And so we went to the July 4th Fare Thee Well concert. The Grateful Dead, even without Jerry Garcia, played with heart and inspiration.The sound was almost as great as was the feeling of being back at a show, that feeling of ecstatic calm, where it seems there is nowhere else ever to be, just in the music, surrounded, like a child, soothed, where everything else turns off, except thinking about what they might play next. It is a precious, precarious thing that, now gone, has left me melancholy, thinking that they have to do it again – just one more, man – where they just yet might get into a Lazy Lightning-El Paso-Supplication jam.
I’m off to see The Grateful Dead this weekend in Chicago. Although tickets for the Fare Thee Well concerts were too expensive and The Dead’s marketing branch is selling 70-CD box sets for $700, the music remains the thing.
I was so wound up during my workout today – listening to The Dead – that I went through a series of adrenaline rushes, each one almost ending in tears, until I finally started to settle down after an hour and then had to do another hour to get my energy out. I saw my first Grateful Dead concert in Hampton, Virginia on March 9, 1983 and went on to follow the band over 12 years, seeing 48 concerts in such places as Lake Placid, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Boulder, Providence, Eugene, San Francisco, Miami and, yes, Chicago. Known for a wide range of rock genres, The Grateful Dead will likely play much of their Americana at Saturday’s July 4th concert, including covers such as Me and My Uncle (John Phillips), Big River (Johnny Cash), El Paso (Marty Robbins), Me and Bobby McGee (Kris Kristoferson) and I Know Your Rider (traditional) as well as their own true America standards Jack Straw, Going Down the Road Feeling Bad, and US Blues. Damn it, I’m getting worked up again.I need to breathe.