 10 AM. Password = SOCIAL.

Tickets for the Of Monsters & Men shows at Beacon Theatre and Kings Theatre go on venue presale at 11 AM. Anyone know the passwords?

Reggie and the Full Effect, Pentimento and The Weaks are playing the Marlin Room at Webster Hall on July 25. Tickets are on sale now.

Odd Future's Mike G & Left Brain are playing the Marlin Room at Webster Hall on July 9 with Speak and Pyramid Vritira. Tickets are on sale.

The Sadies are playing Union Pool on July 30. Tickets are on sale.

The Very Best are playing SOB's on June 11, two days before their free Northside show with Heems. Tickets are on sale.

Taso, Sicko Mobb, Ricky Eat Acid and Tripletrain are playing Palisades on July 25. Tickets are on sale.

Ricky Eat Acid also plays the Kenmore/Orchid Tapes Northside showcase on June 14 at Baby's All Right with Foxes In Fiction and Emily Reo. Tickets are on sale.

Mykki Blanco "Presents Dogfood MG" at Palisades on June 26 with Psycho Egyptian, Violence and Amnesia Scanner. Tickets are on sale. Mykki also has a free Rockaway Beach show in August.

The Maccabees will be in NYC soon, headlining Le Poisson Rouge on June 9. Tickets for that show are still available.

Foxygen's Jonathan Rado is playing Baby's All Right on June 27 with The Lemon Twigs. Tickets are on sale.

In addition to Tickets are on presale for VinoFile members now.

Browse our 'Tickets On Sale' tag for more recently announced NYC shows.

Browse our NYC Concert Calendar for shows happening today and every day - comedy shows, heavy metal concerts (courtesy of our heavy metal blog), and free shows included.

Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Jimmy Cliff & friends (via Dave Lipsitz)
Dead

We're about a month and a half away from the four surviving Grateful Dead members' five 50th anniversary shows (two in California, three in Chicago), ahead of that all four of them appeared at yesterday's (5/14) Jerry Garcia tribute in Maryland, Dear Jerry. Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann all performed, and the latter three played together twice during the show: first for "Fire On The Mountain" with Jimmy Cliff, and then again for "Touch of Grey." Phil opened the show with the band Communion, playing "The Wheel > Uncle John's Band," "Standing On The Moon," and "Liberty."

Jefferson Airplane/Hot Tuna's Jorma Kaukonen did the Dead's "Sugaree," Bill joined the Disco Biscuits for "Scarlet Begonias > I Know You Rider," and Bob joined Los Lobos for "Not Fade Away > Bertha." Jimmy Cliff also did his own song "The Harder They Come," which Jerry covered many times. The show ended with most of the nights' performers coming out for "Ripple." Check out videos and the full setlist below.

Today's the last day you can access the $50-discounted presale for the pay-per-view webcast of the Dead's Chicago shows. If you're in the NYC-area and looking to watch the broadcast with professional sound, tickets for the live simulcasts at Capitol Theatre and Brooklyn Bowl go on sale at noon and 1 PM, respectively.

Dear Jerry videos and setlist below...

Continue reading "Grateful Dead members, Jimmy Cliff, Jorma Kaukonen & more played the guest-filled Jerry Garcia tribute (videos & setlist)"

Dead

As you've probably heard, surviving members of the Grateful Dead are playing 50th anniversary shows in Chicago and California this year. Those are all of course sold out, but there are still other ways to watch. There's the pay-per-view webcast which is currently on presale via Dead50.net. That presale ends Friday (5/15), and will cost $50 more after that.

UPDATE: It's also happening at City Winery and The Space at Westbury.

As the shows' co-producer Peter Shapiro said he would, he'll also be live streaming it in select public locations, including his NYC-area venues Capitol Theatre (Port Chester) and Brooklyn Bowl (Williamsburg). Those simulcasts are now officially announced for the Chicago shows. They'll happen July 3, 4 and 5 at both venues. Tickets go on sale Friday at noon for the Cap and 1 PM for Brooklyn Bowl. Cap prices range from $15 through $245, and Brooklyn Bowl is just one price of $15.

Watch a video of the Dead playing "China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider" in Denmark in 1972, below...

Continue reading "Chicago Grateful Dead shows to be simulcast in NY at Capitol Theatre, Brooklyn Bowl, City Winery & more"

Dead

The Grateful Dead 50th anniversary shows in Chicago and California will stream online (pay-per-view) for those unable to attend, and a $79.95 presale for the webcast for all five nights begins today (5/1) at Dead50.net.

The Chicago shows will also stream on TV and in theaters. Here's more details on the webcast, via Rolling Stone:

The pay-per-view event will be hosted by CNBC reporter Steve Liesman and feature special guest host Bill Walton, a Basketball Hall of Famer and perhaps the group's most famous Deadhead. The intermission for each show will feature taped interviews, live interviews with fans, a short documentary on the Grateful Dead directed by Justin Kreutzmann and more. The broadcast will also be accessible as a video-on-demand option for fans that can't catch the concerts live.
In related news, in addition to Dead member Phil Lesh's six NYC-area shows at the Capitol Theatre, he'll be playing one night in NYC proper on September 16 at Central Park Summerstage. For that show, Phil will be joined by Chris Robinson, Neal Casal, Eric Krasno, Adam MacDougall and Tony Leone. Tickets are on sale now.

Dead member Bill Kreutzmann will be in NYC this coming week when his book tour hits Barnes & Noble Tribeca on May 6. The tour's in support of his new memoir, Deal: My Three Decades of Drumming, Dreams and Drugs with The Grateful Dead, which comes out May 5.

In other related news, there's an upcoming NYC show celebrating both the Dead's 50th anniversary and Jefferson Airplane's 50 anniversary happening August 16 at BB King's. Airplane spinoff Jefferson Starship are playing (they played a full Airplane set at that venue in March), as well as Dead tribute band Jazz Is Dead, David Freiberg's current version of San Francisco Sound band Quicksilver Messenger Service (known as Quicksilver "Happy Trails"), and a set from former Dead pianist Tom Constanten. The show will be mixed and hosted by former Dead sound engineer Dan Healy. Tickets are on sale now.

Mayer Dead

Are the Grateful Dead's 50th Anniversary / Fare Thee Well shows turning into the Long Goodbye? Billboard reports that, in addition to the two shows in California and three in Chicago this summer, surviving members of the Dead are talking about touring with John Mayer this fall:

According to insiders, the trek is due to kick off in October, with the Grammy-winning singer and guitarist having already begun to jam in a rehearsal-like setting with select members of the group, chief among them [Bob] Weir. Observers say he's ecstatic about the prospect. A rep for the band tells Billboard that it's "premature" to suggest any such outing is being planned.
Of course Mayer and Grateful Dead members have history, and Bob Weir played with Mayer on The Late Late Show back in February. (Video below.) Official word from The Greatful Dead is still that the Chicago shows will be their last. Stay tuned.

Continue reading "Are the Grateful Dead touring with John Mayer this fall?"

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