Entries tagged with: Grateful Dead
photos by Jessica Giovannetti, words by Andrew Sacher
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).
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...
photos by Jessica Giovannetti, words by Andrew Sacher
Phil Lesh & Friends at Lockn' (photo via BV Instagram)
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...
Lockn' Fest grounds (photo via Garcia's at The Cap Instagram)
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 CancelledThis morning, they added:
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.
Microburst delays Lockn', there will be no show on ThursdayToday'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.
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.
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 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...
photo: Grateful Dead in Santa Clara in June (more by Jay Blakesberg)
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...
photo: GD50 in Chicago (more by Jay Blakesberg)
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
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.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 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]
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.
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?
More pictures from Chicago night one, along with the three Chicago setlists, song streams and video, below...
photos by Jay Blakesberg
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)
UPDATE: We've also got pictures from the second night.
photos by Jay Blakesberg
There are two kinds of Deadheads.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...
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]
"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.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.
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 second of the Santa Clara "Fare Thee Well" happens tonight (6/28) and then next weekend they move to Chicago for the final three.
photo: Lee Ranaldo w/ Sonic Youth in 2011 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)
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...
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.
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.
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.
Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Jimmy Cliff & friends (via Dave Lipsitz)
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...
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.
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...
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.
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.
photo: Phil Lesh at the Cap in March (more by Greg Cristman)
Netflix has picked up the exclusive rights to "The Other One: The Long Strange Trip of Bob Weir," the documentary about Grateful Dead co-founder, songwriter, guitarist and vocalist Bob Weir. According to Variety, the film "chronicles Weir's journey from his youth in Palo Alto, Calif., to becoming a global superstar as a member of one of the world's most influential and popular bands. The pic focuses on his partnership with Garcia and includes musical performances and archival footage, as well as interviews with Dead bandmates, colleagues, fans, family and Weir himself."
2015 is the Dead's 50th anniversary, and as you probably know, the band's surviving members (Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann) are playing shows in celebration. Three Chicago shows were originally announced and quickly sold out, and the recently added pair of California shows are now sold out as well. Like the Chicago shows, the original members will be joined by Trey Anastasio (guitar), Jeff Chimenti (keyboards), and Bruce Hornsby (piano) for the California dates.
Phil Lesh already had four shows at Port Chester, NY's Capitol Theatre lined up for this fall as well, and he's now added two more shows to the run happening November 1 & 5. Tickets for the new dates go on sale Friday (4/17) at noon, and you can still grab tickets (same link) for the previously-announced October 30 and November 6 shows.
Check out a trailer for "The Other One" below...
Surviving Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann already announced three Chicago shows to celebrate the band's 50th anniversary, which sold out very quickly. Now, as rumored, they added two more shows happening at Santa Clara, California's Levi's Stadium on June 27 and 28.
Like the Chicago shows, the members will be joined by Trey Anastasio (guitar), Jeff Chimenti (keyboards), and Bruce Hornsby (piano). "All tickets for the Levi's Stadium shows are available now through this on-line ticketing system through Tuesday April 14 at 11:59PM EDT." More info here.
Bill Kreutzmann also announced a book tour for his upcoming memoir, Deal: My Three Decades of Drumming, Dreams and Drugs with The Grateful Dead, due May 5 via St. Martin's Press. All dates for that are listed, along with a new letter the Dead wrote to their fans, below...
Jefferson Airplane back in the day
Jefferson Starship are currently on their Jefferson Airplane tour, playing full Airplane sets for the band's 50th anniversary (it hit NYC earlier this week, anyone go?). Now another Airplane spinoff, Hot Tuna (aka Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady), are doing something for the anniversary too. They'll play a full Airplane set at Virginia's Lockn' Festival, which happens at Oak Ridge Farm in Arrington from September 10-13. They also play an acoustic Hot Tuna set at the fest, and there will be sets from Phil Lesh & Friends, Robert Plant & the Sensational Space Shifters, Little Feat, Fishbone, Anders Osborne, Tedeschi Trucks Band, The Doobie Brothers, Umphrey's McGee, Widespread Panic and more. Tickets are on sale.
Tuna also added a NYC-area show to their tour, happening July 18 at The Capitol Theatre. It's a great double bill, with fellow San Francisco scene band New Riders of the Purple Sage. Tickets go on sale Friday (3/27) at noon. All Hot Tuna dates are listed below.
David Nelson of the New Riders will also be playing as a member of Phil Lesh & Friends at the latter two shows of his four-show fall run at the Capitol Theatre. Those shows happen 10/30, 10/31, 11/6 and 11/7. The full lineups are Stanley Jordan, John Kadlecik, Jason Crosby, and Tony Leone for the October shows; and David Nelson, Barry Sless, Scott Law, Jason Crosby, and John Molo in November.
As you may know, Phil Lesh is taking part in the Grateful Dead 50th anniversary shows in Chicago this July with fellow surviving members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann. According to Jambase, there's a rumor that two California shows will be added, set to take place June 27 and 28 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara. Stay tuned to see if that rumor proves to be true!
Updated list of Hot Tuna dates and a classic Airplane video, below...
photos by Greg Cristman
Phil Lesh & Friends @ The Capitol Theatre 3/18/2015
The Grateful Dead turn 50 this year and Phil Lesh turns 75, and in celebration of the latter Phil & friends played a sold-out four-show run at his NYC-area home base, The Capitol Theatre, this week. Making the shows extra special, Warren Haynes played in his band. The shows also included Eric Krasno, Rob Barraco, and John Molo the first two nights (3/15 & 3/16); and Barry Sless subbed for Krasno on Wednesday (3/18) and Thursday (3/19). As you'd expect, setlists were different each night and included a ton of Dead songs, plus a few cuts throughout the run from Warren's former band, The Allman Brothers. Setlists from all four nights and pictures from Thursday's show are in this post.
Phil now announced another four-night run at The Cap happening October 30, Halloween, November 6 and November 7. Tickets for those shows are on sale now.
As you may know, Phil is also on board for the highly in-demand Grateful Dead 50th anniversary shows with fellow surviving members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann; and all four of them are also playing the Jerry Garcia tribute with Jimmy Cliff, Jorma Kaukonen, David Grisman, and more.
In related news, there's going to be an auction in Chicago on April 11 and 12 of privately-held Dead-related memorabilia. Chicagoist reports:
Some of that "stuff" includes pretty cool artifacts like a chair owned by Jerry Garcia and featured in a Rolling Stone article. There are posters--some autographed--from shows long ago. There's Garcia's old Colt .25 pistol and some art utensils used by Rick Griffin and even legal documents.Read more and check out a few pictures of the memorabilia that will be up for auction here.
...Another item that intrigues [Dead historian and publicist Dennis] McNally is Garcia's hand-written lyrics to "He's Gone." "A song is an amazing thing, really," he said. "You can hear a song a million times, but we don't really witness the creation of a song." "To see the original lyrics written out, with edits and scratched out words and Jerry's doodling in the margins, it's a way to see that creative process which is impressive to me." "It's just pencil to paper," McNally continued. "It's so human and normal and not what you'd expect."
In other related news, Examiner reports that when Jerry Garcia was arrested in 1985 on drug possession charges after a San Francisco police officer noticed 23 packets of "brown and white substances" in his briefcase, that the briefcase also contained a number of Dead songs that Jerry and Robert Hunter were working on, and that police may still have the briefcase. Robert Hunter recently told Rolling Stone:
I haven't gone searching for it, but I happen to know that briefcase had a number of new songs he was working on. And if the police still have them, I'd like them back, please. It doesn't seem right. A lot of those songs disappeared. I would give [Bob] Weir the only copy of a song, and he'd put it in his back pocket and he would do the wash and there would go that song. And he'd say, "Do you remember any of that song?" and I'd say, "Maybe I can remember a verse or two." But that's one good thing about word processors coming along -- there are no more lost songs.Well let's hope they do get them back!
More pictures and setlists from the Cap, below...
by Andrew Sacher
The Grateful Dead aren't the only San Francisco Sound band celebrating a 50th anniversary this year. Jefferson Airplane turn 50 too, and to celebrate that, founding guitarist, backup and sometimes-lead vocalist Paul Kantner's band Jefferson Starship are playing full Airplane sets on tour. The current lineup has Paul joined by longtime member David Freiberg, also of the great San Francisco band Quicksilver Messenger Service and a brief Airplane member in the early '70s, as well as Cathy Richardson, Donny Baldwin, Chris Smith and Jude Gold.
The tour hits NYC on March 22 at BB King's. Tickets for that show are on sale now. All dates are listed below.
It may not be as exciting as if the full band got back together, but seeing Paul Kantner do a full set of Jefferson Airplane songs (especially with Freiberg on board) is still something to look forward to. Plus, as long as Grace Slick remains retired, a full reunion is out of the question. And according to former bandmate Jorma Kaukonen, she is. He recently re-confirmed to JTA, "Grace doesn't sing anymore, so that means that's really out of the question." But as for the rest of the members: "We'd like to do something. We don't know what that is, whether it's just wandering around and yakking on talk shows or something like that. Maybe having some acoustic guitars and playing some songs and talking."
Jorma's last appearance in NYC was actually Airplane-related too. Hot Tuna, his duo with JA bassist Jack Casady, played a special Beacon Theatre show in December for Jack's 70th birthday that had Jefferson Airplane co-lead singer Marty Balin fronting the band for "3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds," "Plastic Fantastic Lover" and "Volunteers." They also of course did the Grace Slick-fronted "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit," but with Tuna live member Teresa Williams singing lead, and covered The Dead's "Sugaree." Check out a video of Marty with Tuna from that show, below.
Jorma also takes part in the upcoming Jerry Garcia tribute in Maryland, which all four current Dead members are playing. Jorma's other upcoming shows include SXSW, and nothing in NYC, but a couple nearby shows in NJ. All dates are listed below.
Marty Balin also has upcoming shows, including returns to NYC on April 4 at The Cutting Room (tickets) and July 31 at Iridium (tickets). He'll probably play a ton of Airplane too (check out the setlist of his most recent NYC show). All of his dates are listed below.
Watch a few classic Jefferson Airplane videos, plus that recent Beacon Theatre video, and the lists of tour dates, below...
There's already insane demand for the three Chicago shows that surviving Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann are reuniting for, so perhaps some of that excitement will carry over into this Jerry Garcia tribute happening two months earlier in Maryland.
The tribute includes all four of those members -- Mickey and Bob solo, Bill with his band Billy & the Kids, and Phil with his band Communion (featuring Stu Allen, Grahame Lesh, Ross James, Alex Koford, And Jason Crosby) -- as well as Bruce Hornsby, who's also playing at the Chicago shows. Though they're billed separately, maybe all the band practices they've been having will result in some collaborations too?
The rest of the lineup isn't too shabby either, with reggae legend Jimmy Cliff, Jefferson Airplane/Hot Tuna's Jorma Kaukonen, Jerry collaborator David Grisman, country vet Buddy Miller, roots rockers Los Lobos, electro-jammers Disco Biscuits and more. The tribute happens May 14 at Merriweather Post Pavillion, and tickets go on sale March 13 at noon. Full lineup below.
In other Dead news, Real Estate side project Alex Bleeker and the Freaks, who just took part in a Dead tribute in Brooklyn, have announced that they'll also play a Dead set at Woodsist Festival on May 18 in Big Sur, CA. That fest is also with Real Estate, Woods, White Fence, Peaking Lights, Little Wings, Simon Joyner & the Ghosts and more TBA. Tickets are still available.
Alex Bleeker isn't the only indie rocker paying tribute to The Dead this year.
'Dear Jerry: Celebrating the Music of Jerry Garcia' lineup below...
The Grateful Dead's three 50th anniversary shows at Chicago's Soldier Field (July 3-5) with surviving members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, plus Phish's Trey Anastasio, RatDog's Jeff Chimenti and Bruce Hornsby, went on sale to the general public on Saturday (2/28) after the pre-sale already resulted in more than 60,000 people mailing in envelopes requesting tickets (and a total of over 350,000 tickets requested). The Ticketmaster on-sale was met with closer to 500,000 people attempting to purchase tickets -- and probably more folks than not trying for the four-ticket maximum. It sold out in about an hour, and it would've happened even faster if the demand levels weren't slowing down servers (Ticketmaster never crashed though). Almost immediately after the sell-out, tickets went up on StubHub for crazy prices.
Mashable points out that Chicago Bears season-ticket holders had first dibs on seats, and suggested that may have meant several people with no interest in attending but the ability to easily purchase tickets would use that opportunity to scalp them. The highest ticket on StubHub was going for $1 million, but that one's since been deleted, and right now the average price is around $2,000. A StubHub agent told Mashable, "I've been doing this nine years, and I would say this is going to be the biggest one I've seen. The Super Bowl is always going to be bigger than anything. But this is definitely the biggest concert. By far. By far."
Though there's been plenty of chances to see Dead members play Dead songs in the time since Jerry's death (in fact, Phil Lesh has four NYC-area shows coming up, one of which is still on sale), it's perhaps not surprising that the one billed as "The Grateful Dead" would cause this kind of hysteria. You might not have necessarily predicted it in their final year as a band (1995), when shows weren't selling out like this, but then again being away for 20 years, the excitement of a reunion, and scalpers creating even more demand will do that sort of thing.
And some of the scalpers could be frauds too, as nobody gets their actual hard tickets until June, and some people are offering specific seats, but reportedly no seats have been assigned yet.
The Grateful Dead 50 Facebook page posted the following:
Thank you to all of the Deadheads for the amazing support that you have shown for the Fare Thee Well shows in Chicago! This morning you broke Ticketmaster's on-sale record when nearly half a million of you queued up to buy tickets. If you do not have tickets, please know that we are working on various ways to help everyone experience these shows in a way that will help you share this special moment with us. Stay tuned, and thank you for showing your love, we feel it!One way they may allow everyone experience the shows is live streaming. The show's co-producer Peter Shapiro told Billboard, "We want to provide video and audio, the best shit out there, and try to bring it to people with the same vibe as being there." He says they'll be pay-per-view events that will potentially be available nationwide. Rolling Stone also points out that Shapiro "is working on simulcasting the shows around the country; Shapiro is already holding the dates at his venues, including the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York, and the Brooklyn Bowl."
Right before the on-sale, GDTS TOO, the site handling the mail-order presales, posted the following:
We've been submerged in a sea of mail and are coming up for a breath of air to give you an update on where we stand right now. We are 75% of the way processing all of the orders, working 24/7 to get your money orders back to you. There were many, many times more order requests than anyone imagined, thousands and thousands with beautiful art. We are trying to let as many folks know their status if possible before the onsale date. Emails will go out to the winners starting in the next two days. You still have a small chance if you do not receive an email from us by the on-sale date, however, you may want to consider on line ticket sales to increase your chances. Tickets will be mailed out in June. Please do not email us at this time as we will not be able to answer your inquiry.Were you one of the lucky ones who got tickets?
In related news, The National and friends are working on a Dead tribute.
the whole crew (via)
The National have been talking about an all-star indie rock tribute to The Grateful Dead for long time now, and 2015 would be a good year to finally release it given all the excitment surrounding The Dead's 50th anniversary. It's seeming like a possibility that that will in fact be the case, as the band are/were up in Woodstock at Dreamland Recordings working on it.
We already knew they were planning to include members of Vampire Weekend, Bon Iver, Kurt Vile, The Walkmen and Megafaun, and from the pictures they've been posting on Instagram, it's looking like way more really exciting people are involved too. It had already been talked about to maybe include Sonic Youth guitarist and major Dead fan Lee Ranaldo, but it's now confirmed that he recorded at Dreamland with them too. Will Oldham (aka Bonnie 'Prince' Billy) is there (!). Kristian Matsson (aka The Tallest Man on Earth) is there. Walter Martin from the Walkmen is pictured. Cass McCombs and Phil Lesh collaborator Joe Russo, who both just played a Dead tribute in Brooklyn were there, and Sam Amidon too. Josh Ritter's band, etc member Josh Kaufman is there along with his former Yellowbirds bandmate Sam Cohen, and Takka Takka/Gabriel and the Hounds/sometimes National, etc member Conrad Doucette is in the pictures too.
Looks like this is turning out even more exciting than it first seemed. Check out more pictures from the recording sessions below...
photo: Cass McCombs in Brooklyn in 2012 (more by Greg Cristman)
As you may know, there's no lack of events going on all over the country this year in celebration of The Grateful Dead's 50th anniversary. One of those is "Brooklyn Is Dead," Alex Bleeker and the Freaks' tribute show on February 10 at Brooklyn Bowl, and since we last posted, the lineup for that got way more impressive. It now also includes Cass McCombs, Darkside's Dave Harrington, Darkside collaborator Will Epstein, Woods' Jarvis Taveniere, and Patti Smith Group's Lenny Kaye. Tickets for that show, which also celebrates Relix's 40th anniversary, are still available. Flyer below.
In other news related to Alex Bleeker, his other band Real Estate are among the artists announced for Iowa City's Mission Creek Festival happening March 31-April 5. Also on that lineup is Freddie Gibbs, How to Dress Well, The Sea & Cake, King Tuff, Father John Misty, Glenn Kotche & Jeffrey Zeigler, Foxygen, Amen Dunes, Ryley Walker, Silver Apples, SQÜRL (ft. Jim Jarmusch) and more. Full lineup below. Tickets are on sale.
In other news related to The Grateful Dead, drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann have announced that they'll team up ahead of the Grateful Dead shows for a collaborative set with The Disco Biscuits (which they also did at Gathering of the Vibes 2014) on April 17 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre.
Grateful Dead tribute band Dark Star Orchestra also have six NYC-area dates coming up, including Brooklyn Bowl.
And right before Phil Lesh's 75th birthday shows at Capitol Theatre (two of which are still on sale), Warren Haynes (who's joining Phil for those shows) will play the Cap with his own band Gov't Mule, joined by special guest (and past Phil Lesh collaborator) John Scofield on March 13 & 14. Tickets for those shows are on sale now.
Lastly, two days after the "Brooklyn Is Dead" show, Dave Harrington plays his own Brooklyn show on February 12 at Shea Stadium with Sam Cohen, Shark? and Kinsey.
Mission Creek Festival lineup below...