Theaters plan simulcasts of Grateful Dead’s final concerts
Those who have failed to secure tickets for the Grateful Dead’s final shows will have several options to catch the band.
Area venues are offering viewings of “Fare Thee Well,” a high-definition, full-concert experience simulcast on Friday, July 3, Saturday, July 4, and Sunday, July 5, when the band plays its final three concerts at Chicago’s Soldier Field. Phish’s frontman Trey Anastasio, keyboardist Jeff Chimenti and pianist Bruce Hornsby will join the Grateful Dead’s original four members, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh and Bob Weir.
The tour has been billed as “Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead,” as it marks the band’s 50th anniversary and the original members’ final performances together.
Area Deadheads remember the band's concert days. Here's what they had to say:
“I was not really that familiar with the Grateful Dead, and was attending a Jaycee conference in Hartford. The Grateful Dead were playing at the Hartford Civic Center that weekend, and the band was staying at our hotel. There were Deadheads all over the hotel. I actually did see Jerry Garcia signing an autograph as he got into the elevator," Bennie Jablonski of Stamford said.
Al Donahue also of Stamford said, “I saw my first show at the New Haven coliseum in the spring of 1984 … then it started getting nuts … ended up with $2 bucks in my pocket in like Santa Cruz or Oregon. Several times I dropped out of college and high school to follow them. I loved it but it cost me.”
New Haven's Dave Anderson said he started to get interested in the Dead after hearing a simulcast on New Years Eve in 1982. "From that point forward I was all in! I always got a sense that I was in some existential way, accentuating my soul. The atmosphere is entirely different than that of any other musical event.”
“I saw over 200 Grateful Dead concerts between 1985 and 1995," Bobby Kennedy of Stamford said. "And upon Jerry Garcia's passing, [I became] one of the founders of Gathering of the Vibes, which was originally called Deadhead Heaven, whose purpose was to give Deadheads a place to gather.”
The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, N.Y., where the Grateful Dead played 18 shows during 1970-71 alone, will broadcast a live simulcast each night. College Street Music Hall in New Haven will host a full-concert-sound simulcast of "Fare Thee Well" Friday, July 3, to Sunday, July 5, as will the Fairfield Theatre Company.
The Ridgefield Playhouse will offer a screening of the concert on Friday, July 3, the same day as Ives Concert Park in Danbury does. The latter event, “Forever Grateful,” will feature tribute bands and exhibitors.
Area movie houses also are set to run the simulcast. Visit www.fathomevents.com to find participating theaters.
Show goes on
Capitol Theatre, 149 Westchester Ave., Port Chester, N.Y. Friday, July 3, to Sunday, July 5 (18 and older). Doors open at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. $245 to $15. 877-987-6487, www.thecapitoltheatre.com
College Street Music Hall, 238 College St., New Haven. Friday July 3, to Sunday, July 5. All ages. Doors open at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. $22 to $17 ($42 three-day pass). 203-867-2000, collegestreetmusichall.com
Fairfield Theatre Company, 70 Sanford St. Friday, July 3, to Sunday, July 5. Doors open at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. $10 each night, free (two tickets maximum) for members. 203-259-1036, fairfieldtheatre.org
Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 E. Ridge, Ridgefield. Friday, July 3, 8 p.m. $15. 203-438-5795, ridgefieldplayhouse.org
Ives Concert Par k, 43 Lake Ave. Ext., Danbury. Friday, July 3, 3 p.m. gates open; show at 8 p.m. $25 at gate, $20 advance, free children under 10. Food and beverages available for purchase. www.ivesconcertpark.com
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