The Grateful Dead

Fare Thee Well

The Grateful Dead

The hubbub over the Dead’s final runs of shows has finally quieted down, only to be replaced by the expected array of video and sound recordings of the events. And the various packages are equally monumental in scope, from the basic three-CD, two-DVD set to the online-only 12-CD, five-DVD extravaganza.

For the shows, the core four reunited: guitarist Bob Weir, bassist Phil Lesh, and drumming duo Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann. They were filled out by Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio (replacing Jerry Garcia), plus Jeff Chimenti and Bruce Hornsby on keyboards (standing in for several passed past players).

The basic set chronicles just the July 5 show at Chicago’s Solider Field. The ultimate package covers all the Windy City shows.

Either way – or picking one of the other in-between packages on offer – you can call it epic. The shows were long, especially long. After all, there was a lot of ground – and songs – to cover.

Sonic quality is superlative: the Dead knows how to bootleg itself, as they’ve proven. And the video includes all sorts of behind-the-scene goodies to make you feel like you were there.

This article originally appeared in VG‘s May ’16 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.