The remaining members of The Grateful Dead have added two dates to its roster of “Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead” shows. The two new shows, which preceded the three previously announced July 3-5 shows in Chicago, are nods to the very beginnings of The Dead’s career, just as the Chicago shows are a reminder of the original band’s end.
The July 27-28 stand at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, will occur just about a dozen miles away from the site of the music store where musicians who would become The Grateful Dead began to jam together. While The Dead can never be what it once was — several members have passed on over the years, including guitarist/songwriter/singer Jerry Garcia, who died in 1995, just a month after the band had played Chicago’s Soldier Field — the remaining band members, including bassist Phil Lesh, are honoring the band’s 50th anniversary by bringing in guests like Trey Anastasio (guitar), Bruce Hornsby (piano) and Jeff Chimenti (keyboards) at the Santa Clara and Chicago shows.
“We will not be adding any more Fare Thee Well shows. The three Chicago shows will still be our final stand. We decided to add these two Santa Clara shows to enable more of our fans to celebrate with us one more time. But this is it,” the band says on its website. The online “mail-order” system to get tickets has already closed, so for those who didn’t get their requests in for the new shows, there’s only now one way to watch the shows — from afar.
While the Santa Clara stand will be broadcast online, the final Chicago shows, being held at Soldier Field, are set to be broadcast as a live high-definition pay-per-view event. The three-day, 15-hour special will be accessible through satellite and cable providers, mobile devices, and in theaters. More information about the pay-per-view should be forthcoming at dead50.net.