Grateful Dead, John Mayer Giving Away 10k Tickets to Madison Square Garden Show

John Mayer and members of the Grateful Dead — collectively known as Dead and Company — are giving away 10,000 tickets to their “American Express Unstaged” event in New York City, a benefit for the Robin Hood Foundation.

As Rolling Stone reported in August, Grateful Dead founding members Bob Weir (guitar) and drummers Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann joined forces with solo artist and guitarist John Mayer to form Dead and Company, a Grateful Dead revival band of sorts. The new version of the Dead also includes bassist Oteil Bubridge (who has worked with numerous artists, including the Allman Brothers) and keyboard player Jeff Chimenti, a veteran of such post-Grateful Dead bands as the Dead, Furthur, and Phil Lesh and Friends.

Phil Lesh, another founding member of the Grateful Dead, continues to perform with Phil Lesh and Friends, but is not associated with Dead and Company.

Dead and Company have been playing together since August, as US News reported. Although he admits they still have some work to do, Grateful Dead original Bob Weir said that they have a “good handle” on “45 or 50” Grateful Dead tunes already.

The Madison Square Garden show featuring Dead and Company is just over a month away, set for November 7. Five thousand lucky Dead Heads will win a pair of tickets so that the “Most Famous Arena in the World” is packed with ten thousand happy Grateful Dead fans who didn’t pay a cent for admission. The event will also be streamed live so that anyone and everyone can experience the Mayer-infused Dead songs for free.

Grateful Dead fans can enter for a chance to win tickets to the show by visiting the Dead and Company website. The contest is open now and remains open through October 8. Dead and Company had already sold out two shows at the Garden before American Express Unstaged teamed with them to bring the Grateful Dead faithful one more chance to catch the show on November 7.

Previously, concerts that were a part of the American Express Unstaged series were recorded and streamed live through the artists’ official VEVO channels on YouTube. Beginning in 2010, featured artists have included everyone from Arcade Fire to Usher to Tim McGraw. You can find more information about the series at the official American Express Unstaged website.

The Dead-centric supergroup is putting on this free concert to help bring attention to the Robin Hood Foundation. Whether watching the concert live or by stream, Grateful Dead fans are encouraged to donate to the Robin Hood Foundation, a non-profit with the objective to end poverty in New York City. Having been around for more than a quarter of a century, the organization has raised nearly $2 billion for NYC-based soup kitchens, homeless shelters, job-training programs, and other poverty-fighting initiatives.

Aside from this specific concert, Dead and Company will play twenty-one shows beginning October 29 in Albany, New York and ending December 31 in Los Angeles. Dead and Company will be playing sixteen different cities on this tour, including stops in Philadelphia, Nashville, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Las Vegas, San Francisco and Broomfield, Colorado. Generally speaking, the tour consists of two shows every weekend, and about two shows during the week, with plenty of days off to travel.

Tickets for the rest of the tour can be purchased through Ticketmaster. Prices start at $45.

No word yet on whether Dead and Company — or another post-Grateful Dead band — will headline SuperBowl 50, as petitioners have requested. It might be fitting for a version of the Grateful Dead to play this year’s big game, as they are celebrating 50 years since the beginning of the band.

[Image credit Neilson Barnard/Getty Images]

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