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.
A genuine bacchanalia needs the right music, music that evokes a sense of raw desire, truth in flesh, that kind of thing, not superficially bald renderings such as Madonna’s Like a Virgin or at your local electric zoo. Dance party music is often predictable, denying the subtlety of the bacchanalia, the potential for a slow build, heightening the tension, a move to the side, and then incrementally back toward inevitable release.
Some alternate bacchanalia soundtracks to consider:
Stripped down, dream-like, this music moves between slumber and fever.
Towering worlds climb and collide, fade into the distance, resurrected, flying again, impossibly so.