The last of the 121 times Michael Sheridan saw the Grateful Dead was in 1995...
A 50-year-old band missing its most essential member is responsible for one of the biggest clusters of live shows ever, and Deadheads from every sector of society are mobilizing. In addition to the holders of 210,000 tickets to the three sold-out concerts at Soldier Field, an untold horde of additional fans will descend on Chicago just to soak up the scene,
which will include dozens of smaller concerts around the city by like-minded rock, folk and bluegrass bands.
The sprawling jubilee in Chicago will be preceded by two Grateful Dead concerts June 27-28 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., near the band’s Bay Area home base. Concert promoters hastily added the June dates to quell a backlash from fans who howled about getting shut out of the Chicago ticket sale, which yielded more than 500,000 online requests, a Ticketmaster record.
Their list of grievances ranged from the price-gouging by scalpers to the decision to add Phish guitarist and singer Trey Anastasio to the Dead’s lineup.
A heady mix of nostalgia and opportunism is turning summer 2015 into the season of the Dead, proving that the band’s music and influence hasn’t faded
Promoters are trying to turn the concerts into a national happening, with live Simulcasts in movie theaters and Pay-per-view feeds over cable, satellite and the Internet
. Separately, there’s a flood of releases timed to the 50th anniversary.