Archive for the ‘Grateful Dead’ Category

Grateful Dead “Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead” live screening event Empire Cinema Newcastle 6th July 2015

Grateful Dead live screening event Empire Cinema Newcastle 6th July 2015
deadfilm“Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead”
20 years after their last concert, the remaining members of the Grateful Dead (Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir) returned to Soldier Field in Chicago for a historic performance. The four members were joined by Trey Anastasio (guitar), Jeff Chimenti (keyboards), and Bruce Hornsby (piano). The Dead reunited for a series of five concerts (3 in Chicago and 2 in San Francisco where it all started), which was entitled “Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead” and grossed an amazing $52.2 million in ticket sales. The Pay to View package, which included footage from the band’s Levi Stadium San Francisco shows (attended by 151,650 fans) and the Soldier Field Chicago shows (attended by 210,283 people). The collection of live broadcasts now holds the record for the largest syndication of a live music event ever. The Grateful Dead were, of course, formed in California in 1965 and rose to become one of the best-known bands of the psychedelic movement of the late ’60s. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and have sold over 35 million albums worldwide. The last time the Dead played live together was in July 1995, just one month before the tragic death of the band’s lead guitarist and singer, Jerry Garcia. The demand for the reunion concerts has been incredible.
faretheewell The final Chicago concert was screened at more than 250 cinemas across the UK on the evening of Monday 6 July, the day after the last ever Dead show. It was a delayed screening – a live broadcast was impractical, given the six-hour time difference between the UK and Chicago.
I went with Laura and Dale to watch the film and joined a small group of UK Deadheads who wanted to see the band “live” one more time. I have to admit being unsure what to expect. My only other live encounter with the Dead was when they played Newcastle City Hall in 1972, and I didn’t quite get what all the fuss was about. Well, we all really enjoyed the movie. The songs, as always in a Dead concert, progressed into extended jams, but were never boring. I even enjoyed the Drums solo, which was followed by a lengthy Space piece involving trippy electronic sounds and heavy use of theremin. You could feel the love and respect that the fans have for this band, and see how moved Phil Lesh and Bob Weir in particular were by the whole event. If this was really the end, it was a very fitting way to close the final chapter of the career of a band who have meant so much to so many people, and touched fans throughout the world.
Set 1: China Cat Sunflower; I Know You Rider; Estimated Prophet; Built to Last; Samson and Delilah; Mountains of the Moon; Throwing Stones
Set 2: Truckin’; Cassidy; Althea; Terrapin Station; Drums; Space; Unbroken Chain; Days Between; Not Fade Away
Encore: Touch of Grey
Encore 2: Attics of My Life

The Grateful Dead Newcastle City Hall 1972

The Grateful Dead Newcastle City Hall 1972
dead Some gigs take on a whole new level of importance as time goes on. This is one such gig. When the Grateful Dead came to Newcastle City Hall to play a concert in 1972 I went along more out of curiosity than as a fan of this legendary band. I knew very little of their material; I’d probably heard Casey Jones, Truckin’ and Dark Star, but not much else. I’d also read that they played very long concerts, sometimes going on for 5 or 6 hours. Since then I’ve picked up most of their albums over the years, and appreciate just how great The Grateful Dead are. This gig is definitely one I wish I could go to again, knowing then what I know now, as the say. But, hey, such is life. At least I got to see them even if I didn’t savour this gig the way I should have.
I had a seat in the third row, and went along quite excited to see what these guys were like. The place was full of hard core hippy types, and there was a distinct smell of dope in the air. The Dead’s amplifiers were decked out in psychedelic tie dye colours, and there was a whole lot of gear on the stage. There was no support act, and the Dead came on pretty promptly at 7.30pm and started their set. The songs seemed a mix of countryish rock with long meandering psychedelic west coast guitar solos. I was seated more or less directly in front of Bob Weir, who sported a long pony tail which was almost down to his waist. Jerry Garcia was on the other side of the stage. Pigpen was wearing his cowboy hat and playing his Hammond organ. Sometime between 9pm and 10pm the Dead took a break before returning for a second set, which seemed to go on for ever. I enjoyed the concert, but it just went on a little too long for me. I also found it heavy going, because I wasn’t familiar with the material.
My dad used to sometimes drive through and pick me up from the City Hall, and I’d asked him to do so that night, as I figured I might miss the last train home. I think I’d asked him to come along for 11.30pm, as I thought the concert would go on quite late. As it was, I decided I better leave at midnight, as I knew he was sitting in the car waiting outside. However, I regret to this day leaving this gig early. I heard from others that they played until after 1am. These shows are, of course, now legendary; it is generally recognised that The Dead were at their best during this tour. This was their first European jaunt, and the tour was recorded, and a selection of songs released on the Europe 1972 triple album. The entire tour has recently been released as a box set.
Set I: Greatest Story Ever Told; Deal; Mr. Charlie; Black Throated Wind; Tennessee Jed; Big Boss Man; Beat It on Down the Line; Sugaree; Jack Straw; Chinatown Shuffle; China Cat Sunflower; I Know You Rider; Playing in the Band; Next Time You See Me; Brown-Eyed Women; Looks Like Rain; Big Railroad Blues; Casey Jones.
Set II: Good Lovin’; Ramble on Rose; Truckin’; Drums; The Other One; Comes a Time; Sugar Magnolia; Brokedown Palace.
Encore: One More Saturday Night