It has been almost 15 years since I last saw The Grateful Dead. That was a Saturday night at the Boston Garden, just before they tore that old building down. This past Saturday night I witnessed the reincarnation of that band, now known as The Dead, at the Forum in Inglewood, CA.
Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Jeff Chimenti (keyboards) and Warren Haynes (Jerry Garcia’s replacement) constituted the line-up. While Jerry wasn’t there, Haynes did quite well in filling the void, as well as adding touches of his own musical personality. He offered a Southern bluesy spin on the band with his soulful vocals and slick guitar skills.
Most of the show would please any Dead fan, but certain aspects fell flat. I wish the obligatory drums and space portion of the show wasn’t so darn obligatory. And as expected, the songs didn’t pop like the original line-up’s renditions (especially during Shakedown Street). However, the vibrant energy of the crowd could be felt, with a positive "be kind" attitude in the air (or is that the grilled cheese van I smell?).
The highlight of the evening was simply seeing four original members of the Grateful Dead on stage together again. It’s amazing that after 40 years they can still put out that sound, from trippy jams to classics. I guess this was just one more Saturday night.
The Grateful Dead : October 1st, 1994 : Boston Garden : Boston, MA