Shows will take place at Chicago's Soldier Field on July 3-5
The shows will take place at Chicago’s Soldier Field, where the band’s last performance with Jerry Garcia took place on July 1995. Garcia died the following month of a heart attack during his stay at a drug rehabilitation facility in California. The remainder of the band: Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann, have not performed live under the name since, instead touring as ‘The Dead’ or ‘The Other Ones’. “These will be the last shows with the four of us together,” Weir told Billboard of the shows.
Peter Shapiro, who’s producing the shows, added: “That’s why we’re doing it in Chicago. They’re the great American rock’n’roll band returning to where it ended, 20 years later.”
Anastasio will join the band on stage, along with keyboardist Bruce Hornsby, a frequent player with the Dead during the ’80s and into the ’90s, and Jeff Chimenti, who plays keys with Weir’s side project, RatDog. “We had to sort through a number of options,” Weir said. “Were we going to do a festival-style event or go back to our classic mode of an evening with the band? We narrowed it down to: Let’s just do it simple and clean.”
Anastasio said of the collaboration: “I got a really heart-warming letter from Phil saying that he and the other three guys had talked about it and hoped I would do it. I didn’t hesitate for a second to say yes. It’s an absolute honor to be part of this final chapter.”
It was previously reported that The Grateful Dead are set to release a Martin Scorsese-produced documentary film to mark their 50th anniversary. The career-spanning documentary will be directed by Amir Bar-Lev, who has worked on other documentaries like ‘The Tillman Story’ and ‘My Kid Could Paint That’, and will feature previously unseen footage and newly conducted interviews with the band’s surviving members.