The Grateful Dead are reuniting one last time to perform Fare Thee Well, a three-day, sold out show, and tickets are selling in the range of $2,000 to a mind-boggling $15,000. The event will be held at Chicago’s Soldier Field to commemorate the last time they played with legendary guitar player and front man Jerry Garcia.
The band last played their last sold out show at Soldier’s Field in 1995, just one month before Garcia’s passing. Since then, the members of the Grateful Dead have gone on to play in numerous side projects and solo gigs. While the group would occasionally reform the band in one incarnation or another, they only performed as ‘The Dead’. Fare Thee Well is the first and reportedly last time the group will perform as The Grateful Dead without Garcia.
In the past, The Dead has with played other guitarists like Warren Hays and Anastasio, but never before has the group tried to recreate an actual Grateful Dead experience. Because of his love and experience with Grateful Dead music, Trey Anastasio was chosen to play the gig.
Anastasio has performed sold-out shows for many years with his jam band Phish, the band who has, in their own right, established a loyal following called Phish Heads. Like the Grateful Dead, Phish is known for their long, drawn out spacey jams as well as for quirky songwriting and musical excellence.
Anastasio described his experience and love of Grateful Dead music, saying that “The flow of the whole thing is in my DNA”. He also admitted that, “I never sat down and studied what Jerry played until the last two weeks.”
“A couple of weeks ago, I started listening to ‘The Wheel.’ There’s a line he plays after the first verse – it slides all the way from the bottom of the neck to the top. I learned it exactly, note for note. Then what I do, since I don’t want to go out there and just copy Jerry – I play it in all 12 keys, so that I get it into my body…The thing is, there is a lot more intent in those lines than people might think.”
The event is special for other reasons as well. The band will perform in a 360 degree formation located at the center of the area, allowing for both maximum capacity and maximum exposer of the band to the audience and creating an immersive experience for everyone.
Plus, the entire concert will be recorded to capture the essence of the unique and singular experience. Co-producer Peter Shapiro discussed his vision with Billboard saying that they “want to provide video and audio, the best s**t out there, and try to bring it to people with the same vibe as being there.”
There is no word yet on whether the producers will be live streaming the event so if you do not currently have a ticket to the sold out show, your best bet is to party in the enormous parking lot party that will ensue, find a miracle, or cough up $15,000 bucks.