The members of the Grateful Dead might never reform under the Grateful Dead moniker, but they certainly have been appearing on the same stage on the same night for the first time in four years. Bob Weir & RatDog and Phil Lesh & Friends will co-headline Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, CA, on December 30-31 with Jackie Green opening both nights.
The shows are scheduled to start at the early hour of 6 p.m., with a lot of jamming expected to take the concerts past the midnight hour. Presales for the events began today (October 16), and will conclude on October 31. The public on-sales will begin on November 2.
The Greatful Dead performed New Year’s Eve shows in their home town of San Francisco for many years so these two concerts have historic significance. After guitarist/vocalist Jerry Garcia died in 1995, the members retired the Grateful Dead moniker and have used The Dead as well as The Other Ones in their previous reformations.
The Dead reunited on October 13 for the first time in four years in State College, PA. The “Change Rocks” concert, which also featured the Allman Brothers Band, was held at the 15,000-capacity Bryce Jordan Center on the campus of Penn State University to raise awareness for Senator Barack Obama and the upcoming November 4 election.
Original Dead members Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann and Mickey Hart were joined throughout the whole show by Jeff Chimenti on keyboards and Allman Brothers Band/Gov’t Mule guitarist Warren Haynes. They tore through a 15-song, two-hour set that included such Dead classics as “U.S. Blues,” “Franklin’s Tower,” “Playin’ In The Band,” “Dark Star,” “St. Stephen” and “Touch of Grey.”
This past February, Hart, Lesh and Weir also played a “Deadheads for Obama” show at the Warfield in San Francisco. Last year Weir, Kreutzmann and Hart performed at a post-inauguration event for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.