There’s been a lot of talk about Phish’s Trey Anastasio playing with The Dead in Chicago this July, and I would just like to say that I think he will do a fantastic job playing lead guitar at the reunion show with Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann. Trey is a very talented and intelligent person, and some may even call him a musical genius. But more than being a musician, Trey is an artist. He is creative and theatrical. Proven in his second set performance on 10/31/14, Trey has the ability to take new material, study it, create something new from it and share it on stage; and he loves it.
Surely all the musicians involved are already practicing hard for the three-night run, including Trey. This will be much more than a comfortable performance for him. Trey will probably dedicate the next five months of his life to learning new material and new ways of playing, which he will then perform for over 60,000 people, all of whom are expecting a lot from him, but some of whom will turn around and talk shit about him. This ain’t no time to hate, though. Art often requires stepping outside your comfort zone. When’s the last time you tried something new?
The July 4th weekend is about the about the four living members of the Grateful Dead, Phil, Bobby, Mickey and Billy, playing together again, and they invited Trey to take part. I think Trey will shred the fu*k out of Jerry solos with a huge grin on his face. With Trey’s guitar licks bouncing off of Phil’s bass bombs, Bobby’s vocals, the drumming and the dual keys, we are going to be in for one of the funkiest treats of a concert any of us have ever experienced.
If you’re laughing that I said “Bobby’s vocals,” you can keep that to yourself. When I saw Bob Weir and Ratdog at The Ogden in July 2014, I imagined life from Bob Weir’s point of view. He is old and rich and doesn’t have to continue playing music for fans in the same cities he’s visited many times before, but he does it because he loves it. He gives us what we need and crave – energy and music, and we give him what he needs and craves – energy and love. So what if he messes up some of the lyrics to songs from time to time? He’s 67 years old and is a renegade of the lifestyle that so many of you try so hard to keep up with. People age. Respect your elders. “Bob Weir Controls The Weather”!
This “Fare Thee Well” event is going to mean so many things to so many people, all of whose lives have been altered by the musical creations of the Grateful Dead. Ticket requests are already at 360,000, prior to internet sales, and that’s pretty crazy. I actually went to the post office in Denver twice on the day of mail order, once to send in my own request, and once to ship an item I sold on E-bay, and I saw at least ten other people sending off mail order requests, most of whom looked older and more professional than me and were requesting the max amount of tickets.
It looks like it’s going to be a tough ticket to secure, as it should be (I guess). Fifty years is a long time span to gain fans over, and a lot of us know that Grateful Dead is the real shit.
I wish everyone luck with tickets and hope to see lots of familiar faces in Chicago. May the best envelope win!