Aug 10


Grateful Dead

Dead and Company announced earlier this year that they would be joining forces for a US Summer tour. Playing in Jerry Garcia’s absence, John Mayer took the stage and proved to be the purest talent of our current generation. Amongst legends Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, Oteil Burbridge, Jeff Chimenti and Bill Kreutzmann, each audience member was fixated on Mayer’s ability to improvise with the group so effortlessly. I was fortunate enough to experience the show and witness the fresh and the seasoned Dead Head celebration.

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May 06


By Tyler Blue (Website | Twitter)

When the Grateful Dead used to announce a new live release, its impending arrival was met with voracious anticipation. Deadheads dropped everything and ran to the store on the first day it came out or else had it waiting in the mailbox. We all remember when “One from the Vault” hit the racks in April of 1991. It was like Christmas, Channukah and a birthday all rolled into one. Soon the Dick’s Picks series came around. The declaration of a new release was akin to Apple revealing upgrades for the latest iPhone. They only came once or twice a year so it was easy to keep up and buy them all. There were no CD burners yet so everyone had to buy their own copy. What a concept.

Maybe around the time Dick’s Picks crossed into double-digits, the reality set in that I was going to have to start to pick and choose. But it was so hard to resist the sudden and instant access to a perfect copy of a show which had only been heard on crackly cassettes or maybe not at all. For a band which, at the time, was facing the reality of the erosion of its talent, this was the ultimate way to revive the genius of their past heroics to be put on a pedestal in the present and future. The quality was so consistently stellar, with eyes closed, it really felt like you were there.

Several years ago, after Dick’s Picks had already run its course, the Dead introduced the Road Trips series which could be purchased in CD format or via digital download. The floodgates were officially open as these amazing shows were released at a rate so frequent, only the deepest pocketed audiophiles could keep up. Well, and the illegal downloaders too. No one seems to hesitate anymore in “stealing” these recordings as they tend to rationalize: “I’ve given more than enough money to the Dead organization over the years.” Actually, not such an unreasonable line of logic.

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Apr 22


By Tyler Blue

Jerry Garcia struts offstage as the catharsis of a monumental “Morning Dew” still resonates through the air. The expressions on the audience member’s faces are as if they have been in the presence of God. The man who has just delivered the cosmic gospel only wants some cold water as he searches the green room. He exits, comes back in, sits down and takes a few bites of a cupcake before abruptly hustling back onstage to raise the roof with “Johnny B. Goode.” This is only one of many scenes you’ve never seen in any other concert video. In the discussion of that genre’s best, The Band’s The Last Waltz, Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense and Pink Floyd’s Live at Pompeii tend to get the most mention, and deservingly so. What sets The Grateful Dead Movie apart from those classics and all of its peers, is how comprehensive it is in capturing every possible angle of every aspect related to producing and attending this series of concerts. Among other unique perspectives, we get to hang with fans munching on psychedelics while camped out in line for tickets, talk to a hot dog vendor who prefers the music of Sha Na Na, sympathize with a backstage door attendant dealing with persistent hippies and grasp the concept of “work hard, play hard” while the band’s crew gets debaucherous with a tank of nitrous…

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