With the recent announcement that Grateful Dead’s surviving members are holding a second benefit performance for Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama, Deadheads across the Internet are speculating about a possible 2009 reunion tour.
On Friday, August 29, original members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart announced on the Grateful Dead official Web site that they will perform again in support of Senator Obama. The one-night concert is scheduled for October 13.
Roger Friedman reported on Fox News that the Dead could tour again in summer 2009 if “all goes well” with the October date. However, several news sites, like Current.com, are reporting that dates are already in the works for a possible April-May 2009 trek. The band has not yet announced or substantiated any reports for a 2009 tour.
Fox News’ report also stated that the mid-fall performance will take place in swing state Pennsylvania — possibly in Philadelphia or Pittsburgh. The cities are two of the largest in Pennsylvania and helped Democratic nominees win the state’s 23 electoral votes in both the 2000 and 2004 presidential election, according to U.S. election results.
Though a rally in either city would signal a strategic move on the part of Senator Obama, the Dead’s statement noted that “the city, venue, special guests and other details to be determined pending further discussions with the Obama campaign.”
Warren Haynes, of the Allman Brothers and Gov’t Mule, will reportedly stand in for former Dead frontman Jerry Garcia during the October benefit rally. Garcia died of a heart attack in 1995, since which point his remaining band mates toured only minimally. The February 4 “Deadheads for Obama” rally at Warfield Theater in San Francisco, CA, was the group’s first performance since 2004.