Recently, the Dead went on a major spring tour that saw all the remaining members of the band together and jamming at a venue near you. I debated about getting tickets for a little while, and then decided that without Jerry Garcia, it wouldn’t be worth it for me.
I never got to see the Grateful Dead live, and it is the one band that I wished I did see. Led Zeppelin might have been great, the original Beatles I’m sure, perhaps the Who, but I can live with not having seen any of those bands. The Grateful Dead however… let’s just say it’s my one musical regret.
The Grateful Dead, while not the “original” jam band, gave credence to the genre. As a big fan of Dave Matthews Band, Phish, Widespread Panic and the like, it’s only natural that I would appreciate The Grateful Dead. However, I got into them a little too late. By the time I was really enjoying their music, Jerry had a year left to live. I missed the one opportunity to see them perform with Jerry Garcia, and then he was gone and the band went into a long hiatus.
So would seeing The Dead as they are now, fulfill the wish and desire to see the Grateful Dead? I don’t think so. I have no doubt that The Dead put on an amazing show. I have an acquaintance that saw them the last time they toured (back in 03) and attended 8 of their shows across the Northeast. She swore by it as an amazing experience. For me though, I don’t think it would be the same. I want Jerry to be there. I want to experience what I hear on the recordings. That’s impossible, I know, so should I have settled for the next best thing?
What’s your opinion? Is it The Grateful Dead without Jerry Garcia? Would it have been worth the $100 investment? If anyone went to see the shows, drop The Guru a line. I’d love to hear all about the experience, whether it be good, bad, or indifferent.
And while we’re at it, what’s the one band that you never saw live but wish you did, or want to?
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