The Grateful Dead, who invented the jam-band culture will be saying Fare Thee Well at their final set of shows July 3-5 at Soldier Field in Chicago.
Why is this the perfect venue to end the 50 Years of The Dead? The location marks the last show played with Jerry Garcia 20 years ago. The remaining members of the band – Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, and Bob Weir – will play their final performance together, joined by Trey Anastasio (guitar), Jeff Chimenti (keyboards), and Bruce Hornsby (piano). While it’s no secret that you either LOVE or HATE The Dead, you can’t deny that these guys were pioneers in the music industry and 50 years later, they have a huge following that no one else can lay claim to.
These final shows will be bittersweet to all Dead Heads in attendance…however, Our Love Is Bigger Than a Cadillac…And Will Not Fade Away…
While there are countless reasons that The Dead are just plain awesome, we’ve narrowed it down to a select few – that really tell the tale of why they have succeeded for the last 50 years.
#5. They invented the Jam-Band genre.
When they started playing psychedelic music in San Francisco in the mid -60’s, no one was doing what they were. By the 70’s bands like Cream and The Allmans were improvising and jamming at their own concerts.
#4. Taping Shows.
Not only did The Dead let their fans tape their live shows, but also distribute them. An obscure show from 1977 is alive and well in any Dead Head’s archive.
#3. They could cover any type of music.
They weren’t just a Rock Band. They were Jazz, Blues, Country, Soul and so much more. They covered some of the best all-time musicians – Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, The Rolling Stones and countless others.
#2. You’ll never see the same show twice.
#1. Dead Heads
You will not find a more devoted, close-knit group of fans. Dead Heads have no problem traveling city to city to watch a show. It became a lifestyle for some. Even after Jerry Garcia’s death in 1995, the remaining members have played together and as solo artists…and the Dead Heads still sell out every show. That’s the ultimate dedication.
So the kids they dance and shake their bones…
Love ’em or hate ’em, there is no other band in American history that changed the live concert scene like the Grateful Dead.
Photos – Shutterstock